Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Adventures at the SPEED Studios

People say I'm lucky - I guess I am - but that's not the word I would use to describe my life; I would describe it as blessed.  I balance honors in school, this blog, and the life of a 'normal' (that's debatable) teenager.  So I wouldn’t say I'm lucky, just blessed for being able to handle everything and for all the opportunities I'm given.  I've learned that you don't deserve anything in life; you have to work at your goal to get what you want.  I know I don't deserve anything; I work hard to get what I want.  Nothing in life is worth anything if you don't work hard for it. 

Now, that I've hopefully made my point, time for all the glorious details about my day at the SPEED Studios. 

I'm not a morning person, so when I had to get up early last Wednesday to go to the SPEED Studios, I was kind of out of it, but then I realized where I was spending the day and that there was Dunkin' Donuts on the table, so I immediately perked up.  I attempted to eat the chocolate chip muffin and iced coffee, but I was too excited to eat.  I ran to put on my "professional outfit" consisting of khakis, a teal shirt, and ballet flats, did my hair and makeup, and then stared in the mirror.  "This is as good as it's going to get," I muttered to myself as I exhaled deeply, looking at my reflection. 

Our hotel was literally right across the street from the SPEED Studios so when I had to be there at 10:15, we left our hotel at 10:10, which worked well since I could take as long as I needed to get ready.  My parents and I walked up the door, rang the bell, and the receptionist let us in.  (Fun Fact:  She's from Staten Island, NY, which is where I'm from.)  Thankfully, I was at the SPEED Studios last year, so I knew what to do.  Once I signed in, we waited for Steve Byrnes to come and get me, but while waiting, the receptionist gave me some SPEED swag:  an awesome book, drink cozies, and flashlight key chains - which I'm now representing on my car keys!  A few minutes later, Steve appeared and I left my parents standing in the lobby. 

Straight from the lobby, Steve and I went to the production meeting in the Green Room, which I distinctly remembered from last year's visit, mainly because of the cool Race Hub pinball machine.  I honestly had no idea what was talked about at a production meeting - all I knew was that it sounded very official.  Pretty much what the production meeting consisted of was talking about what they're going to be doing during the show in each block - or segment.  We've also discovered something; I'm one of the few people who haven't been to an IKEA.  Is that normal?  Well, apparently, they have Swedish meatballs and a day care.  Oh, the random things you learn while at the SPEED Studios…

When the meeting ended, we headed over to Steve's office and a few minutes later, Steve went to record some voiceovers for that night's show; I chilled in the office and watched the Olympics - specifically men's volleyball.  Go USA!  Once Steve was done with the voiceovers, Brendan Gaughan was in-studio for his interview, and since I want to be a reporter and asking questions is a tad important, (sense my sarcasm?) I listened intently behind the camera.  Five short questions later and Brendan was out the door going to play basketball with Danielle Trotta for the special feature they were airing on his basketball skills.  Back to Steve's office we went, only this time, Steve had to write his script for that night's show.  To say I was fascinated by this process is no lie.  You want to hear how cool it is?  Good, I was going to tell you either way.  There's a computer with a fancy program on it and you type in notes or things you want to say, you press "save" and tada, on the prompter it goes.  Steve and I sat there and talked while he wrote his script, and tried to decide if this blog should be considered a blog or a website and what the difference is; we decided that it shall be called a website now.  That's when I was put to work.  I played fashion consultant for Steve; so the suit he was wearing on tonight's show…yup, I picked it out, pretty snazzy, huh?  Please hold your applause.  Shortly after being the fashion consultant, Ron Fellows, who's driving for JR Motorsports this weekend at Watkins Glen, was in the studio for his interview. 

One could call me a tech nerd or geek and that's perfectly acceptable.  When I was at the ABC taping of Good Afternoon America, I could care less about the actual show, I was fascinated with the cameras, and the same thing went at the SPEED Studios.  Last year during my visit, I learned all about the sound bytes and commercial breaks, so this year I was able to appreciate it more because I fully understood what was going on. 

Fun Fact: I learned something new from Max Papis, who was in the studio to talk about the MoMo steering wheel with Matt Clark:  Italians hug to show affection, they don't do the awkward double kiss thing that everyone thinks they do. 

Right before the show went on air, Matt Clark was standing next to me.  He told me that once they went live to run across the screen and wave.  As tempting as that was, I controlled myself and stood behind the camera in awe while the show was being filmed. 

I got back to my hotel at 7:30 and was on Cloud Nine.  That night, I barely slept; granted it might have had something to do with the Rockstar Energy drink I drank, but still, I was so excited it was insane, hence the title of the article I posted that night, "One Word - Insane." 

I promise I'm done with my recap of my day now.  I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Steve for inviting me back to the SPEED Studios and to the entire NASCAR Race Hub family for making me feel extremely comfortable and at home! 

For the rest of my pictures from SPEED, click here.


  1. You are welcome! Glad to have you as our guest.

  2. Very cool article! I'm glad you had a fun day! Maybe, in about 6-9 yrs..we will get to see you on the Speed Channel!
    Tim Balmer tim_rfr_rpm @twitter

  3. Its great to see you following your dream!

  4. You are truely blessed! I can't wait to see you giving interviews on race day in the future.