My Tina Fey story

Dudes. I can’t believe the last ever episode of 30 Rock airs tonight. It is a show close to my heart, and has been such a big part of my life both personally and professionally. My biggest congrats to the entire cast and crew on SEVEN incredible seasons!!!

As a former NBC page and a servant to the peacock ever since, I have had a lot of experiences that left me questioning how reality works. There’s the time I watched Julia Louis Dreyfus order Conan to help her pick out shoes for her appearance on his show, the time Boyz II Men rehearsed Motown Philly 3 feet in front of my face at Fallon, and the time Bill Murray kidnapped me inside his leather jacket and wouldn’t let me go until the stage manager called him to set. But none of those moments will EVER top my Tina Fey story.

The page class of 2008 was a quirky bunch. We all dreamed of working at SNL/Conan/Fallon/30 Rock, and made funny videos in the little time off that we had. So naturally, we planned a party for the season premiere of 30 Rock. At the time, I was the page on Conan, and the day before the party/premiere, Tina made an appearance on the show.

Part of my responsibilities as page was to escort guests in and out of the building, and as I stood next to Tina (one of my heroes I might add), I gathered all my courage and the spirit of all my page friends to make the following convo happen:

BRIANNA

Hey Tina, us pages are having a 30 Rock at 30 Rock party to watch the show together tomorrow. We’re very excited!

TINA FEY

That’s great!

BRIANNA (awkward)

And of course we’re going to all leave our TV’s on at home and DVR it…

TINA FEY (laughs… can you believe it?!)

And watch within 24 hours!

BRIANNA

Of course!

TINA FEY

Where’s the party?

BRIANNA

Here at 30 Rock… In the page office.

TINA FEY

Cool.

Soooooo, fast forward to the next night, and this shows up:

TINA

Tina took time out of her schedule on her premiere day to send us all cupcakes, and all cause some page happened to mention something in a 30 second elevator ride. Now if that isn’t a sign of an incredible human, I don’t know what is. Tina gave me and my fellow pages one of the best gifts you can give. Cake. But also, kindness. She made our life with that gesture, and I venture to say it was one of the top page program moments for all of us. She also gave us the gift of the show 30 Rock, which will go down in history as one of the best comedies of all time.

Thank you, Tina.

Now, here is another highlight of my time as a page… The time Brian Stack (a regular guest-star of 30 Rock) and I hung out while he was dressed as Frankenstein Sarah Palin. AKA the second best Palin impression out there. Sorry Julianne Moore.

PAGE

Like my uniform?

Ann Curry

Ann Curry leaving the Today Show has made me quite sad this week. I grew up watching Katie Couric and had a girl-crush on Mer Ver, and as they each departed, Ann Curry was always there making everything okay. I’m sure this Savannah chick is cool and all, but she’s got some big Choo’s to fill.

I was lucky enough to work at NBC for five plus years and it’s still my part-time home. Part of those five years were spent Kenneth-ing it up in the page program, and anyone who has worn that blue suit is probably feeling the same way as me right now. You develop an inexplicable attachment to all NBC shows and all NBC talent. These people aren’t just talking heads on television. They’re the people you share the elevator with, run into at lunch, and give at least four speeches a day about while leading visitors around on studio tours.

If I were to revise the page manual, I would start it off by saying, “The Today Show is bank. Learn everything you can about it because it’s always been the top-rated morning show for a reason and everyone who works there is pretty freaking awesome.” As I wrote this, I would think about the production staff, the stagehands, the talent, but most of all Ann Curry.

In the midst of Matt Lauer travelling the world and telling celebs how it is, Hoda and Kathie Lee drinking their way through the TGI Fridays cocktail menu, and a slew of lifestyle pieces, Ann Curry was always there holding it down with the news. Her segments might have been brief, but she always brought an air of legitimacy and professionalism to the table that made all the other parts work. And she carried this with her when she took over as anchor. For me, she was the heart and the glue of Today and also responsible for one of my favorite jokes on 30 Rock of all time.

TRACY MORGAN (to the NBC psychiatrist)

“Who’s crazier? Me or Ann Curry?”

Ann Curry is badass and I will never stop looking up to her. She and all the other news women out there deserve admiration and respect for all the work they do. Ann stands out amongst the pack, and I’ll miss seeing her every morning as I straighten my hair.

I might not be crazier than Ann Curry, but I’m definitely crazy about her.