- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 21 September 2016
- Written by ROSSANA VALDIVIA | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Mary Harris, a Specialist professor of communications, appeared on the Emmy-Award winning TV Show, The Chew on Friday June 3.
ABC’s talk-show The Chew is led by co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. This talk show is composed of entertaining and informative segments that capture all types of audiences. It is a spin-off of ABC’s other award-winning show, The View, however, instead of focusing on celebrity news, The Chew focuses on lifestyle tips and tricks and a variety of food-related news that can range from the innovative recipes for Nashville hot wings to classic chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes.
Harris was approached by The Chew’s production team to be a guest star on the show about a week before it aired. The producers contacted her because of her blog on healthy living and natural recipes called SproutnBlossom. Following a phone interview with an assistant producer, she was selected to conduct a segment on the show.
“Meeting the whole cast was definitely very interesting on its own,” said Harris. Had it not been for her own segment, she never would have been able to meet the cohosts or the world class chefs otherwise. According to Harris, it was also very refreshing to speak with them as down- to-earth individuals, rather than meet them for their stage personas on the TV screen. When she was getting ready in her dressing room, she was able to speak to chefs and get to know them on a personal level.
“The segment I was on was a four-minute segment on natural cleaners,” said Harris. The producers were seeking someone who could make an effective natural cleaning solution for around the house that was not only do it yourself (DIY), but also did not utilize chemicals.
On the segment, Harris composed three different cleaners with vinegar acting as the main ingredient and showed where to use them in the household. As a new parent herself, she explains how the low toxic levels of using vinegar as a cleaner can be beneficial for households with children.
Harris said, “Even though the show may not be airing the live element was still there.” Due to her experience on her YouTube channel, Harris is not exactly camera shy, but she did feel the pressure of getting everything right the first time, because The Chew does not encourage re-takes.
Although there were no major incidents, she did accidentally spray co-host Clinton Kelly with one of her solutions; however, by making it a joke, it all worked out fine.
Another behind the scenes fun fact that Harris found out was that color scheme and appearance matter. Bright solid colors are preferred over patterned clothing and other colors such as black, white and gray. Prior to the show Harris went shopping for two outfits, since the production team requires guests to bring a backup outfit s in case the outfit colors clash with the set.
Although the show itself is not scripted, each speaker has key points to touch upon. These key points act as cues to the production team. For example, the production team knew to cue a picture of Harris’ eight-month old son, when they heard her say the words “new mother.”
Harris’ debut on The Chew also led her to reconnect with students who she had previously taught. After seeing her segment, she got a couple of emails and messages on social media congratulating her on her segment. She even got attention from students who she had not taught before.
Sophomore psychology student Harry Termyna said, “I was really surprised seeing a Monmouth University professor starring on The Chew. It makes you realize how everything is possible.”
Another Sophomore finance student Graceann McAnn said, “I’ve talked to Professor Harris many times and then the next thing I know, I see her on The Chew! I even tried her household cleaners and they really work.”
“Overall, guest starring on The Chew was an interesting and fun learning experience,” said Harris. Between meeting new people and going behind the scenes of a show, she was not only able to share her household cleaner recipe with new viewers, but also give Monmouth University a shout out on live TV.