Sunday, October 19, 2008

Casey's Dream Came True

I was going to do a Wordless Wednesday entry but I couldn't find a funny, interesting or controversial photo that I felt would warrant any comments, so I decided to finally post about a fabulous thing we did over the weekend.

Casey has been wanting to tour our local NBC affiliate WDIV channel 4 for a really looooong time now. At one point this summer I tried to satiate his pleas by just taking him down to the studio just to hang out in the front of it. That helped, a little. I was really having trouble trying to set up a tour, as I really had no "connections" and my emails were going unanswered.

Finally, just by chance, I found a "connection". I was at a party over the summer at a friend's house and we were discussing this whole Casey/studio tour issue. Suddenly, my friend Barb revealed that she knew a weekend producer from that station and that this woman had set up a tour for her scout troop! I was flummoxed! Who'd a thought my ol' friend Barb would be my connection? She was more than happy to give me the woman's number and I was more than happy to take it.

Well, long story long, I called, tried to set up a tour for his bday, didn't work. So, I took whatever I could get and so this weekend we had our tour scheduled. Casey, was flying high all week, talking about, the anticipation almost palpible.

We were scheduled to arrive at 9am, after the initial newscast was over and when they would be doing "break-ins" during the "Today Show". Casey was more than happy to get up that morning. The drive down to Detroit was smooth sailing and parking a breezed since it was the weekend. Casey was the first one out of the car of course, heading for the door of the studio.

We were welcomed by Lisa the producer who took us into the control room. It was really interesting to see how everything happens behind the scenes of a newscast and how many people are involved. Casey was a little bored with this part but was really good despite it.

Next, we got to go out to the studio. It was if the heavens had opened for Casey, he was excstatic! He couldn't stop talking about the "new" studio (which it was, being recently remodeled). We ran into mutual friends there, who were also touring! We met Andrew Humphrey, the weekend meteorologist, who was extremely kind. He showed us where he reports the weather, let us stand in front of the green screen, and even let Casey use his 'clicker' that changes the picture behind him. We got to see ourselves on camera in front of the maps, it was awesome. He was super nice and gave us a lot of time.

Unfortunately, Casey quickly lost interest in the weather when he spotted the news desk where the anchors sit. "There's the desk" he shouted. The producer allowed the kids to take turns sitting in the chair. Casey got to read from the teleprompter, which he is very good at.

We got to see the remote control cameras (no more cameramen anymore!), how they do the traffic report and much more. Best of all we got to stand in the actual studio while the did a breakin during the Today show. It was a little stressful as we were warned that we had to be really quiet and as you know, kids with Autism, well, can't sometimes. But he didn't utter a sound during the 5 or 10 minute span, we were really proud of him.

After that, we got to see the newsroom and where all the news vans were parked. It was just so cool to see the behind the scenes stuff. Casey was beside himself.

After we were done, we got in the car and he almost seemed to be in a trance. I asked him what he was thinking about, assuming his answer would have to be about our experience.

"Now, " answered, "we need to go tour WXYZ!"........geez............