The summer of 1957 was special in my life. I was a volunteer at KQED TV in San Francisco. The station was at 4th and Bryant streets in an old warehouse
I took a Greyhound bus from Orinda to San Francisco in the early afternoons and walked from 7th Street down to the station. My duties were varied. I helped with setting up for shows, painted black and white posters telling about programs, and pulled the cables behind the huge cameras during the live programs. I was a general gofer.
One evening, I didn’t move fast enough and was trapped behind the Japanese Brush Painting set when the program went on the air. I couldn’t move or cough or sneeze when the camera started shooting. I stood very still for the whole half hour. 1957: Artist Takahiko Mikami’s series “Japanese Brush Painting” was one of KQED’s first successful series. The program achieved national distribution.
KQED Archive photos used with one time limited permission granted by Jay Yamada (unofficial KQED historian).
To see more archive photos go to: http://www.kqed.org/about/history/
You never knew what was going to happen when you went on the air live. The station had egg cartons affixed on all the walls for sound baffles. There were signs in the bathrooms which said “Do Not Flush During Broadcast.”
The station tried out for a Ford Foundation grant that summer. The local program “Dramatic Reading” directed by Robert Hagopian was kinescoped
so a copy could be sent to the foundation. I tried out and was chosen.
The readings were from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology
. Despite the fact that I was very young, I was given the part of Elsa Wertman, an older woman. I did not photograph well on TV so I determined right then that I could not be a TV actress.
Me in 1957.
Labels: family, history, odd facts