• Suzy Soro
  • What I Learned from Movie Star Sophia Loren
What I Learned from Movie Star Sophia Loren
Written by
Suzy Soro
August 2015
Written by
Suzy Soro
August 2015

In the 1980s I was living in NY with a director I thought I was going to marry. He got a job with the entertainment division of CNN and even though I had no experience, he hired me as his VTR operator. A VTR is like a VCR, only one used threaded tape and the at-home version used cassettes. I have no idea what they use today but I'm sure it's digital and they don't need a second person recording sound tethered three feet behind the cameraman. 

One afternoon we were sent to a Sophia Loren event. I can't remember what exactly it was for but when it wrapped, I was surprised because Ms. Loren stopped to thank and shake hands with every crew member present. We weren't the only crew as all the major news outlets were there as well. She put out her hand, looked each of us square in the eye, and one by one, said thank you. I was blown away. For starters she positively glows she's so gorgeous and she's tall, but it was her manners that really floored me. Granted, she's European and since my mother is French and I've spent a considerable amount of time in France, I know that respect is highly regarded in Europe. But still. Her thoughtfulness has stayed with me all these years. 

So yesterday I filmed an interview/commercial for a big website. And the client wanted stories about times we laughed so hard we almost peed in our pants. I cannot bring myself to write "peed my pants" anymore than I can write "Graduate high school. I was brought up with the "in" and the "from" but life is moving too fast and we have things to pin and pictures to post and Kardashians to trash. THERE IS NO TIME FOR THE IN AND THE FROM. Apparently.

I told my two stories and then rattled off some jokes from my standup act. On aging, (I think I look pretty good for my age. I don't like to brag but I have a 14 year old dog) on housework, (If it was really a self-cleaning oven we could put our dirty dishes in there and kill two birds with one stone)and on weight loss (I'm finally down to a size 2...times 5) The director gave me some notes on the stories and then the second cameraman needed shots of me gesticulating to punctuate my stories. And then it was over. 

And after they removed my mic I remembered Sophia Loren. I usually do phone interviews only. Mainly for my first book but also for standup comedy. But this was the first time in a long while I did a filmed interview. When I did Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm or any of the other TV shows, time is limited and they move on very quickly after your piece. And there is a huge crew. This was a small crew, only six people. And I went to each person, held out my hand, looked them square in the eye, and thanked them. One woman looked surprised, like I was a Secret Psycho. But I remembered that's probably what I looked like when Sophia Loren shook my hand. It's a mixture of surprise and gratefulness, for being acknowledged, for being seen, for doing a good job. 

I highly recommend this for your next interview, book tour, or whatever you're called upon to do for publicity. Don't be scared, they'll probably be more nervous than you. Wondering if they did a good job and if you 'saw' them.

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