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ASTROLOGY, PATTY AND YOU
by Patty Finlayson, PMA

That was the name of my very first TV show. A student of one of the astrology series I taught at the local college became a friend. She and I then professionally produced a set of astrology video tapes in 1989. Her friends included the professional cameraman, announcer and make-up artist who donated their time to the project. It was fascinating to discover that the script ran in front of the camera by a device and was read. I did not know that was how it was done, I thought everybody memorized their scripts and had memorized each video segment which was not so hard because I had written them. She knew video and TV, I knew astrology but neither of us knew how to market. Classified ads on the local cable stations had just been introduced, so I went to the local cable TV station to arrange for an ad. By the time I left, I had signed up for several live one-hour TV shows. The salesman even told me how to get my show into the TV Guide magazine. When I told my friend, who produced in-house TV shows for a living, she said “what have you gotten us into?” My friend could not believe it. Why not? It was simply another adventure! I had not intended to ask for her help, but she told me there was no way I knew how to produce a show on my own. But all I had to do was to show up with the show! The TV set was basic. There were a small square room, the control booth, two camera people and a table. We provided everything else. We even had to bring our own telephone. I wrote the entire show, including the commercials. I was on camera with (hopefully) interesting astrology information for the first half, and live phone calls the second half, interspersed with amateur commercials for the video tapes. It was exciting because the red light worked on only one of the two cameras, so I had to guess which one to look at. During the first show, I dropped papers on the floor, stooping out of camera range and leaving dead space on TV.

The first show was a few days before Valentine’s Day so the subject was romantic relationships. The camera people loved the subject and provided the first few questions. When people called in, someone answered the phone, wrote their questions on pieces of paper which were handed to another person to walk the questions to me because the phone jack was far away from the table. Then I read and answered the callers questions on the air. TV at that time was basic, the questions could not be typed to show up on the screen like you see now. I went in several weeks before each show to choose a starry background, the music and taped the preview. The show was an immediate hit, having more phone calls than we could answer.

By the fourth show, I had learned how to figure out which camera was live, stay in camera range and to be relaxed and natural. It was too exciting to be scared. I did learn that one hour of live TV is a long time! I also learned that make-up on TV is absolutely essential. The lights exaggerate every flaw, so the make-up is needed to make you all the same color, then highlight your natural features so you look like you. Off camera I looked like a clown. They did not wear red because it bled into the other colors on the TV screen, and what was seen on TV as a white shirt was actually beige.

This experience helped when a few years later I was invited to be a guest on TV Channel 9 in Washington, D.C. as their astrologer. This was thanks to an A.R.E. friend who was contacted by the TV station for a person to appear in their series on the paranormal. I was on each show for seven minutes. The anchor people asked a few questions on a theme, then the audience asked questions. One topic was the O.J. Simpson trial and another Newt Gingrich, who were in the news then. I had hand drawn their horoscopes and the cameraman zoomed in on the horoscope wheel. There were no laptop computers, so I looked up the horoscopes for the audience straight from the ephemeris, the book of the planets and where they are at any given time. Predictions to answer questions were given from the ephemeris, too, although I know where the outer planets are at the current time in question. Again, this was a great hit, with them saying I was their favorite astrologer. Unfortunately, the anchor man left the show and the show itself ended.

During that same time period I was on national radio shows as a result of placing an ad in a radio and TV trade magazine in order to market the video tapes. The shows were all live call-in shows. It is interesting to say the least to field live questions, some of which were very challenging. The few seconds delay that is usual now was not in use then, the dialogue was spontaneous.I had to think and speak quickly. This led to a long-running live radio show on WBCK in Battle Creek, Michigan where I was the resident astrologer, all done over the phone. The ability to be on the phone with the radio host and simultaneously with callers had just recently been made possible.

For many years, this was great fun, and I made many new astrology friends but did not sell one video tape. Everybody wanted astrology interpretations or readings and they still do. It is heartening to know people astrologically for such a long time, we are like family.

We produced the video tapes as audio tapes so you could listen in your car, and are in the process of putting them on CD. If just by chance, you would like to have a tape of your sign, contact Patty. Of course, to receive a reading, all you need is to contact Patty to schedule your session.

To enjoy your own reading please contact Patty via Email or Phone 302.378.0579.



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