There used to be this show on WLS in Chicago called The Prize Movie with Ione. Every day, Ione would sit on the set and host a movie, and by "host," I mean she would introduce the film, and then with each commercial break she would completely break the train of thought with chit chat about no particular subject with people who called in. Sometimes callers would talk about the movie, and sometimes they would talk about anything but. Sometimes Ione would do exercises on a mat with this fluffy, white immovable dog beside her. And sometimes a man in an ape suit would rush the stage pretending to be her husband. And if there was too much talking or too many crunches or too much ape and not enough time to show the full film, they would just not show the end—you could miss the last ten minutes if time ran out.
During the summers, my sister and I never missed a morning with Ione. I think I was twelve before I ever saw a movie straight through without commercials—it was Gone With the Wind, and I cried inconsolably all through the intermission. Finally, when Good Morning America needed the time slot, Ione was canned, and now she's an artist in LA.
At the same time, Frazier Thomas was "hosting" Family Classics on Sunday afternoons for WGN. He only had three or four movies in the rotation—Swiss Family Robinson, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Huckleberry Finn. Frazier would introduce the movie and at the end, he would sign off with "join us next week for Family Classics."
There's an entire staff of movie hosts on Turner Classic Movies doing nothing but spouting trivia about this or that director or celebrity. And then there's Elvira.
So, how did these people get these jobs, people with no apparent skill beyond public speaking? They don't create, they don't build, they don't invest, they don't push paper. How does one get to sit in a chair and talk about movies, interview an entertainer, get paid, and go home? It sounds to me like a dream job.
I would like to spend my work day talking about movies, reading a piece of trivia that someone has dug up for me—unless I get to do the trivia digging all on my own—and watching One Reel Wonders. I would like to do those things and get paid for them. Public speaking has never been a skill I cared to hone, but if it meant landing a job surrounded by movies and blabber, then sign me up for a speech class.
Other dream jobs I'd like to have:
- Catering dinner parties for 8 or less using menus of my choosing, which means no canned corn!
- Playing horn in The Cleveland Symphony (with the skills to match)
- Writing a daily column that people like to read
- Sitting in a cozy office with two cats and a fresh pot of coffee making invitations, postcards, and book covers while listening to Dennis Brain play Mozart horn concertos (oh wait, I have that job) Update: I don't have this job anymore, but I still sit in the same office with the cats and the coffee. I just work on stories instead with only the occasional book cover or concert program on my to-do list.
Send me your ideas for your dream jobs. I would like to know!