Interior Designer Donna Hoffman (Almost) Hits Network TV!

(Note, this blog post was written several months ago, so it might sound like I’m out of sync with the seasons!)

Sitting in the lobby of the trendy Paramount hotel in NYC on a rainy day. I arrived early for a casting call being conducted by a major network that I’m not allowed to name. They are shooting a show that I’m also not allowed to name and it’s airing in a warm month later this year that I assume I’m also not supposed to name. It’s a design competition show. “Oh, like the ones they have on the cable channels?” I asked the casting agent when he called to see if I’d audition. “No. Ours is different,” he said. Adding after a pause, “And we’re not cable.”

Lobby of the Paramount Hotel NYC

Oops. Hierarchy. Every industry’s got one.

Network, not cable. I still don’t want to do a design competition show for about a million reasons to include wondering how one leaves one’s design business for 4-8 weeks to shoot a show she doesn’t really want to do. But, I am here nonetheless, if for no other reason than that I had an amazing teacher once who said on many occasions that you always say yes to life…say yes first to the possibility of an opportunity before you snap out your no. (BTW, interior design can work the same way…)

Plus…how cool was it to walk from the parking garage just now weaving around traffic and among the Manhattan crowd thinking, “Pardon me, but I have “to take a meeting” with ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX. So have I thrown you off the trail yet with that network not-naming?

Well…let me go call “Michael” the casting agent to let him know I’m here in the lobby. My mouth just got dry. How do i get myself into these situations??


I am hungry and sitting now in a cute little Greek restaurant on West 45th Street “post audition” so I can grab a late lunch before I head back to Philly.   So what happened? Pretty much what I expected having spent some time in TV both in front of and behind the camera. I walked into a small hotel room in which stood a camera set up on a tripod. My photo was taken. I got “miked up” and stood in front of a blue drop cloth and answered questions thrown to me by a pleasant young woman. Things like, where  I live, what I do, how I became a designer, plus the two questions I dreaded: do I build things, (true story…in college I was asked by the department chair to stay out of the carpentry shop because it was not “my thing”…years later a similar request would come my way in a sewing workshop!). And then the boom: “Why do you want to do his show?”

My mind races. So I blurt out, “Uh….I think I should be the show’s HOST!”

“This show doesn’t have a host” my interviewer answered flatly.
There goes that plan. So I rambled and said something half-hearted and politically correct, but let’s just say…I expect to be watching – not participating on – this undisclosed show that will happen on the undisclosed channel during the undisclosed warmer months!

Well…I’ve got work to do, so let me get back home to my real life in Bucks County. Just got a call from one of my builders who needs my direction at a job site. See? I am a star after all in my own little network 🙂