News Anchor Nightmares

October 26, 2009

We all have them: those recurring nightmares that haunt us at night.  Many of us have specific nightmares–dreams that speak to our deepest fears.   Have you ever had that dream where you’re back in high school and you can’t find your class?  Or you can’t remember the combination to your locker?  Maybe the nightmare pertains to being a parent:  the one where the children sprout wings and fly away, or the one where the newborn baby starts talking like he’s Einstein.   Maybe it’s something more realistic like someone snatching your child from her crib or stroller?  That one will make you wake up in a sweat. 

Some of us have recurring nightmares about our jobs.  When you work in TV news the nightmare may be that you’re out on a live shot and you can’t speak or you don’t have any information.  I’ve also had the recurring dream that it’s minutes before news time and I’m in still in the car driving to the station, trying to make it there in time.  One time I dreamed I was coming back to the station from picking up food on the east side, and on my way back driving over the Martin Luther King Bridge it collapsed and I was floating around in my car in the Maumee, calling the station on my cell phone for help, and telling them I could do a live shot from the water.  Weird, huh?

But by far the most frequent dream I have is the one where I’m sitting on the set waiting for the newscast to begin and I realize I’m not dressed, or don’t have any makeup on.  Last week, that one was a nightmare come true.

For those of you who have wondered if we have professional hair and makeup people at the station who get us ready each night: we don’t.   We all do our own.  Because TV makeup is applied more heavily than regular makeup, there are some days when I come in to work with no makeup and apply it there.  If I don’t have anywhere to be earlier in the day, I just give my skin a break and wait ’til I get to the station to do it.  

Admittedly, Chrys without makeup is not a pretty sight.  My coworkers are kind about it because they love me but like many women, I feel I look much better with makeup on.   So at 4:40 last Thursday when I went back to the makeup room to put on my “face” imagine my horror to discover I had left my makeup bag at home!!!   “Oh no…my nightmare’s coming true,” I panicked.   I had 15 minutes until the 5 PM news and my house was 25 minutes away.   “You’re beautiful without makeup,” Jerry Anderson consoled.  “No one will even notice,” my co-worker Jim said. 


So I did what any self-respecting anchor would do:  I found Melissa Voetsch, our 5:30 PM anchor and told her I needed her to fill in for me at 5.  She was gracious and stepped in with 5 minutes to go.   (This is just one of the many reasons I love my coworkers.)  I called my husband to bring my makeup, and had it on in time to do the 6 PM news.  

But what if Mel and Jerry hadn’t been at work that day?  What if my husband hadn’t been home to bring my makeup bag to me?  What if I had no choice but to go on the air with no makeup for all of Northwest Ohio to see?   What a nightmare!



  1. You should listen to Jerry and Jim… they know true inner beauty when they see it. 🙂

    But I do understand the “nightmare” of going on without makeup, or the “right clothes” or whatever it may be. Our society puts such unrealistic expectations on women. I’m honestly surprised that more of you aren’t neurotic messes by now. But, with grace and inner strength, you carry on. Good for you!

    P.S. WTG Mel for stepping in! What a trooper! 🙂

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Lawrence!!

  3. Chrys, you sure don’t have to worry about make-up! You are just as attractive with or without make up. It’s what’s in your heart that matters! (We women worry too much about makeup.) Each time I’ve corresponded with you, you’ve been sooo gracious. YOU are part of the TEAM that makes WTOL so enjoyable to watch. Even though I don’t live in the Toledo area, I enjoyed the segement with the two mayoral candidates you did last eveing with Jerry.

  4. Thank you, Patricia!! My mom always taught me it’s what’s on the inside that counts….but still…. 🙂

  5. Well that went in a little different direction than hoped! But seriously – glad you have friends to cover at work, but feel you would have been just fine….

  6. Dear Chrys,

    I’d wondered about whether you have a professional do your hair and make-up because all you ladies always look so beautiful. I’m sure you would have looked just as pretty as always without your make-up as you do with it. I am a nurse and always have to look professional as well. I feel the same as you do about it though. My kids tease me because I won’t even go get my mail out at the roadside without make-up on! Love 11 News and have watched for many many years. Keep up the great work you all do every day!

    Donna M.

  7. Hi Donna! That’s so funny about not going to the mailbox without your makeup on! That’s exactly the way my mom was when I grew up which is probably why I am that way too! Thanks for the comments!!

  8. I fully understand the nightmare situation. Growing up I had the nightmares about not being able to find my locker and lock combination, not being able to get to my classes on time and even not remembering where my clases were. I went to DeVillbis for two years and Waite High School for two years. I carried my school schedule around with me all through high school. I still have a copy of one along with some old grade cards. Those nightmares eventually faded away. I have fewer today.
    I can sympathize with the nightmares you have.

  9. I understand you 100% Chrys. I have directed over 84 plays and musicals and it never fails; one week before production, I would start having the dreams in which I am late to the show. Everything always comes off perfect, it’s just that I’m not there. I started setting two alarms every time I would go to bed at night or lay down for a nap!!!
    Maybe keep two makeup bags; one at home and one in your desk!! You look fabulous any time I have seen you!! Keep up the great work. We love everyone who anchors at WTOL 11!!!!

  10. Brenda…Thanks for the idea! I have toyed with the two makeup bag idea…but the darn makeup’s so expensive!!! Maybe I’ll just do it! Thanks!!

  11. I highly enjoyed reading your article, keep on making such interesting posts!!

  12. I know how you felt! I don’t know which would be worse either…going “on-air” with no make-up, or going “on-air” nude…they’re pretty much the same, right?? Thank goodness for Mary Kay!

    On a more serious note, thank you for all your posts about our lovely angel, Gretchen Skeldon! Not only did she and her husband Phil sing at our wedding a year and a half ago, but they also sang at our cousins’ wedding in Novemeber! It’s so sad to think about how healthy and beautiful and alive she was just a short time ago!

  13. Hi, Chrysie — Mom will spring for your second make-up bag!!! I would NEVER want you to do something I wouldn’t do myself, like go to work without make-up on! I love you.

  14. Chris. I just have a question. I was wondering why you only talk about breast cancer when there is so many of kind of cancer when there is so many other cancers out there.
    Just wondering

  15. Betty…
    I know there are many types of cancers, and have served on the board for the American Cancer Society in the past, which is a wonderful organization.
    I’ve also been on the board of Make-A-Wish, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening diseases.
    There are also many other diseases besides cancer that are devastating to families in our area.
    I am always happy to do what I can to help any organization…but have focused my attention on this particular disease because it affects 1 in 8 women, and is the number one killer of women age 25-54 in the U.S.
    I’m also committed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure because I’ve researched it thoroughly and appreciate how fiscally responsible they are with the money that’s raised.
    Thanks for the question!

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