Just to recap how this all came to pass: Neelie was filming Alison as she was acting out a skit for her students. (As fellow teachers, you can just imagine what this looked like!) From a distance, two men and their camera crew yelled out to us. Immediately we assumed that we were being scolded! But “au contraire”!! As hosts of the hit Montreal morning show, “Des Kiwis et des Hommes,” they were genuinely curious as to what in the world we were doing. A conversation ensued, and as things were wrapping up, we asked if we could interview them. Delighted at this idea, they agreed. (In retrospect, this was naively bold of us to have asked for an interview. The American equivalent to this might be asking Regis and Kelli for a school interview… on our flip cams. Needless to say, they were extremely professional… and amused.)
We got a call a couple hours later from the director of the show asking us to return to the market the next day. Drawn to our story, they wanted to do a short segment about us for the national Quebecois holiday, St. Jean-Baptiste. The focus of the show that day was the celebration of the French language in Quebec. Two Americans discovering Quebecois culture and language would fit perfectly.
We arrived at the studio (which overlooks the market) at 11:30 the next day and were immediately whisked upstairs to get our hair and makeup done. While backstage, we learned that none other than Michel Tremblay would be the featured guest! (For those not familiar with this name, Michel Tremblay is the most important and prolific contemporary Quebecois playwright.)
As our segment was one of the last to be filmed, we had the opportunity to tour the set and truly get a glimpse into the production of the show. A local international school started things off by singing “Gens du Pays”, the Quebecois equivalent to “America the Beautiful.” This was followed by Michel Tremblay’s interview and a cooking demonstration.
Finally the big moment arrived. The crew escorted us to the market’s bookstore, where we were told that Francis, one of the show’s hosts, would show us several maple syrup recipes. Then… Lights, camera, action! The cameras were rolling, and Francis, bemused, shared with the Quebecois public how he met us making videos at the Jean-Talon market. He then invited us to share a bit of our story and we happily obliged. At the end of the segment, Francis offered us a gift- a local cookbook of maple syrup recipes along with a can of maple syrup.
And that, my friends, is how we became Quebecois morning show stars.
Pam, Carolyn, just a warning: this show may well be the beginning of a new career path for us. We hope to be back next year at USM… to sign autographs. But one never knows…
(Note: Although the video was not posted on their website, we have been promised a recording of the show which we plan to share.)