Friday, September 3, 2010

When House Hunters International Came to Call

I have a fun surprise to share with you: my family is going to be featured on the HGTV show House Hunters International! I was contacted by a production assistant who saw my blog and encouraged our family to apply. Now, before you go thinking, "Wow! That's really cool!", let me just say that a person has to be something of a lunatic to agree to doing a show like this. I'll explain more, but first...

Here's our friendly crew for our one-day shoot in Texas in mid-July. For HHI, in case you aren't familiar with it, there is always a "before" shoot, to show where you lived before you embarked on the insane journey of buying a home overseas. We hadn't lived in Texas for seven years and our home there has been sold for a while, but we couldn't very well go back to our rented house in Japan for the "real before"--that would have been delightful but awfully impractical.

These guys taught us all about how to get miked up, how to answer to-be-edited-out questions from the director without making it seem like answering questions, and how to appear to be candid and fresh when doing a third take. It was terribly, terribly hot, so any real freshness was pretty much out of the question.

It was necessary to inject occasional moments of levity into what can be a long, tedious process. TV people work hard for their money! I should probably mention that we decided to do this shoot at my grandmother's house, where we stayed this summer but had never actually lived.

Oh, now here we are back in Germany in our house, with a simply lovely British crew. This was Day Two of our three-day shoot. Day One was spent out and about, looking at two other houses in the area with an agent, as if we were in the midst of choosing a house to buy. 

Did you notice that there is no furniture in that photo with the crew? That's because they hired movers to move everything out of our entire house to make it look as if it wasn't ours yet. Oh, the acting we had to do! Thank goodness the Husband was in Advanced Drama in high school. I won't go too much into how ridiculous it feels to have most of your household goods moved into and around your garage and then all moved back in, on the same day. This kind of thing can be (was) a major promoter of mental instability in homeowners (us). This day was not fun at all.

Day Three was better, because we were total celebrities. To show what it's like to live here, we went out around town and ostentatiously took over a restaurant (got to eat a nice "typical German" meal on HHI's tab!), a bakery, an outdoor cafe area, several streets, and a walkway alongside a lake. Make way for the crazy Americans and Brits, everybody! That's right, go ahead and stare! And most of all, stay out of our way. No autographs, please.

Oops, this is back on Day Two, with our kitchen empty and our new friend, agent Gabi, waiting around with us for our next take. She was such a good sport and also a good actor. 

Here's the last thing we did, at the end of Day Three when we were all dog-tired: we sat in the field behind our house and shared our thoughts (director-led, you understand) on buying our house and living in Germany. We had to lie a little so people who see the show won't want to go stick their heads in ovens immediately after watching.

And here we all are: our American (German-speaking) P.A. Chuck, director Katie, sound dude James, our family, and camera wrangler James. They were a fun bunch (we had a little too much fun at the end of Day Three) who helped make this whole thing almost bearable. Cheers!

Maybe you're wondering when the show will air; we are, too. They're telling us it will likely be next year, in the Spring. I guess it's a little late to be concerned about possibly looking like idiots on TV?


Eryn said...

Cool blog! Check mine out too at
I spent nearly a year in Germany....incredible people

Mary-Cate said...

Wow! I had NO idea about behind the scenes! My hubby & I LOVE House Hunters International! :) Cheers to you for being good sports (moving your stuff out... wow.) xx

DragonflyLanternshop said...

Sounds like a fun experience!! I haven't seen this show before, we don't get it in oz!

eurolush said...

Oh, wow! I watched that show when I was home this summer. Can't believe how much work was involved in taping it. Being a home show celebrity doesn't look very easy. I may have to cross that future endeavor off the jobs-I'm-willing-to-do-list. Too much work involved.

Looking forward to seeing it next summer! Congrats!


Celestial Charms said...

You know I won't miss your episode when it airs, because I haven't missed one yet! ;)
I always thought there was some side acting going on with the show, but never to the extent I now see. Very interesting, indeed. I'm sure your kids thought the whole thing was a least I hope so. I know at least I'm thrilled for you.

OrangeFarmhouse said...

how funny but fake is television! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog about my beerlala post. Hope to see a real beerlala Lifestyle at yours really soon :-).
Thanks! Maike

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

That's really funny that they would take everything so far and select a family that has been here for a while already. But pretty cool that you got to have the experience even if it was a bit crazy and certainly strange. :) Reality TV seems to have less and less to do with reality every year lol

Good thing they didn't try to pick us...would have taken a lot longer to move out all furniture...not to mention most of the stuff that was in our house when we bought it is long gone!

Catherine said...

it must have been a hard time for you!!!

Debbi Thinks deep said...

Now THAT'S cool! Add another adventure to your list! I'm so excited for you! It will be so much fun to see! You never know the opportunities that life is gonna throw at you, and kudos for recognizing a genuine adventure!

Thank you for confirming the origin of Muffaletta for me. I guess it's just not a California thing, or I've been in a cave . . . which, now that I think of it, is a distinct possibility.
I would love to know your take on the recipe. You're the only muffaletta expert that I know!

Congratulations! Way to enjoy life! Woot! Woot!


Elizabeth Barczynski said...

What?! Now I will need your autograph :) I love your attitude and fabulous life. Take care!

This and That Creations said...

TV drama...but I do love that to hear the stuff that goes into the making of your blog and the "happy" design...I've got one myself!

The Hausfrau said...

Thank you all!

It's funny, Tiffany--I thought they would never be able to move all of our stuff out and back in to our 2000-sq. ft. home in one day, but they did! It was a crazy day, though, and it took extra manpower and extra time. The movers weren't too thrilled about it, I assure you!

Kristin said...

OMG, I looooooooove that show! I can't wait to watch your episode!!!

Jaime said...

That is so cool!!!
I will be watching for this!

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