All posts by misschatter

So you think you can act?

Hope you’re free tomorrow, then! Yes, yes, I really was in a commercial last season. No, you didn’t see it? πŸ˜‰ While spring training is gearing up, a casting company is looking for this season’s fans to star in MASN ads again. Auditions are tomorrow and you really do get paid. Copy and paste below:

The Philadelphia Casting Co. Inc. is looking for:

Nationals fans!

Paid job!

Auditions in DC- Wed, Feb 17** (see schedule below)

Thank you,
Susan Gish

It’s a unique opportunity for Orioles and Nationals fans to demonstrate their passion for their teams.
MASN, the cable network of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, will continue its popular Defining Moments advertising campaign for the 2010 baseball season.

Last season hundreds of fans auditioned for the opportunity to appear in the 2009 campaign.
This year 15 lucky Nationals fans and 15 fortunate Orioles fans will be chosen to appear on-camera in promos promoting Orioles and Nationals games on MASN.

Defining Moments is the definitive display of devotion. The chance to show everyone why you are an Orioles or Nationals fan.

Spots airing on MASN and Balt/DC local tv and cable & Balt/DC radio & Internet.
Pay is $150 if chosen for a callback in Baltimore.
$350 for shoot date, March 1, 2, 4, or 5, TBD.

All ages, 18-80.
Family combinations are good. Dad and son, Mom and daughter, etc.
People should have a natural passion for the Os or Nats.
People should have strong knowledge of their teams and players.
People with strong/outgoing/unique, friendly – personalities seem to work well.
No actor or model looking people. Real, friendly, charactery welcome.

Interview Schedule: (choose one)

On Wednesday, Feb 17th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. we’ll be at the:
Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company.
641 D Street, NW (7th & D)
Washington, DC 20004
For Directions: -click on Plan your visit and then directions.

**Please do not call the theatre for directions!
Please email us at if you are coming to the theatre, and we’ll give you an appt. time.

After that, we are hoping to go to the Rocket Bar, and Buffalo Billiards….but this is not officially set up yet…

Then we’ll head over to:
Crystal City Sports Pub
529 23rd St. South
Arlington, VA. 22202
We’ll definitely be here on Wed. night, but don’t have the exact time yet….probably arrive somewhere between 8:30-10:00 p.m.

Please DO NOT CALL any of those places for directions!
Hope to see you!
Susan Gish
The Philadelphia Casting Co. Inc.

01-31-2010 A Few NatsFest Photos

New MissChatter avatar

Thanks to the MASN setup in conference room 6 on the 3rd floor, I have a new avatar for Facebook and Twitter! Heck, I may even redesign this blog around it. What do you think? Other than that and the Kids Zone, we didn’t see much. I saw Kasten doing a Q&A over the TVs in the Stars and Stripes Club, but I couldn’t really hear what he was saying over the din of fans eating and waiting in line for autographs. I did, however, get to pose for a photo with new MASN analyst and writer Ben Goessling (formerly with the Washington Times – I’m sure you’ve heard of him). Highlight of my day! Well, that and getting a replacement mousepad since my original Fantasy Camp mousepad is, ummm, well, not exactly white anymore.

I can give a full review of the Kids Zone – the moon bounce obstacle course was the bee’s knees! At least according to my kids. My daughter also loves her new sparkly butterfly-painted face around her eyes. The boy is fond of the funny balloon hat.

Other than that, the only scoop I have is hearing that there are new food options in Viera. Woo! (not even sure I’ll make it to spring training this year *sniff*) I didn’t even get a photo of Zimmerman’s Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards on display in the Presidents Club (but I did see them during a quick cruise through!). I also entered a drawing at DC50’s booth for a small HDTV. It was the “Vampire Diaries” display that drew me in, I must admit. What can I say, it’s a guilty pleasure! Word of advice, though – this is a case where the TV show is far better than the books.

Winter Caravan – PG Sports & Learning Complex

Jason Marquis, as you can plainly see!
New Nat, Jason Marquis, as you can plainly see!

I spent much of yesterday trying to put names to new Nats faces and commit them to memory so I wouldn’t goof up any of the photo captions. As you can see, Jason Marquis was quite obliging in that regard! Prior to an autograph signing and photo session at the Prince George’s County Sports & Learning Complex where fans could gawk at Adam Dunn’s quite full winter beard or comment on Josh Willingham’s Capitals “Courage” hat and meet three new off-season signings, the Nationals held a press conference in the town hall room at the back of the impressive complex (seriously, I gawked at the gymnastics gymnasium and wished I had a place like that to go while growing up!).

As anyone who lives in the DMV area is aware, there are many very poor areas in PG County. Honestly, what comes to mind when you hear “PG County”? For those underserved children, they grow up without organized baseball programs teaching them fundamentals or real balls, bats and gloves for those who still attempt to play. The most touching moment came at the end of the press conference when Steven Carter (Chief, Sports, Health & Wellness Division, M-NCPPC*) spoke about learning to play baseball with a sock wrapped in duct tape and the emotion of calling his mom the day he was called up to the big leagues against all odds. He then asked all the Nationals players present and the Forestville Little League players to come up front so the kids could touch an MLB player and remember the moment as they work their way towards success of their own.

So with that said, the Nationals clearly picked well for partnering with a county for promoting youth baseball. Continue reading Winter Caravan – PG Sports & Learning Complex

Winter Caravan – Children’s National Medical Center

Cue “The Boys Are Back In Town”

Nyjer Morgan with patient at Children's National Medical Center
Nyjer Morgan and pediatric patient at Children’s National Medical Center

Well, ok, the boys have been in town for several days, but yesterday was the first day of the winter caravan that allowed me to catch up to them on a snowy traffic-halting day. The first stop on the day’s caravan tour was Children’s National Medical Center in DC. What I love most about these types of community relations events is capturing the genuine smiles and joy expressed not only on the players’ faces, but the children whose day is brightened because of the visit. While doctors and nurses can heal the body, visits with their sports heroes sooth and help heal children’s souls, not to mention provide memories to last a lifetime.

A large contingent of Nationals strode into the Atrium of the hospital where children from babies to teens, relatives and attending care providers sat at brightly covered tables ready for the attention lavished upon them. In addition to players Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen, John Lannan, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn and Nyjer Morgan were new Nationals Matt Capps, Brian Bruney and Jason Marquis as well as manager Jim Riggleman and tv broadcaster Rob Dibble. Nats owner Mark Lerner was also on hand chatting with Dr. Fran Cogen who heads the Diabetes Program and the Diabetes Care Complex which is an integral part of the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation’s mission. Quite the entourage! I think that may be the largest I’ve seen yet.

In addition to the usual conversation, smiles, posing for photographs and handing out of autographed cards, Nationals played card games of UNO with patients and autographed stuffed Screeches. A little boy who had been there five days and was going home was treated to Nats autographs on his ‘autograph pillow’ normally signed by nurses and doctors upon discharge.

The little boy pictured above will be able to show all his friends the proper technique to the fist bump-finger splaying move taught to him by Nyjer Morgan aka Tony Plush! The Nationals’ visit provided a few hours where the IVs, tubes and medical monitoring equipment present in the room were forgotten or went unnoticed, replaced with abundant grins, coloring and memory making .

[ Flickr ]

Photos inline after the jump. Reminder, click first image, then ‘N’ for next, ‘C’ to close: Continue reading Winter Caravan – Children’s National Medical Center

Fond Farewell to TWT Sports

twtsportsOne of my proudest “memorabilia” items hanging in my cubicle at work is the front page of our competitor’s sports section featuring a photo of me and my “associates” (hee!) at a blogger day at Nationals Park this past season. Or I guess I should say former competitor. The Washington Times put its last sports section out in today’s paper and all the people from that paper I respect and feel I’ve become friends with, both virtually and in person over the last several years, have lost their jobs as newspaper guys (for now) to ring in the new year. Talk about a sting!

One of the hardest things for me covering the Nationals has been the constant stream of departure of people I’ve come to know. That’s not something I’m accustomed to in my day-to-day job. Maybe I should add a caveat there of “so far” and “thank goodness”! First Todd Jacobson of the Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star and Barry Svrluga of the Post switched beats. Then there were players, coaches, managers Frank Robinson and Manny Acta, friends in the front office… it’s never easy and each time brings a sense of loss. To see an entire workforce from a newspaper sports department obliterated is absolutely shocking and heartbreaking. Journalists, photographers, editors… just gone. Not that the writing hasn’t been on the wall for a while, but to see the end finally arrive and read the goodbyes has been painful.

The sports section of the Washington Times is the only part of that paper I ever read. I admired and voraciously consumed the work of Mark Zuckerman and Ben Goessling, from their articles to the Chatter blog and live chats (I’m particularly fond of the blog name). I loved Thom Loverro from the first column of his that pissed me off. I remember being terrified to introduce myself to him at spring training (since I was one of those lowly internet dwellers), but once I swallowed my fear and did, discovered he’s a truly funny and charming guy in reality. I ‘met’ John Taylor on Twitter through Mike Harris and have enjoyed the banter since. I’ve run into Tim Lemke at various press functions at Nationals Park. The only issue I ever had with any of them was realizing I was “old” compared to most. Heh.

With Chico Harlan moving on to other pastures and the Nationals beat writer position open, I would love for Mark and/or Ben to end up at the Post as much as the next fan. Loverro too! I really wish there was room at the Post to take them all on! All are talented, not to mention a known quantity here — both by the fans and the communications departments of the teams they’ve covered. Unfortunately, it’s not a good financial climate in the newspaper biz and impossible to pull them all out of the water. It sounds like Mark and Ben have some lines on jobs judging by their farewell blog posts, but I have no idea where. I am very curious to watch where everyone ends up and in what medium (Radio? Internet only? Another newsprint place? CSN? ESPN DC when it arrives? New Politico local site? Some other city’s paper?)…

I wish everyone from the Times affected by this bludgeoning the best and truly hope they land solidly on their feet quickly. A large hole will remain in their wake. As Steinberg pointed out, they often covered aspects and angles the Post did not. It will be weird knowing they’re not in the press box with the teams they cover in the days and months to come. Selfishly, I hope they remain in town still covering the team(s) we all care so much about in some capacity. But either way, I hope 2010 treats all well and they end up happier in the long run. You will all be sorely missed and I hope the friendships/acquaintances continue, even if only on Twitter and Facebook in this brave new digital world.

Happy New Year!

Fired icon borrowed from the TWTSports twitter feed. Follow it to find out where everyone ends up.