My apologies to the host, I believe his name was Joe Salzone, for being unsure of his name. But I was a bit nervous. Although they bill it as a round-table discussion, it was just Joe and me. When he asked a question, I just launched. (Penne told me later that she wondered if I was going to even take a breath in the first few minutes.) All those years of learning, plus the desire to get my point across, came out like machine gun fire. I think one reason that I launched so badly is that I've seen and heard so many shows where, if the guest pauses for a second, he can't finish his point. But that's just my own hang-up.
Mr. Salzone was not contentious. Obviously, his professional instincts told him that I wasn't used to this. Even though I've spoken to groups that sometimes numbered in the hundreds (different subject in a different life), I was still shaking. At least, my voice didn't squeak. Ernie the Gambler and Nicky both had to help settle me down afterwards.
Also, the host didn't call me on it when I messed up on a couple of questions. When he asked, I launched again. Didn't even take time to make a joke or two, which is rare for me. Later, I began to wonder if I misunderstood the question (or was it two?) and answered something he did not ask.
And he didn't exactly coddle me. There were some standard questions that I was expecting (like the first one), but then he threw me a couple of curves. Glad I knew my subject. And even when I didn't, I was able to bluster through the question.
Anyway, I don't think I did too badly, especially for a first time. Next time, I'll do better. Next time, I don't think Joe will give me a free pass. Yes, I was told that they might have me back sometime. (Maybe this time I'll get to meet Alexandra!) In the meantime, I told them to get with Agam. You ready, Pal?
It was a good experience, if short and nerve-wracking. But I'm willing to do it again. Especially if there's some chance that it will gain some more attention for the people of Tibet.