Today is a sad day for me. I put off writing this post for as long as possible, because I haven't been able to wrap my mind around it. As we all say good bye to Lisa Robertson, I reflect on all the great things we have done together, her support, her friendship and the kind of person she is.
A little history ... I was a long time viewer, before joining the Host team. I loved watching her on QVC and simply couldn't believe I would actually get to work with her. I remember avoiding Lisa like the plague when I first started, because I was such a big fan and didn't want to say something stupid to her. Lisa felt the distance I would always put between us and finally, one day, asked if we could have a private word together. I will never forget this. I walked into her dressing room and she said, "Have I done something to offend you? You seem like you are avoiding me all the time." My mind was racing, as I realized that I had made someone I adore so much feel awful. The jig was up and I had to come clean and tell her what a goof-ball I really am. I apologized and told her how much of a fan I am and that she did absolutely nothing wrong to me ... that I was the one with a strange problem. She laughed and our friendship started. Lisa is humble and kind. She is very insightful and cares about others.
Deep into the overnight shift is where all new show hosts start. At the time, we did not have hair and makeup stylist to help us, we did our own. I came from a medical background, not a beauty background or TV, or news or anything remotely close. I went to catholic school for 12 years, wore the same uniform everyday and had no sense of how to dress in normal clothes or do my hair and makeup. I remember sitting in my dressing room at 1:00am desperately trying to look as close as possible to the other girls, when I heard Lisa come in. She just finished her 11:00pm-1:00am shift. I was so frustrated, so embarrassed and so sad about not being able to fit in and look "right for TV".
As I stared at myself in the mirror, with tears in my eyes, I called out to her, "Lisa.... How do you get that hump on the back of your head? I don't know how to get my hair to do that!!!"
Lisa walks into my dressing room, fully armed with her makeup and hair arsenal and smiles, "let me help you out".... And boy did she ever. Every night I had to go on the air, she would stay after her shift and help me with my hair, my makeup, she showed me how to understand clothing and even how to cross your legs a pretty way. Her shift would be over at 1:00am, but she would stay with me far into the night and help me. Sometime, she even sat with the producer during my late night shows and coached me from there. That girl is all heart. Lisa would be tired and sometimes sick, but she always put herself last and helped me, first.
Italy, Italy, Italy... it was one thing to dream of one day becoming a QVC show host, but I NEVER even allowed myself to even think for one minute, that someday I could do the Italy show with Lisa.. Are you kidding me?? Even a crazy person like me has limits to their delusional dreams. But then again...as I sat on the set in Italy, looking at the castle
and all the beautiful jewelry, I kept worrying, "They're going to hate me", "What am I doing here?", "I must be crazy"... Lisa would guide me, calm me, help me and encourage me. She made everything all right. That's the kind of person she is. Lisa will reach out and help anyone with anything. Lisa helped me with the show, the set, my blue cards, gown..etc..........She made sure I was going to be ok, and because of her, I was. However, as hard as she tried to coach me on the delay during phone calls on air, I still kept messing those up. LOL
At the end of our very long week and believe me, it's not what you might imagine. There isn't any "down time" (you prep, get hair/makeup, go to the set, do your show, go back to you hotel room, sleep and do it all again the next day. You see nothing, you see no one, you're there to work). Lisa came off of her last show and had not slept for 24 hours. I was just waking up, as I had finished my last show the day before. I knew she would be tired, but she surprised me (yet again). Lisa says, "Come on, we are going to Venice for the day, before we have to fly back tomorrow". I was shocked, I knew she was dead tired, but I also know how determined she is. Off to Venice we go!
Everyone knows what a history buff she is. Lisa walked me all around Venice, telling me every bit of history about the bridges, the palace, Saint Marks, the clock tower .... everything. Lisa is scary smart.
She made sure we took a speed boat and toured the canals.
During which, I made her sing the song from Beauty and the Beast "there goes the baker, with his tray, like always"... She sounded just like Bell. That's why I call her that. The funniest thing was all the men that were literally tripping over themselves when they would see her. They would say things about how beautiful she is in Italian, not knowing that I understood every word. Lisa never noticed. She never saw all the men looking at her, she never acted like she was any big deal. Lisa was just a regular girl walking around a town surrounded by water. This is one of the many things that make her even more beautiful...she doesn't really know it.
The countless lunches we've had, the movies we've gone to, the mani/pedi episode, dancing in Vicenza, our early morning walks that she made me do... There are so many other memories that I could take your time up with, but I will be respectful.
Through the last ten years, I have tried so hard to give her back at least a little of what she has given me, I have failed at that. But I want everyone to know that Lisa is full of goodness, kindness, generosity and beauty beyond physical appearance. She is funny and scary smart. Lisa is loyal, caring and loving. Once she touches your heart, you just love her forever. I can't even tell you how much I will miss being with her in the host lounge. Hearing her say, "Hey Girl".
So to Lisa Robertson, I say... HEY BELL, I LOVE YOU FOR ALWAYS!!
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