"...A purse of gold most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning..."
That line comes from Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part I, which, for my money, is one of the Bard's most entertaining history plays. During this scene (Act I, scene ii), Prince Henry and Falstaff discuss how they're men of the night, governed by the will of the moon -- that, for example, they'll make a big score on a Monday night, then just throw the money away the very next morning.
That's kind of how I feel on this Tuesday morning. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I'm using Prince Henry's line as a means of introducing myself. My name is Dan Fleschner, I'm a producer at "Today," and I'm the newest blogger on this block, joining the crew from "Live From Studio 1A."
Now let me explain why I'm throwing Shakespeare at you this early in the morning.
I'm a night person. Always have been, probably always will be. But this job, which I've had for just over a year, has made my life a bit tricky. I get into the office around 4:30 a.m., and my primary responsibility at that point is to get ready to prepare Matt and Meredith for any live interviews they may be doing in the first half hour of the show -- which is when we do the most "hard news."
So I read up on any news developments, talk to the overnight researcher, Eric Jackson, about what may have happened while America was sleeping, and put together some thoughts to augment the work of the producers who were originally assigned to segments in the first half hour of the show.
Eric and I then visit Matt and Meredith's dressing rooms around 5:45, get them up to speed on any new information, discuss what questions they should ask in their interviews, and prepare any other elements (video clips, graphics) that might makes those interview segments more interesting.
I'm then in the control room for the rest of the morning, ready to produce any breaking news segments that might pop up during the show.
It's all pretty straightforward and would be no problem at all if I didn't share Prince Henry's and Falstaff's proclivity to stay up late into the night.
For me, last night's "purse of gold" was the men's college basketball championship game, which I watched until the show went off the air around midnight here on the east coast. I love college basketball, so there was no way I wasn't going to stay up for it. I probably fell asleep around 1:30 a.m., which makes for a potentially sleepy Tuesday morning, when I "dissolutely spen[d]" that gold.
Sports (which I play, attend games in person -- I'm a New York Mets season ticket holder -- or watch on TV) tend to cause me to stay up later than I should. But somewhere I've managed to steer clear of trouble and still get my job done -- and some of my colleagues even get a kick out of hearing about my nightly activities.
I certainly don't sleep enough, but I've been doing this for a year, and although some people say I've aged a lot in the past 12 months, I think I look pretty good for a 27-year-old (see my photo to the left).
And if I didn't enjoy my job as much as I do, I wouldn't be subjecting myself to such crazy hours!
I'm interested to hear if any of you have jobs with strange hours, and what you do to cope with them. Drink a lot of coffee? Load up on sugar in the morning? Prop open your eyelids with toothpicks?
I don't really do any of those things -- I basically rely on pure adrenaline. But feel free to share your story or any tips you might have to me get through the day...