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5 A.M. I get up in the fives, which is outrageous, but I can’t help it. I’m generally an early riser, but the pandemic has really adjusted my sleep habits. Now I live life like a farmer in the 1800s — as the first birds are chirping, I’m up milking the cows. First thing I do is turn on the news and make coffee. I get my coffee maker ready the night before because I’m such a nerd and I like to just press a button in the morning and have it just instantly be ready. I’m at the house by myself; my kids are in the city with my husband [Jason Jones] because they have in-person school today. They go to school two days a week now, but I have three kids [ages 15, 12 and 10], so they’re on three different schedules. We’re straddling a bunch of different worlds all the time.
6:30 A.M. I feel like the only few minutes that I’ll have by myself today will be if I use them for a walk. I do attempt to carve out just one moment for myself to blow off a little steam. I go for one of those really brisk, early morning, middle-aged-lady walks.
8 A.M. I shower and get ready to go to our studio. And I’m racing — my walk took a long time, so I hustle back, put out the garbage for the garbage truck, I go through the script one last time before getting in the car, and drive for about an hour to the studio.
11 A.M. I get into hair and makeup, tape the show, and by then it isn’t even noon. I drive back home, my husband meets me at the [country] house, I prep a bunch of stuff because I know I want to shoot something else at the house, out of the studio setting. We have a whole remote setup in the forest, and it’s a lot of batteries and a lot of diffusion screens so that the sun doesn’t streak across my face and look like an absolute horror show. I prep my own teleprompter, I get the script all worked out in my head, we figure out how to do it — but you’re very at the mercy of the elements any time you shoot outside, and today my neighbor decides to take down a lot of trees with a lot of chain saws and a wood chipper. So we just have to wait for gaps between wood chipper action and quickly shoot in the pauses. That whole endeavor takes a couple of hours.
3 P.M. I have something else I need to film because I have agreed to host an online gala. I know I need to do it today, I’m already in full makeup, but I can’t find any of my instruments for taping. I have a lot of equipment that I just pull all together and I make it work, but my children love my equipment. My children are forever taking the microphone, or taking the connection so the gaming is more crisp. I can’t find any of it and it takes me an hour just to even be in position, even begin to start this third recording of the day. Then we had an exterminator come because we have a severe infestation of carpenter bees, so while I’m recording this gala, everybody appears outside with ladders and yelling outside. I’m not making this gala very fancy. I want to do a very good job for them because they’re a very worthy organization, but I really don’t think I got the lighting right. At some point, I just have to give over to it.
5 P.M. I put the cats in cat carriers and drive back to the city to be reunited with my family. I inform the children already that we’re definitely getting chicken wings for dinner, and then we’re going to go for a walk and go get ice cream because that’s what I need to survive. I’m so excited to report, “Guys, I’m doing it, we’re doing chicken wings and then we’re going for ice cream cones,” and they were like, “Stop texting us! We’re in debate club, Mother, shut it.” The kids think that what we do is boring and they don’t understand why anyone likes it, but I do think they have a better appreciation that we do actually have busy lives and lives outside of them. I think maybe for the first time in their lives, they really recognized that we had stuff going on other than just getting them orange juice. And we all know we’re messing up every five seconds. Sometimes we’re like hanging out and everything is really fun and then we’re like, “Oh my God, you’re supposed to be in ballet!”
8 P.M. We watch an episode of The Walking Dead, which my 12-year-old son is really getting into. I’ve already seen it, but I like watching stuff with him.
8:30 P.M. I go to bed at 8:30. My bedtime is getting earlier and earlier. My kids are like, “How are you going to readjust? You can’t just go to bed at 8:30 when life is back to normal.” And I agree. I’m not really sure what happened. I would like to have a little bit of a nightlife at some point.
This story first appeared in the May 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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