In Part I, we’ll follow Rick’s recent trek across the states as his documentary airs on 78 PBS stations throughout America.
Talk about getting a finger on the pulse of the nation’s ADHD awareness! Keep reading to find out how savvy America really is (or isn’t) about adult ADHD!
Guest Post: On the Road with Totally ADD Rick Green, Part I
There’s a right way to see the United States and a wrong way. The wrong way is to take 11 flights to 9 cities in 9 days. I know this because I was taking part on Public Television’s On-Air pledge breaks for the broadcast of our documentary, A.D.D. & Loving It?! You know about pledge breaks, right?… “This amazing film follows comedian Patrick McKenna has he explores Adult ADHD. And if you support Public Television at the 80 dollar level…”
The tour was a huge success. Every night, whether in Sacramento or D.C. or Miami, the program made far more in pledges than the stations expected. And they were expecting a lot, having heard from other stations. We were rapidly becoming the next, “Riverdance.” Next time I’m bringing my hard shoes and doing a jig. I’m not Michael Flatley, but I sing that way.
Just say NO!
I was on the air with local PBS staff. Some were Station Managers, some were regular on-camera personalities. A number of them were familiar with ADHD directly, usually through a family member. Maybe not so surprising since they work in television. Others were aware of ADHD/ADD because, “My best friend has a child who was diagnosed.” One or two were openly skeptical, “Did a Pharmaceutical company sponsor your film?”
I smiled, “No. If they had I wouldn’t be dashing from airport hotels, I’d be home in my mansion.”
But as always, the majority were polite but quietly skeptical. They were vaguely familiar with ADHD, and knew what most people know… “I heard it’s over-diagnosed.” To which I would respond.
Deja vu all over again…
Through the jet lag and dizziness induced by endless airport food and recycled aircraft air, something kept happening to these people I talked with, and it brought back memories of the last time we were touring the States… two years ago, when we interviewed the Doctors and experts for the documentary.
When we were filming the documentary we hired local crews in each city that we visited. A camera person, sound person and a makeup artist. The crews were booked through a service and only arrived knowing the technical requirements. So the crews would straggle in, coffees clutched tightly, introduce themselves and ask, “So what’s this we’re shooting?”
Patrick [McKenna, host of ADD & loving it?!] or Ava [Co-producer of the ADD & loving it?! and co-creator of TotallyADD.com] or I would explain, “A documentary about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In adults.”
The TV crew would nod, with a knowing smile, “Oh right, with the drug companies, and the lazy parents and the teachers giving kids medication and stuff…”
Almost always variations on that theme.
You mean, I AM lazy, stupid, and/or crazy?!
Basically what everyone already knows. That ‘ADHD is just all made up.’
Or caused by video games.
Or lazy teachers.
Or food additives.
“I had a cousin who said he had it, but he was just lazy.”
Then Patrick or Ava or I would explain, “Actually, two of us have this disorder and so do a lot of adults.”
The freelance crews would nod, blush, and quickly get busy with equipment, trying to hide a look that said, “Oops, I put my foot in that.”
And then, something magical happened. Well, not magical. Comical, perhaps.
* * * * * *
Find out how the the camera crews come around, and a few good tips on changing the world, one ADHDer at a time, from Rick’s adventures in On the Road with Totally ADD Rick Green, Part II …coming this Wednesday! STAY TUNED!
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Last reviewed: 22 Nov 2013