LifePrints Hand Analysis on NBC’s Today Show

IIHA LifePrints Hand Analysis on the Today Show

Ronelle Brings Life on Purpose to NBC’s Today Show

I got the call and what a call it was!  Right there on my own voice mail was a message from a producer at NBC’s The Today Show telling me that they were going to do a segment on hands and fingerprints and they’d like to talk about featuring me on the show.  It was a Saturday at 5pm Pacific when I picked up the message and I dialed back immediately.  The producer, Danielle,  answered, even though it was 8pm Eastern time, and we had a very nice chat about it all.  She’d found my book on the web, and didn’t even have a copy yet, so could I send her one, and might I be available to fly to New York  in less than two weeks? The next day I put together a package and sent it overnight.  On Thursday I made a polite follow-up call to make sure it got there.  Danielle called back quickly and confirmed everything was a go, they liked what they saw, and I stopped holding my breath on whether or not this would even happen.  When I called my friend and colleague, Janet Savage, the first thing she asked was “So, what are you going to wear?”

Superwoman producer Danielle on left, host Lester Holt with script, and that man is not zipping me up! I'm getting mic-ed!

Superwoman producer Danielle on left, host Lester Holt with script, and that man is not zipping me up! I’m getting mic-ed!

And, yes, believe it or not, this was the most challenging part of the whole adventure because you can’t  wear just anything in front of the cameras.  Nothing shiny (that ruled out the beautiful silk Vietnamese dress I’d just had made and shipped from Ho Chi Minh City), nothing with a small print (the cameras translate fine prints into polka dots or the pattern “crawls”), not plain white (I don’t wear it anyway), and jeans were definitely out.  A run through several department stores turned up nothing for me to try on, much less actually buy.  The winter colors were all wrong for me and none of the current designs seemed interesting or special for this very special event. Time was short but I  wondered if there was someone local who could make me something.  I searched the web and confirmed what I already know about Portland, OR…it’s not exactly a fashion haven (black or gray hoodie sweatshirts and knitted watch caps are all the rage, along with super funky 60s retro clothing, hardly tres chic…forgive me Portland!). But there was one designer’s site that looked like a possibility.  So I grabbed my guy, who has a strong aesthetic eye, and drove across town to her boutique before it closed.  Alice Dobson designs beautiful comfortable classic/contemporary apparel for women whose brand name is Sofada.  And though I was convinced I wanted trousers and the right blouse, when she pulled a dress off her rack for me to try on, I knew it was IT.  When I came out of the dressing room both she and my sweetie’s eyes bugged right out of their heads.  There was only one question left—could we find fabric in the right color to make it in?  Alice and I both searched the fabric stores the next day and she came up with the lovely peacock teal fine-wale Corduroy we went for.  After two fittings I was able to pick up the dress just the night before my plane flight out. I also took the opportunity to have my favorite San Francisco jewelry artist, Amy Faust ( make me the necklace and earrings to go along.  I’d bought a ring from her to commemorate my book’s acquisition by Llewellyn Worldwide a couple of years ago and thought it would be nice to have an ensemble to remind me of the publication of my first book and my first national TV appearance since the two are completely intertwined.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Ice

Coffee Series #2

Coffee Series #2

My fabulous and talented editor, Carrie Obry, from Llewellyn Worldwide, met me in New York and dubbed our trip The Today Show Double Junket since the show flew me out and I, in turn, flew her out on my many air miles.  There wasn’t as much time for me to play as I’d thought, but we managed to drink lots of coffee and visit MOMA on Friday, in-between my prepping the host’s hands and fingerprints and visiting the studio for set-up in the afternoon.




Writing/Editing Cafe

Writing/Editing Cafe

At last, Saturday morning arrived and it was SHOW TIME!  The dress was ironed, I’d prepped the loose “script” the producer had very skillfully constructed, I’d gotten a call at 10:30pm the night before telling me they had to swap out one of the hosts, and the only thing I was worried about was having a “brain freeze” on camera in the very short time of the segment.  The producer was thrilled that she’d been granted the longer time slot of 4.5 minutes (instead of the standard 3.5) and it was time for me to decide to lay it all down and TRUST MYSELF and the entire process from here on out.  I’d prepared for TEN YEARS for this through every reading offered, every group of people I’d read to each other, every lecture done, every class taught.  I never worried for a moment about what I know about hands and how to deliver what they have to say…it was only that everything had to be expressed in the shortest soundbites possible and I needed to convey the essence of everything—hand analysis, the fingerprints, and something about the host’s hands—ALL IN 4.5 minutes and LIVE (the  show was not recorded in advance).  And then, there was the deodorant problem! Carrie met me outside of the studio, where all the people look through the window and wave at the cameras, and we told a security guard that we were on the list.  The street was barricaded in preparation for the fans who would come later.  We were taken up to the Green Room by an NBC Page.  Pages are interns who have the coolest jobs in the world working in many different positions for different NBC shows.  Our’s was a lovely soft-spoken woman who had worked a stint on the David Letterman Show before coming to Today.  The producer, Danielle, came from Austin to Today as an intern and thought she’d live in NYC for six months, then they offered her a job and she’s been in New York for three years (they were smart to keep her!).

Green Room

Green Room

Carrie was looking forward to eating bagels in the Green Room and her dream came true!  There was a tasty spread laid out below the pictures of all the show’s hosts.  As food-oriented women, we sure enjoyed it!

Jenna Wolf's Prints

Jenna Wolf’s Prints

Once we were settled in, another page brought me the new host’s hands.  Originally one of the hosts was Amy Robach, but she got called out on assignment (so much for the four foot blow-ups of her hands on the set) and Jenna Wolfe stepped in.  Interestingly, they have the exact same fingerprint pattern/life purpose, so my life was wonderfully uncomplicated in terms of re-memorizing print charts.

Always bring a friend!

Always bring a true friend!

Then the moment came…Carrie pulled a stick of deodorant out of her purse for me!  I’d forgotten mine and never managed to stop in a drugstore the day before so I’d emailed Carrie (she’s on iPhone…I want one too!) asking her to pick some up on the way to the studio while humming that old song, “getting to know you…getting to know everything about you…” And before we knew it here comes another page to take us up to make-up…perhaps for me one of the scariest moments of surrender.  I’m not the kind of woman, who is, well, very womanly about makeup and hair…I don’t wear makeup except when presenting and I do nothing to my hair except wash and comb and let drip dry.  I’d gotten up a little extra early so I could give it time to dry and curl naturally.  But as soon as I sat down in the hair guy’s chair I quickly realized I should’ve gotten the extra snoozes instead. makeup1The hair guy went after my curls with one goal only…to straighten them out entirely.  I told myself “Ronelle, you decided to just go with the process here.”  So I did and hoped I would come out looking at least somewhat like myself.  A makeover certainly wasn’t what I had in mind!

Hair and Makup Attack!

Hair and Makup Attack!

A few minutes into the hair, and the makeup woman starts working on me.  They both knew exactly what they were doing and were REALLY GOOD at their respective arts/skills because, let me tell you, being worked on by both of them was much trickier than putting on my own mascara while driving!  And they had to get the job done quickly, the clock was ticking.  As soon as they were done they sent me to put on my dress and heels (everyone loved the dress) and onto the set…


With Danielle

With Lester Holt's Prints

With Lester Holt’s Prints

…where we did the last little bit of setting things up.  Everyone was very calm.  This is where it became very apparent that they not only do this everyday they do something like fifteen segments everyday! What was a big event for me was the daily routine stuff of their work lives and they are very practiced at it.  Their calm definitely rubbed off on me at this point.  Lester Holt came in with his script and introduced himself, a microphone was put on me, some of the crew asked me where the heck I learned this anyway?

Lester Holt

Lester Holt Preparing

Then someone started counting…45 seconds, 44 seconds…and the entire crew swiftly, quietly, and efficiently all took their places.  Carrie was in the kitchen (we were on the other half of the show’s kitchen set), behind the counter, unobtrusively snapping pictures (with that clever iPhone—no flash necessary).  She moved a little bit and someone shouted, “Be still in the kitchen!” and she froze and then we were on the air.

Lights, cameras, action!

Lights, cameras, action!

What was amazing is how fast it all went once the cameras were rolling.  It started, and then it was over in the blink of an eye.

On the air.

On the air.

The host, Jenna Wolfe asked me a question about her prints afterward (in the 20 seconds or so available to her before she had to run to the next set and segment) and the crew slipped off to the next thing they all had to do.

We did it!

We did it!

Carrie snapped a quick shot of me with Danielle then it was back to get our coats so we could go. Later that day I heard from her that “it couldn’t have been more perfect” and that her boss was very pleased.

On the way out.

On the way out.

Security Guard's Hands

Security Guard’s Hands

As we left the building we received lots of positive feedback from everyone in the building who was watching the show (the studio has screens everywhere).  Then out the door we saw the end of show wrap-up on the street where all the fans were. Perhaps one of the sweetest moments was when the last security guard politely asked me if I could look at his fingerprints for him.  He was so friendly and warm and he had exactly the purpose I suspected,  Master of Love & Connectedness! I did go ice skating right there at Rockefeller Center, after changing clothes (it was below freezing), and for those of you who know about how much I love the ice, it was a magical time.


Callie, Me, Carrie in SoHo!

Carrie & Shawn.

Carrie & Shawn.

Later that night I got to celebrate with Carrie, her good friend Shawn (who graciously put us both up in the livingroom of his teeny 3rd floor Hell’s Kitchen walkup—I only stayed in a hotel one night because I had to go to bed early), and their good friend Callie!  Now, what could be better than that and the several hundred well-wishing emails I received?  Thank you to everyone.  I’m so honored to get to cross paths with each of you and to have my life enriched beyond anything I could have ever dreamed for myself…I couldn’t be here without all of you!LifePrints Hand Analysis on the Today Show

11 Comments + Add Comment

  • Terrifc. Can hardly wait to watch the clip from the show.

  • Ronelle! I am soo excited about this. You looked lovely and you brought this gift to so many people! I cannot wait to see the clip when you get it!


  • I am so enjoying hearing about your recent feats. Besides the show excitement, I’m glad you got to skate!! Congrats on all. xoxo TJ

  • Wow, what a trip, Ronelle! (In every sense of the word) So impressed, but not surprised that you did a great job. Can’t wait to see the clip.

    P.S. I’m a Portland-ite, and I love hoodies!!!

  • Ronelle, I love the moment by moment description of your adventure. I felt part of it at every step. I can’t wait to see the video. You look incredible too! Wow!!! Hooray for Hands and what you DO!

  • Congratulations Ronelle and well done! You look great on TV. It’s exciting to watch you grow personally as well as professionally. Are we going to see you host your own show on NBC anytime soon? Hmmm…
    All the best, MH

  • Ronelle, it was wonderful to watch live, but I am also glad to have the clip to post on my website with your testimonial. Thank you for all you have done for my life’s journey!

  • This is wonderful!! Enjoyed reading your exciting story.(And your book which I received for Christmas!)
    You’re a star, but that was always true. Shine, shine, shine!

  • Great description of your adventure in TV-land! Sounds like it was a lot of fun. I agree with Peter: What a trip!! I’m curious as to the results of such fantastic national exposure: a surge in booksales? or?

  • Ronelle, the clip of you at NBC is engaging, informed, light…congratulations! And you look beautiful, as always (even with straight hair!).

  • Congratulations Ronelle! Your book is wonderful – and now TV !!! I still remember your gift of words from Borders bookstore on Powell St. / San Francisco~ and… then the insightful classes with more instructions about how our hands hold so much information. You are gathering a greater audience now that you’ve had this exposure on the TODAY show. The nation is set for many to seek another way to fulfill their life dreams and you bring such inspiration and guidance regarding what each of us hold in our own hands. I am so very happy for you. You have done extraordinarily well and overcome so many challenges. It was wonderful to see you on TV!!! Love, Danica