Shannon Donahue
— 1/18/2009

Conclusion: The Secret Service
was not so intimidating. This evening, I was able to shoot a stand-up
outside Blair House, where President-Elect Barack Obama and his family
are staying until he makes the BIG move into the White House.

The area near the home was
surprisingly not filled with Obama supporters attempting to catch a
glimpse of their future President. I have a feeling that many his fans
had spent countless hours earlier in the day shivering in the cold,
and eventually decided to move elsewhere in search of their future

We took advantage of the
clutter-free zone, and began to set up our video equipment. As we
began preparations for the stand-up, a group of middle school kids
rushed over and begged us to put them on television. A few kids asked
for a shout out, and others started asking me to interview them. Their
teacher quickly ran over and said “Can’t you guys see these guys are
trying to do their jobs? Now let’s leave them alone.” This made me
have an instant feeling of satisfaction, and at that moment, I finally
realized that we are covering one of the most historic events in our

As my chief photographer Josh
Miller began to shoot my stand-up, we were approached by a member of
the Secret Service. He asked how long we were going to be staying
there, and we replied “five minutes.” About forty-five minutes later,
we finished all of our establishing shots, stand-ups, and final
exploration of the area.

I had to approach one of the
Secret Service Agents to inquire about their Public Relations
Department, and check on the availability of speaking with someone and
getting a possible interview. Needless to say, I was a bit intimidated
to have these “presidential guards” listen to everything we had been
saying, and know they had been watching all of the out-takes,
mess-ups, and general goofy moments of the evening.

Needless to say, I put all of
those fears aside and walked up to the gate. I asked the man if he
knew where I could get any information regarding their Public
Relations Department, and to my surprise he readily gave me the name
and website. I was fully expecting him to respond with a huff, or a
please get out of here, or your welcome is long-overdue. Instead, he
was kind of a pushover, and we received a great tip on where to get
information about the Secret Service. Shivering in the cold, and
schmoozing the Secret Service made the cold experience well worth it,
and possibly opened up a door to an exciting story about the Secret