The Cutting Room: Chartman's 15 Minutes of Fame

Gary tells the masses what it's like to be a Big Star in TV land.
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I know, you're probably saying to yourself, "Gee, the world of TV star

Gary B. Smith

seems really glamorous. But I wonder what

really

goes on behind the scenes?"

Well, today I'm going to give you a glimpse inside the oft-discussed, but never revealed, secret world of TV stars! And after reading this, I think you'll appreciate that it's not always stretch limousines and caviar. No, sometimes we have to make do with those big Town Cars they try to pass off as limousines. I mean, shoot, most of those cars only have one bottle of champagne in them! Well, that's just a sampling of some of the many hardships we stars have to struggle with. Read on:

Friday, 4:30 p.m.:

I finally climb out of my jammies and decide I'd better shower and shave for the show.

4:40 p.m.:

As usual, cut myself shaving. Hmmm, wonder if razor blade I acquired in 1983 is starting to lose its edge...

4:47 p.m.:

Lay out special "TV Show Outfit." Have to go with way cool blue

Armani

blazer. Damn, I wish there was "ARMANI" or something on the sleeve so people would see that I am, well, way cool.

4:48 p.m.:

Only fresh shirt that seems to match is something by

Ike Behar

. Don't know who Ike Behar is, but after paying for the shirt, conclude he must be the richest man in the universe.

4:51 p.m.:

Darn, rows of nice trousers, but the camera never zooms in that low. Heck, I could wear my

Joe Boxer

"I Like Sex!" underwear and no one would notice.

4:52 p.m.:

Realize I no longer have Joe Boxer underwear. Left in hotel room in 1996.

4:58 p.m.:

Struggle with hair. Need plenty of goop to flatten it down. Wish I had nice hair. Of course, thankful I have any hair! Briefly wonder if

Herb

wears a rug. How does that old fart have so much hair?

5:15 p.m.:

Prepare the usual game-day meal:

Doritos

and

Budweiser

. Decide to skip the Budweiser, though. Don't want to slur my words on the show.

5:16 p.m.:

Have Budweiser. Doritos and water? I don't think so!

5:40 p.m.:

The girls want to go to the studio with me, and Nancy comes home early to join us. So, it's a family outing. Good, they will really be impressed with how popular I am!

5:41 p.m.:

Uh oh. Didn't realize family outing consisted of 25 straight minutes of playing

'N Sync

and the

Backstreet Boys

on my car's CD. Can't concentrate at all!

5:43 p.m.:

Abandon all hope of thinking about

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

chart. Instead sing A.J.'s part on "Larger Than Life."

6:30 p.m.:

Pull into

Fox News

parking lot. Wait a split second to see if parking attendant will notice "Big Star" has pulled up. He doesn't. Bologna sandwich-eating takes precedence.

6:33 p.m.:

Enter studio.

Fox News

guest booker and all-around neat guy, Doug, greets me. Says hi to my kids and Nancy, and offers to give the girls a studio tour. Can't help but like Doug!

6:35 p.m.:

I always share the green room with

Mort Kondracke

and

Fred Barnes

. They used to be on the

McLaughlin Group

, but now are on something called the

Beltway Boys

. Of course, they have no clue I am the famous Chartman.

6:37 p.m.:

Mort looks mad. Either that or he is seriously constipated. Can't tell.

6:39 p.m.:

I go in for makeup. I make joke about my forehead being so big they could rent space up there. Makeup people don't laugh. Instead they work frantically to cover my forehead. I wonder if I'll get assessed a special "extra-powder" surcharge?

6:43 p.m.:

Mort mutters, "Can't concentrate around here" and stomps out of green room. Maybe he's pissed at my kids, who were actually well-behaved. Either that, or his bout with constipation is now over.

6:55 p.m.:

Doug takes me into Studio A, a big, dark room with a camera and a lot of lights shining in my eyes. Technical people start hooking me up with microphones, earphones and many other gadgets. Basically, one drop of water on me, and I'm a dead man.

7:00 p.m.:

I can hear

Brenda

kick off the

show, and introduce the guest (Craig Ellis), Herb and

Berko

. I pray that Ellis is brief and to the point. The longer he talks, the less time

Adam

and I get.

7:08 p.m.:

Damn! Guest is still droning on about

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

,

3Com

(COMS)

and

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

. CSCO? Everyone already owns that stock! Shoot, not even Herb has a bad thing to say about it. (Note to self: Short CSCO first thing Monday morning.)

7:10 p.m.:

Brenda intros my segment (which is really Adam's segment too, except he has no clever nickname like Chartman, so I get top billing!) as "much-anticipated." I like that. Feed that ego!

7:11 p.m.:

I start talking about

PeopleSoft

(PSFT)

. Realize I am very loud. Tough to be animated and quiet, though. Adam responds. I pay no attention. Instead, think frantically if I can get a wisecrack in.

7:12 p.m.:

No dice on the wisecrack. Instead Producer

Gary Schreier

wants me to explain double-bottoms. Gives me basically three seconds to do that. Thanks, Gary!

7:12:03 p.m.:

I explain double-bottoms. No idea what I said. Could have been talking about car seat cushions, for all I know.

7:13 p.m.:

Onto AMGN. No brainer. I love it. Adam loves it. Stock will therefore drop like a stone Monday.

7:14 p.m.:

What? Schreier is cutting us off already? Adam and I are on our game tonight! We're hot. We're on a roll! We're stars! Damn that guest!

7:15 p.m.:

Hear brief blurb about some

Cramer

segment. Something about daytraders not standing a chance against him. Huh? What's he smoking? I'd make mincemeat outta that guy, and I don't even daytrade!

7:16 p.m.:

I'd love to stay and watch rest of show, but family wants to eat. Heck, I want to eat too!

7:20 p.m.:

Dinner at neat bistro right across from

Fox News

. Dinner costs a small fortune, but worth it. But with what I'm paid for the show, figure I'm down only $37 for the night. Whoops, forgot about parking. Now out $41.

8:15 p.m.:

Family climbs into car. A beautiful night in D.C. Everyone's in a good mood. Let that 'N Sync crank!

Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At time of publication, he held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Smith writes five technical analysis columns for TheStreet.com each week, including Technician's Take, Charted Territory and TSC Technical Forum. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at

gbsmith@ibm.net.