One more close-up of the Chicken Enchiladas and we had a wrap. I breathed a sigh of relief, our one hundred and eightieth show now ready to be broadcast. It started with my idea almost three years ago. I was an assistant producer of a cooking show back then, quite popular in almost all of the markets. We were doing a weeks’ worth of Mexican dishes that seemed to be gaining in popularity at the time. Several of the recipes were actually mine, ones that I had learned from my mother when I was young. Our female host had quite an attitude, but her looks kept the audience ratings high so she was still with the show.
Several times our director had walked off the set, so fed up with her antics. This week she was bitching about out plans for the week. Her opinion was that there wasn’t any white woman wanting to cook no damn Mexican crap. The producer was out of the country, arranging for some location shots for the upcoming weeks. So this week the show was my baby.
With one show under our belt, we had only four more to tape in the next few days. The director had already stepped out of the set, not getting her to do anything he wanted. I called Janice the producer long distance to inform her of what I was planning to do. She got back to me a few moments later, giving her approval, but wanting me to just suspend the taping of this show. I honored her request, sent the bitch home but told the crew I wanted them to hang around.
I went backstage asking Cheri to follow me to the dressing room. “Change into one of her dresses, your choice and come back to the set. Julie will handle your hair and makeup. She just stood there staring at me. Come on, you know the lines backwards and forwards, you have a nice personality and you are not a bitch. Ten minutes later she re-appeared with a smile on her face. Julie had her freshened up and camera ready a few minutes later and we started taping the show. It went off without a hitch, thirty minutes of pure bliss. When we finished the crew gave her a standing ovation.
We did manage to get the other three shows on tape, if the audience liked the shows we were set. The next week after test marketing the first taped show we fired the one with the attitude, her lawyers trying to sue anybody they could. The contract was ironclad, her disruptions of the taping recorded in every instance. Each one alone grounds for termination of the contract, fifty-five recorded instances in her file. Well three years later Cheri is still with us. I became a co-producer when Cheri was signed to a contract, the last years have been wonderful. We do Mexican dishes often, the one with the attitude not having any idea what people really want.
Cheri caught me after most of the crew had left the set. She wanted to talk to me privately. I figured it was about her contract, just two weeks left in the current one. I had already proposed a new one, but she had not gotten back to me yet. We found a quiet place in one of the dressing rooms, and I asked her what she wanted to discuss. She was reluctant to start, but I held her hand squeezing it encouraging her to speak up. She was not going to sign another contract. She had met her soulmate and they were going to be married in June. He owned a huge ranch in South America that is where they were going to live.
My mouth was open, I had heard about the boyfriend but didn’t think it was that serious. I knew he had money but not how much. Cheri said he was worth millions, and that is only his investments not counting any of his land. The ranch was eighty thousand acres of prime range land in Argentina.
I knew I didn’t have another Cheri in the crew, in fact, I hadn’t met many females like her. “Do you know anyone that I could get to fill in for you? Maybe a friend or relative.” She seemed to want to say something but was hesitant.
She started to talk several times but stopped midstream. “Yeah I know someone that would be perfect. Nice personality, easy to work with and very knowledgeable about cooking.”
I was getting excited. “So tell me who this person is.”
My face showed my disappointment. “You can’t be serious, I know about cooking but shows with male cooks usually fail within weeks unless it is associated with BBQ dishes. We need a female to host the show, not just some talented male.”
Her crazy smile said it all. “Then slip on one of my dresses and get your butt on the set.” I was left standing there staring at where she said those remarks. She went back to the set, coming back a few minutes later with Julie in tow.
“Get with it we don’t have all day.” I was frozen to the spot, not believing what they were saying. Julie took one arm and Cheri the other and led me to the vanity. Before I knew what was happening my pants were around my ankles and my t-shirt was being pulled over my head. Cheri told Julie that we would just do the minimum today to convince certain people of the possibility. Cheri slid one of her dresses over my head, a sweater dress that had some enhancements under the dress, Cheri filled it to overflowing but on me it wouldn’t be that over the top.
I was set in the chair in front of the vanity and Julie started working on my face. She was quick, always has been her job at the cooking show only part time employment. She worked at one of the salons in town and for us two days a week when we taped shows. I watched in the mirror as my manly features disappeared one by one. Then she attacked my hair, a simple ponytail for today with curly tendrils over each ear.
My mouth was open, this was absurd, but the image only confirmed a female sitting there. I was yanked up and led back to the set. I stopped mid-stream, the lights were still on and the whole crew was waiting. Led to the counter where we prepared the dishes and my hands placed on the counter. Cheri suggested that I start the show just like she had and run through the whole show. I looked at the counter, everything necessary had been replenished waiting for me.
I glanced around, seeing the smiles of everyone on the set. Somebody had done a lot of planning on this, me the producer knowing absolutely nothing of any of this. My assistant shouted quiet, take one and I started in on today’s dish. Since I write most of the script, I was familiar with today’s dish. I managed to make it through the entire show, and when my assistant said cut I was given some rousing applause.
Cheri announced to everyone that we have found my replacement. They played the tape back on one of the monitors, everything was almost perfect, maybe I could use a little voice work, but as it is now I still sounded like a female. Then from the back of the room, Beverly, my partner in this production came forward. Well, are you going to sign on the dotted line or do I need to apply some pressure? The biggest smile encompassed her face. I found one of the guest chairs and set down hard. Beverly sent everybody home, I got a kiss from Cheri with Julie telling me I had appointments at the salon for the next few days to get the few masculine traits I possessed removed.
Bev pulled up another chair and held my hand. “Admit it, you are perfect for the roll, we might even be able to pick up a few more cable stations with our soon to be busty brunette at the helm. After a few tweaks, you will be more popular than Cheri and even our attitude gal.” A tear escaped my eye, dribbling down my cheek. Bev’s only comment if you can cry on demand we will be soon rich. I looked up at her in shock, but she just smothered me in gigantic hug while giggling away. I tried to pull back, but she wouldn’t let me move a muscle. I gave up and laid my head on her shoulder.
I have no idea how she managed to get me to agree to this crazy plan, but I agreed to a trial depending on how the test show did with our test audience. I was figuring I had some time before they filmed my first show.
Well it didn’t quite happen that way. My first foray in hosting the show was shown to the test audience, and Beverly appeared in my office a few minutes after she got the results. She told me what she had done, I almost smiled knowing that I would escape the bullet. She handed me the slip of paper with the results on it and I almost fell out of my chair. Every rating was in the nineties, with twenty three comments added raving about the experience and skill of the hostess. I put my head in my hands and moaned, this can’t be happening to me. Bev added another slip of paper in front of me, it was a contract to host the show. Then she handed me a pen.
We had four days before we needed to shoot the next show, time enough for the salon to work their magic on me. I was at the salon the next morning early, Julie waiting for me. Quickly the major attributes of a female were handled, all of my body hair removed, breasts added courtesy of some breast forms, then junior tucked away. I asked why that had to be done, surely he will not be seen under a dress. Julie smiled, it will remind our new hostess of the show that she is indeed a female, a female wanting to share her cooking skills with other females. Besides you might meet Mr. Right, and want to have some fun. My only words were oh gawd no.
The next day I received my first corset, the reduction of my waist necessary to make all of my new clothes look more feminine. Believe me it might have made my clothes look better on me, but the change in getting enough oxygen to keep alive became much harder. Then we had the heels that I was required to wear, again the reason is to make my legs look sexier. Legs that would seldom be seen behind the kitchen counter I worked behind. I guess everyone was getting some enjoyment from all of this, the rehearsals we had went off flawlessly, better than ever before. They used a spray to raise my voice a notch or two, the resulting voice just perfect according to all the guys working on the show. Julie eventually told me my new voice was so sexy that the guys were having a hard time keeping focused on their work, the director included.
Lots of practice walking in the heels was next, can’t have a feminine cook walking like a stevedore. Then hand movements, keeping my elbows closer to my body and my wrists not as rigid as before. The proper way to sit was gone over until I did it automatically.
When it was time to shoot the next show, Joyce was there, polished and refined. I had planned out the show, this time we were doing one on the proper way to bake a cake. Of course from scratch, a good cook never uses a mix. Then making a nice icing for the cake followed logically. We did a dry run first, to make sure everything came together properly. In reality it was to make sure my feminine presence was perfect and properly presented. Julie did have fun making sure my makeup was perfect, refreshing my makeup every few minutes, especially my lipstick. I let out a sigh of relief when we completed filming the first show with me in female mode.
Bev was standing off to the side, a huge smirk on her face. Another sigh escaped my lips, knowing that my fate has been sealed, Joyce is now the host of the show, never to be replaced. There was still a little hope that the actual ratings for the first show will be dismal, allowing me a possible escape from this scenario. A few days later after the show had aired Bev approached me with the shows ratings in her hand. No smile, no happy face, just handed me the sheet. I looked at the ratings and my heart sank. The show was rated number one for our time slot, a feat we never had been able to obtain in the past. That meant more exposure, new advertisers and eventually more income for the production company. Then she had the nerve to tell me I have been invited to one of the talk shows as a guest, inviting even more exposure for the show and myself.
I didn’t ever get back into male clothes, since shortly after this we decided to do a second weekly show featuring recipes from the past. The two shows almost guaranteeing the need for me to stay in the female persona 24/7. I had lots of help in obtaining a female wardrobe suitable for a cook show hostess, eventually moving to another apartment closer to the studio we used to film the shows at. All of my male clothes were donated to a thrift store, a receipt in hand to use as a deduction for my income taxes next year.
Did I mention that Julie moved in with me at the new apartment, closer to work for her and more convenient when filming the show. We were able to save quite a bit when buying new furniture for the apartment, one larger bed instead of two smaller ones saving us quite a bit. Of course she gets fed better, as I try out new recipes and practice with the old ones from years past. We did have to join a gym, can’t have a cooking show hostess plump, then I had to have some one with me to deter the males from taking advantage of me. Julie to the rescue.
I have to say I am enjoying the female role, once I relaxed some, it is liberating in a way. No perceived role to live to, a softer image to portray and the ability to let my feelings come to the forefront instead of being bottled up and hid away. Yep cooking with femininity was a sound move on my part, one that I hope to enjoy for years to come.
Story Complete For Now
© 2016 thru 2021 Fran Cesca Walker