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4/11/2004 8:00 PM Eastern

Growing up in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., Sharon Faetsch would often watch QVC with her mom.

“My mom would say, 'Oh, you could do that,’ ” she recalled. “I thought, yeah, I probably could do that — but I wanted to be an actress. I had other things planned out.”

Fast-forward about 12 years and Faetsch, now 30, is living in Las Vegas, working as a singer and a character actress when she receives a call from a friend, inviting her to come along to audition for a role as a QVC on-air host. Thinking that the Vegas stage might not be forever, and wanting to relocate back East (QVC is based in West Chester, Pa.), she went for it.

It turned out that Mom was right: Faetsch got the job as a host on the home-shopping net’s overnight shift. Her strategy for success was to ad-lib for three minutes about a cheap pair of earrings and a necklace she brought along as props. “I went in and just started talking about it,” she said. “It seemed like the longest three minutes of my life.”

It turned out that execs had to cut her off — after 5½ minutes. “They just let me keep going, I had so much to say.”

That ad-libbing was good training for what was to come. All QVC hosts ad-lib to maintain a conversational style that’s like “just talking with a friend right across the table in the living room,” she said.

“If you have a phone caller, they might ask a question or have something to say you’re not expecting. You’re flying by the seat of your pants.”

Each host gets to the studio a bit early to be briefed on what they’ll be selling, she added.

“We have to do research on the products, or the audience will know,” Faetsch explained. “It builds trust. If we have to demonstrate something, we can’t get out here and not know how to demonstrate it.”

To be near QVC’s home base, Faetsch has relocated to metropolitan Philadelphia with her husband, Langdon Sigglekow, and “an adorable dog.”

True to her background, she’s a movie buff, though the QVC overnight shift keeps her out of the theater. She also enjoys books, mostly of the science-fiction genre, and is an avid hiker.

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