Sunday, February 04, 2007

Reality Killed the Video Star

Mostly positive response from my co-workers, my editor, my boyfriend, the TV reporting class instructor and my fellow students on my video demo. Great feedback on how to do better next time, such as:

* Matte lipstick is less distracting

The suit jacket says, "I'm a professional".
The shiny, sparkly lipstick says, "Yeah, a professional stripper".

* When you think your make-up is too thick and your blush too strong, add more.

In a word: splotchy.

* Maintain your voice somewhere between a monotone and baby talk.

Although I am an alto, I whipped out a little Betty Boop midway through my script.

* Restrain your eyebrows

Mine do a booty-dance as I talk.

* Don't squint at the TelePrompter

Everyone agreed on ditching my glasses, but even with the font at its biggest, I had tremendous difficulty reading my own damn script. I asked the assembled crew if they'd help out with a Charity Bikini Car Wash to fund my Lasik. Five people volunteered!

Suddenly, there is political unrest in the video department of my work. Major bigwigs quit, leaving a girl in her early '20s in charge. Yeah, that'll work out well. I don't even know her name, I'm just praying it isn't the "Anchor" who shows up in most of the recent video offerings. She smirks, she flips her hair, she asks interview subjects zero questions, preferring to keep the topic on herself. She is an embarassment.

I have a big interview coming up this week (the day after my breast surgery, whee!) and the video department is giving our department a bunch of grief over borrowing a camera — the interview subject wants us to tape at her office instead of our company studios — and I'm beginning to worry about a departmental power struggle in the works. If it becomes a deal where we get the camera if Miss Smirkenstein anchors the interview I promise to go absolutely apeshit.

This story was four months of research, interviews, writing and editing; I will be damned if I let it become a joke. In my version, you won't see or hear me in the video. I want all of the focus to be on my interview subject, who is indeed fascinating and adds tremendous weight to my story. She is someone very famous, someone used to being on camera and thoughtfully answering reporter questions. Over the course of the last four months, we've become rather friendly and I believe we have a mutual-respect thing happening.

If Hairflip Smirkenstein does the "interview", I'm sure we'll hear all about what kind of clothes Hairflip likes and how she got her hair so shiny. We'll see her wink at the camera and work herself into every frame. Then we'll see me appear out of nowhere and karate-chop her into unconsciousness.

Hairflip may or may not be the youngster in charge of a whole department at our company — she may just be BFF with the girlie — but someone in that department needs to put an end to Hairflip's on-air hijinks. Credibility matters, people.

As for me, the demo tape feedback and newfound critical eye towards on-air personalities (what is up with Meredith Vieira, anyway? Cyborg!), I will work on my broadcast skills until I feel my on-air personality is as winning as my in-person one.


Blogger glo said...

Study "Up Close and Personal". Next thing you know, you'll be anchoring network news; I know you can.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Laurie Brown said...

Hey Trouble,
Let me help you out. I wrote a book on how to use the teleprompter. I'd be happy to send you one if you send me a note!

6:49 PM  
Blogger LisaBinDaCity said...

You are very brave, Madame. I loathe being on camera.

I can't wait to interview you about being an interviewer!

6:34 AM  

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