In the media world, it is not uncommon to find individuals crossing over from radio to TV or Print media to radio and so on and so forth. This, I assume, is partly because being in the spotlight can be addictive. Once someone gets flung into the spotlight, there is no telling where one will stop to make sure they remain in the spotlight. A good number of people have successful TV careers and when they cross over to writing, they have even more successul careers there. Other people have mediocre Radio careers and when they make an appearence on TV, are even worse. I am one of the latter.
You see, I work work with a relatively small radio station that does not broadcast any further than an 80 mile radius even though it has a very wealthy collection of music. One might wonder why I decide to stay put at this otherwise humble radio station but as a lover of Rock music, it goes without saying that this it offers me the perfect employment opportunity because I get to listen and play the music that I love and I get paid for it. But that is besides the point. The point is, I work at a radio station that may not exactly be called a big radio station. So essentially, I am one of the lesser known Radio presenters.
Recently, I received a phonecall from a friend who hosts a show on a certain TV station. He was asking if I could be a guest on his show seeing as I had some insight on the day’s topic of discussion. The demon of hunger for fame was begging to be fed and I was not about to pass up on the opportunity despite my busy schedule. A few of my friends have successful careers both on Radio and TV and so I figured that nothing terrible could come of this appearence on TV, however Cameo it would be. If others had made it on both platforms, surely I wouldn’t be the worst. But Alas! Life in front of the camera is not as easy or glamorous as it may seem. In fact, by the time the entire filming of the show was done, I could have sworn I would never attempt to want to be on TV again.
Take one, take two, then take three ….
As someone who earns from speaking into the microphone, I assumed this would be a piece of cake because after all, I had my information together and I am not the kind to tremble when it comes to speaking. However, after being asked to say the same thing six times over, one sort of loses the patience and starts to think that maybe this whole TV business is for other people. You say something the way you think it should be said and you are told to re-do it while looking at the camera, then you are told to re-do it a little slower, then you are told to re-do it while not shaking your head, then you have to re-do it with a smile on your face, then you must re-do it while looking a little higher up… What the bloody hell!!! With all these retakes being shot, I kept thinking about the hustle actors and actreses have to go through to shoot certain scenes that are not just about talking but with added action, then I shivered a little. These people must be suffering and yet they make it seem so easy.
A few changes would have helped
Prior to the filming of the show, I had been running some errands in town and therefore I wasn’t exactly in the freshest of moods by the time I went to the studio for the show. Big mistake! When I showed up for the show filming, the host of the show looked rather fresh and seemed like he had just jumped out of a shower. And here I was; looking like a gladiator emergeing from an arena of sweat and blood. At first I thought all I had to do was dress decently, apply some lotion on my skin and show up for the shoot. Turns out, I should have gotten a shave the night before, spent a little more time perfecting my smile and probably worked on my eye-brows a little. Also, a friend who watched the show later asked if I did not have anything other than a Black shirt to wear to the filming of the show.
All eyes on Me
At the back of my mind, I always knew that whenever filming is taking place, surely there are more than two people; I did not however imagine that there could be more than ten people in one room filming just one bloody shot! And it didn’t help that some of the people in the room were females whose glances I had to avoid stealing seeing as some of them were dressed to murder. Between concentrating on the topic of discussion and throwin random glances at the females in the room, my mind was totally occupied. How the hell is someone supposed to act natural with all those eyes staring at them? HOW? And don’t get me wrong, I am not a shy person and neither do I fear the spotlight. But if I am going to be critically analysed by a bunch of people upclose, under a strangely hot light, I might as well stick to my little radio job where I can make all the silly faces without anyone having an issue.
As already mentioned, there are people who have successfully managed to toggle between career on Radio and TV. These people, in my opinion, deserve a round of applause. Crossing from TV to Radio may be easy because it is a downgrade of sorts but moving up from Radio to TV requires a lot. For someone who was used to simply speaking behind a micriphone and not being stared at by judgy pairs of eyers under a hot flashlight, the TV experience was a real rough one. I may have appeared to have it all together on the show but deep down, there was a lot of confusion, madness and mayhem going on in my head.
Right after the filming was done, I made a conscious decision to accord TV personalities a little more respect. True, Radio presenters know better English, are more refined speakers and are generally more awesome ( true story), but TV personalitites deserve a round of applause too. Apart from their otherwise unrehearsed talent of looking good in front of the camera, they also go through quite a lot behind the scenes. I can therefore confidently say that I will not be featuring on TV anytime soon unless I am paid a vulgar amount of money and unless there are fewer women in the filming room and no furious light shining over my head to make me glow and sweat like a blossoming virgin girl.
As I await that offer, I shall in the meantime appeal to all my friends who have attempted to cross from one career to another with terrible results like mine; please swallow the bitter pill and accept that you can not do both. Stick to the one you know best.
“I wish the stage were as narrow as the wire of a tighrope dancer so that no incompetent would dare step upon it.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship
The Talkative Rocker
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