10 Things Nobody Told You About Being On TV
By: Lauren Brocious
I don’t think it’s a secret of what I plan to be when I grow up. I’ve known for years I wanted to be a broadcaster and on TV. I was so thrilled when I was offered a job the school board office to work on Channel 18. Even though it is a local and very minor channel, it still is a start. But in high school, there aren’t a lot of broadcasting journalism classes and certainly is not a guide book about TV that I can find anywhere. Over the past two years of working for the school board, I’ve accumulated some rules that no one will ever tell you working in the broadcast industry business. So with that being said, here are ten rules that no one tells you about being on TV.
- Make sure to take off your makeup after filming so you can avoid being called a “cake face”. Most people on TV have to put on an excessive amount of makeup in order to make their face look warm enough of the camera. When being in bright lights, sometimes your face can get flushed out. However, the worst thing you can do is leave your makeup on from after filming. It’s very easy to look like a “Jersey Shore” wannabe with all of the makeup caked on.
2. Never wear green. EVER. Not even on St. Patrick’s day. The green can sometimes blend in with the green screen causing you to look like you have a floating head. Anything with green in it will blend right in with the screen.
3. Pronouns matter. When you read on the teleprompter, be careful with your pronouns. Most people tend to lose their pronouns when they speak because it’s such an easy thing to drop. A, and, the, an ALL MATTER. Be cautious.
4. The teleprompter isn’t your brain. The teleprompter like any other machine makes mistakes. Sometimes lines can get switched around and the teleprompter can go blank. It’s supposed to prompt you and not be your relying source of data. If something were to happen, every newscaster should know the story the are reporting on well enough to be able to wing it and make up a better ad-lib.
- You have to be a people person. The biggest thing I’ve learned from watching journalism is that people are crazy. People will do anything to try to get attention and there are all types of personalities that you have to work with when being a broadcast journalist. People can be crude and vulgar and you have to deal with them when writing a story. Also, sometimes you can get people with two very strong opposing views which will throw off people and can create drama (which can be a good or bad thing). Regardless, you must be approachable and likeable.
- Be put together at all times. Even when you aren’t at work. No matter where you go, since you are in the public eye, people will recognize you. Always make sure you look somewhat decent and acceptable looking. Also, it’s important that you have it together at all times. Stay calm and stressful situations because if you don’t it reflects poorly on yourself as well as the company you work with. Always remain collected in a public setting. Then you can cry in your pillow when you are home.
- The camera doesn’t add 10 pounds. More like 20. Because usually in TV you use a wider lense to shoot, you can look like you haven’t been to a gym in a while. My tip for that is to contour your face, drink lots of water and exercise daily, as well as when you smile, put your tongue in the roof of your mouth. This eliminates the look of a double chin as well as can help your face look more sculpted.
- Hand sanitizer is your BFF. I never travel without it. When you meet people, people will often remember the scent you were wearing. Basically if you smelled good or not. Also, you’re going to be shaking a lot of people’s hands. It’s important to be clean so that way can prevent the spread of germs and keep yourself healthy as well.
- The slower the better. The average person says about four words per second which sometimes can get very confusing. It’s important to slow down and take your time with what you are saying so you can effectively convey your message to the audience.
- Do it because you love it. Not because of the pay. The average broadcaster in their first couple of years makes roughly around $30K a year. Definitely is not my idea of a high paying job. The field of journalism is extremely competitive and difficult to get into. It’s important to be smart and to even considering having a backup job in case journalism doesn’t work out.