Friday, May 17, 2013

How the Two-Minute Magic Happens For a Community Correspondent

The truth about radio and television is that we are like ducks on a pond. On the surface, we're calm and unruffled, gliding over the surface. Below that surface, behind the scenes, before the microphones and cameras are live, our feet are paddling like crazy. I remember many crazy-busy mornings in my radio days, the big news days, racing into the studio at one minute to seven with my newscast still warm from the printer but you'd never know it as I said "Good morning." 
Even when it's only two minutes from a home base, there is still a behind-the-scenes element. Writing that makes me realize this is kind of like radio: two minutes on air, speaking to a microphone, can't see an audience but know it's there. Only now, I have to worry about what my face looks like. 
(Sidebar: I don't see Cyril Lunney during this. Because I'm projected via Skype on a TV screen for him, it's just my image I see. But I get to hear everything that's going on around them and this morning, Cyril's colleagues were considering him as a human sacrifice! Roasting over a spit with an apple in his mouth. Oh, the fun that happens when no one is looking...and only I was listening. Wait, is that mic live??)
This is what my side of the TV screen looks like when I do my CTV Atlantic "Morning Live" correspondent segment every two weeks. All you see on the telly is my head with the blank yellow wall behind but this is the space I'm sitting in. Hey, it looks very writerly from this angle, doesn't it? Must remember that for future author interviews.(Just putting that out there.)
Please note the very technical set up, the way we do things in the country: Duct tape is holding my tablet to the music stand to keep it at the right tilt for our chat. Okay, maybe not so much a country thing as a Sara's-not-technical thing. (Remember that photography tip? Never look down on a camera. Unless, of course, that triple-chin look is what you're going for.)

Today's segment featured a cameo by Archie the kitten when he wandered through the video. Now he wants to do the entire segment next time. He'll likely talk about Marilyn William's campaign to spay and neuter the local feral cat colony because he's a very civic-minded kitten.
I don't use those notes taped on either side of the tablet but it makes me feel better knowing they are there just in case my brain freezes and I forget everything. Don't think that will happen; I love doing this segment and the details come easily for the chat. Wish it were longer than two minutes! (Now, who is experiencing shudders as they read that?!?)

**CTV Atlantic Morning Live posted the clip of today's segment (it's always a bit choppy) so you can witness Archie's TV debut at the end.
There's a commercial first and a bit of a pause but it's there.

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