People think when you’re on TV, you have hair and makeup standing by, and someone is there telling you what to say, and you’re just a face on TV – someone else did all the work. Not true. At least in my case.
Yes, I did have professional hair and makeup done – but only a handful of times. Sometimes people wrote things for me to say while I anchored, but as a reporter, not so much. And it is A LOT of work – especially as a reporter, outside, in August, in South Florida! So, let me fill you in on some things you don’t know and don’t see… behind the scenes.
And it is A LOT of work – especially as a reporter, outside, in August, in South Florida! So, let me fill you in on some things you don’t know and don’t see… behind the scenes.
There’s the bathroom situation…
If you’re a reporter, you’re lucky if you have access to a bathroom. Many times you’re stuck out in some place you don’t want to be… holding it.
One time, I was doing a story outside the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat play. Nothing was going on at this time, so the main parts of the arena were closed. I was visibly pregnant and really had to go. I had a baby pushing on my bladder for goodness sake. Do you know, the ladies working the office in the AAA told me I could not use the bathroom because it was not for public use?!
On the other hand, many strangers in random neighborhoods have been kind enough to let me use their facilities.
At a crime scene…
When we’re at crime scenes, which we are a lot, we become detectives and have the whole thing solved by the end of our live shot.
Speaking of crime scenes, I have accidentally stepped in more blood than you’d like to know.
What you see and don’t see on TV…
When you photobomb our live shots, you are only making yourself look like an ass. I look fine. If I ever went to your job and started jumping and yelling behind you whenever you started talking, people would send me somewhere for a mental evaluation. You’re an idiot.
If you can’t see my feet – assume I’m wearing flip flops, because I probably am.
Give us a little credit, okay?
For everyone who gets mad at reporters for the stories we cover, take it up with someone else. We are the bottom of the barrel. We take orders. We do what we are told, so call the boss to complain. The last thing we want to do is stick a mic in someone’s face on the worst day of their life and ask them to tell us all about it. As the messenger, we get threatened, yelled at, pushed, punched, and worse in the field. It’s not always fun. When you start out in the business, you care about that. Then after about a week or two – you’re numb to it.
The hardest working people in this business are the ones who make us look good – the photographers. I can’t say enough nice things about them. Not only are they the hardest working, but they are the ones the crazies run after and try to hit when they don’t want to be on camera after breaking the law. Allegedly.
Publicists who have never worked in the media industry drive us nuts because they don’t understand what we do for a living. Some can be really annoying.
Many times, we don’t have a photographer. We are the ones shooting what you see, then we jump in front of the camera and shoot ourselves!
The way we look…
The camera really does add 10 pounds. I think it may also make us taller. In the studio, we stand on boxes to look taller and so you can see the pretty set at the perfect level behind us. Maybe that’s why us TV people do appear smaller in real life, unless you know us personally – then we look the same.
At the end of the day, I have been known to have about 10 layers of powder on my face.
When you’re standing in a hurricane and nearly blowing away, you’re also watching your photographers back to make sure nothing flies his or her way.
Everyone has fallen asleep in a news car. Everyone has felt the fear of tipping over in a live truck.
Covering those big events…
Even though we act like we want the Miami Heat to win the National Championship, we don’t. Why? Because that means lots of overtime many of us won’t get paid for, pots and pans being banged in your ear on live TV for hours at a time… while being pushed and shoved by drunk idiots until the wee hours of the morning.
Then, when that special report that lasted until 1:30am is over – you can’t leave because the traffic jam has turned Bird Road into a Reggaeton concert. Then, a couple of days later, there’s the damn parade in 100-degree weather. (Can you tell I’m speaking from experience?) It’s one of those things that’s fun the first 30 minutes or so, then… But I still have a smile on my face 🙂
We roll with the punches…
Up until the time you see us on air, we are talking to someone beside us… stopping just in time to appear like we were cool, calm and collected just waiting for the camera to roll.
When a producer is standing up in the control room, stay back. Standing = stressing.
Even we think we look stupid standing in the dark in front of a place you can’t see where nothing is happening behind us. Again, we don’t make these decisions.
If you are in a newsroom and there is food nearby, and it’s free – it will be gone in five seconds. Literally. (And when there is food in the newsroom and an email goes to all employees saying “Because of our long day with the hurricane/election/whatever it is coverage, we ordered everyone pizza,” reporter and photographers get really pissed… because we’re not there for it. We are standing in the hurricane/voting booth/wherever – starving.)
I’ve never been in a newsroom where the floor of the studio is cleaned on a regular basis.
Many times, all of the reporters and photographers are standing inches away from each other, doing the same live shot, at the same time. We are all talking over each other. (And some reporters are yellers.) It’s somewhat distracting.
We really do have fun…
Even though we are working for different stations and compete on-air for ratings, we are the best of friends in real life.
And when David Beckham comes into town, look out! And make sure you look good too 😉