Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The TelePrompTer

Have you ever used a TelePrompTer, the thing that displays scripts so that news anchors can read them while looking into the TV camera? It's not as easy as it looks.

First of all, there's usually a person scrolling the text and trying to keep up with you (there is an automatic setting but that can be tricky). Talk too fast, and you may run out of words before the new ones scroll into view. Talk too slow, or take too long a pause, and a new sentence may appear before you can finish the one you're saying.

Second, you have to read in a smooth flow and without moving your eyeballs too much (up/down/side to side), while maintaining a pleasant expression (not looking like you're trying to read) and sounding friendly, not stiff.

Fortunately, it's a skill somewhat like riding a bike, and I learned how to do it in college.

Today I auditioned to be the co-host of a new health TV show, and had to read the introduction from a TelePrompTer. Apparently, plenty of other people in Chicago say they can use TelePrompTers, because the woman who ran the audition told me they're auditioning all week. That's showbiz.

1 comment:

Gina Black said...

Using a TelePrompTer should be like dancing with the one who is reading doing the leading. That's why being a TelePrompTer operator ain't easy. ;) I've trained several of them in my time.