At the time I thought it was the most amazing TV audition I had produced, and that it would get me a job at a tv station presenting the weather.
My presentation had energy and showed confidence; my tone was conversational; I was engaging . . . and my hair looked fantastic!
At least that’s what I thought in 1987 at the ripe young age of 23.
Watching the video demo tape years later as a “grown up”, I cringe and wonder what I was thinking!
The portion of the video I have attached was part of a television newscast produced in my second year of the Broadcasting Radio Television program at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario.
Along with television theory, the course requirements included performance labs, in which we would take what we had learned in theory in the classroomand put it into action in front of a camera.
Our teachers believed – and they were bang on – that the more we practiced in front of a microphone or camera in the school setting, the more comfortable we would be in a real life on-air setting.
We were encouraged to come up with ideas to produce a tv show during our class time. In this case someone chose to produce a television newscast.
The person who tabled the idea for the newscast, acted as its producer. It was that person’s job to assign students to the positions needed to make the show, including as a director, sound and lighting technicians, floor directors and on-air talent.
Volunteering for the position was a case of putting up your hand to request what position you wanted to try.
I guess I put my hand up to be the weather person. I got the job.
After the production was shot and edited we would watch it as a class and review it with our teacher, who would give us a critique of our work.
I remember my reviews being positive. I was pleased as I now had a piece of video I could use for an audition at a real tv station.
Around the time of that project I heard there was an opening for a weekend weather position at CKCO-TV, as it was called then, a local tv station in Kitchener.
I sent in a VHS tape of the classroom audition along with a cover letter and resume.
Someone at the station called and scheduled me in for an open audition on a Saturday afternoon.
The tv station had a few more high tech gadgets than our classroom studio had, including a green screen I had to stand in front of.
There was a black and white tv monitor off to the side which had the weather map on it, and somewhere in the control room technicians would match the green screen, which was a blank green wall, and the weather map from another video source to make it appear on television that the weather person was standing in front of the map.
While it may sound magical, I remember having to squint my eyes during my audition to take a close look at that small black and white monitor to make sure my hands were in line with the air stream jetting across North America on the video.
It was the first time I’d stood in front of a green screen forecasting the weather. At the time I thought it was the most amazing TV audition I had produced, and it would get me a job at a tv station presenting the weather.
The audition went well, and classmates who worked at the station told methat the reviews of my performance were positive. But they gave the job to someone else who had experience.
I was disappointed but not surprised. It wasn’t the first time I would be rejected for a job where someone else had more experience, talent and a better sound than me.
Take a look at me at 23 in what I thought was the most amazing audition ever.
Things to watch for:
- the college “weather maps”
- the college “weather maps” crashing into each other
- the 1980s knit tie
- me talking with my hands
- my nicely trimmed beard
- and of course, the staple of all tv weather people … that great hair!