So, you wanna be on TV?-A A +A
By Betsy Gazo
Saturday, July 28, 2012
SEEKING fame and fortune may be on almost everyone’s mind and the quickest way is through television. Reality and talent shows can make one a millionaire practically overnight and broadcasters who run for public office have an edge over their opponents.
Now, if you’re envious of these stars, bear in mind that this type of success takes a lot of hard work, lots of courage, chutzpah and patience. Entertainers often have to fight fatigue, lose privacy, maintain composure even when angry or upset, and sustain a glamorous image which requires getting made-up and outfitted with fashionable clothes even during times when they just want to lounge in shorts and a tee.
Let’s take a look behind the cameras from the perspective of someone just passing through—that someone being me.
At the GMA Network complex, AVP of Regional Sales’ Executive Assistant Celia Lizada was tasked to take me and my friend Marivic Belleza around the network’s complex, and she unwittingly showed me the unglamorous side of a TV career.
To be a news reporter requires quick thinking and a smooth delivery. Poise and calm should be inherent while laser focus on the topic at hand is a must since many factors can rattle a reporter.
At about eleven o’clock that Tuesday morning, we passed a huge room of news gatherers concentrating on the crucial job of collecting significant information for public consumption. We were on the outside looking in through the glass wall. It was the newsroom and its occupants wore serious faces. Celia said that we could not enter since it was around the time that workload was heavy.
Next, Ms. Lizada toured me around several studios where some of our popular shows are taped. Most of these cavernous rooms are normally dark, airless and bare when unused. (The seventh floor is where the ETV or Entertainment TV studios are located.)
During taping, the studios transform into very bright, busy and crowded areas that can be both exciting and intimidating hubs of activity. I entered one where only flash reports are made. It was congested with cameras and monitors. A wide-screen television hung on one wall and in front was the stool where the reporter sits to deliver the latest.
Some technical persons were waiting for the moment, so in the meantime, I greeted them. Celia tells them that I’m from Sun.Star and before I know it, someone suggests I sit on the reporter’s chair and trains some cameras at me. Celia takes a photo of me on the camera monitor. My “moment” ended in less than a minute.
Later in the day, I talked with Maki Pulido who has worked as a field reporter for 18 years and juggles career with being a mom to two children. I asked her for her thoughts about her job. “Tiyaga,” she advised. “Kasi hindi siya madali. What you see is a minute and thirty seconds [on television] but yung one and a half minutes whole day [ang preparation] especially kung mag-interview ka. You wait for hours.
Malaking adjustment especially if you’re a mom. Mahirap. I’d tell young reporters, ‘Huwag kayong mag asawa.’
We laughed about this but the truth about the travails of being a reporter is obvious.
It wasn’t long when golden-voiced radio host of Public Service ng Bayan Mr. Gani Oro strolled down the pathway and Ms. Celia talked to him about my visit. Mr. Oro shook our hands and greeted us in Hiligaynon. He happened to be from Bacolod. He told me that he was running for congressman of District 5 (covering the Novaliches area) of Quezon City.
I reacted in disbelief. Really? Then I remembered that he has been a long-time resident of Quezon City which qualifies him for the position. Well, think about it! A Bacoleño in Congress in Metro Manila! I wish him the best and lots of luck, prayers and blessings. His advocacy to help the public will go beyond radio and directly to the constituents.
From a radio room on the ground floor emerged Arnold Clavio who greeted us. He remembered me from last year’s presscon and lunch at Max’s. He is pleasant but obviously pressed for time yet he spared a few minutes for a photo-op.
Susan Enriquez could not get out yet since she was in the thick of things at the booth. Somewhere in the building, I got glimpses of Suze Entrata-Abrera and Camille Pratts in hair rollers doing their make-up for Mars, GMA’s latest show for women.
While Celia and I were deep in conversation, a pretty lady in a hurry walked in our midst, her eyes downcast. She had no makeup on nor was she dressed in the fashion we often see of her on television. When she had gone a few paces towards another room, I pointed my finger discreetly in her direction and stammered to Celia, “Si . . . si . . .”
I rarely get star struck but when you see Grace Lee in the flesh, once President Aquino’s constant date, tongue and brain do not coordinate.
At the parking area later on, Celia showed me huge vans. These were on-site vans outfitted with broadcasting equipment to enable field reporters to report live.
By the way, all reporters are sanctioned to strictly observe decorum at all times. “We have an ethics manual to govern the behavior of our reporters,” Celia explains. “Our corporate mission and vision statements are posted everywhere to remind people of the work values of the company and its commitment to society and to the whole country.”
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 29, 2012.