“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
— Auguste Rodin
After interning for two weeks with Citytv, I’ve finally completed my work experience, and am heading towards the end of my semester.
It was a great last week. I did everything from research, to watching the live show from the floor, to going out with a reporter and cameraman to my first crime scene.
Unlike my experience with 24 Hours, I wasn’t put to work right away, and most days I felt like dead weight because there weren’t any opportunities to contribute. But by the end of my two weeks, I had put together two weeks worth of celebrity birthday questions and answers for the entertainment segment, I had researched the names, ridings and photos of the current MPs in the lower mainland and I had spent hours and hours researching archival footage and photos relating to the history of Vancouver.
I had also met my goal of somehow getting on TV. In fact, I did it thrice.
The first time was by accident: I was at a live-eye shoot, completely distracted by my horse allergies, and was too slow to move out of the shot. All that was seen was me, in my bright red coat, running out of the frame.
My second appearance was on Thursday. I was downtown at the Burrard skytrain station, waiting for an annoucement about the new transit fare card. It was just me and a camera, so I was filmed holding up a card replica, and was in the background of an interview holding a giant sign. Apparently, one of the hosts congratulated me on air afterwards, saying something along the lines of: “Give it up for our intern Hayley, she did a great job of holding that sign…”
My final appearance as an intern was on April Fool’s.
JackFM’s Larry and Willie have a contest going on, where 50 or so people have been given big cutouts of them, and have a list of things they need to do with the cardboard radio hosts for a chance to win $10,000. For example, they needed to get on TV.
During my two weeks, the station was bombarded with requests. I was asked to take a photo of a contestant with Dawn, and someone took a photo of me taking the photo. As a prank, Dawn rushed the JackFM station on Friday with an almost life-size cutout of her and Riaz. Leading up to the “attack,” BT showed clips and photos of the hosts posing with various contestants: My back was in one of them as the photo of me taking a photo was shown on air.
All in all, I learned a lot from watching professionals at work. I picked up interviewing techniques, and more subtler things like how to carry yourself on air, and how to emphasize your read.
Apart from being on camera, the closest I came to actually reporting was when I went out with two cameramen to get streeters. After watching for a bit, I was given the mic and allowed to ask people questions. I had done streeters before for classes, but the experience with BT was far better: People are much more willing to talk to you when you’re standing beside a Citytv van with a camera in tow.
I have five days of school left plus a final exam and then I’m done my second year of journalism studies. And in 22 days, I fly off to Alberta for my three-week military practicum.
Oh how time flies…
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”
— Henry James
Late last week and early this week, I had the opportunity to interview two “famous people.”
One of my second year courses, News Production, is designed to teach the class the practical side of working in a newsroom. Each week, we pitch our own story ideas pertaining to Kwantlen academic and student life, and submit pieces of journalism, be it in the form of articles, photo stories or videos.
Through a Kwantlen press release, I found out that a Kwantlen student had danced her way to the top 22 on CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
With the help of social media, namely Facebook, and being able to contact the right people at the times, I was able to secure an interview with Nathalie Heath, a 23-year-old dancer from Surrey, B.C.
As a semi-regular viewer of the show, it was a great and extremely surreal experience to be able to have a conversation with someone I had seen on TV a couple of days before.
While emailing back and forth with the show’s publicist, I’d asked if there was anyone else affiliated with the show who was willing to comment on Nathalie’s success. Not sure about the show’s policies, I had been hoping for an interview with one of the judges, but wasn’t expecting one.
But I was fortunate enough to snag an interview with Jean Marc Généreux, arguably the show’s most outspoken, heartfelt and enthusiastic judge. Outside of the show, he is an accomplished ballroom dancer: he won all of the major ballroom championships in North America, and danced with his partner as Canada’s first ballroom representatives in 10 world championships.
So while he may not be a common household name, he is a well-respected and well-known individual in certain circles. And I got to interview him.
Both Jean Marc and Nathalie were personable and funny individuals, and I am thankful for the chance to have interviewed them.
To read Nathalie’s story (with quotes from the one and only Jean Marc), check out the Kwantlen Chronicle online.