“I just realized I haven’t gotten a tweet, haven’t read a blog or internet magazine, haven’t turned on the news in two weeks.”
“Feels good doesn’t it?”
“Fantastic. Everything I thought mattered doesn’t. I don’t have to know what’s going on.”
“Nope, you just be.”
“Wow, does that ever get old…I mean not knowing?”
“I miss the site weather girls.”
When I came to visit my family and friends in Chicago, I would have never thought, in a million years, the amazing opportunity that would present itself to me. It’s enough just to see the people I love. But as someone that did not graduate college, to be sought out and asked to do something like this, well I’m speechless.
You see I have been invited by the Columbea College of Chicago to teach a course in Fake Laughing as part of their television communications and broadcasting curriculum. It seems that some years ago I was talking with one of the faculty, unbeknownst to me, at a party where I had just performed magic. And she was interested in how people perceived magicians and we got on the subject of what people ask considering it is most likely the first time they’ve met a magician in person. I joked about how you have to pretend it’s the first time you’ve ever heard “can you make my wife disappear?” or “can you make it warm out there?” I told the woman how you don’t want to insult anyone, they think it’s funny, so you have to do a little fake laugh.
She was so impressed by not only the sincerity of my fake laugh, that I then demonstrated for her, but the fact that I was so good at improvisation meant I could teach the young broadcasters about how to be ready for it, the snappy comebacks, and how they could make it feel “genuine” and “fresh.”
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to teach them how to do the fake laugh when they’re interacting with their fellow news personalities on the 4:30 broadcasts. How to find the memory of when someone said something funny to pretend that what the other guys are saying really appears funny to them. How to make it look like they are all having a ball, all joking and such good friends. And how to compile a list of comebacks for the weather person.
I’m very excited, it’s like I’m being validated for a talent that has taking me years to hone. And it really is true about the education you gain in the real world.
I was watching Wolf Blitzer, actually I was watching a clip of him on the Daily Show and I don’t even know if I’ve spelled his name right but I don’t care enough to look it up. Anyways he looked so serious, and maybe he always looks that way, but it got me to thinking-when you have to report on all of this death and murder and corruption and evil, does it get to you?
I worked for the census in 2010 and my boss was, well, to put it nicely, an idiot. He worked us like dogs and started texting at 7:00am and didn’t stop until after ten. Nothing but census census census, facts and figures, for eight weeks straight. What seemed like such a cool job was quickly just like any other government job. I’m assuming, I’ve never had any other government job unless you count evading the IRS. Boom. (totally kidding)
So what’s it like when you have to hear all day blah blah blah and those are the good five minutes because the rest of the time it’s all the garbage that goes on? How do you turn that off? And I know they’re well paid and they can take some pretty fancy vacations, but from what I see they’re not gone long enough. How can someone do it year after year?
Do you get immune to it? I’m tired of seeing so much bad stuff but I don’t look at it that much. I take a peek at the headlines in the morning and then some check-ins during the day, more to see if there’s something funny to write about or what Miley Cyrus is wearing. That’s news.
It’s easy to hate these guys and criticize and make fun of them, but man what a job. Hope they like it.
I don’t have a television, so I don’t see the news on a regular basis, I read it on the Internet. But visiting my family I’ve watched, and wondered, are these poor people getting the necessary therapy?
I know that news anchors face a lot of pressure to maintain their looks. Where one time that could have merely meant make-up to make their faces look good, more and more their entire body is shown and they must maintain good physical condition. But that’s not what’s worrisome, that pressure. These people start reporting about death the minute their job begins!
Our news is inundated with the tragedies of the day and how can these folks read these reports day in and day out without it getting to them? They have to smile and read the stories with an unbiased voice, but come on, some of them are starting their days with this information.
I worked with kids for a long time and I thought I was going to go nuts. Hour after hour of small human beings that didn’t understand and appreciate my needs. I’ve counseled people with drug and alcohol problems who didn’t think they had a problem — then you never see them again and wonder if they make it. But I eventually got another job where I only had to deal with children a few days a week and the substance abuse counseling was only once a week, these poor people that bring us the news go on a vacation maybe once a twice a year and then they’re back.
Do the networks take care of them? Do they provide for the PTSD after they retire? Is there a retirement home where they’re all just mumbling “three died in a horrific crash today on Interstate 57?”
I hope there’s something, cause I know I’m depressed and I’ve only been here for a week.