Wednesday, July 15, 2009

GRAMMY Campers Get Ready For Their Close-Up by Sarah Tither-Kaplan

At 4:30 a.m., I awoke to the obnoxious sound of my alarm clock buzzing in my Trojan Hall dorm room. On any other day, I would have taken advantage of my snooze button; however, I had to get ready for my close up. KTLA channel 5 had come to the USC campus to film a live segment on the GRAMMY Camp® experience.

The sun hadn’t even come out yet by the time my fellow Music Journalism track members Nick Arnold and Khaya Carter piled onto the cart that would drive us across campus to meet KTLA’s crew for our interviews. As soon as we arrived, newscaster Allie MacKay introduced herself and started asking us questions about our roles as camp journalists. Allie’s enthusiasm and rapid fire quips gave us a much needed energy boost as we prepared to go live.

It was strange to experience being the interviewee after having spent the last few days conducting interviews with every guest artist, speaker, and even some of the Campers. I was really surprised to find that as nerve wracking as it is having to come up with thought-provoking, to-the-point, and engaging questions as an interviewer, it’s almost as hard to come up with clear, concise, and interesting responses. Getting the perspective of the interviewee will ultimately help our approaches to interviewing. And as much fun as it was to get our five minutes and thirty two seconds of fame, getting to feel what it’s like to be in the hot seat and watch a professional newscaster at work was equally as informative.

Even after our segment was over, we decided to stick around to watch the GRAMMY Camp audio engineering students getting interviewed, and with the cameras no longer pointed at us, we made sure to pay close attention to what it takes to make a television interview run smoothly.

With the pressure of millions of viewers, ever changing schedule, and no room for editing, broadcast journalism is decidedly one of the most exciting facets of the industry, and it was definitely worth losing an hour or four of sleep to be a part of it.

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