Friday, September 12, 2008

I don't know whether to be offended......

Today I was covering a rally in Bellevue, and after conducting a very professional interview, someone there looked at me and said,

"You're so young and cute to have this job." She's grinning brightly, like what she just said is my best compliment. "I bet you just loooove it." More gooey smiles.

"It's fun!" I say, just as brightly, and walk away.

Why do people think just because I look a certain way, its surprising I have this job? Ok, on one hand its nice (i guess) I look young, but I want to look competent and professional, like a journalist who knows how to get the job done.

But no, that's not all. Today when I was signing my lease, one lady started ranting and raving about how she heard me on the radio all the time.

"And I can say, I know her." She chuckled like a schoolgirl, "But I have to say, you sound soooo much different in person."

"Yeah, I think it would be weird if I walked around talking with a news inflection all day long," I replied. Maybe the general population think news reporters talk like news people constantly, I have no idea. Or maybe I try too hard at work to sound "newsy." I have noticed this with several of my reporter friends. To sound like you know what you're talking about, you gotta give the voice some "ooompfh", sound confident, speak loudly and clearly, all the while, remaining conversational and authoritative.

Anyway, I'm now sitting on the ferry, just having joined the hordes of people who crowded like sardines into the galley.

"Welcome to the beer queue," I heard one woman say.

Thank goodness. And, they didn't card me.


Anonymous said...

I think you do sound different on the news....and that is not a bad thing! It does surprise people at first, sometimes, to know it is you. This just shows you know how to step up the game and sound professional on the radio, because as you say there are certain vocal tricks you have to learn. Other people may not know that, and probably think it is just your normal way of speaking. So, she was probably just one who never had the chance to hear someone live that they listen to on the news. And the other comment - well, you certainly do like professional and also "cute", but not "dumb blonde cute" at all. Sometimes people just say random weird things. I'd worry more if they say, "I'm surprised you have a brain looking like that!" LOL. In my opinion...I don't think you should be offended. The curiosity to me is that once you have any job in the media you are a public figure or celebrity of sorts, more than other professions, because people hear your voice on a wider scale. (Paula)

Colleen said...

I go through the same crap, Kristin. I also think I sound different while I am 'on.' I take so much offense when someone says to me, 'you're too cute to be on the radio.'

And yes, we all know you can't be missing teeth and have a big scar on your face to be on TV, but how about, 'you've really worked hard and deserve the TV job.' How about that?!

You'll always run into these people and my favorite thing to say is, 'thank you, that's very nice of you to say, but I'd like to think I'm in this because I can tell a good story.' And walk away. Maybe not the best advice, but it leaves them thinking.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

You know Kristin-- I think the whole "reporter thing" (TV or radio) invites a lot of interesting *strange* observations in others outside the biz.

People have a "certain mold" in their mind and they don't want *you* to be the one who breaks it.

So they sometimes say something that is stupid that they THINK is a compliment.

I CANNOT count the number of times I heard. "You look so much different" on TV.

What the HELL does that mean? It's the same me the way I see it. Wierd business.

- A - C - said...

I agree with dan-eric.
We attach meaning, behaviors and feelings to images role-playing on a screen. Persons become characters and we may be startled when meeting these characters in person... but only because of our preconditioning.

Have a good week