My daughter found a video marked ‘Kerry. Don’t tape over’ in my mother’s handwriting at the back of a cupboard last week. Sadly, my mother has been dead for over 20 years. We don’t have a VCR player anymore. My daughter bought one for $20 on Gumtree.
The tape contained TV interviews. Kerry with Ray Martin. Kerry with Steve Vizard. etc. I was astounded to see my younger SELF of 30 years ago. I was in my thirties. (The pic above is 10 years old). All I can remember was hating going on TV. I was SELF CRITICAL of everything. My looks. What I said. What I didn’t say.
Keep in mind this was live TV. You are often told what to wear, what to say, what not to say. And there was the audience too. I wanted to please them all, the anonymous THEY. But don’t we all do that all too often. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves sometimes ‘who exactly am I trying to please here?’
And why? Why did I care about THEM? Why didn’t I just please myself? See for yourself:
When you arrived at the old Channel 9 studios in Bendigo St, Richmond, and walked into reception on your way to a morning show interview or live cross, the receptionist would ring through to some studio lackey announcing ‘the talent’s here’. That’s how much the TV studio staff cared about performers. No name. Just THE TALENT. The carpark had a sign that read ‘PARKING FOR STAFF AND TALENT’.
I always imagined the Channel 9 carpark teaming of jugglers, violinists and ballerinas on their way to and from some show.
Working for newspapers, publishers and radio shows I did not come under pressure of having to worry about the ANONYMOUS THEY. This pressure to perform or conform only applied to TV, a visual media. But we are all in the visual (social) media today in some form or other.
I ask again ‘who are you trying to please, impress or entertain?’ I was so critical of myself 30 years ago. Here are some more clips from the vault. And 30 years ago I was so critical of myself because I worried too much about the ANONYMOUS THEY.
When my demanding Op Ed Editor and great mentor at the Herald Sun, John Kiely, stood at the dawn service one Anzac Day and read a French town name engraved on the back of a medal belonging to a fellow attendee, he realised I had misspelled the name in my article, but the presses were already rolling. How did he react? You’ll see …..