Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh -- I Know You

One of the benefits of being a radio news anchor is the ability to disappear when you are out in public. Just keep your mouth shut.

The tv anchors, locally famous as they are, can’t go anywhere without being recognized. That can be nice, or it can be nasty. It can also get in the way when you just want to be who you are and everyone feels like waving at you and stopping you on the street.

So you are the voice on the radio, never seen and whose face and general appearance depend on the imagination of the listener. Am I tall, medium, short? Do I remind you of someone you know? If we put a bunch of people in a line-up, would you be able to pick me out?

“I’d like to get a duplicate key made,” I told the young lady in the locksmith shop. She looked at me and said, “I recognize your voice. You’re the guy on the radio in the morning, doing the news.” Ten seconds earlier, I was just another customer; now, I’m the guy on the radio. That’s all it takes us unseen broadcasters to be known.

I’m not that good at doing voices, although I can imitate some people fairly well. My mother once said I sounded more like my brother than he does and I used to surprise her by coming home and walking into the house speaking his accented English. I also scared her (she was frightened of physicians) by imitating hers. He had another kind of accent and I picked up on it quickly.


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