As a broadcaster, I have always felt a unique connection to people who engage in theatre. At first, it may seem odd to compare the role of a dramatic actor to that of a play-by-play broadcaster, but they are actually more relatable than you think. Most plays begin in the same way I envision broadcasts do: the curtain opens, the lights come up and the spotlight is shined on an individual/group of people whose responsibility it is to convey a specific message to an audience. I understand this metaphor may not be 100% applicable in all situations, but play with me here.
Both broadcasters and actors have to put themselves on the line at the beginning of their performances. I liken this to the “red light” coming on when television shows are filmed. No matter how much rehearsal has been done, there is ultimately one moment of pure, unfiltered truth. Either they rise to the challenge or they don’t. It is this moment that can horrify people for nights on end.
In my personal experience, I have felt many sets of nerves rumble throughout my body before going on the air for a game. I would be concerned for myself if I didn’t. Broadcasting is a performing art and the knowledge that someone out there will be listening to every word I say can be, in a word, frightening. I can only imagine the intense feelings broadway actors must feel knowing they are performing in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of onlookers. Yet, when I am not working, I find myself craving this feeling of uncertain nervousness. It’s what makes broadcaster and actors so passionate about what they do.
At the end of the day, I have come to truly appreciate the effort that theatrical artists put into their performing skills. I respect the amount of courage these people possess to be completely fearless about working in front of large crowds. The next time you watch a sporting event, make an effort to listen to what the broadcasters say, especially at the beginning of the telecast (i.e. on-camera opens). They are displaying the same bravery that actors portray through their aspect of the performing arts.