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Sparkle, Neely, sparkle! - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Sparkle, Neely, sparkle!
“Hi. I’m Janice McQueen. And yes, I’m related to Steve McQueen. My fourth cousin. Oh, and I was Miss USA. ’99 to 2000!” Her smile froze while she still emitted a giggle through gritted teeth, and I smiled back. Out of fear. She was brittle blonde, her skin an over-tanned crepe, and time had not been kind to that “Miss” title.

I’d spoken earlier to the class of would-be hosts that my friend Marki teaches, and as the guest speaker, I told them about our programming initiatives, what we look for in on-camera talent, and how they can stand out from the herd of people who come in to audition.

While I tried to make eye contact with all thirty of them as I was talking, there was an enormously muscular and heavily tattooed black guy sitting in the front row, arms folded, drilling holes in me and I couldn’t look away. I’d later recognize him as Bobby from last season’s Survivor, the one who took a dump in the tribe’s sparkling new outhouse.

In pairs, the class improvised an audition for me, and I dutifully wrote notes on each performer. Many of them did the Hands, that timeworn hosty combo plate of motion of hands outstretched in a gesture of surprise or authority, then a forceful clap of hands, then finger guns shooting right at the audience. The move doesn’t have the poetry of Jazz Hands. They’re just Hands.

Hands is almost as annoying as Prom Smile, that toothy swath that is always there There THERE, and if you close your eyes for a moment, rest assured it will be there when you open them. While both traits may be perfect for infomercials, the hard sell act makes for tiresome TV, and I wanted to accost some of them, tie their hands to their sides, and physically pinch their lips to hide their orthodonture.

But they tried their best, and out of the entire class, I saw two, maybe three, people I’d bring in to audition. I did it for Marki, a big sexy girl with the mouth of her grandfather, Lou Costello, who wears tight dresses that show beautiful massive cleavage and ample booty. I did it to get out of the house for some solicited adulation. I did it because I knew I’d feel good afterwards, and it worked.


21 comments or Leave a comment
From: hulagalinthesky Date: June 14th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
So what is the secret to being a stellar presenter?
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 14th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Being yourself, someone who is natural, and someone who the audience thinks they'd like to meet. At least, that's what we look for in our hosts. Who knows, though. I talk about it like it's a science when it's really nothing more than stupid gut instinct.
gotu From: gotu Date: June 14th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can I assume you meant "black" guy in the front row, or is that more than a Freudian slip?
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 14th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey! Sometimes it's just a cigar!
gotu From: gotu Date: June 14th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm...yes, quite.
laynerox From: laynerox Date: June 14th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
if you wrote a book i would read it.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 14th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, but I'd rather look at a photo essay of Kevin Waymire taking a shower.
laynerox From: laynerox Date: June 15th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
hahaha i'll get right on that. you never know, he may be all about that. =)
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 14th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
And how'd you do? Ready to sell real estate?
mengus From: mengus Date: June 14th, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's about goddamned time you wrote something for me to read and love. Stingy fucker.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 14th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm a withholder.
From: ex_hotlavamo352 Date: June 15th, 2006 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn I wish I looked good on camera.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 15th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, baby, I'd love to point my camera at you. You are fine!
mwittier From: mwittier Date: June 15th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Trying One's Best is where so many people go terribly wrong.

God, how I fucking hate The Hands. All variations. My peeviest by far though are Anchor Hands (fingertips to fingertips, otherwise in the attitude of prayer, but no palm-to-palm contact, positioned near the sternum, and a weird up and down waggle; I'm sure you know it) and Nancy McKeon School of Acting Hands (elbows glued to the body, palms upward, but as low to the ground as possible, and again with the up and down bounce, to suggest a surfeit of Heartfeltness. This one is apparently best combined with a slight forward leaning of the upper body, but I dunno why.)

Does someone teach people to do these things, or is it just monkey see monkey do on a grand TV scale? Why must people waggle such uninteresting bits at us? Wag something worthy, or don't fucking wag at all.

You have enviable patience.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 15th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Trying One's Best is where so many people go terribly wrong.

Oh, shit, the Anchor Hands! You're right. The Anchor Hands coupled with the light remark at the end of the newscast and the mindless guffaw during the closing music--that's a nightly horrorshow.

I think people just watch too much Spring Break and take their cues from that.
quuf From: quuf Date: June 15th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a hunch the fingertips-to-fingertips gesture came into its own with the arrival of infomercials. I don't remember seeing it before 1985 or so.
ridiculicious From: ridiculicious Date: June 15th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want to take that class.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 15th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I went to a meeting last night where the guy used the "thumb point" with the closed hand. That's a favorite. As is the two outstretched parallel ones that a friend calls "Jesus hands". I taught public speaking for a while, and it's amazing how the arms become a foreign territory to their owners.
notoriousbrb From: notoriousbrb Date: June 15th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Totally prom smile

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: June 16th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but you were at an actual prom.
notoriousbrb From: notoriousbrb Date: June 16th, 2006 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Worse. Pagaent. Shhhh, or you'll ruin my street cred.
21 comments or Leave a comment