Today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I was on the FOX-TV Morning Show with Mark Concannon. I had to be singing bel canto by 8:30 am. As I have only been out here in the midwest from Los Angeles, that would be 6:30 am my time.
I don’t know about you, but I sound like geese farts at 6:30 am, so I got up at 3:30 am my time and took a shower (because the steam helps lubricate your singing pipes—and I always take a shower when I get up—but this time, mostly to lube the pipes.
Then I drove up to the station on Brown Deer Road, way north of the city, just so I would know exactly where I had to be. I then drove to a breakfast place and had light breakfast. Food also helps me wake up all the pipes, though I don’t really know why. Consequently, I don’t know if that will work for you, but it always helps me sing better in the morning, as long as I have enough time after eating.
I got back to the station by 7 am, whereupon they told me that the show was actually at 8:50, so I had two hours to warm up. And that is exactly what I did. I went to the green room that they provided and then I sat there and sang songs for an hour and then I sang the song that I was going to sing for my spot for the next hour.
But preparation is not what I wanted to talk about in this column today, it’s what to wear when you are on TV.
If you are going to be on television, you have to consider carefully what you are going to wear because millions of people are going to be seeing you and you want to be cool.
Now television is tricky because of the pixels that are on the TV screen of the folks watching. You don’t want to wear any vibrant colours because they don’t show up well. They smear and they actually seem to vibrate. You don’t want to wear stripes or checks for the same reason. And you don’t want to wear white because white just takes over and smears even worse. The same for bright, metallic colours.
The pastels work best with the medium. Powder blue shirts seem to work the best and that’s what I usually wear. But because this isn’t my first rodeo, I always bring a couple of different choices so that I can work with whatever set they have for me.
Today there was a pastel blue background, so the blue shirt would have made me wash out against it. I chose a pear of black slacks, a black silk turtleneck shirt and a black pull over with no buttons or zippers that could make noise against the guitar as I played.
You can pretty much always be safe with black, unless they put you against a black background; something that very rarely, if ever, happens anymore. They like a little activity back there.
I came off looking pretty good, given what I had to work with. And they didn’t give me a make up person, so I brought a little powder to take the shine off my nose, cheeks and forehead. I should have thought of something for the skull that shines like a beacon through my thinning hair.
Yes, for some reason, when your hair has the temerity to actually leave your head and show up in your ears and around your nipples, your skull has the audacity to go chrome like on you. Another example of God’s infinite sarcasm. So try to remember to bring a little compact for yourself and if your hair is white like mine, a little baby powder. They also usually have this stuff at the studio.
So basic black is best, and getting there waaaaaaaay before you have to perform is good and finally, bring your instrument into the soundstage at least fifteen minutes before you play because sound stages are kept very cool for the electronics and that will play havoc with your tuning.
See you on the air.