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On-Camera Coach by Karin M. Reed

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CHAPTER 7 Hair and Makeup

For my first TV job, I had the unusual and good fortune of having my parents within my station's viewing audience. They were able to watch their daughter fumble her way through the steep learning curve of her trade.

I will never forget calling my mom after I anchored my first newscast. Here's a close facsimile of the conversation:

  • Me: Mom, how did I do?
  • Mom: Oh, Karin, your hair looked great!
  • Me: Mom, no one cares about my hair.

I was hoping for a glowing critique of my anchoring skills. The assessment of my hairdo was not what I was expecting. I thought it was totally inconsequential. How wrong I was.

Many years and a TV station later, I had my “eureka” moment. On a whim, I decided to chop off my long hair into a short, modified pixie style. When I went on the air that night, the phones lit up at the station. It seemed everyone wanted to weigh in on my new 'do. In fact, I was told by the station operator that she couldn't recall another time when the phones were busier. Thankfully, the comments were mostly positive, but it was an eye-opener, for sure.

You may not give a whit about whether your mane is managed, and you may never go near a makeup counter—but messy hair and a washed-out face may not give you the credibility boost you are looking for. Your lack of interest in hair and makeup could actually diminish the impact of your performance if your viewers can't stop wondering if you bothered to look in the mirror beforehand. Vanity is not the driver—your ...

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