The process of “miking up” was a race against time. Left to right shows myself, a camera operator, one of our many guests and Reverend Melvin Travis. “Miking up” taught me many valuable lessons. One of which was the value of time.
Remembering “Miking Up”
By Richard Mabey Jr.
For five years, from 1993 till 1997, with the help of Reverend Melvin Travis, I produced and hosted a weekly television talk show that was aired throughout the state of New Jersey on the Cable Television Network of New Jersey. Simultaneously, I worked in the International Public Relations Department of a large telecommunications corporation.
Over time, Reverend Travis and myself developed our own language, in respect to producing and hosting the show. One of the terms that we came up with, in the process, was the term “miking up.” This referred to that process where one of the camera operators would attach the microphones on the lapels of Pastor Travis and myself, and then of course, onto the guest we had on that particular show.
At the same time, we would get last minute info on our guest. All this would happen, about five minutes before the cameras would roll! You see, studio time was expensive and every minute counted. Sometimes our guests had no clue as to how valuable each and every second was.
A guest would be rattling on how his daughter’s soccer team won the big game the night before. I remember there would be that split second, when Pastor Travis and I would look each other in the eye, while our guest continued to “blah…. blah…. blah…. then my daughter kicked the ball so hard that it zoomed past the goalie. Then….. blah…. blah….. blah…. they would have never won the game if it wasn’t for my daughter! Then…. blah….. blah…..”
Skillfully and diplomatically, one of us would interrupt the guest’s monologue of bragging about his daughter’s soccer skills and we would say something like, “that’s nice Mr. Big. Now, let’s get back to the volunteer work you do. We just need to check our facts here….”
You see, most people were nervous wrecks about being on television. Really and truly. Pastor Travis and I had gotten used to it, so it was old hat for us. But the guests would often go into panic mode. People that you would least expect. I really don’t want to get sued, so I won’t give the names of the people who fell into the category of being complete basket cases, those few minutes while we “miked up,” just seconds before the cameras rolled.
Life is funny. I often wondered how to put that on my résumé; “mastered the skill of “miking up.”
I can see the head hunter now. “Miking up!? What’s that!?”
But, alas, it is a real skill. I learned a lot, in hosting “Cross-Talk.” “Miking up” was one of those skills that I learned. It is essentially the fine art of making every second count. You learn, very quickly, when you produce a television show that every second counts.
I think that’s the way it is with life in general. Every second counts. Sometimes, we gotta take a good, hard look in the mirror. Are we spending a lot of time gossiping? Are we spending our time running down the other guy? Or, are we acting as an agent to uplift and inspire other people? Tough questions, I know.
But here’s the bottom line: life is short. It really is. Please, try to make the most of every minute. Consider this: ask yourself, is it really worth spending my time gossiping about that outfit that Lucy wore at the office today? Or, could I spend that time in a more worthwhile way, maybe doing good works to help out another person. Tough questions, I know.
Peace and harmony,