“Learning the Ropes” by Zoe Wilson Meyers – KNME Production Intern

April 2, 2014 – My first day as an intern at New Mexico PBS was on the day of Governor Martinez’ state of the state address. KNME was providing the live stream of the speech and everyone was crazy busy. Kevin told me to come by “around 11” so naturally, I had a panic attack trying to determine what time I should actually show up.

My inner dialogue:
“Maybe I should show up at 10:30, that would seem very responsible… Yeah, I’ll do that.”

“Um.. Wait… What if I’m in the way? Especially, if I’m 30 minutes earlier than he expected me. UGH.”

“I will kill some time and show up at 10:45. And that is that.”

Yeah… I NEVER over think things.

I ended up sitting in the lobby for 10 minutes anyways because Kevin was so busy getting ready for the speech. After arriving, I learned that it made absolutely no difference what time I showed up, I would be in the way regardless.

That day was really fun, though. I got to witness the studio in full action. Martinez stalled so hard, introducing everyone and their dog, that I only got to watch three minutes of the actual speech before I had to go to class but it gave me a good idea how these things work. I was responsible for timing the speech but since the governor didn’t come on until I had to leave, I failed my first task.

Since my first day, I’ve been given a few more responsibilities. From research and writing to studio stuff and YouTube editing, I’ve already been given the opportunity to learn a huge variety of different show production aspects. This is very cool considering I got lost and failed to wash the mugs and fill up water for guests on my second day.

I’ve learned how to do a couple of things in the studio. There are about 34823478 buttons in there so it’s only extremely intimidating. I’ve learned one of the most grueling tasks, running tape. When Randy yells “roll for record” I have to press the play and record button AT THE SAME TIME on THREE different screens. Fortunately, I have been working on my hand eye coordination and I’ve become a pro.

My favorite thing to do, so far, has been researching topics to discuss on InFocus and writing a couple of intros for some of those topics. The first time I heard my writing (unedited!) spoken on camera by Gene, I was so stoked. The clip was about 8 seconds but I’m still proud and I will be sending a recording to my parents.

Yesterday, Kevin had me run camera. While very excited to learn another studio task, I was terrified. He told me I wouldn’t have to touch or move anything but to wear a headset and listen for any direction from Randy, just in case. I did end up having to adjust a few things and the moment I heard “camera 2, pan left” I forgot left from right and literally everything Kevin had just showed me. It’s so exciting, though. After the initial shock and fear of being responsible for something that is happening with the show, it becomes a bit of a rush. I can’t wait to learn more things, now that I have come to terms with the likelihood of messing everything up the first time.

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