Probably one of the biggest adjustments to being on live television is dealing with the voices in my head, or rather my ear…
The first day on air, I just hoped I would be able to continue my conversation with the viewers while other conversations were going on in my head. Eek! No, I’m not crazy, the ‘voices’ in my head are actually my Producer and Director talking to me and/or each other.
The contraption that allows me to hear the ‘voices’ is called an IFB, or an Interruptible Foldback.
Little did I know the first challenge would be getting the IFB to fit in my ear…
On my first day on air, Jeremy, our engineer gave me a pack of plastic ear plug like things to fit in my ear. The pack included small, medium and large ear plastic pieces so I could pick my poison. The plastic fits in the ear canal and is connected to a cord that wraps around the back of my ear, down my back and into a receiver. Apparently my ear is tricky, because I couldn’t get the ear piece to stay in my ear.
Imagine being on live television on your first day, juggling jewelry, cameras, monitors, talking, and conversing with a cohost and the audience, knowing that your performance will determine if/when you go solo, and suddenly you have to deal with an ear piece constantly falling out of your ear.
Fortunately my cohost, aka a true pro Jessica got medical tape from the green room and taped me in. That worked, except it pulled my hair out. Ahh.
So I got resourceful and headed to the drug store to buy those silicone ear plugs. I put that ear piece in my ear and molded the ear plug to fill up the rest of the ear and hold it steady. Just call me Macgyver.
When I went to Jeremy to share my victory, he surprised me with even better news. I was getting a CUSTOM ear-mold-pluggy thing!
Jeremy gave me a kit with this mixture to put in my ear. The mixture created a mold that was sent away to be created. I was so paranoid about getting the mold just right that I got a second kit. (The first was was a disaster.)
Well Friday was Christmas for me! My IFB came in! As I went on air, it was the moment of truth. Would it work? Did I do a proper ear mold? Good news! It fit like a glove!
Kind of weird: When I sent in the mold, I had a choice for tinted shade as opposed to nude. I picked tinted thinking it would match my skin town…like the ear piece Stevie Wonder or Beyonce wears. My idea of tinted and theirs…not exactly the same. But I don’t care, all that matter is that it fits!
It’s kind of weird to think that some company somewhere has a mold of my left ear…
Next time? What exactly ARE those voices saying in my ear…