News Anchoring On Air TV3 Nightline

Uji to the Bakat: My Portfolio of TV Auditions

March 30, 2016

At the risk of exposing some embarrassing moments, this entry is about the TV auditions I’ve gone for. Airing my dirty laundry? Nahhhh. They’ve all been aired on national television anyway. (Bragging much?)

Although legally trained, I’ve always had a passion for the world of broadcasting. Going for these auditions was a stepping stone for me to fulfill this love of mine.

Alhamdulillah, the result can be seen today — the opportunity to read the national news.

But first, the auditions.

What :: An urban 15-minute nightly programme
Target Audience :: Teenagers & Young Adults

What’s needed for a programme like this?

…or what we call the X-Factor.

You must be of interesting character, full of colour.

Shows like this are guided by a pre-written script but with an young audience (who most often have a short attention span), viewers will go on a snooze fest if you stick to the script in verbatim. Sponteneity is needed when it comes to responding to something or cracking a joke, for instance.

“Hello there, you’re watching 8TV and today we’re gonna talk about…”
This is the conventional way of greeting your viewers. With creativity, you can make it more interesting.

Obviously. No one wants to watch a stuttering or stammering host.

Common Knowledge
To help add value to the content brought forward.

Although a show like this only carries light topics/soft news, it’s not always easy to stray away from babbling utter nonsense. A host for a show like this must know how to grab the attention of the audience, even if it’s just for a menial topic.

About three years ago, I found out about the Quickie Search auditions they were having through a friend. We were required to submit a video to be shortlisted; I did just that and got a callback to come to the studio for an audition!

The audition was pretty straight to the point. At the time, I was not an active blogger and did not document my Quickie audition experience, but it was somewhere along the line of being given a simple topic to create an introduction to.

I was paired with an existing Quickie host, Megan to perform my stint.
I don’t recall the topic I was given but I remember talking about being able to get HUGE shrimps in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (true story).
Yes, I totally emphasised the word ‘huge’ with my intonation and body language. That left a [good] impression with the crew, having them laugh at my quirky demeanour. I think that earned me some brownie points.
All I had to do was, to be MYSELF. Be yourself in order to be comfortable on set, and the ideas will flow in naturally. Hosting Quickie was kinda like talking to a friend in a coffee shop.

With Megan of Quickie

Then, I got THE call. After a period of worries and anticipation.

I remember I was in the car waiting for my husband to run an errand at the bank.

It was Zher (a Quickie host then) on the other line, and she was about to break some good news to me.


“It’s such an honour, that you’re the one calling, Zher!” I told to her.

So there I was screaming happily in the car. If you saw me, you would have thought I was crazy. It was definitely unexpected.

An introduction of the Top 9!

With the Top 9 chosen, we were then featured in the upcoming episodes of Quickie for several rounds of challenges that will filter the 9 lucky candidates to only 5. We were divided into three groups, each with an existing Quickie host as our mentor.

Unfortunately, my journey had ended as I did not make the cut to be in the Top 5 ring. I believe what attributed to this failure was when we were given a task for a tech segment. The task was to show and explain viewers at home how to put together a DIY LED torchlight.

Me and gadgets don’t mesh well.

The segment wasn’t actually aired, but we were put to the test as if it were. I was never really hands-on with tech devices, hence the interest was not there, resulting in my poor performance.

This boys and girls, should not be an excuse. Just because you are not in to something, doesn’t mean you can forgo it and move on to another topic. As a host, you are bound to cross the path of the unknown. Don’t fake it, but make it fly. The ability to do that must be acquired by a host.

Though, I was so disappointed.

The search continued to the Top 5 where viewers had to cast their votes to choose the final three.

That’s part and parcel of going for auditions. There are so many people fighting for the same thing; you do not necessarily always know where you stand in the charts.

Quickie Studio (yes, it’s tiny!)

I assured myself, there was a reason I made it to the Top 9. Perhaps they saw something in me? I can improve from there, and try again.

And so I did, but for a different programme…

What :: A weekly programme that touches on issues affecting women
Target Audience :: Mainly girls and women of all ages

After a long hiatus, a new season of the popular 3R programme was in the pipeline! Announcements were aired on TV calling those interested to audition for the new season’s hosts.

I don’t have a picture for this one, but we were put into groups of three (3R has three hosts) and given a topic to introduce in front of a panel of judges.

As opposed to a solo audition I had for the Quickie Search, this one was a little different. What judges look for when auditioning with other hosting hopefuls:

– How you compliment each other
– How you take the lead (if you are given this role)
– How you respond to your co-hosts
– How you are able to jive in the conversation
– Whether there’s chemistry between everyone

You get the idea.

You can also kind of tell whether you did OK for an audition. I had a good feeling with this one.

Guess what.

I made it to the Top 35. If I recall correctly, this was when I was called for a meet-up with the programme’s previous hosts for an interview.

The list was then shortlisted again.

I pulled through, and made it to the TOP 15 too!!!

The production team had a massive plan rolled out for the Top 15. They were to stay in a bungalow for two weeks together, and be featured in a reality show seeking for the new 3R hosts.

Two weeks.

Two whole weeks. 

With the uncertainty of whether I’ll get through or be sent home.

At the time, I was wearing another hat — a corporate slave executive. I had to choose between gambling for my future in the hosting industry or to continue pursuing my corporate journey.

It was not an easy choice. I loved being on both sides.

Eventually, I turned down the chance to be a 3R host.
Instead, it was time to keep on looking forward in the corporate arena I was in.

I had my reasons. After sitting down with those who had experience, that was the choice I made.

In hindsight, I don’t regret letting go of the opportunity. Not that I would if I had followed through, but my point is, you can always make the best out of life no matter which [straight] path you choose.

What :: National news aired every midnight 
Target Audience :: Corporate Executives, Expats, for those who miss the primetime Buletin Utama, etc. 

The Nightline news is a mirror to TV3’s Buletin Utama, but in the English medium.

It’s not easy to earn a spot in front of the camera for this channel. I had to go through many, many mock runs before finally being given the contract. The producers really wanted to be sure you’re worth hiring.

In a mock run, you’re expected to be in the studio in front of the prompter and show what you’ve got. You even go through hair and make-up but nothing full blown. It’s like the actual gig. But instead of being judged by the whole country, you are first judged by industry experts.

I was patient. I worked hard, practiced and listened to their critic and comments. It’s not easy reading the news. See my earlier entry – Nak Jadi Pembaca Berita?

In the end, the wait paid off.

I’m currently on maternity leave and cannot wait to get back in the studio!

With fellow TV3 friends
Alongside two others who underwent mock runs as well; both are also reading for TV3 now.

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