What a dynamic presence!
John Quiñones, sharply dressed in a black suit, light blue shirt, and navy tie, entered the production studio prepared to start shooting a series of short promos for his ABC News program, What Would You Do?
Luckily, the green screen, the HVX200 camera, the teleprompter, and lights were already set up, waiting for Mr Quinones.
He stood in front of the green screen, looked at me to begin prompting, and I gulped.
“Alright, Mr. Quiñones,” I said, “Would you like to quickly run through the first couple of lines so I could pick up the rhythm of your speech?”
So we ran through the script really quickly, and then John took over the rest.
Prompting for John Quiñones was no simple task because he kept changing the rhythm of his speech drastically. This is also the reason why he is so captivating to listen to. I learned that some phrases – like when he introduces himself in the beginning of a paragraph- he spits out like rapid fire, and then there are these random sentences, he says very slowly. But he always keeps you guessing which phrases he will emphasize and which he will quickly spit out. The muscles in my fingers got a great workout and I’m surprised my prompter keys survived the constant nervous force of my fingertips.
But, not only was John’s rhythm of speech dynamic, but his voice was majestic. It was absolutely captivating. I could tell that he was highly trained in vocal projection, enunciation, and breathing techniques. This man should seriously consider teaching classes on how to project your voice.
My favorite part of this teleprompter job was hearing what the talent and directors say behind the scenes. I loved when, Alan, the director, would tell John to repeat certain phrases to sound like a “goody two shoes (GTS).” In fact, Alan had a metaphorical GTS meter, which he would regulate by telling John to dial the GTS up or down. It worked, and definitely helped John produce the type of tone we are so accustomed to hearing on ABC News.
I also really enjoyed what John said about some of the things that happen on his show behind the camera. He is one hilarious man! I wish I could tell you everything, but it’s confidential information….
To see some of what John Quiñones does on What Would You Do? check out the video below. In the video, John goes under cover as a trucker that doesn’t speak English and is harassed for his documents in a public place by an actor playing a police officer. See what the people around him do and hear his powerful voice narrating in the background.
As for the teleprompter gig with Mr. Quinones – unforgettable and a pleasure!