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‘Succession’: How Unhealthy Was Kerry’s ATN Audition, Actually? We Requested Chris Hayes

Not everyone seems to be lower out for a life in entrance of the digital camera. Succession’s Kerry Castellabate (Zoe Winters) discovered that the onerous method on the most up-to-date episode of HBO’s Succession. Decked out in a pink gown and sporting her now iconic bangs, Kerry gave it her greatest shot when she auditioned for an on-camera job at ATN, after her boss/boyfriend Logan (Brian Cox) pulled some strings to get her an audition. Kerry’s tryout—full with ill-timed smirks, stumbling sentences, and awkward hand gestures—shortly turns into the laughingstock of ATN. However how dangerous was the tape, actually?

We requested veteran TV journalist and MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who’s celebrating 10 years behind the desk on All In With Chris Hayes, to weigh in. Over the telephone, Hayes took a break from a “very loopy” week to speak about breaking information within the fictional world.

“A very powerful factor whenever you’re doing information—the important factor, which is the highest-stakes factor and the factor that’s probably the most harmful to screw up—is tone,” Hayes says. “Tone’s all the pieces. You’ve bought to nail tone.”

That, he says, is the place Kerry actually falters—particularly when she flashes a toothy grin whereas disclosing the main points of an Amber Alert. “You’ll typically have event to be reporting on horrifying issues, and you need to convey the correct solemnity, gravity,” Hayes says. Then once more, even within the hardest of stories cycles, you’ll be able to’t be fully morose, “as a result of that will be so painful for the viewer. Navigating tone is job primary above all else. I assumed it was very sensible of them to have her do an enormous error on that, as a result of that may be a factor that can positively leap out.”

However tv reporting isn’t solely about nailing the vibe. It’s additionally about giving good prompter. “Studying the prompter: more durable than it seems to be,” says Hayes. “The factor I at all times say about prompter is it is comparatively straightforward to do passively properly, and really onerous to do very properly.”

Kerry, who repeatedly flubs the phrases “Missouri State Police,” may study a factor or two from some knowledgeable prompter readers—a class by which Hayes wouldn’t essentially embrace himself. “To get from B, B-minus to A-plus is 10 years,” he says. “Lester Holt, as an example, is way, much better, technically. He’s like an A-plus. He’s technically good.”

Promoting a information story vocally is a big a part of the equation, however so is bodily presence. Kerry and her wandering palms appear deeply uncomfortable in entrance of the digital camera—one other signal that she was not prepared for prime time. “I assumed the arm factor was actually humorous. Like, what do you do together with your physique?” says Hayes. “The toughest factor to be on TV is pure…all of the technical stuff you’ll be able to type of study later.” After all, that is simpler mentioned than executed. 

Though Kerry fails in every of the three classes he outlines, Hayes has some compassion for the fictional aspiring journalist, partially as a result of he by no means needed to make an audition tape himself. “It’s such a bizarre job,” he says. “I really consider that with sufficient reps, mainly anybody may be good on TV.”  With out naming names, Hayes factors to profession athletes who transition to TV commentary. “After sufficient time, they’re nice, as a result of what occurs is that they have nice personalities or they’re fascinating, charismatic. It simply takes some time to be your self, after which as soon as they’re themselves, it’s nice.”

Whereas Kerry made too many errors to earn a everlasting job at ATN, Hayes has discovered to not sweat the small stuff when he fumbles behind the desk. “It’s like sports activities,” he says. “I positively am good for a number of dangerous swings an evening. Forty-four minutes, and I’m in all probability studying prompter for…I don’t know, possibly 18 of that. So within the 18 minutes, are there a number of slipups each evening? Yeah, in all probability.” 

To attenuate errors, Hayes has one rule of thumb: “Sluggish your self down. That is the largest factor. Dashing is the satan’s work.

 That being mentioned, would Hayes give Kerry a second probability behind the desk after watching that tape? “Properly, no,” he says with fun. “I in all probability wouldn’t.” 

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