Attempting Not To Cough In The ABC Studio Audience

Hey! I’m gonna be on TV!

If you didn’t read my little catch-up post a few weeks ago, this might be news to you. But I went to Sydney to see Paul Kelly, Ziggy Ramo and Eves Karydas in late April. The tickets were free because we applied to be invited and The ABC decided we were cool enough.

There’s a music show that’s filmed in the ABC studio in Sydney – it’s basically Triple J but televised. It’s called The Set. They generally get three Aussie musicians to perform a few songs, and there’s an interview segment. The premise is that it’s a house-party setting as if Paul Kelly casually came to house parties to perform. But to fulfil the illusion, they need ‘party-goers’. That’s where we come in.

I’ve seen The Set before, but for some reason, I expected it to be a concert that happens to be filmed basically – but no. My best friend and I ended up being seated for most of the filming process, which sounds like it would suck, except that we were literal side-stage two meters from the action. The place where they sat us means that we’ll probably end up in most of the shots. It was a tiny bit intimidating, but eye contact with media people who you look up to is quite invigorating.

Every time I have a conversation with someone about my promising career as a journalist, they assume I mean that I want to be on TV. This has never been the case; I’ve sworn black and blue that I’d never be on TV by choice. I stand by that statement out of stubbornness. But just between you and I, it was actually exciting to see how TV production works.

We saw half the performances that’ll be aired more than once because sometimes the artist’s messed up and had to re-film it. We were told to clap a million times, which was great for me because I was quite sick that night and I needed to cough without ruining the whole take.

I really hope they didn’t get footage of me coughing that could be held against me, but I swear I tested negative to COVID the day before; it was just a simple cold. They gave us pretty clear instructions, which is good because we had no idea what we’d signed up for. Being casual is more challenging than it should be when there’s a big chunky TV camera flying around the room.

The episode airs tomorrow, Saturday, at 8 pm. Suppose you wanted to check whether or not I pulled a face on National Television, because I was holding in a cough or trying not to inappropriately laugh when someone was crying. In that case, you could watch along on ABC or iView. I’ll attach the episode to this blog post when it’s out.