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YouTube: The quest to be seen on TV

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Most of us have certain goals, aspirations or ambitions throughout our lives.

At one time it seemed like the primary aims of many folks included such things as a good job, good health, wealth, good family and, as countless Miss America or Miss Universe contestants used to say, “world peace.”

Those appear to have shifted over the past few years and what most Americans seem to desire today more than any of those things is to somehow or in some way make an appearance on television.

We’re not speaking here about in a legitimate or professional manner, as in the role of an actor or performer.

No, this is different, and is only involves making an appearance of any sort, with the primary goal being to have friends or family see your mug on the tube.

There are lots of ways of going about this so let’s discuss a few. I’m only here to help.

Remember, this is only about results and being seen, so there is no need for concern with such details as ethics, propriety, truth, politeness or basic human decency.

One of the most effective means of making it on TV is fairly simple. Just buy yourself an emergency police scanner and head to where the action is.

Any place where people tend to gather is fair game, with the odds being better if the reason for the gathering is either controversial or tragic.

The obvious choices are at places like the scene of a shooting, a gruesome highway crash, a march or public demonstration of some sort, where the tornado just struck or if flooding has occurred.

Since TV news crews are also likely to be found at these places, it would be a good idea to arrive early before they get there to ensure yourself a good parking place.

Then, once you get on the scene, you might want to let word get out that you either witnessed the crash, knew the victim, heard the gunshots or saw/heard the tornado coming.

Again, keep in mind that truth, accuracy or basic decency is neither necessary nor required. We’re only interested in results — and results mean getting on TV at any cost.

Once the news people find out you are a potential interviewee, they will be on you like flies on a rump roast.

Sporting events provide some of the best possibilities of being seen on camera.

Appearing in stands dressed as a goofball with props like a helmet or a weapon or painting your body and sitting with the student body at college football game are among the best techniques to employ.

TV news cameramen are always on the lookout for a good crowd shot like this.

Just remember if go this route, make sure you get a spot on the front row or else your efforts could be wasted. After all, what’s the use in acting like a total idiot if no one gets to see you doing it?

Climbing in behind an interview taking place, whether sports-related or not, and waving wildly like they do on college gameday shows during football season is usually a surefire method of being seen, with the biggest drawback being the distance factor and that people might not recognize you from that far away.

At baseball games, some people are lucky enough to have box seats just a few rows up from the field behind home plate and in line with where cameras in the outfield stands are trained on the pitcher, batter and several fans in the stands behind them.

Usually these fans have made contact via cellphones with friends at home and are waving at the camera early in the game shortly after they realize they’re visible several rows up.

Even if you attempt all these methods and are still not able to make a TV appearance, you can try something else that, in some people’s eyes, is almost as good.

You can either have your dog, child, grandpa or someone else do something cute or unusual and send footage of the event to the TV station or you can get some shots of a beautiful sunset and send that.

These count almost as much as your making an actual appearance.

Keith Barnes is a reporter for the Johnstonian News. Email him at