So I covered my first ever official media conference yesterday. Before this, I entered in the capacity of “Journo student”, but last night I got an actual media pass so I entered as a professional not a student. It was soooo exciting, and even more intimidating then anything I have been through in my entire life.
I went there early; by early I mean about 40 mins earlier. I know that’s overkill but come on, it’s my first media conference. I wanna take my time reading the media kit, get a good spot that is front and centre enough but not exactly right smack up front. Have to be conspicuous but not too much. Does that make sense? Whatever, it makes sense to me. When I got there, the room wasn’t that pack but there were the cameramen setting up the equipments, other journos looking through the media pack, mingling, talking, ambushing the bar and I noticed a trend.
Everyone was wearing black. And I was wearing a deep blue dress. The fuck? I did not get the memo that said that when dressing for a media conference you’re supposed to channel your grandma’s funeral. Great, my first media conference as a “professional” and I stuck out like sore thumb. At least deep blue is still a corporate colour, right? Rigggght? Fuck.
So I sat there alone, legs crossed, reading the media kit and trying to look ever-so-professional while simultaneously scanning the room. It’s true what they say; the newsroom is still pretty much a boy’s club. The ratio was like 7 men to 1 woman when I noticed a guy looking at me. It was one of the cameramen. He smiled, I nodded. I figured he took that as his cue to come over and the first thing that came to my mind when he was making his way over was “Okay CD, network. Industry contact. Industry contact!...But you know be cool too.”
He sat down next to me and I was all like “Hey, I’m CD” pointed at the tag I’m wearing and then “I’m with *insert newspaper name*”. Then he said “I’m David, and I’m with you if you want me to” and then he looked at me up and down. You know the look men give you and you feel like you have been stripped naked even though you took 2 days to figure out what to wear and another 2 hours just to get ready. Yeah, that one. Because that came so unexpectedly I just stared at him with what I assumed a shocked expression on my face. I expect shit like this when I go to the clubs, not when I’m all professional at my first media conference. The fuck. We're professionals dammit! Then he just left with this huge grin on his face like his sole mission in life is to be a fuckwit douchebag have now been fulfilled.
So there you go, my first media conference and my first industry sexual harassment all rolled into one. Like a burrito.
The conference itself was amazing. You know all those time you watch movies where someone big and important hold a conference and the light bulbs are going off, someone typing furiously into something handheld and a shitload of journos scribbling relentlessly into their teeny tiny notepads and then when the Big Shot finished speaking, everyone kinda jumped out of their seats, waving their hands in the air, shouting their questions? You know? I was there! It was sooo exciting. Of course years down the road when I’m like 40 and jaded but still look 20 cause of all of the botox, all these will no doubt unfazed me. But I’m still in my 20s, and holy shit it was exciting! I got caught up in the moment and when everyone had their hands up, I wanted to do that too! I raised my hand despite not actually having anything to ask. I mean, what are the chances of me getting picked when there are so many hands up? And then I looked around and two things struck me:
1) I’m the only one wearing blue in a sea of black.
2) Everyone else was white. Except for me. You know in the movies, they have like the token black/Asian/Hispanic guy? I’m like the token Asian chick for the media conference.
Put two and two together, it’s safe to say that I stood out. I quickly put my hand down. Fuck that. If they did pick me, I probably be too nervous to actually pull anything out of my ass.
The media conference ended and there were still time left. I mean now is the time to mingle and network, right? So I wanted to do just that when I noticed two middle aged men looking at me. They might be journos, but I don’t know. I just don’t like the way they were looking at me. I mean, its not that I’m hot. I am never hot, just well presented. It’s just that I’m fresh meat. I’m young, I’m Asian (ooouu exotic) and I still have perky tits (bonus!). That’s all. I figure I keep the networking for another day and bailed out of there. I got my story and I’ve already reached my sexual harassment quota for the next millennium.
Enough excitement for the night.