Last week we learned who would move on in the process to find a new P. A. announcer for Bragg Memorial Stadium at Florida A&M University. This week, that list gets narrowed down even more as we get closer to the start of football season for the Rattlers. SportsAnnouncing.com: The New Voice of Bragg Part
Last week we learned who would move on in the process to find a new P. A. announcer for Bragg Memorial Stadium at Florida A&M University. This week, that list gets narrowed down even more as we get closer to the start of football season for the Rattlers.
SportsAnnouncing.com: The New Voice of Bragg Part 1 Review
You can find part two at the end of this post or both videos in the videos section of SportsAnnouncing.com.
Episode two starts at the Jake Gaither House so the contestants could understand better the history of FAMU football. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places and a sight to see for true football fans.
To get from 11 down to the final three, the contestants were taken to the pressbox at Bragg Memorial Stadium where they were given the task to read a welcome, another announcement and ad lib in game situations.
The announcers were put into a situation in which they don’t have rosters in front of them. When they look for name/help from the spotter that isn’t recognized in the reviews because typically you have a spotter to assist. However it also shows the judges how prepared you are going into the audition.
Edwin Sylvain is the first we see on the microphone. The budding voice-over artist performed a touchdown, sack, tackle and another touchdown call along with a P. A. announcement. He was very choppy with his calls and didn’t flow as well through the P. A. announcement as we’d hoped after hearing his audition last week.
Charles Trahan came with some effort and played off the hissing sound of the S’s in several names including the nickname of the school. He flowed well through the announcements that included a touchdown call, sack, interception and point after touchdown. His third down call gave some drama to what could be a big moment in the game. The hisses give us the first look at someone coming up with a “signature” sound.
Sterling Stevenson had a welcome, touchdown call, sack, field goal, big hit, and another touchdown call. One thing that we noticed immediately was how he ended nearly every name he said on a high note similar to the way you speak when you’re listing items. It felt like you were waiting for something more to what he said. It’s similar to wanting to list three people on a tackle but you’re only able to announce the first two and leave people hanging for the third. The big hit, “bring in the pain, big Keenan Anderson” we liked, but could his signature be enough?
Earl Rickman came in not sure of what was going to happen. He had a presentation and delivered it well. He also called a touchdown, sack, field goal, and another touchdown. He brought something different to the table than what we’ve seen so far. His delivery came with an edge that said, “you’re in our house”.
Luis Perez got on the mic with an immediate touchdown call and a real good roll of the “r” to emphasize “Rattlers”. He also had a sack call, field goal, big hit, and a return for touchdown with the rolling of the “r” again. His “reservations for six” signature could be something that moves him on or holds him back. It sounded great the first time, but a little forced the second time. Practice will make this sound better. One thing to note, was there was some over annunciation with some pauses in his speech such as “touchdown-uh”, “Devin-uh”, and “good-uh”.
Clarence Pearson came on with a loud “wooo” that could scare some fans who are not expecting it, but could wind up being a fun signature with the fans. He introduced himself and stumbled a little during his live audition and you could hear how nervous he was. Not sure if the “in your” was supposed to be announced three times, but it seemed to work in that situation. The “wooo” every time though? His calls though were more screaming into the mic and adding the extra information is more for radio than it is for in-stadium P. A.
Jacquell Lawson gets on the microphone and delivers a good opening with proper inflection, a great first impression. Then it comes to game calls including touchdown, sack, field goal, bit hit, catch with touchdown and announcement. One thing that becomes apparent is that she is doing play-by-play, calling the play as it is happening and P. A. announcing is completely different. While she does a good job of pace–could go a little slower–and inflection, she also brings too much information and mentioning “Bragg” several times during calls when the only people that are going to hear it are at the game separates her into the broadcaster category. The easy solutions are to remember to wait until the play is over to recap the play and not to add information that the fans can already see.
Kofi Hemmingway comes out with a terrific pace and tempo to the introduction. Would have liked to have heard him give a little more punch to “FAMU Rattlers” at the end of the open. That’s a good time to help energize the crowd as it’s part of a big opening to start the show. Touchdown, sack, field goal, big hit, third down, and return for touchdown each included a make noise or some kind of cheer. In the overall game play, the fans are already making noise and don’t need to be encouraged on every play to cheer, except maybe for third down until the crowd catches on. He got a little too much into cheering, and not enough into delivering information. This is something else that can be altered easily and he has a very strong voice to be an announcer, just needs some seasoning.
Cedric Foster brought some passion to his open along with other announcements. Including the sack, field goal, big hit, third down call. He was having fun and looking to the producer at the end of it you could tell by the look in his eyes he wants it.
Curtis Ford III wowed right away. He could have punched Rattlers at the end of the opening a little more, but did a terrific job on the mic. Touchdown call was great, the sack call good, field goal, big hit, return-for-touchdown, and third down call. He tailed at the end of the third down announcement however but otherwise did an excellent job with this audition. The field goal announcement came over as it was kicked and falls more on the broadcaster side of the microphone than the P. A. announcer, but is something that will come with experience and is an easy change.
Darryl Felton has great inflection, however is too fast on the mic. He needs to slow his pace to better handle the echo in the stadium. This can be learned with experience. Touchdown, point after touchdown, third down (tailed), and return for touchdown were all announced with a lot of passion and that’s important for an announcer. His speed, he needs to slow down, but can come with practice.
What we noticed:
Some things we noticed were that none of the applicants had a signature touchdown call. The return for touchdown and the touchdown were all different. Calling a touchdown should sound the same, no matter how it happens so the fans know what to expect and can cheer along.
Some of the applicants were better suited for broadcasting rather than P. A. announcing. There are major differences between the two and if you’ve been a broadcaster and practiced for a long time as a broadcaster, it can be tough to make the transition to P. A. There are a lot of talented people who can do both, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility, but broadcasters need to go at a slower pace and inflect more of their speech.
A few of the applicants looked nervous and while a live audition can be scary, the thing to remember is to relax on the microphone and do what you do. Don’t try to go over the top and impress if it isn’t you. The microphone will emphasize the real parts of you and that’s what judges want to hear. Remember, the winner of all audition contests like this is going to be the voice of that team. The judges are looking for that voice, not just someone to win a contest.
Try to remember when auditioning, “it’s a microphone just like the one where I’ve been announcing”. This will help you relax. If it looks like a fancier microphone, understand that the microphone in front of you could have just as easily been sent to a high school or even a radio station. There are announcers who have been announcing for decades who still get nervous before announcing. That’s common. The best can take those nerves and turn it into energy for their performance.
The final three
As we get toward the end, we learn the final three are going to be:
Curtis Ford, Jacquell Lawson, and Kofi Hemmingway. This is going to be a fun final to view as each of the three brings a unique style to the microphone.