Diary of a Media Priest

Daily observations and tips for anyone who wants to reach out and change the world.


After 15 Years On TV, I Didn't Expect This...

diary of a media priest Feb 29, 2024
Behind the scenes of the first shooting day of the Dutch TV show 'Geloofsgesprek' (Conversations on Faith)

We had to hurry. It was getting dark. The cameraman zoomed in on my face as we stood by the Old Canal in the heart of the Dutch city of Utrecht. “This is a great shot, with the Dom Tower lit up in the background. Go for it!” He pressed record, the red light on the camera blinked… and I blanked.

“Uh, hold on, what was I supposed to say,” I muttered, reaching for the cheat sheet in my pocket. “Sorry, this is my first time doing this”. And it was: my first day of shooting for TV in the fall of 2009.

“Don’t worry, we’ll try again,” the cameraman said. “Ready… take 2!” We were still there half an hour later. It was pitch black now. “Take 26!” the cameraman groaned. At last, I nailed the presentation text. “It’s not live, you know. The viewers won’t see the bloopers,” the cameraman reassured me.

Last Saturday, the red light on the camera came on again. “You’re on, three… two… one,” the cameraman said. It was the first day of shooting a new TV-series in which people are interviewed about their faith, and I had been asked to be one of the hosts.

And even though I’ve been presenting TV shows for 15 years now, the same thing happened again as on that first day of shooting: I lost track of the questions I had prepared and I blanked during the interview. Was it nerves? Fatigue? The pressure of having a crew and editors watching? I don't know.

“Maybe you can ask these questions,” the editor-in-chief suggested, showing me her papers. The camera went on again and we resumed the conversation. It happened a few more times. I felt so clumsy.

But I remembered what my first cameraman said: “It’s not live, you know. The viewers won’t see the bloopers.” I’m counting on that. And thankfully, there’s still plenty of room to improve, because we have about 40 more interviews planned for this year!

Fr. Roderick Vonhögen

 PS: Dutch viewers can watch the new TV show every Sunday at 9.45 a.m. on NPO2, anyone else can see me live on YouTube each Monday at 6 pm CET (noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific) on YouTube.com/FatherRoderick.

Get access to my Diary

Sign up to read my daily adventures as a Media Priest!

You're safe with me. I'll never spam you or sell your contact info.