There was an amateur kickboxing event organized by World Kickboxing Federation Philippines and Savate Philippines, the latter of which I’m a part of (to some extent). I got assigned as a host and fight announcer, which meant I had to put on proper human clothes and drink some ginger tea to prepare my voice to do something like a Bruce Buffer impression in the Hybrid Manila gym cage. This vlog details what happened during that event from my perspective.
The year before, I was a participant in the fights, getting my ass beaten into a pulp. I didn’t get knocked out, but I was indeed made to look like a trash newb in kickboxing. After that, I opted to not join any more fights since I already had my turn and decided that it wasn’t for me. This fight announcer thing is more up my alley, and it seems I may have a bit of a knack for it.
Things I Did Well
The voice held up alright and I wasn’t really hoarse the next day, despite all that shouting into the mic. Perhaps the years of screwing around with videos and podcasts no one really viewed or listened to paid off in some way; it was a good bit of practice. Not having drunk anything cold during the course of the event helped as well as I didn’t want my throat to seize up or anything else that may compromise my voice.
Perhaps I did some okay ad-libbing with the parts wherein I had to improvise, like the cosplay contest and the subsequent wrestling segment. Then again, as you’d know from looking around in this blog, I’m into those things, so it wasn’t like I couldn’t come up with anything about them. I knew all the characters in that cosplay contest, and I’m a pro wrestling fan (who happened to have done some practice with pro wrestling commentary before).
The look was also an important part, and I’m a guy who’s usually seen in a t-shirt and denim shorts. I went with an all-black getup since I’m a big fan of the late great standup comedian Bill Hicks, who wore roughly the same thing in a lot of his shows. I didn’t have a belt though, which meant I foregone a tie as well. Perhaps it was for the best since a tie would have just made it a bit too silly for me.
Things I Learned
As with any event that takes a whole day, it did get tiring. I was walking back and forth in uncomfortable shoes, trying to get stuff done. I also pace around a lot when nervous, so that added to the soreness of my feet. By the time I got home, my feet was in a bad need of a reprieve. I definitely need to get something to make those shoes more comfortable and less blister-inducing.
It’s almost impossible to change or adjust things on the fly when the event is already ongoing. The best way to implement changes is to write them down. I had index cards to read from, which I knew was a standard practice for fight announcers; I’ve seen a bit of how Bruce Buffer uses them. Perhaps I can improve my method if I ever get another announcing gig.
When ad-libbing, it’s easy to get little things wrong, and you’ll hang onto those mistakes like you’re hanging off the edge of a cliff. These are normal, and they’re a good reason why hosts and announcers should use cards to guide them. Remember that the only difference between screwing around and science is writing things down.
Long pauses and awkward flow can really feel like time and space are distorting around you. The host dictates the energy level of the room, so there has to be some go-to tactics for keeping the audience entertained. I understand this more now since I’ve had to go through certain moments of falling flat on my face during the course of that event.
These are lessons I took from that experience, and maybe I can do this more if I’m not so lazy and scared about leaving the damn house in the first place.
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