February 3, 2009

Broadway and Tony Award Winning Performer Sarah Jones

It amazing what you can find on the Internet. BJ Murphy, former morning host in Dallas sent me a request on facebook, I checked out his facebook page, website and then a couple of other blogs posted on his site and eventually I ended up on Sarah Jones' website and a PRI (Public Radio International) interview about Sounding Black or "blaccent" and African American speech patterns. You know we can turn it on and off when we need to...

I found this interesting because most PD's at radio stations are only interested in hiring talent that can exude the "the urban lifestyle." With that comes a certain distinguishable speech pattern that says "This is yo' boy" or "Ya gurl" on the station that is killing you with Hip Hop and R&B.

However this lingo plays into Black stereotypes, that in all honesty prevents most young urban radio talent from developing into a unique "on-air" personality rather than becoming a replaceable clone. I don't blame the jocks, but corporate media that dictates what a DJ on an urban radio should sound like and limits the amount of time between breaks.

After watching these clips, I thought wow, amazing, if comedians and washed up R&B singers can get a radio job, then why not a Broadway stage actor. Also, I thought about how perceptions of people are shaped by the way they speak.




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