Hoai Anh, who works for Viet Nam Television, is one of the most popular broadcasters in the country – despite the fact she speaks with a southern accent. She speaks to Ngoc Tran
about the trials and tribulations of working on live TV.
Inner Sanctum: You are the first broadcaster with a Southern Vietnamese accent on VTV news programmes, do you face any difficulties?
My difficulty is that we have to produce live programmes everyday. All VTV news is broadcast live, from the Good Morning news, the midday news, afternoon news, till the 7pm and late news. This puts a large pressure on us.
Sometimes we worry that we may lose our voice during the recording process.
Some days when I am not very healthy, I feel dazed while sitting in front of the camera and the floodlights come on. Forty-five minutes of live broadcasting can feel endless.
Sometimes we have to update with breaking news during the recording process. We might be handed a text without the time to prepare and read it first. At that time, the broadcaster has to do many things at the same time: read the text, glance at the coming sentences, and focus to avoid mistakes while reading.
Breaking news to be updated also means the order of the news programme is changed. The broadcaster, director, technicians and assistants, all of us have to deal with it skilfully and in time. We need to understand the others very well, with decisions given at once without much talk between us.
Inner Sanctum: What benefit does your Southern accent bring to you?
Actually, I was born in Ha Noi but moved to HCM City when I was a little girl, so I was absorbed with the Southern accent. Living in southern region, I believed my voice was normal. But since I came back to work in Ha Noi, perhaps my voice is a new thing so I was paid attention and liked by audiences.
Audiences' feedback, like an email of an overseas Vietnamese expressed his feelings when hearing familiar voice of Southern homeland, made me felt so happy and confident.
Inner Sanctum: You have more than seven years of experience, and won two awards as the Most Loved TV Master of Ceremony (MC) in 2009, with votes of both audiences and an appraising council, what do you think audiences love about you?
I am so happy and thank audiences and the council so much. The award reminded me about my first days working at VTV as an assistant.
In those first days when I stood on stage as an MC, I sometimes felt nervous, stiff and awkward. Sometimes I couldn't focus and was out of tune.
Today, receiving the two awards made me feel like all the hard work I'd put into my job was worthwhile. It was difficult, but I've learnt a lot.
To succeed in a job with lots of responsibility is hard, and to have people praise you for it is even more difficult.
Inner Sanctum: You have experienced many different posts as an MC, how do you bring into play your speaking ability in life?
Real life is different from the stage or film studios. In real life, I'm just a normal person, sometimes I feel less confident and embraced in finding words to say, but that isn't a bad thing, because in reality, in addition to confidence and hard work, sometimes we need to have a humble attitude.
Inner Sanctum: You are good-looking and intelligent on the stage, but can you describe how your family view you?
In my family, I am supported so much. That's why I feel uneasy because I can't devote as much time to my home as I would like. I always try my best and take advantage of my rare free time to spend it with family, for my loved ones to understand how I love them and need them.
Talking and spending time with family is so important in life. Humour is also very important, and I also try to go to the market, prepare meals and tidy up my house, though I can't do this regularly.
I can say that, except for my work time, I spend the rest of my time with my family and I feel happiest when I am at home with my husband and daughter.
I think the family is so important, it is not just a home, but a big classroom for the children.
Inner Sanctum: Have you got a principle for living?
Seeking perfection in my work, but trying to lead a simple life. — VNS