Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lights, camera, action for Dr. Joshua Jakum

Pediatrician Dr. Joshua Jakum looked calm and cool as he was fitted for a microphone on the set of WUSA9 Monday morning. Although more than a little sleep-deprived (He had 13 babies to visit in the Family Birthing Center on Saturday.), he rose early to beat the D.C. traffic and arrived ready for his television debut.

Dr. Jakum was interviewed by Channel 9’sAndrea Roane about how parents can prepare their children for the transition to school in September.

The newscast itself was like a well-choreographed dance, with anchor newscasters, traffic reporter and weather girl (woman) moving smoothly from one set to another. All four would be at the main news desk, then, during a break the weather woman would stride to the wide blank screen where she would recite the weather with a dazzling smile, all the time pointing gracefully to where Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland should be. At the same time Mike Walter would make his way to the “intimate interview” set, arranged with two chairs and a coffee table.

Hundreds of lights dotted the ceiling of the ballroom-sized room. Cameras moved like seven-foot robots across the floor, shifting as easily as the newscasters from set to set. There were no visible cameramen; the machines moved by remote.

Dr. Jakum waited on the living room set, with children’s backpacks lined up in front of the coffee table and examples of healthy snacks sitting on top.

When the camera turned his way, Dr. Jakum responded like a pro, answering questions and offering tips on how to ease the back to school rush. He fielded queries about the importance of getting enough sleep (He’s an expert.), hydration for young athletes, immunizations, hearing and vision tests, and healthy breakfast and snack foods.

The question of too-heavy backpacks also came up, although Dr. Jakum insists that it’s not a big worry. He said, “Parents almost never ask us about that. Schools have rules about backpacks so they don’t get too heavy.”

Dr. Jakum represented himself and Fauquier Hospital well – he was sincere, personable and knowledgeable.
After the cameras shifted back to the main news desk and Dr. Jakum moved out from under the lights, he was asked, “How did it feel?”

He smiled broadly and said, “My heart rate went up a little as we were getting ready to start, but I took a deep breath and then I felt fine.”

The whole Hollywood experience only lasted about three minutes, and felt like a lot less, said Dr. Jakum. “That was quick!”

On the ride back to Warrenton, Dr. Jakum relaxed and talked to his office about when he’d be able to see patients.

He also fielded calls from his fan club. His wife and kids, apparently, loved the broadcast.

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