Ear Prompter Usage: From The Typical To The Bizarre

An ear prompter is a tiny wireless earpiece that allows a presenter, actor or performer to hear a director or other colleague’s words. Used in combination with a studio transmitter system, these earpieces are employed in a wide range of professional situations. Some of these you can likely guess, but others you would never imagine in a million years.

If you are an audio professional or a performer who is considering such an ear prompter, check out just some of the situations in which such a device can help:

5 Typical Ear Prompter Situations

1. TV broadcasts

For many years, presenters, interviewers and news readers wore wired earpieces, complete with curly and very visible bodyguard-style cables running down behind their ears. These days a great many professionals prefer to use a wireless earpiece. Aside from live broadcasts, in-ear receivers are also widely used in the making of ‘Candid Camera’ style prank shows.

2. Onstage

Perhaps the most typical ear prompter use case is onstage, when an actor uses an ear prompter as a safety net. If he forgets his words, a colleague at the side of the stage simply whispers his lines into a microphone for him to hear directly in his ear.

3. Film sets

Numerous Hollywood sound professionals carry a prompt receiver or two as part of their self-designed audio tool kits. These earpieces are used in a myriad of ways, not only for basic script prompting but director instructions and even sometimes specific music to help an actor ‘feel’ the emotion of a scene.

4. Music videos

Imagine a pop star is filming the video for their latest single in Times Square. In busy outdoor locations such as this, amplified sounds are often prohibited. So how can the artist hear the song they need to mime and dance to? An invisible receiver is the answer.

5. Keynotes & conferences

Annual General Meetings, keynote presentations and press briefings are all events at which a speaker, CEO or even a President can benefit from helpful in-ear assistance. This could involve the prompting of forgotten names or performance figures, stage directions, on-the-fly translations, or advice from a PR manager on how best to answer tricky reporter or investor questions.

4 Lesser Known Situations

1. Interrogations

Security staff or Police who have a suspect in custody and are carrying out an interrogation often use a wireless in-ear receiver to receive guidance or follow-up questions from a superior officer who is positioned behind a one-way mirror.

2. Magic acts

Ever wondered how the man in black on stage knew exactly what card that lady had? The colleague sat behind her with a hidden microphone and a direct line into the performer’s ear might know!

3. Date doctor

“Stop talking about yourself and ask her more about that!” Romance sometimes runs more smoothly if a nervous dater is receiving expert tips in their ear.

4. Medical multitasking

Although it may sound absurd, one European dentist who likes to play the stock market receives audio alerts from his online stock service, via his PC, while he works!

Source by Roland Tanner
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