First Person Singular: Quentin Addison

(Mike Morgan - For The Washington Post)
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

I can't think of that one shot I missed and wished I hadn't, but I can think of one I got and wished I didn't. It was at a Capitals game; we were playing Detroit. Hockey fans are, well, let's just say they bring a lot of excitement. I see these two women just standing up and cheering, really getting into it. That's what we look for, right? As soon as they were on the JumboTron, they turned to each other and they kissed -- heavily. My reaction was swift. I didn't have time to think, just to point the camera somewhere else. I've had people give me the middle finger so many times. It's live TV and they know it, so they mess with you. You have to stay one step ahead of the fans.

My thing is I go out in the arena early, and I just stand there and let my eyes start working. I'm looking for someone who looks a little interesting, who's dancing a little in her seat, who stands out -- but not too much. You want that person whose reaction to the camera is going to get that big "ooh" or "ahh" or big laugh. It's almost always kids and older couples. Fans love to see the older couples kiss and dance. You just know they're saying, "Ah, baby, look. That's so sweet. You better still kiss me when we're old."

Once you buy that ticket, you're saying, "Okay, I'm part of the public." And I tell everyone that nowhere in this arena is off-limits. It's a lot different than when I used to be an educator: I couldn't see what all the kids were doing. I catch people all the time being phony. They act like they don't want to be on camera and get all pouty when they're up on the screen. But when we switch to another shot, they don't realize we can still see them and they'll turn to their friend and say, "Did I look good? Did my hair look cute?" I do have one big worry, though. Every time I put a couple on the Kiss Cam, the same thought goes through my head: I really do hope that's his wife.

I grew up in D.C., 10 to 15 minutes from [Verizon Center], and it was bad. Just run-down, lots of crime and not a pretty sight. And to think it was less than a few blocks from the White House. I sometimes go outside and can still visualize exactly what it looked like before. I would like to put that image on the big screen.

Interview by Amanda Long

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