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Ace McKay “The Evolution of a Great Program Director”

The transition from acting to directing is a well-trodden path in the film industry, with many actors successfully making the leap to becoming acclaimed directors; Orson Wells, Charlie Chaplin, Quentin Tarantino just to name a few. This shift often brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the director’s chair. Actors, having spent years on set and immersed in the craft of storytelling, possess an innate understanding of filmmaking.


When actors become directors, they bring a deep understanding of character development to their projects. Having inhabited various roles, they excel in authentic and nuanced performances from their cast. This ability to connect with actors on a personal and artistic level enhances the overall quality of the film.


Moreover, actors-turned-directors often display a keen visual sensibility. Having been in front of the camera, they comprehend the impact of framing, lighting, and composition on storytelling. This visual literacy allows them to craft compelling narratives with a distinct cinematic flair.


At the same time, the rise of hosts into program directors in the realm of radio is equally parallel. Hosting a show involves a unique set of skills, from engaging with an audience to navigating unscripted moments. Their understanding of transparency and allowing themselves to BE themselves puts them in the Program Director training chair with ease. Their background in shows no matter the daypart, equips hosts with a valuable skill set when transitioning to program directing.


Hosts turn program directors leverage their experience in creating compelling content that resonates with the audience. They understand the importance of pacing, timing, and maintaining audience engagement, crucial elements for successful radio programming. In addition, teach ability as a talent gives the host a great view to learn from their current program directors, especially if you are coaching them regularly which sets up leadership to be the next great PD.


Lastly, hosts bring a natural charisma and comfort in front of the microphone, which can translate into dynamic and engaging programming and report with their team. Their ability to connect with diverse audiences positions them well to curate content that appeals to a broad viewership.


Whether it is actors directing films or hosts steering radio, these transitions highlight the evolving landscape of entertainment and for us in ministry. The crossover from one role to another enriches the industry by infusing fresh perspectives and skill sets, ultimately contributing to the creation of captivating and innovative content.


Ace is a producer, host and EWTN Affiliate Show Coach and Branding for EWTN Radio & co-host of the podcast Roxanne & Ace UNLIMITED.  Ace can be reached at acemckay@gmail.com 

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