An Open Letter To Fellow Radio DJs
It's a career so many of the greats have had, it's a job that many people aspire to have, and it's a lifestyle that I am so damn lucky lead.
How old were you when you realized this was what you wanted to do?
For me, I had the "spark" when I was about five years old and thought the world of our favorite local station's DJ. Then, that spark grew a bit more in high school when I got my driver's license and would listen to a show that I thought "how cool would it be to work for them?"
Who would have thought, as a journalism student in my college years, that "how cool would it be" turned into "holy s***, I'm here" when I got to work for the Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning Show. I was there for about three years when I realized it's what I wanted to do the rest of my life and laid the groundwork for what ultimately led me here to WMMQ.
Having a foundation with those guys really gave me the skills to not only have a cohesive, chemistry-filled show with my morning show partner but also how to interact with listeners.
It's tough being the kind of person who wears their heart on their sleeve but also having to put on a kind of "No B.S." mask.
There is a lot that goes into our jobs, a lot more than just knowing music and talking into a microphone.
Joey once said something that really stuck with me and is really the epitome of what we do. He said, "If you're making it look easy, you're doing it right." Basically means if everyone else THINKS they could do your job better than you, you're making it look easy.
Of course there are exceptions to that but at a time where people are critical of the media, outspoken about their opinions and don't mind sharing them with you and the world, I don't know about you but it takes a toll on me.
I can deal with criticism, it's often constructive and has helped me grow as a broadcaster. However, it's just pure nastiness that really drags me down.
This year has been a tough one for us in radio. We have to be informative, keep the people in the loop on what is going on but also be able to be a bit of an "escape" from the mess that's surrounded us. It's a tough line to walk and I can't explain how unbelievably proud I am of all of us in the radio community for making it this far.
There are a lot of things I have learned throughout the start of my hopefully enduring career in radio but one of the biggest things I've learned that I share with all of you, you don't have to always leave it all out on the board. Of course, you always want to give 100% but sometimes you have to analyze what exactly that 100% is for you day by day. Sometimes you just have to give everything you can and that should be enough.
We are human beings and while our careers make us feel like superheroes, they make us feel invincible...that doesn't mean we can't feel.
It's okay to be exhausted, it's okay to be frustrated, it's okay to be disappointed, it's okay to feel. Just keep it real with your audience, someone will relate!
However, much like many things in radio, there is a fine line for everything.
You have to keep in mind and accept that sometimes, people don't deserve to know you and your heart as much as you want to share it with them so make sure you know your limits so as to not open yourself up to utter disappointment.
All in all, we have all made it so far from the early days and it is only up from here! Consistently proving those people who say "radio is dead" wrong!
Here's a look at a few things radio has taught me this past year...like how to do it from home!