I got to do something super cool yesterday.
Okay, every single day here in NYC is super cool, but yesterday deserves a breathy post because it was super cool on a several shots of caffeine.
You see, I got to be a “radio host” for a few minutes!
It’s really not a big deal because it’s not like my piece got broadcast on air—it was mostly for practice and experience—but for about 10 gorgeous minutes, I felt…like the coolest human being ever. I felt like Ira Glass.
If you don’t know who Ira Glass is, I’m weeping for you. He is just about one of the most awesome guys ever to walk the planet. I’m not one of those star-struck fans, I swear—I just really admire what he does, and how he got to where he is right now.
Usually new radio journalists take about a year to ease into their job. Glass, the man known for his brilliant story-telling, took eight years before he became a “competent” radio journalist. But the guy just didn’t give up. He listened to all the best radio hosts and then recorded and listened to himself over and over again. He just kept trying and trying to get better, even though he was the slowest of the bunch.
I think that’s incredible. As a newbie journalist myself who has to take in critique after critique, there are times when I doubt whether I’m in the right field at all. I wonder if I’m cut out for such a tough, competitive field, and I entertain the idea of just going straight to seminary school. But one thing I tell myself during these wavering moments is that I’m still young and I’ll get “there” soon enough.
That’s why I can’t imagine struggling with this for eight whole years! The fact that Glass wasn’t amazing right off the bat is encouraging for me—and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Anyway. I grew up never listening to radio. And whenever I think of radio, I think of old people huddling over a clunky radio having “fireside chats” with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Plus, radio isn’t writing, I thought. It’s an inferior medium to print journalism.
Of course I was wrong. I learned again in my radio class (taught by Joseph Slife, senior producer of World News Group’s radio program and former producer at the Associated Press) just how visceral, powerful and important sound is. Yet sound is something many of us take for granted. We watch the dazzling visuals in the movies but don’t pay attention to the details of sound effects. But take out the sound and you’re left with something seriously incomplete.
Those are just some of the many reflections I gained from my radio class. Yup, it was a very productive day.
We each had to produce a piece, and then we took turns entering the studio to record our piece.
It’s kind of strange with your headphones on because suddenly all you can hear is your own voice. And eh…I’m not sure I have a radio voice. But it’s a field I wouldn’t mind exploring, just because I love how intensely yet subtly radio stirs people’s imagination.
The day didn’t end here. After our radio session we all had a speech to attend and report at the Women’s National Republican Club. We all took the subway, dressed in heels and ties.
Joining the Women’s National Republican Club was SO DARN COOL!!! You walk out of the elevator and you’re greeted by a grand portrait of Ronald Reagan. And then you are led to this gorgeous room with ornate armchairs, fine draperies and old-fashioned dressers.
I don’t have a political side (and just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we’re all Republicans), but it was just so cool to enter such an exclusive and distinguished setting. It was like straight out of the TV shows. Everyone here was just so…proper.
I tried to be proper too, but then I saw the food table. They laid out a fine selection of fruits, cheeses and crackers. Dude. You don’t walk into a room with free cheese and not load up.
Several times. I just can’t say no to cheese.
After the speech, stuffed with cheese and berries, a group of us decided to walk the 12 blocks back down. In heels. I was very impressed with myself because it was a new pair of shoes and I’ve never walked in heels over 2 inches before.
Yup. It was a very productive day.
I have so many more things to share. But in one summarized sentence: I’m having the time of my life.
Question of the Day: Do you listen to radio?