Saturday, May 12, 2007

"yes, folks, i am a trained professional"

flubbing on the air, while not necessarily inevitable, does happen. shortly after i moved to columbia, a coworker at the classic rock station, whom i looked up to (and still do, for that matter), made me feel infinitely better about myself and my skills.

the single most intimidating moment i've found while on the air is always that first time you turn on the microphone on a new (to you, at least) radio station. while i've gotten better with this over time, i can still vividly recall my first moments on the classic rock station.

i was sitting in the studio wth the aforementioned dj, and he turned the microphone on, pointed at me, and the first words out of my mouth were "hello columbia".

oh yes- i believe the fan club was started shortly thereafter. it was deep, it was profound, and it was way too perky for a classic rock station, i'm sure.

i have no clue what i said after that, but i'm sure the microphone was turned off (mercifully) very shortly thereafter.

anyway, back to the flub that wasn't mine:

maybe a month or two after i started working at the station, i was sitting in the drive thru at mc donald's, waiting to see how badly they could screw up my order, (let the records show that i'm a proud stockholder, though), listening to my favorite dj do his show, and suddenly, i was treated to a sort of remix of _______________ (insert random classic rock song, because i sure as heck don't remember what was playing six and a half years later), mixed with a phone call that he was recording for later use.

because of the delicate wirings of most control rooms, this sort of thing happens more often than one might think....well, assuming that the radio show isn't pre-recorded, which sadly, is also happening more often than one might think.

i told him later that i felt a little better knowing that, even after 20 years in the business, even he still makes mistakes. he just sort of shrugged it off and while he didn't verbalize it, i think his main view on the situation was something to the effect of "shit happens".

however, since my klutziness is not only physical, i managed to come up with an on-air flub as yet unrivaled.

at the classic rock station, we played our music on cds. we had several cd players, so you'd load in your next couple of cds, cue up the right track, and then you'd simply press a button when the time came to play the song. (for the record, i don't think anyone does this anymore.)

you know how your most embarrassing moments are not only etched in your memory, but they're in slow motion? this is the most slow-mo moment i have.

i was in the studio, chatting with both my boss and my boyfriend at the time (not the brightest spot on my dating resume, but he did give me a good excuse to buy my first (and only) formal dress). what we were talking about is of no real consequence, but i paused long enough to reach over and hit the button to set off the guns n'roses song i had cued up- a live version of "patience". i did it with finesse. i did it with flair. i did it in one smooth movement, with a little pirouette at the end.

unfortunately, i'd been too absorbed in the conversation to bother to double check to make sure the right song was cued up. so, instead of listening to axl rose whistle the intro to "patience", my listeners were treated to "hey all you f*n guns n f*n roses fans......"

i'm told the look on my face was priceless.

thank goodness that
~this was before the fcc crackdown and
~my boss had wound up in a similar situation years before and was therefore sympathetic.

anyway, i mention all this not because i'm too lazy to put it onto a postcard for postsecret, but because i just walked into the studio to find a music bed started roughly 30 seconds before i entered the room.

yes, folks, i am a trained professional.

1 comment:

Stef said...

I, too, am a trained professional, and my first real screw up on the air was not playing a profanity laced G'n'R song (since I worked at a country station), but the first time I tried to do a live station ID, and messed up the name of the town where the transmitter was located-- I called it "Big Cabin" when it was actually "Lost Cabin". I did this every hour for four hours, and finally the GM comes in and gently tells me I'd been getting it wrong for my entire airshift. I wanted to die! From that day until the day I left, I wrote "Lost Cabin" on an index card and propped it up on the board. When I left, I took it with me and tore it up into a million tiny pieces...