Monday, September 04, 2006

Not for the Money

There is a saying in radio, that many of us have regurgitated to our friends and family members time and time again...

"You don't do radio for money, you do it because you love it."

Then after the confused looks go away, you explain to them that even though radio pays very little, it's still something that once you get into it, you can't help but do it. I've met people that were in radio and then left never to return. Maybe their illusion of radio wasn't what the real world was like. I've met some that left and vowed never to come back, but just couldn't stay away. And I have met some like me. That are just so enamoured with radio, that it has gotten into their blood and they live and breathe radio.

Radio is not only my occupation, but my hobby. I'm an Amateur (Ham) Radio operator(*), as well as a broadcaster. And I've met a few of my fellow broadcasters on the ham radio airwaves too. What I want to try and explain is why I do what I do. To me it's a simple feeling, but try explaining the concept of love to someone that has never been in love. Suddenly, all the adjectives you have at your disposal, suck. So here is my clumsy attempt to explain it.

When I look at a radio, and listen, I see a world that my mind creates. I have the soundtrack provided to me, but my mind creates the pictures. Theatre of the mind. And from there, the rush comes over me. Look at a battery powered radio. No connections to the world yet a voice, comes out of the air. Listen to AM radio with a really good Hi Fi sound system. If it's a local station and the engineer is worth a damn it has a nice warm full body sound. Almost like chocolate. Smooth and rich. Yeah I know it sound crazy but try and imagine it. You can hear the announcer's voice, his breathing, his sighs, and the rustle of his copy as he reads into the microphone. The sound coming from thin air. Listen at night, with the lights out or very low. Sit back and relax and listen to the announcer's tones relax your mind and body. A voice in the night, talking to no one but you.

Now imagine you are that announcer. You know hundreds of people are listening to you, but you still talk like your talking to only one person. In your mind it could be your aunt, or girlfriend or wife or someone you know. But in the back of your mind you know people all over are listening to you. Waiting to hear what you have to say. Wondering what will come next. There is perhaps a small feeling of power there, but the rush, the feeling of being behind a mic and hitting that button and knowing people are listening to you. But you can't really grasp it. Oh sure, one or two people call you maybe. But what about those that are just listening? At any given time, I could have 5500 people listen to me read the weather. Can you imagine standing in front of 5500 people and reading the weather? Look them in the faces from a stage? How would you feel?

And that is why I do radio for the love of it, and not the money. If this made sense, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. If not, well... can you recommend a good shrink?

*Callsign: KB2MOB


Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you love it cause we love listening to you....

Monday, September 04, 2006 6:00:00 PM  

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