Training, interviews, voice testing, job shadowing and a written test later and the time had arrived. I can still clearly remember it as though it were only the other day. My first ever on air radio shift. It was a Monday night 11:00 pm, campus was cold, dark and windy – and I had to walk from where I was dropped off all the way to the studio. It sounds like the beginning of a fiction story, but this is definitely true.
A lot of effort goes in to finding the right candidates to be a presenter. 250 applicants applied for about 36 spots and it was now time to prove that I and my two colleagues had what it took to be in the radio industry. So now there is 3 of us (and we had only briefly met once beforehand) sitting nervously, making final adjustments to our script (called a showclock) before we went live at midnight. We were also the first ‘rookies’ to take to the stage and we knew that all our bosses would be listening and that thought alone made me sick.
The Graveyard Experience was our show. It lasted for 3 hours, between midnight – 3:00 am on Tuesday mornings. I would be dropped off an hour before the show, and then sleep over on the communal couch at the station because trying to get a lift home at 3 in the morning was a bit tricky. Nevertheless, this was a small sacrifice I was prepared to make. I had to make sure I had enough food and money to buy the strongest latte for the following day, otherwise I would have been a walking zombie. Bringing a change of clothes was not easy to come about because having to lug around an extra bag was definitely not at the top of the agenda. Unhygienic, gross or lazy call it what you like, but having to walk around campus looking like you’re moving into a hotel with all the bags was not working with me.
(This is the trio-team on our first shift before going live)
Credit is owed to some (hence some) of my friends who stayed up for a couple of the shows to listen and support us during a week night! They would interact with us during the show by sending tweets or I would ask someone prior to the show if they could phone in so we sounded professional! It was good fun, until we got ourselves into the situation of trying to remember how to use some of the equipment, or even worse – forgetting that the microphone is on (a typical rookie mistake).
This is the start of a journey that has led to many opportunities thus far and it is only just the beginning.
(our first appearance and tweet as a team)