Having a radio show is a exactly like doing stand up comedy. There’s an audience for both but with stand up you get instant gratification. In radio, you have to wait for the ratings book to come out to see if you’re doing well. Come to think about it, radio and stand up are totally different.
Making a transition from stand up to radio is harder than it seems, at least in the beginning. When you do a bit on radio, you really don’t know how it went over unless the phone starts ringing off the hook. Even then, you really don’t know how well you’re doing until the ratings come out.
If they’re really bad you might get a second chance but it’s likely you’ll get canned. Management likes to fire on air talent on Friday so they can start fresh with a new team on Monday. Sometimes you’ll get fired because the station decided to change formats and they don’t think you’ll be a good fit.
But it’s a lot of fun doing a show if you’re given some leeway to do what you want. Once my partner on the show mentioned on-air that I had brought my keyboard in and asked me to play some music. I reluctantly agreed so we played a beautiful piano piece off of a CD. The calls flooded in asking for more.
We played three altogether. One listener called me and told me I was ‘full of crap’ and knew I was playing a CD. I confessed to him off-air of course. He thought it was funny. But…. Someone called in and seriously said that she would be getting married soon and wanted me to play the piano at her wedding. Yikes!
I hadn’t thought about that possibility. If I said no I would lose a listener. If I told the truth she might feel embarrassed and stop listening too. There was only one thing to do. Lie like OJ Simpson. I concocted a story about why I couldn’t play in public and never did it again. That was a close call but it was great fun!
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