Changing The Radio Landscape

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I am writing this in a less than ideal environment, but one I am nonetheless thankful for.  I have a bedroom in a two bedroom apartment, staying with a friends mother.  It beats spending the night in my van, especially when you are 5’11” and and can never seem to get totally comfortable for the night, even if it’s in the parking lot of WalMart.  Thankfully I only did that for two days out of a week.  Thanks to the ones who were able to help.

Now that I have all this free time on my hands and don’t have to worry about where I will sleep, I can turn my attention to the pair of projects that take up my time, that are part of my future.  Both are intertwined.

My job hunting still continues, seven months later.  People still get on my case about leaving my last job, but unless they know ALL the details, which they don’t, then they need to shut their mouths.  Like yesterday.  Seriously, it’s lame.  Stop getting up on your soapbox.

Now, the two projects are job hunting and the radio show.  I took a look at the Indeed app on my phone today.  Since November, I have sent applications out for almost 600 jobs.  600 JOBS.  Only several interviews (which is consistent with my ratio of job applications to interviews from past job hunting experiences).  I’ve applied for everything.  Some would be great careers with very good pay and growth potential.  But when you get told no so many times, month after month, it affects you and your ability to present yourself in a positive light during the interview.  Now, I know there are some people out there who say you can’t let the past bother you, and will tell you about interview tips, but guess what?  The people that want to help you with your interview skills are the ones who have no idea what it is like to fail on that large of a scale, to job hunt with zero success for months.  They have no idea.  I do not believe you can help somebody navigate through failure from your success.  You need to fail on their same level to understand.

Even two minimum wage jobs where I had a connection get me in the door didn’t work out.  Although one of those jobs did say that they were impressed by my interview.  Yeah, impressed, but not enough to give somebody a chance who desperately needs one.

Why were they impressed?  Would it have something to do with my living situation being somewhat stabilized?  Yes.  But a bigger piece of that relates to being given a chance with the upcoming radio show.  Again, because most of you haven’t failed on the scale that I have, you have no clue how uplifting this is for me right now.  It’s beyond huge.

I have been told no over 600 times during this job search.  If you include the applications sent from places other than Indeed, it’s closer to the 650 – 675 range.  The cover letters are getting better to write, and the interviews are becoming more positive and direct.  People are starting to understand my situation while seeing the value I can create for their company.  It’s only a matter of time.

Anyhow, back to the focal point of this particular post.

The show has given me the shot in the arm that was desperately needed.  Let me be clear.  I believe I’m the only one that can do this the right way.  Nobody else would go to the lengths I am to make this work.  Guaranteed.  Why?  Well, for starters, I am a how and a why guy, not one that can sit around and b.s. with the guys.  That’s a waste of my time.  I need to be engaged in relevant conversation, you know?

This show will not be guys on the radio late night with loose language, laughing and being stupid.  Uh, with the internet now, this show goes live all over the world.  There is no room to be stupid or trying to show people how smart I am.  This is about showcasing the local comedy scene and giving the audience an appreciation for the art of stand up comedy.  Let’s face it, the media in this city do an absolutely horrible, pathetic, sad job in covering it.  Stand-up comedy is the only local art form that gets just about zero coverage, maybe once every six months if we are lucky.  That will change with this show.

It’s funny how I am the outlier of the Saskatoon comedy scene.  Shows others have had the opportunity to do outside of the open mics, they have had help from other local comics.  Which local comics have helped me?  Uh, none.  Which local comics have had me on shows that aren’t open mic or out of town shows?  Uh, none.  How did I get the pro comedy club gigs here and in Regina?  Uh, by myself.

Comedians who come on the show will not be there to goof off and be funny most of the night.  Also, even though the time slot is after midnight, no swearing or cursing will be tolerated by me, as the shows host.  If you are a comic who is just starting out and nothing but disgusting material comes out of your mouth, I have zero interest in you as a guest.  Once you decide to turn your brain on, actually work at your craft and come up with clean material, then you might catch my interest, but every time you open your mouth my ears automatically tune you out.  Just a hint.  Don’t worry, there isn’t just one comic like that either.

So, you need to have a compelling story.  A comedian should be able to tell me about their life, their comedy, the nuts and bolts of their comedy, how comedy and life intersect and how doing comedy can be difficult in times of personal struggle.  How do you write or perform when you have mental illness or a disability that limits what you can do?

The instant I get a guest confirmed to do the show, I start a document and write out their show, writing down questions, doing research.  In some cases, I have written ten pages of questions (double spaced) for some guests.  Does that mean the show will run over the half hour time slot allotted to us?  Yes!  Is that okay?  Yes!

I can speak a bit more freely about the show because its start date is imminent.  There is one major hurdle to overcome before we can get the show to air.  To the best of my knowledge, nobody has done a show where they interview guests live via the phone.  So, those interviews need to be pre-recorded.  That’s no problem, especially given that with the shows start time, most might not be awake at that time to do a live interview.  However, I believe we are unable to do live interviews with guests that aren’t live in studio, so we have to figure out the best way to approach this while preserving the audio quality that sounds good when put to the airwaves.  Does that make sense?

Is it a bit frustrating and challenging to have to keep waiting for the show to begin?  Absolutely.  But at the same time, there is additional training that needs to be undertaken, training that will take collaboration and time to figure out.  I want to make sure everything is lined up and ready to go, because once the show is launched, I need to be moving forward.  But this time allows me to get things just right, to be as detailed and as prepared as I need to be in order to make this work.

I’m the only one that can do this the way it needs to be done.  I’m the only one who isn’t scared to step out on a bigger stage than anyone has done in local comedy.  I’m ready to be the voice to help promote our local acts.  However, this show is a two way street.  It cannot be a success just because of my efforts.  The other local comedians need to pitch in and do their share to make it work.  After they hear the first episode, I am confident they will come on board.

Everything I have gone through, all the delays, the heartaches, the disappointments, the loneliness, the betrayals, the bullying, being left out, all that was for a reason.  It was meant to prepare me for the biggest stage, to help me cultivate the right attitude in order to help propel the local comedy scene.  There aren’t many things in life I am confident about.  Maybe karaoke, gardening, helping others and my radio show.

Yes, my job hunting is frustrating and discouraging, but talk to me about my radio show and suddenly my demeanour changes.  I speak confidently, expecting success.  I have the experience, the creativity, and the connections to pull this off.

In the words of Hans & Franz from Saturday Night Live…..

hear me now, and believe me later



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