Thursday, November 15, 2007

The spot can be a good place to be

I'm currently in a class called "Writing News for Radio" where we spend an awful lot of time training our voice and writing styles for those 30 second news updates or whatever. I actually enjoy it a lot, it's high energy but fairly relaxed... and easy. At least so far.

Our professor, Eileen, is one of the news anchors for local stations 630 CHED and Cool 880, so she decided to have an optional field trip to her station. I, of course, couldn't resist getting to wander around the halls of a major news station, so I was in for sure.

It was a cool day, I got to meet a number of news people that I've never heard of, and they were chock full of advice for the aspiring journalist.

What was also neat was were were taken to the on-air booth of the Chuck Chandler show, the morning show on Cool 880 (I didn't know that until this morning.) So he asked if any of us were actual eager disc-jockeys. My professor immediately pointed to me, and the next thing I know I'm sitting with my lips nearly pressed against a gigantic radio microphone, announcing the Chuck Chandler show on live radio.

What was really freaky about the experience was I had about five seconds to figure out what I was doing, which involved figuring out what the guy's name was, memorize what I was going to say and stop the orgy of butterflies swarming through my insides, and then I did it, and it was apparently perfect.

Now, no one I know listens to Cool 880 in the mornings, so chances are no one I know heard me. But still, it's a great feeling to know that I can be thrust into a totally foreign position like that and produce something resembling brilliance. So much so that I think I actually got a bit of a body-stone from the experience.

Life is good.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

That strange feeling of calm

Well, I've certainly felt the whole range of human emotions in the last two days. I felt the sting of failure, the testicle compressing castration of rejection and the sudden relief of calm. A series of tragic disappointments resulted in my falling into a oozing vat of sorrow only to be saved by grasping a passing olive branch.

A few weeks back, it was suggested by my photography professor that I might be able to get a job at local weekly SEE Magazine.
Naturally, I was excited, even a little elated, that I might have a foot into the door of the media industry. Zealously, I looked through my thousands of photos for those perfect five that would describe me as a photographer. I looked through my Wainwright photos, I looked through my fashion photos, my sports photos, everything I had done to date that was of any admiration.
Finally, I narrowed it down to 15 photos and took them to my professor to help me pick out five. Here, I should have seen the impending signs of doom by his lack of enthusiasm for the photos I had shown him. However, naive and full of fresh and greasy hope, I took my top five and produced a portfolio CD for the Artistic Director of SEE Magazine.
All was quiet.
Finally, after two weeks of suspense, I finally emailed him. What I recieved in response was a crippling critique, the first I had heard since I had picked up a camera. My portfolio, according to him, was "incredibly weak." He assured me that he saw potential, but that I was at that point not cool enough to play in his sandbox.
This followed an earlier incident of personal failure when, running on three hours sleep and two weeks of frustration, I handed in my (IMO Shitty) bathroom attendant story, only to recieve a mark on a story I had written earlier about Oil Royalties that was near dismal, barely passing with a 28/50.
Overburdened with frustration and fatigue, and completely devoid of any sense of self confidence, I succummed into slumber and began constructing vulgar metaphors.
Today, after returning from my radio class, I remained crippled with self disillusionment. Each click of the mouse in my search for contacts for my next story, not editor approved (naturally), was like pushing a boulder up a hill; I could hear my moans of displeasure as I asked that eternal question...
"What the fuck am I doing this for?"
However, determination will always solve the problems of the human race. In spite of the complete collapse of my self-esteem, I wrote down contacts and finally aquired the will to phone them.
I now have interviews set up with both the spokesman of the Canadian Atomic Veterans Association and the Ministry of Defence. With this in hand, my feelings of helplessness and failure seemed to wash away like a spot of dirt.
And now, there is calm.
There is balance in nature.