Tag Archives: On Tha Grind

The Wonderful World of Broadcasting, Episode II

As promised, here is “the rest of the story,” when it comes to the truth behind my ostensibly-glamorous career path.  Let’s see, where were we…

5.  I am essentially slave labor.

Yes, I do get paid (the aforementioned no money)… for my regular job.  But as anyone who has ever been referred to as “talent” can tell you, it don’t stop there.  For example, when I was a TV producer (NOT an on-air job, mind you), I was frequently dragooned into “voicing” in-house commercials and PSAs… for no additional money.  Which translates into “fo’ free.”

All the ads you hear on the radio?  The DJs did them… fo’ free.  Voiceover work is a PAYING job, yo.  But once The Man owns you, sure ain’t he gonna use you.  FO’ FREE.

6.  I have almost no goddamned privacy.

Like it or not, once strangers know your name (even if it’s fake, as mine is and most are), you’re at least a quasi-public figure.  This means your every move – even in your so-called “real” life – can be subject to public scrutiny.  Case in point, I myself have been arrested.  For a nonviolent, victimless misdemeanor that, while infinitely stupid, most of YOU could chalk up as a lesson learned.  But MY mugshot was on the motherfucking teevee… because I was a “public figure.”

Further point, the infamous Chuckweasel and I were once at a baseball game in another fucking state, when someone recognized him by voice alone.  My day-to-day “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” quotient is ABNORMALLY high, mostly just from my voice.  Of course, it gets much worse for my brothers and sisters who are actually on TV – I’ve had friends harassed and even stalked, one to the point where the cops had to come walk her to her car every night.  And you wonder why my avi is a fucking cartoon???

7.  I am consistently undateable.

Yes, yes, part of that is my charming personality.  Bite me.  But a fairly large part of it is the horrible hours I work – part of the appeal of goddamned Chuckweasel was that we had the same butt-crack of dawn shift.

Another part is what the job – the news part – does to you.  I’m fairly callous and unfeeling about just about everything now, and apparently potential partners like someone who at least PRETENDS to have human emotions (huh.  Pussies.).  Fine, Sonny Jim, you watch live Ground Zero feeds all by yourself in the middle of the night for over a week straight and tell me you have fuck one left to give about people’s petty fucking problems.

But I do have some, emotions, that is – which generally come pouring out in an awful cathartic flood when some major can’t-take-this disaster becomes the lead story.  The only way I’ve found to deal with this is to date people who are also in the industry (See Gilbert, the Evil Ogre, and CW).  But this produces its own problems, in that A) You both work ridiculous hours and never see each other; B) You end up in competition for the same jobs and/or C) Your general self-protective disdain for all of humanity extends to each other.

Or you’re just a total bastard who bolts when shit gets real, like someone this blog used to know very well… but I digress.

So, E-Harmony, Match.com… um… J-Date? (note: not Jewish but fascinated by the whole Orthodox thing).  Huddle up, you guys.

I’m a 37 year old news professional who will never work normal hours, make any goddamned money, or give more than half a fuck about #FirstWorldProblems.

A life with me will mean an endless cavalcade of “real” FB pages versus “professional” ones, and even so, strangers will masturbate to the sound of my voice.

Get used to being alone (again) at important family gatherings, and embrace the fact that, while I will seldom shed a tear in relation to our own crises, I am extremely likely to start hysterically bawling over a mine disaster or similar.

I will know the names of our state and local lawmakers better than your family’s.  And I’ll have their cell phone numbers.

 

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Filed under Getchore LEARN on!, Gilbert, I Rule You, La Vida Loca, Reality Bites

The Wonderful World of Broadcasting

Y’all know what I do for a living – I do the news on the motherfuckin’ radio, bitches.  Before that, I worked as a TV news producer, and before that, I was a high school/college drama geek who was all up in plays and shit.  And that’s not even counting my brief stint as a weather girl.

Yes, I do what I went to college for.  Yes, plenty of complete strangers know who I am (and occasionally recognize me in public, we’ll get to that later), which I guess makes me some facet of famous.  And yes, all those cunts I went to high school with are FUCKING. SORRY. NOW. – as are their fat car-salesman husbands who didn’t hit this back when they were dreamy quarterbacks who wouldn’t give me the time of day.

But it ain’t all chocolate cake and porno, Hooligans.  For instance:

1.  I get shocked in the ears on a fairly regular basis.

By which I mean, pretty much every time I go to work.  Broadcasting is all about 2 things – electronic equipment and making money.  And because of the second, almost none of the first is ever properly installed or – and this is important – properly grounded.  So if I make the mistake of, say, touching the microphone while my headset is plugged in (something that is pretty much integral to my job), I get a jolt straight to the tympanic membranes.  Which hurts like a motherfucker and probably causes brain dam– LOOK, A SQUIRREL!

2.  I have literally been on fire.

And I don’t mean literally as in figuratively, the way some people (wrong people) use the word.  I mean literally as in, “What’s that smell?  Is it bacon?  No, just me.”  As in actual, no-shit-for-real flames.

Admittedly, my own experience with bodily fire came during a community theatre performance when my microphone’s wireless battery pack overheated.  But the equipment is all pretty much the same, and it happens a LOT more than you know.  You think Anderson Cooper looks like he smelled a fart?  No, what he smells is a palm-sized lump of plastic melting into his lower back.

Yes, I have scars.  No, you may not see them.

Unless you buy me dinner.

3.  I work hours that would make a Chinese sweatshop worker call his non-existent union rep.

I currently get to work at 4am to prepare for my first newscast at 6am.  Yes, the 2-and-a-half minutes of news you half-assed listen to on your drive to work takes some poor schmuck like me about 2 HOURS to lovingly craft.  And that’s just radio – when I first started in TV, I produced a 5am to 7am morning news show… for which I reported to work at 11PM.  Yeah, the night before.  My anchors came in around 3am.  Those “Today Show” fuckers who seem so giddy?  That’s because they’ve been awake and working since before your ass went to bed.

4.  I work those hellacious hours for no money.

When I first started working in TV news, I was making the princely sum of $22,000 a year.  This was 2001 (mid-August of 2001, which will become important later), and I was straight out of college, so at the time I was like, “SCORE!”  Yeah, not so much.  By the time I moved to radio, 5 years later, I was making $28,000 a year.  And when everything went to hell and I left WBGV, I was up to $32,000 — but that included “extras” like calling football and basketball.

It’s pretty much a cliche in the industry that – with a few notable exceptions – you will never make any goddamned money… but everyone will THINK you do.

Stay tuned, there’s more truth-telling to come!  Tune in again, same Bat-time, same Bat-station!

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Filed under Getchore LEARN on!, I Rule You, La Vida Loca, Reality Bites, WTF???