Saturday, September 5, 2015

Party 934: Where's My Jacket? It's Time to Go

Tomorrow I will host my final radio show on the station I've called home since June of 2011: Party 934. My time there has been a rollercoaster ride for sure, but I have enjoyed being a mixologist and I have definitely learned from the experience.

When I started the show, after my brother Bill found their ad on craigslist, I had only a rough idea for the premise. The Melting Pat had been around for a year at that point, but only as a failed podcast and a neglected blog. I knew I wanted to incorporate a lot of elements from my college radio shows, and bring a different flavor to the menu. That's why I jumped at the name suggested by my good friend, Tim, a former WDSR co-host of mine.

I knew I wanted to play sweet tunes. I knew I wanted to talk about sports. I knew I wanted to talk about wrestling (sorry, Mom). I knew I wanted to share my retail stories. Beyond that, I didn't have much. I figured the stories and recaps would be enough, and that the show would kind of structure itself. After all, this was already the most prep I'd put into anything radio-related, and I had been doing it for two plus years. I figured I was good to go.

I learned rather quickly that I was not nearly as ready as I thought.

Many of my early shows were, to be frank, awkward. Some of them came off like I was unprepared, which was not true. I think my biggest issue was, and still might be occasionally, timing. I was not used to hosting a show by myself. The sports, wrestling, and talk shows I had done were with one or more co-hosts. I was able to play off them and [almost] hide my flaws. We had our plan for the show and adjusted as it went. As a solo act, I had a lot more adjusting to do.

One part of the process I am grateful for, even though they seemed harsh sometimes, was peer reviews. The station had consultants (real world radio people, the MAN, other mixologists) who would listen to shows and critique them. Partly to make sure we were saying all the things we needed to say - station ID, social networks, podcasts - and partly to let us know if we were putting out a good product. The feedback I received from these reviews was incredibly valuable, and I used the input to drastically improve the show.

A bigger, and more important, piece of the puzzle came from THE MAN. He allowed me to change my timeslot as my schedule(/life) changed...twice. After 21 episodes, he expressed concern that I had been prerecording too many shows because I had to work. This was an issue because Party 934 brands itself as a live station. He could have dismissed me right then. But he instead offered me a different day and time, one I would stay on for more than a year. And, when I took my big boy job and needed to swap, there he was again. I am so happy he was willing and able to do that, because this show has been very fun and rewarding for me. I am glad he saw my passion and allowed me to keep going.

I am going to do this on the show tomorrow, but it would be unfair of me to reflect on the show and not show my wonderful fans some love. I mentioned my brother, Bill up there, but here he is again. Without him showing me the ad, this show likely never exists outside of the aforementioned podcast. We originally planned to do the show together, but that fell through and The Melting Pat was reborn. Thanks for giving me the heads up, and for all the topic and song ideas (TRL Queens #1) over the years. Log this.

She may be miffed about not being first, but my Mom was vital to the success of the show. She let me use her internet, her attic, and her old computer after mine from college crashed. She also got me a neat doohickey so I could use my fancy headset. She also transported me with all my stuff when I spent weekends at her house so I could do the show from there. Add to that how she always shared my Facebook posts to spread the word, and you get why she warrants a paragraph! Love you, Mom!

Speaking of Facebook, I have to give a shoutout to my sister. Bridget was the driving force behind me making a page for the show. And by "driving force" I mean she bugged me every day for a week so I did it to make the nagging stop. She also listened from everywhere, even when I talked too much wrestling. And she made Josh a fan, who became my quasi-engineer. Thanks, buddy! And love you, short stack!

To keep this from becoming like a pinterest page, I will end the shoutouts with Brian and Tim, the only two people to actually appear on the show. These two were co-hosts of mine (and the former a roommate) on WDSR, and they have been so helpful during my time at the party. Brian gave feedback constantly, even if it was "hey that stunk." He also downloaded every episode, which is wild to me still. And TIM should be a damn producer at this point. He named the show, did my graphics, and was always giving me valuable feedback. Again, even if it was "hey that stunk." I am pumped that you both are still helping me not sound like an idiot all these years later. Thanks, gents.

I have way more people to thank, so please don't feel bad if you were not mentioned here. The shoutouts will be plentiful on the show tomorrow. Should that be the other way around? Maybe, but Buster looks like he needs a walk right now. And if I forget you on the show, you have permission to scold me and I will give you coveted space on my blog next time.

So I shall end with this: I am, again, extremely grateful for the experience of being a Mixologist at Party 934. It had ups and downs, but it was always fun when the broadcaster started. I have learned so much and met a lot of wonderful people. I thank you all for the support and criticism (constructive or otherwise, because sometimes I needed real talk), and for sticking with me all this time. Doing this show was often the highlight of my week, and I am so glad I was able to share it with you.

I do have some new projects coming up, which I will update via my Facebook page so give me a thumbs up over there to keep up with me!

Until we meet again, Party 934: I need you to have fun, be safe, and (of course) don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Crap open a cold one!

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