The management of Townsquare Media Buffalo has motivated Clay to become a very creative and prolific blogger. Most days, his listeners benefit, but now and then he gets inspired to write something he considered "too inside radio" to share on his station blog. Lucky you and me, we benefit. Here's his latest one:
I was speaking with a radio friend of mine recently about being a "fill in" for a certain air shift and I couldn't help but think that his dilemma is something that most jocks who have been on the air can relate to.
If you have ever been a part timer or even someone that wants a certain time slot, you can understand his story.
When the PD calls on you to fill in for someone, your first thought is..."here is my chance to show them I should be in that slot!" The next thing you do is go out of your way to prep for the show and try to make it sound like a nationally syndicated radio success!
What usually happens?
Happens every time. You get caught up in trying to be something/someone you think will grab the attention of the PD/GM and have a perfectly polished show.
It may actually have all of the key ingredients and come out "sounding" the way YOU want it to, but here is the problem, the audience is not made of PD and GM's.
It is everyday people, most of which are casual listeners that are waiting to hear their favorite song or get a piece of information they need or a contest they are trying to win.
If you have ever listened to the Rush Limbaugh show, you will note that he has people fill in from time to time. Although they keep the format of the show, they are not trying to "replace" Rush. They are all very different than Rush and all have their own traits and styles. They clearly don't go out of their way to try to be someone.
It may sound cliche but it is true, being yourself is the best option.
After all, it is you being yourself that most likely caught the PD's attention in the first place.
Here is what I suggest. When you go to fill in for another air shift or even if you are doing a bonafide on-air audition, you PLAN what you intend to do, you PERSONALIZE it according to how YOU normally are when you do a show and you PERFORM according to your own style and ability.
Don't overdo it or you will sound PHONY!
Oh, and one more thing, try not to PREDICT what the PD/GM is thinking.
It has been my experience that they often times are not listening as closely as you think. They are just glad they found someone to cover a shift.
You'll find more from Clay on this blog, I am proud to say.
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