Yesterday afternoon, on a Sunday, I drove out to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles to start my own radio show. It was a program through the city's arts conservatory that I had applied for.
The week before, I had went in to train on the boards. It was somewhat of a disaster, in the way that learning something completely new can be.
I am by nature uncoordinated, and on that first try, I fumbled. I scripted it out, but everything moved too fast. Squinting at my script, words escaped me.
Trying to coordinate the movements, and the "running" of the radio board, flustered me. Move this up, turn that down, turn mic on, then off. It was frigging hard. So hard. But also weirdly exhilarating and terrifying.
On that demo, I wasn't myself on air, with lots of vocalized pauses and no flow. Oh and the death knell for any broadcast, dead air. Then more dead air. Oh and I learned, the hard way, not to introduce a song unless I was sure that I could cue up the right song.
To sum it all up, I belly flopped the demo.
Yet still, the producer was encouraging especially about my theme of musical choices and the intersection with legal injustices. My vocal amplification was great. Along with articulation. Regarding the boards, he told me, "You'll suck till you don't. You'll get it. The boards, it's like a dance."
I thought of learning the tango with my husband Adrian and how I stepped on his feet and winced thinking of it. Dancing (unless it's pogo dancing) is not my forte.
Then, this Sunday on the show, something clicked. I relaxed. And I breathed. No script, and instead I just went with it and made notes through the show. Suddenly, I could say what I played and even wax on about a song choice or two. I even moved around the songs without incident and at the end, I was able to say why I chose the set I did. And illustrate the intersections with public defense.
This was going to be okay. Let's do this.