I originally got in to radio because it was a cool job and it always will be. It’s a great conversation starter and very few people hear what I do and aren’t at least mildly interested or curious. The biggest reason why I love it is because it allows me to be creative. I’ve always like writing and with radio your show is yours, it’s something you create every day but that isn’t always a good thing.
When you do something creative for work it really is a career where you get out what you put in to it but that can also lead to a lot of pain. When you work hard and pour yourself in to but run in to road blocks, in to problems and have to deal with difficult people like you normally would in any job then it starts to weigh down on you. All of a sudden the art and expression of your soul starts to crush you.
The number one childhood dream job is to be a YouTube celebrity. Now, a big part of that is probably because of the celebrity and money that comes with it, but also a desire to be your own boss and be creative. That takes a to of courage and determination to do and, with how woven social media has become in people’s lives you would think that wouldn’t be something people scoff at, but it seems like people still look down on people trying to do their own thing. It seems like a lot of perception is that it’s lazy or some wild dream and not a real job.
In radio the weird criticism we hear is that our job is easy because we just talk and play music and that’s it, and of course that is no where close. For our morning show there’s so much planning, prepping, hard work and even some luck goes in to it. Yes, McCall and I’s show is based a lot around our lives but it’s not like we just turn the mics on and make it up on the spot. We do a lot of research and planning to find things we think will be entertaining to the public, but also that people will engage with.
A normal day in the AJ & McCall show features research, discussing topics we think will be funny, planning out breaks, posting on social media, recording the show for podcasts, answering phones, responding to comments, improving while the mics are on, executing mentions for sponsors and promotions, keeping an eye on clocks and constantly thinking about what’s next and making sure we’re being entertaining. People think it’s easy for a day but can you do it for five days a week, not stumble and engage with everyone on the other side of the speakers? Not to mention we film videos, go to live broadcasts, volunteer our time and record other things after our four hour show. The show isn’t just six to ten, it’s really at least four more hours outside of that and heaven forbid we have meetings.
One of the biggest compliments we get is people asking how we come up with so much to talk about each day and deliver with energy. It takes a lot of practices, effort and some luck that I have a great co-host that I can count on to bring out the best in me. Don’t forget the courage to make fun of yourself and keep searching for funny, I mean I proposed to strangers and got pied in the face last year for the show. All of that is what makes it so much fun and my passion is why I pour so much time in to it.
On the other side though the AJ & McCall Show is where it is because of a desire to be the best and to constantly improve what we’re doing. The show is us and it’s our baby so we’re always trying to get it to grow and be seen and heard more and more, but just like with any job there’s gonna be hoops to jump through, challenges and work shenanigans that frustrate you. Your ideas get shot down, you run in to roadblocks and you eventually get beat down but when it comes to a job that you pour your soul in to you get beat down.
I’ve been there. The last two radio jobs I had crushed me and got me to the point where I was on the verge of quitting because it was so frustrating and just sucked. So how do you avoid being crushed, what’s different for me now? The truth a great co-workers goes a long way in helping but really it’s about focusing what I can control. It will always be my show and I’m gonna do what I can to make it the best darn show possible. I find pride in what I do and am always doing what I can.
I just had a conversation with my company’s owner the other day and he asked me how things were going and I told him I’m having fun doing the show and I think it’s going well but the bottom line is no matter where you are you can always work hard. Find pride in what you do and no one can take that away from you. It can be tough to creative in a suppression environment but just pour that in to what your doing and create even better art.