Lessons Learned from Hosting My Own Radio Show

Last night, Saturday, May 10, my first public radio show aired on 89.3 KPRG FM. I went nuts.

I prerecorded the show, so most of my insanity was let loose on my twitter profile starting the moment I heard my own voice broadcast not just to Guam (thanks to the internet and streaming radio), also to the entire world.

Of the gazillions of people who live in the world, I’m not sure how many of them were listening to Little Ole Me and my playlist of soul music, but it was just so cool hearing myself. I couldn’t get over it, so I tweeted and tweeted about it.

Friends messaged me on Facebook from Hawaii, Guam friends tweeted at me to compliment my song choices. Some expressed disappointment that I wasn’t recording live. I work on Saturdays and stay on call through the evening, so recording live isn’t currently an option. Maybe in the future.

OK, so what are the lessons I learned?

1. Speaking into a microphone is terrifying — but it’s easier when you’re in a sound booth with editing tools, and not in front of a live audience.

Last week when I was recording the pilot (which is actually what aired last night, plus another hour of music), I walked into the sound booth, sat down at the control panel and stared at the microphone for a long, solid minute before pressing Record.

Stage fright = loss of brain cells

Stage fright = loss of brain cells

Then all of my basic motor skills left me. I laid out ahead of time what I wanted to say on the show, but in the moment, I completely forgot my script. Even if I had the ability to edit myself on the computer, I didn’t want to take all day editing and rerecording and editing and rerecording. Eventually I said to myself, “Ugh that sounds so dumb but I’ve got to move on.”

And then I moved on.

2. Believe in your taste.

I don’t know if many people enjoy Stevie Wonder next to Jamiroquai. I don’t know if everyone will agree with what I interpret as soul music. But I love the songs I played, believing that they all belong to my chosen genre, and intend to keep playing these song I love as long as KPRG will let me.

Thankfully, the powers that be at the public radio station, particularly the general manager, appreciated my taste in music. And thankfully, other people paid me some nice compliments after the show aired.

I’ll get more comfortable in front of the microphone as time goes on, I’m sure. What I’m more sure of is that when James Brown is playing, good people dance. If you didn’t feel like dancing to James Brown when I played it on my show, we didn’t need to hang out anyway. I’m less important than James Brown.

I feel good danananananana I knew that I would danananananana

I feel good danananananana I knew that I would danananananana


3. Celebrate every win, big and small.

It took me four months to muster up the courage to record the pilot show.

The first win I had to celebrate was my decision to make a show, any show. It was that decision, and then telling friends and boyfriend about my decision, that got the ball rolling for me.

After the word got out that I wanted to do it, I couldn’t escape the opportunity sitting in front of me. Word got ’round to the general manager of the station and he asked me when I was going to record a pilot.

After a few more days weeks months of hemming and hawing, I told my editor at the paper that I was planning to record a pilot for the radio, and he gave me his blessing. That moment deserved a proper amount of celebrating.

I couldn’t back out after that point. I had to record a pilot show. I planned and fussed and downloaded mp3s from Amazon and giggled and felt butterflies and made my way into the sound booth and put a show together.

It was the most difficult thing to do — even though, on paper, it seemed like it should have been so easy.

The GM listened to the pilot and decided to air the show a week later.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

I want people to listen to the show because I think soul music should be a part of everyone’s life. But the celebration is a personal one for me because I’ve thought and wondered how I could have a radio show and what kind of radio show I could do since I moved to Guam.

So there I was, Saturday night, listening to my voice on KPRG, loving the music I’m playing, and proud that I’d accomplished at least one goal I set for myself for this year.

If you want to tune in, head over to the KPRG website and click on the banner at the top to stream the music. My show airs from 7 pm to 9 pm Saturday nights, Chamorro Standard Time.

I hope you enjoy.

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