You gotta somehow keep it fresh and exciting and you gotta come to work each morning with a certain energy. If you're tired or hungover or you had an argument with your wife that's still unresolved or you have a cold and don't take medicine or if you are in any way uncentered... all of these things the listener can tell. There is no hiding once the on-air light goes on.
Which brings me to the topic of show preparation. It's 4:22 on a Thursday morning and I'm slipping into this anxiety that I often get at this time of the morning. "Oh my god, what should I do to prepare for the show?"
There's this little voice in my head that tells me to do the right thing, read all the papers, watch the news, write out a schedule and breaks and PSAs. Read up on all the guests coming on this morning. Arrive to the studio early. Check what bumper music to use...
But instead I write this blog to you. I eat a bowl of cereal and check the baseball box scores. I might even ride my bike, which takes a lot longer to get to work, rather get to the studio right away and start preparing.
In other words, I really don't prepare well. Let's see, in the past two days Ryan has given me the following to interview:
Verlie Suggs, United flight attendant and radio co-host extraordinaire
Sue Polak, Benefit for Sorrell Hawkins, an active 12-year-old recently made bedridden
Vanessa Allen, CEO of the Northwest Indiana Urban League
Eddie Melton, NIPSCO
Author so-and-so, who wrote a book on how to pay for college
Jean Ishmon, Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance
Dan Coats, US Senator
Munster councilman Dave Nellans
Munster Park board member Joe Ostojic
Jeff Jendraes, whose nine-year-old daughter has a brain disease and has little motor function
Carol Bridgeman, friend of the Jendraes family
Al Hamnik, sportswriter for The Times newspaper
And I prepared for none of these people, not even Coats. After a while you get better at picking up cues from the interviewee about what's important and what's not (and who has a sense of humor and who does not) and you can bounce your way through any interview. Some would say that's actually the best way to do interviews. Just ask the questions as if you don't know much about the topic or person. That way, you'll ask the questions in a way that the listener who doesn't know much about the topic or person would want them asked.
Anyways, this could all be seen as a huge rationalization to be lazy and not prepare. True. But then again I read a zillion articles a week and watch a ton of news. I even watch some comedians to see how they make people laugh. I'm not so naturally funny so I just copy the body movements and facial expressions (this is radio, dumbass) of people who are funny and just use those.
Who's on today's show?
I have no freakin idea.