My show aired on weekend mornings, when the majority of students were either passed out, hung over or still drunk from the night before.
Naturally, few people ever listened. In fact, I was usually the only person in the building other than the janitors.
But the lack of audience never bothered me. Because committing to producing my own weekly radio show was a galvanizing and challenging and meaningful and fun experience.
I wrote and performed my own intro song, scoured the web for rare cuts to include in my set lists, produced a series of fake commercials and sound bites, advertised my program with on air promos, booked local musicians to perform live acoustic sets in studio, even broke the campus record for hosting a twenty four hour marathon show in one day.
Never got paid. Rarely got recognized. But I had the time of my life, developed a solid work ethic, made lifelong friends and discovered new music that changed me forever.
Most importantly, though, that radio program was the first time I felt like a true professional. Somebody who disciplined himself to show up and do the work, every week, regardless of recognition or compensation. And that hard core formative time laid the groundwork for the years to follow, informing what I do as an artist on a daily basis.
The lesson is, just because nobody’s listening, doesn’t mean you can’t do a great job.
Crush it anyway. It’s good practice.
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