Thursday, 21 July 2011

Lost In Radio

So it is just over a month since I completed my first year of university and left the security of having a weekly radio show to prepare and rely on. Since the start of summer I have been trying hard to gain some more valuable work experience to better my radio knowledge but it has definitely proved harder to find than expected. During the first week of the holiday, ‘pro-active’ was my middle name. I wrote to commercial, community and BBC radio stations offering a few weeks of free labour but it’s been all quiet so far.

I had one interesting, and hopeful, meeting with the station manager of a community station in Reading, called Reading4U (because they are down with the kids). They were definitely up for me getting involved with the editing side of production, meaning formatting and packaging the shows to be replayed later in the week. This is certainly something I am interested in as editing is definitely a required skill in the radio industry. The station has had work experience kids in for the past few weeks so with a bit of luck I should be able to get involved with Reading4U (because I too, am down with the kids) as soon as there is some space in the office!

Besides this advancement, I have been quietly collecting the rejection emails. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for rejection emails. In fact, I consider them a badge of honour. No one makes it straight to the top and so I plan on collecting every rejection I get, like a battle scar, to document my slippery journey into the radio industry. 

However, there comes the point, once you have memorised the television line-up from ‘This Morning’ to ‘The One Show’, when you realise it is time to find other ways to keep the radio fire burning <insert other pretentious, motivational metaphor here>.  Just last week I tried something new by working as a compere on the Surrey Advertiser Stage at Guilfest 2011. Whilst it is not exactly radio-focused, it was a brilliant, novel experience and gave me a further insight into another aspect of the music industry. It also made me realise how much I want to incorporate my love of new music into my radio work, I’m sure Zane won’t mind making room for one more!

In other news, I submitted my first entry for the Student Radio Association Awards yesterday, which means I now feel like I am officially part of the club. You know the cool student radio club where everyone wears Ramones t-shirts and swaps anecdotes about hilarious features they produced. Similarly, I have been making serious plans for my involvement with the student radio station next year and I can’t wait to get back and get stuck in there.

In more 'other news', today Andy Parfitt announced he will be leaving his role as the head honcho of Radio 1 from July. So when the Beeb start looking to hire a new Radio 1 Controller, I am more than happy to discuss my hours and salary.

Till Next Time!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Meet & Greet

Hello internet-person, I’m Liam. This blog is my attempt to track every inch of progress I make in the radio industry. Every work experience placement, every shameless effort to be noticed by industry insiders and every rejection letter I receive will be posted here. The aim of this blog is to give other radio fanatics a guide to making it in the radio industry, or, at the very least, what not to do on the way there. If you’re not interested in joining the radio, have a read of my blog anyway, it may interest or amuse you to some extent. 

So, here’s a bit about me.
 This is my face.

I am passionate about music and have always wanted a career that would allow me to channel this passion; I just never really knew where to begin. I have never been interested in creating my own music (not that I had a choice as I can’t hold a tune to save my life), preferring instead to appreciate and promote the musical talents of others. So it wasn’t until I started at the University of Surrey in October 2010 and got involved in the student radio station, GU2, that I realised radio is the only career for me.

The truth is, whilst growing up, radio had never really crossed my mind, especially compared to other serious career goals like becoming the red Power Ranger. I guess I always just put the radio down as something that ‘other people’ do. The radio, and music industry in general, always seemed to be career paths for the lucky few, for those individuals who are in the right place at the right time. If I have learnt anything at university it is that dream careers can be achieved if you are persistent. In other words, I’m not going to waste time waiting for the radio to find me.

Since getting involved with the university station, my love for radio has hit me like a freight train and it is now an industry that I want to carve my mark into. It is all I seem to think about these days, probably at the expense of my Psychology degree and yet I don’t feel bothered. I’m sure anyone else dedicated to make it in radio knows exactly what I mean about how addictive it is. Like an Amsterdam window, it sucks you in and makes everything else appear dull in comparison. I can’t wait to start a career in radio and this blog will be a record of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Whether it is at Radio 1 or on the local hospital radio, I’m determined to live the dream.