Friends, family, professors, coworkers, and basically everyone else who knows me knows I love to talk, probably too much. But I’ve always liked having the spotlight on me, ever since I was young. I was the kid who always wanted to be in the school plays, on the middle school TV station, 0r in a rock band. Even just hanging out with friends, I love telling jokes and stories and making people laugh, even when they’re laughing at how bad my jokes are. Hey, laughter is laughter, right?
So when I found out about WDSR, Duquesne’s student radio station on campus, I jumped at the opportunity to talk for a regular radio audience. I thought, “Sweet! I’ll just do what I usually do–tell stories and make jokes. This will be fun!”
Oh, how little I knew. My first show was a disaster, in spite of the awesome (or at least I thought it was) theme song I’d made in Garage Band just a few days prior. I was nervous, unsure of what to talk about, and struggling without anyone to talk to. I had anticipated some callers to help take the pressure off me, but surprisingly, not too many people were interested in calling into the first broadcast of a crappy college radio show that no one had ever heard of. My friends still joke today about how I tried talking about global warming with little success (my buddy Kevin texted me during that segment: “Stop talking about global warming, (expletive).”
In response to this first outing, I brought my friend Matt on to co-host the show with me the following week. Matt’s one of the funniest guys I know, and the two of us worked very well together. Callers began dialing in (many of them were my friends pretending to be more famous figures like President Bush and Father Hogan), and the show became a success, relatively speaking.
Matt and I are still doing our show today, aptly titled “The Matt and Matt Show.” We’ve gone from shaky and uncomfortable to cool and relaxed, and even my incredibly skeptical friends have admitted they find the show funny and entertaining. We were the highest rated show on the station last year.
Our success is proof that basically anyone with a few good ideas and the desire to be heard can be successful in radio. It doesn’t have to feature flashy production or quick one-liners; two friends shooting the breeze for an hour or two can lead to entertaining talk radio. If you don’t like talking a lot, you can bring your unique musical tastes to the airwaves and be a straight-up DJ. Just make sure you know how to handle those crazy callers; you can’t let someone telling you about their fear of yellow highlighters throw you off your game.
WDSR gives you a great place to get your start in radio. The managers, DJs, and show hosts treat WDSR like a legitimate radio station, but being a college radio station, it’s a lower-pressure situation, allowing you to get your bearings and get comfortable on live radio.
If you’re interested in checking out some WDSR radio shows, go to www.wdsr.org and click on the “Shout Stream” in the upper right hand corner of the screen. (You can also stream the station through iTunes or Winamp.) You can access the stream from anywhere in the world as far as I know. “The Matt and Matt Show” still airs Wednesday nights from 7-9 PM–we’re a sports/news show with a bunch of comedy and nonsense interspersed. If you’re interested in college radio in general, be sure to tune in and check it out.