My best friend Ron (above left) was in the station with his band, Hotel X, Saturday and I was not scheduled to do the sound for it, a snub which had been nagging me for days...to be frank, I was deeply upset and insulted that the station had chosen someone else to do his band- I have worked with them many times, it's a huge, nine-piece band jazz/world/jam band that is not suitable for beginner soundpersons ,and it's my best friend's band.
I found out about the gig from him- he assumed I was doing it and was surprised to hear that I wasn't ...when I asked around, I was told that someone else had been selected to do it. I expressed my doubts to a Senior Member , telling him that having a newbie mix a complex band on live radio was not a good plan. I was told to "deal with it."
It's not gonna work, I said, but let it go.
So I left after my show and went shopping for supper...I was at the market, reading the ingredients list on a can of chili powder when my cell phone rang. It was our station manager:
"Can you come down to the station? Jill needs help with the band- it's a lot bigger than we thought."
"Hmm. I could have told you that. If you had asked. Anyway, I have been there all day and I just left and don't want to go back- I'm buying supper and going home. Good luck."
"But...she needs the help. You don't have to do anything, just help her set-up."
"Look, I'm tired and hungry and you could have asked me at anytime during the last week...it is now one hour until show time. That is really short notice bullshit and I hate short notice bullshit."
We argued for a while and she finally said:
"The station is counting on you. We need to sound our best."
It was a cheap shot, appealing to my vanity and all...but she was right- and it worked. I shoved a banana and some toast down my throat and rushed back to the studio just in time to salvage the show. It went fine, but it left me angry...first I was told that I wasn't needed, despite my insistence that I was the only one with the skills to do it- and then I get asked to drop everything and rush back to do the job I originally wanted, but was denied.
There was brief, angry exchange with the DJ who botched the planning -setting up a professional band is a high-skill job that is not easy to do at and I was livid at being asked to bail his ass out at the last second...plus he really put the new kid on the spot...didn't it occur to him that a very large band might be a bit much for beginner?
Mind you, I don't get paid for my radio work- like the rest of our volunteers, I do it because I love what I do. I am allowed to play whatever music I wish (within legal limits) on my show and I get to do live sound for high-quality bands, which I love on an almost spiritual level.
It is hard to describe the feeling that get when things sound right- a lot of things need happen before it gets there, but when the band finds that special groove -the 'zone' in sports jargon- it all passes directly through my fingers, my mind and ears my and is then channeled to the audience.
It's a truly beautiful, magical feeling-the transfer of positive energy -and to be candid, it's a real control trip for me. I bumble and stumble and fuck-up almost every aspect of my real-life to some degree, but when I am on the air, I am in control. There are no unsolvable problems...just give me the headphones and get the hell out of my way.
The show went fine, but I left feeling used , rudely treated and unappreciated by my colleagues.
Things got better, though. I had a gift from a faraway friend waiting for me when I arrived home and I got several notes to the effect that the show sounded really good; the gift and the notes made me feel considerably less unappreciated. Loved, even.
I know I haven't blogged much lately, but I am engaged in several new ventures, at least one of which keeps me giddy nearly every waking hour - my Muse is directing me back to my first love- music. Suddenly, my main motivation for finding a job is so I can upgrade my gear...I can eat cheaply, but I can't make a Firewire mixer out of oatmeal.
On the downside, I still need a job- or I need an extension on my unemployment check...but that's not a rare thing these days, lots of people are hurting, sad to say... I can eat cheaply at home and get by OK, but I worry about people that can't cook and can't afford to eat out. What will they do?
I have an idea. But I ain't tellin'.