Over the last month, all KNOM volunteers have been reporting on various snowmachine and sled dog races happening across our region. We are currently reporting on Iron Dog: the longest, toughest, snowmachine race in the world. However, the big Kahuna doesn’t start until next Saturday: The IDITAROD Sled Dog Race.
Because we receive such a huge audience during our Iditarod race coverage, part of my job as a producer is to make sure that the spots we air during this time are as awesome and Idirotastic as I can possible make ‘em. For this to happen, I elicited the help of KNOM staff and my guitar.
Now, before I unveil the details behind my Iditarod plans, I have a confession to make: I am absolutely terrified of crowds. Large crowds, parties, performances and etc. remind me of angry mobs with torches and pitchforks and the whole “burn the witch burn the witch” scenario.
The only thing that scares me more than a large crowd is being the center of its attention. Why then, you may ask, do you work in public broadcasting, (where someone, EVERYONE, is listening to you at one point or another?) The long answer is, er. Long. So let’s go for the short answer instead: I work in public broadcasting, with KNOM specifically, because I know that doing so is helping me break out of my comfort zones. I may not be in front of a physical crowd everyday, but I’m working my way up to that.
It’s not like I had never been in front of a microphone before coming to KNOM, but I’ve made mics and audiences slowly go away over the years. I just never felt comfortable in front of them.
I haven’t taken a musical instrument out of my room, let alone my house, in a very, very, long time. Playing music- even if it’s the constant strumming of a G chord- was not intended for anyone’s ears but my own.
I feel very awkward calling myself a musician.
This all had to change, of course, if I intended to record my two Iditarod spots. With the help of Josh, Margaret, Lucus, David, and Laura, I recorded two spots: one about Iditarod champions, and another about checkpoints. Some clapping and improved lines were involved. And you know what? No torches. No pitchforks. It was just… okay.
Why did I do this? Well, I learned all the US state capitals, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the periodic table of elements through song, and I figured, gee golly. Why isn’t there a song to remember all the Iditarod southern-route checkpoints from Anchorage to Nome?
Mostly… it was time. It has been four years since I’ve played or sang in fron of people.
The funny thing about fear is that once you get it over with, it’s no big deal. What were you so afraid of? It’s over. The only one who was having a hard time with the situation was you.
KNOM is one of the most open and creative environments I’ve ever worked in. As long as you are willing to let go and accept new challenges every day, the work is very rewarding. Maybe this dive-head-first method of learning isn’t for everyone, but I am alive and kicking so it can’t be all that bad.
Do one thing everyday that scares you. Scary advice from Eleanor Roosevelt. Between you and me, I think she was on to something.