9/21/2012 8:23:00 AM
Yesterday I dragged my butt out of bed early and headed down to the station to teach a quick comedy class for Chris Scheetz, Tracie Gray and Morley Scott. I'm helping prepare them for the "Funniest Media Competition" as part of the Edmonton Comedy Festival. Later in the day I talked with Dan Tencer and he threw his hat in the ring as well. I have to say I really admire these announcers for stepping out from behind the mic and their comfort zone. Public speaking is most people's greatest fear and I know how nervous they all must be to try it for the first time in front of a sold out room and their fellow announcers.
I'm going to do all that I can to help them prepare for it but the truth is you can't prepare for the terror of stepping on a comedy stage for the first time. I still remember my first time and, quite frankly, it didn't go well. I got a laugh or two here and there but I mostly just bombed. It was awful. I also remember my first contest which came months later and it was so stressful I almost threw up. To combine the two in one night is asking a lot of these guys. Either they're really brave or just really not thinking this through.
My first week of radio was like that but not nearly as bad. I kept thinking "I need to say something funny" and sometimes nothing came to me. If I went too long without a funny remark Primeau would ask me if I was okay or did we need to change topics. That would just add to the pressure. Thankfully I have a good partner and a patient boss and eventually figured it out. At least I think I've figured it out. I just say what I'm thinking and the funny usually finds me rather than me trying to find it.
The problem with the media competition is that these guys (and girls) don't have time to figure it out. They're either going to nail it on October 15th or they're not. The one thing that will help them all to succeed is if the room has people in it that want them to succeed: their fans. Hopefully they all promote the show on their radio shows and hopefully their fans come out to support them. 20 years into my career I have no problem walking into a room of strangers but these announcers need your support. Let's be honest, if you love listening to them on the air there has to be some part of you that wants to see them try comedy.
There's also the fact that TV and print media are in the contest and as a radio guy I don't care who wins but I want it to be a radio guy. I know I'm always asking you to support a cause, buy a ticket, donate some money, bid on something etc. but this time I'm asking you to do it for my fellow announcers. They are seriously going to need your help. Graham Neil and I will also be performing at the show so it'll be a fun night. I really want to see all of the contestants do well but I know not all of them will remember to invite their friends and fans so I'm doing it. Get out your credit card and click on this link.
Thanking you in advance!