My first week on the job has been humbling and so very very exciting! The first thing I tell my friends and family that call for updates is: "I'm surprised at how much there is left to learn, and THAT is the best part." I have been working in radio on and off for over 12 years because of a love/hate relationship with myself. My last position was programming, which was tough. I liked the challenge, but after my boss started missing weeks of work at a time, I was getting less and less feedback. I grew anxious for more direction, although I didn't need it, I longed for it. I enjoyed making important decisions and creating a station that everyone was talking about. I loved the team and I loved the listeners. But I left because I felt I hit a glass ceiling. I felt I had nothing left to learn. No where else to go.
I moved to Los Angeles with the intention that I was going to make it in comedy. I still have that intention, along with several other major goals. In the mean time, I HAVE to pay bills. I need to eat and pay rent. The idea of bending over backwards (literally) for some ridiculous web cam scam is out of the question. (And it was brought up. Ick.) "Why don't you wait tables?" Um, then how would I have time to perform at night? No thanks.
The only thing I'm good at...scratch that...the only thing I WANT to do...is radio. I've always loved this business. Every aspect of it is different but exciting! It gets my gears going. I just GET it. So I clawed my way into the door. I tweeted at a major radio station until they looked at my resume. They didn't. I bugged the few people I knew to mention my name. They didn't. I applied for every available job with every company in the market. Until...finally...someone read my resume and called! AH!
KOST 103.5, an iHeart Media station was curious about me. I came in for my first interview and met the gentlemen who would soon become my boss(es). I say this because the man I work for most closely, the person who has been in this industry for more years than he'd probably ever admit, Mark Wallengren, is the kindest human being I've met in a long time. He has the same energy and drive for radio that I do. He loves each and everyone of his listeners. He respects all the people that work together to make KOST 103.5 a great station. Wallengren has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for crying out loud, and is still one of the most humble, down to earth people I've had the pleasure of meeting.
As my first week comes to a close, it has been full of mistakes, crazy conversations, and chaos. But Mark has yet to be cross. Rather, he has been supportive and extra considerate. He has gone out of his way to introduce me to his/our fellow employees. They all say the same thing "Good luck workin' with this guy!" But they all say it with the same "You are so lucky" tone. One of the first things he told me on Monday: "My wife cannot wait to meet you!" What?! OMG! I can't wait either!
Sure enough, his family came in this afternoon for a quick visit. She was so excited to introduce herself, I hugged her. I couldn't help myself! In fact, his whole family was so wonderfully supportive of him and happy to meet me, a stranger, all based on his pride for his work.
Mark Wallengren has every reason to float away with an ego. Yet, he doesn't. He hasn't. I haven't tapped into how he has done it, but I feel privelaged to know him. His energy is contagious, his smile infectious and you can tell his listeners feel the same way. I'm eager to work hard for him. I look forward to a long time professional relationship.
If anything, he has rekindled my faith in this industry, the value of letting your work and positive attitude speak for itself, and that there is still so much to learn as long as I stay curious. I'm curious! Actually, I look forward to going to work everyday to try new things, learn something new, and play.
Thank you for the opportunity iHeart Media. And my most sincerest gratitude for you being yourself, Mark Wallengren. You are my Work Angel. You've made a nobody feel like a somebody. You may never realize how important that is during this 'nobody's' first week. Thank you, thank you, thank you...I hope I have the opportunity to pay the kindness forward.
I chose Glen Campbell's "Try A Little Kindness" because Mark Wallengren embodies the spirit of the song. Despite every reason he has to be an egomaniac, demanding, and entitled, he couldn't be more open minded and considerate of everyone else around him. Enjoy this classic!