The Radio "Stress Dream" 2.0
Updated: Feb 27, 2021
I had a radio dream last night. But it wasn’t the typical “stress dream". You know the one. You’re alone, in the studio, the song is running out and you have no idea what to play next. It takes various forms. Perhaps you’re locked out of the studio or you can’t speak. Maybe you’re searching frantically for the music log or the commercial log to know what to play next. For me, last night’s dream was different.
I found myself back at my old station cluster after a long period of being away. I felt out of place, irrelevant. I made my way into a co-worker’s cubicle, my imaging counterpart for one of the other stations (who had long since left the fold to pursue his career in voice-over). We were discussing our careers and I mentioned that was thinking about quitting radio imaging. I felt like I wasn’t having fun anymore. I believed my contributions were no longer appreciated, and I was not receiving any feedback whatsoever on my work. I don’t remember any response or advice from his perspective. I do remember seeing other former co-workers in the halls, but no other interactions than the one with my friend Drew. Overall, I was very sad in the dream.
When I woke, I started to think about what it meant outside of the obvious. I have been feeling very irrelevant lately, kind of down. It’s been 5 years since I last worked at a radio station as a creative services director. I’m concerned that my skills and experience no longer fit in today’s radio world. Couple that with a rash of cancellations on the v/o side of things, a lack of auditions for new work and a production roster that is down to one semi-regular client, and my insecurities are being fed a smorgasbord of doubt.
The one thing that do know for sure is that I go all-in with every client I have. I become invested in each station’s success because that reflects on me. As I continue to write this piece, I’m starting to think about what advice I would give someone else who presented me with this scenario.
Control what you can control. Things change in this business and not always in your favor. The only thing you can rely on is the quality of your work and that when one door closes, another one can open, but you need to look for it. You can’t count on someone just inviting you in.
So, I think what I’m going to do going forward is what I’ve always been doing. I will continue to write my “Sweeper of The Day” posts and share them with you all. I hope that you’ll give me feedback, so I know you’re seeing them and that my contributions are somewhat relevant and appreciated. I’m also going to seek out some coaching in 2019. It’s been a while since I’ve had any and that might just be the kind of feedback and interaction I need. Finally, a new website is in order. It will be one focused on voice-over. I’m going to move my creative stuff to another domain and let drakedonovan.com be the site I use to showcase my abilities in all facets of voice work.
I know there are other folks in this business who may be facing the same feelings that I am. I hope this piece can inspire you to look within and try to pick yourself up.