First of all, a big bold "Bravissimo!" to Michael R. Lee and his article last month, "The Big Squeeze." My husband, Jim (also in the biz) and I were bemoaning this very subject the week before wondering, "is it like this everywhere, or is it just this market?" Mr. Lee's article answered our question. It is NOT just us. And we are not the only frustrated artists pushed around by an endless parade of "suits" who have lost their passion, if indeed they ever had any beyond monetary gain. Radio should always be considered "show business," but when the "show" is over, what we're left with is "business." That's not why Jim or I signed up. How 'bout you?
On to more practical day-to-day subjects. Thought I'd share these tips with fellow creative/production types.
Find a teachers' supply store and get some holiday stickers that teachers use on art projects or to grade assignments. There are stickers for all the major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.. Make sure you get ones small enough, and encourage your producers to put these on cart labels to indicate that the copy mentions that holiday. No matter how dense the part-timer, it's hard to miss a pilgrim or a Santa sticker, even if end-dates elude him or her!
Finally...looking for a personal gift for friends and family far away who can't understand why you never have time to send cards or long letters around the holidays? You're busy putting that Christmas show together, right? I send a portion of the show to them on cassette! Our on-air staff reads stories, legends, poems, the Nativity story, etc., and I put these together with holiday music and wrap them up as gifts with a note to open BEFORE Christmas for maximum enjoyment, explaining THIS is why I work late, I never have time to call, or why the Christmas cards are perpetually late. A great gift idea for young children is to take any story, and read and produce it to the max with music and sound effects! You can even personalize it for them! (Oh, sure, it ain't "Ten-In-A-Row," but maybe they'll like it anyway!)
Love the magazine and cassette! Keep the faith, and when you feel all of it getting to you, there's no better cure than a trip to Disney World. That ain't Ten-In-A-Row either! THAT, Mousekateers, is "show business!"
Monica Ballard, Creative Director/Production Director
WMYI, Greenville, South Carolina
Thanks for the tips and your continued support!