Which Direction Now, Genius?

Thursday March 29th, 2012 – Rockford, IL

   I can see an all too familiar pattern developing in my life, and it is cause for alarm. Last time it happened, I’ll bet it set me back career wise at least a dozen years or more. And wouldn’t I know it – the stars and planets are aligning again. I didn’t see it coming then, but it’s crystal clear now.

I’m finding myself caught between radio and comedy – neither being the most stable choice of how to make my living. I’m sending out mixed signals apparently, as I’m getting mixed answers. I was in this position twenty years ago, and chose to attempt to pursue both. That was a mistake.

All that did was kick me in the teeth and a few other more delicate places, and leave me on the outside looking in at both endeavors. The correct move would have been to carefully choose one of the two pursuits and completely focus on that. Had I done that, I think I’d be in a better place.

The reasons I didn’t do it that way are legitimate, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t screw the pooch. I thought radio would be ‘stable’, and I kept getting job offers in it so I took them as they came thinking the next one would be better. None of them were, and I ended up stranded in some off the beaten path random town like Reno or Salt Lake City, having to start my life over again.

Today I was back on the air filling in on WNTA in Rockford, IL with Jim McHugh. I’m doing it basically to help out the operations manager Jim Stone because he’s a friend, but we’ve gotten a lot of compliments both in the building and from callers on how they’re enjoying what we do.

Granted, there aren’t any full time job openings available right now, but that’s today. It’s radio, and sweeping changes can happen overnight. Someone could quit or move on in a heartbeat, and that would create an opportunity. I really wasn’t looking to get back into the rat race of radio, but at this time in my life even six months of ‘stability’ would really come in handy. I would say yes.

There’s also an opening in Chicago radio at 100.3 since Robert Murphy just got bounced after about six months. He had a nice run twenty years ago, and they brought him back based on what he did then. Apparently the magic was gone, as he didn’t make much of a splash the second time around. He did make a ton of money in his day, so I doubt he’ll be starving. But I’m pretty close.

I sent out a feeler saying I’d be interested, and actually got a response. I have no idea what they are thinking, but my inner voice tells me it would be wise to pursue it. Even six months would be a welcome and much appreciated gift right now, and I know I can do the job. I could pull it off.

However, I’ve also been sending out feelers to several comedy bookers around the country and have gotten some responses there too. This is exactly the same dilemma I’ve found myself facing numerous times before. I line up comedy gigs, then a radio job comes along and I have to cancel.

Then I get fired in radio, and have to start the whole process over again. I see it happening once again. What’s the smart move? Unfortunately, I have bills to pay like we all do. That’s how all of this got started before. I’m twenty years older now, and I hope I’m twenty years wiser. We’ll see.


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