There is No Please Stand By…

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Do you remember as a kid when you would watch TV and on a very rare occasion in the middle of your show a still picture of the show would come up with a message that said, “Please Stand By We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties,”?  Often it would be accompanied by some type of music that even an elevator would say was too lame.  Boy was that annoying!  Why can’t they just get it right I would wonder.

I sure do wish I had one of them now!  We do our show live on many affiliates.  Davin’s Den is not a podcast.  In a podcast if something does not work you just scrub it and start again.  You the listener have no idea there was ever an issue.  A podcast is like a movie while a live radio show is like the theater.  In the theater if the lights go out or a line is flubbed it is there for all the world to see.  Actually we have it even worse.  In the theater only the people who were at that performance know something went wrong.  We record these shows so when people download them they get to relive the horror as if it was live.

Except there is one difference.  The people who listen to our show live come alive when we are in the midst of tech hell.  Often I assume nobody is listening to the show as we are tucked away in the basement of my house in our little make shift studio.  Just a couple of pals yapping away.  When the tech goes to crap it is like an amber alert has been issued.  Our chat room explodes.  My facebook explodes.  My cell phone explodes.  First the alarm that something is wrong.  Often this is what makes me aware that there is even a problem.  Then come the solutions from all over the world on what to do.  The suggestions are greatly appreciated but it is akin to me working on a car and the neighbors gathering around to watch.  Here is the problem, I really do not know much about cars.  If I am tinkering with it, it is because I am the best option and that is not a good thing.  My neighbors know even less about cars.  Some suggestions are great.  Some suggestions are akin to, “I know why your car is stalling.  You need to change the air freshener.”

Now if I mess up my car by tinkering it is just my car.  When we are live, even if I want to pull us off the air to try and fix things I have a bunch of affiliates that will have nothing but dead air.  Some would suggest that is an upgrade but if you are reading this you are probably not one of those people.  As much as I would like to put the show up on blocks to have a look underneath (to continue the car analogy) I just can’t do that.  So in essence I try to fix the car while driving.  Often this involves me taking my eyes off the road while I tinker.  It really is quite a helpless feeling to be in the car (our show) as it continues down the highway at a fast rate of speed while I continue to tinker hoping not to blow out the transmission and careen off the road and kill that nice family of geese nibbling on grass in front yard. 

The heart rate quickens, the passenger grabs the wheel to keep us on the road while her eyes grow large.  The neighbors yell more things.  I tinker more furiously and then we….

Well that’s just it.  We never quite know where it will go.  Do I fix it in time?  Do we go off the road completely?  That is the thrill!  That is the beauty of a live performance whether it be radio, comedy, theater, circus, etc.  There are no do overs.  You are out there naked with you bullocks out for the world to see.  It is an adrenaline rush every time.

And thank goodness for our fans who snap me out of my little safety cocoon and make me aware that people are listening and they do not want to hear static, or buzzing or a feed that cuts in and out.  They want a quality listening experience.  And thank goodness they have the patience to “Please Stand By” while I kick the tires.  Thank goodness they have suggestions like hire an intern and have him sleep by the cat box while my blood pressure rises and my patience wane.  Thank goodness I can read something like that to make me laugh.  And thank goodness that I have a co-host that does not get mad that I am only half listening while she talks and I check the spark plugs.  Thank goodness we have a chat room that is building into a small little community of people that go there to hang and bust our chops or each other’s chops.  They do Stand By even when I have to take us off the road.  They are back when the car is running as it should.

I love driving this car that is Davin’s Den.  I love the fact that we have witnesses in real time every time I screw up or the equipment gets attacked by gremlins. I love the fact that we edit nothing for the downloads and when somebody listens that way they get the same bumpy road that we experience in real time.

I guess I am an adrenaline junkie and live performances are my bungee jump.  Only difference is in a bungee jump when the chord snaps and the jumper falls everybody is concerned.  In my case, when the chord snaps all of the Den faithful bust my balls and suggest inciteful things like maybe if the chord was yellow instead of red it would not have snapped.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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