I’ve read a few articles recently about being ‘in the zone.’ They talk about those moments when everything is going right; all of your equipment is working properly — and you nail the broadcast. We all love those moments. It’s what we are in the business for.
However, we find ourselves in the danger zone just as often. The danger zone is when everything goes wrong. Numbers are changed, your equipment doesn’t work, your location is outside on an outhouse roof, the dog ate your prep, and generally nothing goes according to plan. The listeners don’t care that conditions are tough; you have to find a way to work through adversity and put forth a strong broadcast anyway.
I definitely took the highway to the danger zone this past weekend. First, I was really tired from staying up late the night before to fight a flooding a toilet. I woke up early to drive two hours to the game location only to realize in the middle of the drive that I had managed to leave my folder of prep on my coffee table. A little bit farther down the road, I realized I had not emailed the canned interviews for our pregame show to our board-op. Finally, when I got to the game the opponents had matte black jerseys with midnight blue numbers surrounded by a tiny line of orange trim. They were virtually unreadable without using binoculars.
Most of these problems were 100% self -inflicted. All the same, I had to find a way to make everything work, and I did.
Getting the pregame interviews was the simplest issue. I have awesome co-workers and after one phone call I found someone to run to our station and email me the mp3’s. To replace my stranded prep folder I took my laptop to the public library and was able to email all of my prep to myself and print it on the public computer. It cost me $3.00 of spare change and it was black and white instead of color coded, but I had my boards, rosters, and stats. Oh yeah, and I was able to call my landlord about the broken toilet.
The broadcast may not have been one that I want to save for a demo reel, but it was solid enough. It’s hard not to get frustrated when everything goes wrong, but when it comes down to it, your listeners don’t care what challenges you’re facing. They just want to know what’s happening in the game. Make sure that they get what they want.