Monday, June 15, 2009

One Moment CAN Change Your Future!

I'll never forget Thursday night, somewhere between 7p-12a, 1989... I was listening to this crazy, flame-throwing d.j. on my local radio station, where out of nowhere I picked up the phone and asked him if there were any job openings. Maybe to most, this doesn't sound like that big of deal, but it couldn't be further out of my character. A radio disc jockey? Me?? I was as insecure and afraid of public speaking as they came, plus my future was already set: I was going to attend school somewhere, play professional tennis, and probably marry a beautiful blonde groupie (or at least date a bunch of them). 

The d.j., "Dynamite" Daaron Stone said he may have something for me, but I would have to call him back tomorrow night. The rest of Thursday night was spent in my room with a piece of crap recorder, cheap microphone, pretending I was a hotshot disc jockey. I remember catching myself looking in the mirror, with my eyebrows close together, trying to be super sexy while I talked into the microphone (did I just seriously admit that to you?!).

Friday night at exactly 7:00, I called "Dynomite" to ask about that job he might have for me. He acted a bit surprised, admitting that he didn't expect to hear back from me, but that I could come to the station right then if I wanted. 

I remember thinking, "What? Now? What am I thinking? I'm not a freakin' d.j., I'm a scared kid who hides his eyes from the teacher, in fear of getting called on!"

I don't remember how, but I managed to get my skinny little butt in the car and drive to the station, listening to Daaron on the radio the whole time. Again, this was so far from anything I'd ever done before, and actually felt as if I wasn't even in control. I was the guy who always played it safe, and who never did anything unless I knew I was going to be successful. I wasn't the, "let's take a chance of making a fool out of myself, in order to learn and grow" kind of guy. 

I finally reached the radio station, rang the buzzer that called studio he was in, and waited for him to answer. It was probably only 30 seconds before he came to the door, but if felt like 30 minutes. My hands were soaking wet, and freezing cold... so much so that he laughed when he shook my hand. Great, I just got laughed at, and I haven't even stepped in the station yet. How's my ego feeling right about now?

When we walked in the on-air studio, he told me to be quiet, as he popped open his microphone in the beginning of whatever song was playing and went into some caffeine-filled, disc jockey talk:

"97-5 KHTY. You're in the middle of 50 minutes nonstop jams. This is Dynamite Daaron Stone, and I'm outta here, outta beer, adios, I'm a toast, I'm a ghost, I'm a hot-rockin', flame-throwin' memory!" 
When he turned his microphone off, I asked why he just signed off- his shift wasn't over yet. He didn't answer me, but did tell me to wait in the studio while he went to the bathroom. He also told me that if he wasn't back when the song ended, I should put on his headphones, turn on the microphone, start the next song, and read what was written on his playlist. I didn't understand what he was asking me to do at first, but soon realized that if he wasn't back from bathroom in time , HE WANTED ME TO GO ON THE RADIO... LIVE!!! 

I stared intently at the clock that counted down from the beginning of the song to the end. It quickly went from 4:10 to 2:10, and still no Daaron. When the clock reached :59, I ran out in the hall and yelled for him. 

"Where in the hell are you? How long does it possibly take for one human being to pee?! You better get back in here... I'm not doing this... I'm not going to read anything."

I sprinted back in the studio, not knowing what I was going to do, as the clock hit :10 and counting. I was in a total panic, but when it hit :00, I quickly put on his headphones, turned on the microphone, hit the next song, and read the artist intro. The second I finished, he slammed open the studio door and yelled, "YOU'RE HIRED! YOU START TOMORROW MORNING!"

I didn't know it at the time, but that single moment changed my whole life, and began shaping my future. If it wasn't for that one, unexpected phone call to some strange disc jockey, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Most likely, I'd still be that scared little kid, afraid of his own shadow. Pay attention to those moments... you just never know. 


Erica said...

hahaaa.. the people reading this should listen to you on the tapes... what a playa

Dayne Gingrich said...

I just MAY make those tapes of me "on-air" public... still thinking about it.



5lundbergs said...

I remember hearing you on there and thinking, "nah, couldn't be". LOL! But it was and I thought you were hilarious, since I knew a "different" side of you, a less "Big Dog" you. :-) I remember Darren too! LOL!

Dayne Gingrich said...

LOL! Did we go to school together??