I'm always checking the media job sites for any possibilities. It seems every operator job I see on the Milkman board is part-time. It's a great way to get your foot in the door. You already know your best shot is a small market and the pay won’t be very high to begin with. What becomes problematic is the prospect of leaving town for anything less than a full-time job. I find that particularly true if you don’t know anybody who lives there who can help you out in advance.
So I’m doing my best to gain experience in Montreal at Radio Centre-Ville. There is no pay, but you get to do a bit of everything. It’s a great distraction from the cruel routine of everyday life. You can at least allow yourself to dream that one day you might be able to do what you love and actually get paid for it.
It isn’t any fun when you make mistakes. When I first started working the board, I made a bunch of them until I became comfortable. The biggest adjustment is the varying “directing” styles of the hosts you find yourself working with. If you have not worked with someone before, it takes a while to get to know their way of doing things. At that point, you may even find yourself instinctively knowing the flow of the program. On the other hand, if you are replacing someone, and you have never done that show before, that is where it can get tense.
It is not too different on the air either. If you are doing a show with someone, it may take time to feel comfortable working with them. That is especially true if you didn’t know them at all to begin with. It seems better not lose patience too quickly, and to give it time. Sure, it’s not always possible... Having said that, I can imagine that with some people, you instantly know you have zero chemistry. I’ve been lucky enough to deal with people that I’ve gotten along with very well. I hope that continues for the foreseeable future - it makes things a lot easier!