Two nattering bloggers, one radio crew member and a live broadcast to the student population. It’s like the start of a movie epic.
As you may have gathered, this week myself and my writing partner took part in Leeds Student Radio’s (LSR) give it a go. The committee had parked themselves and their equipment smack bang in the union foyer, helping students to create their own short live radio chat on a certain topic choice. LSR did this in celebration of seventy-five years of Leeds University Union.
Now I don’t wish to blow my own trumpet, but I have already had experience in the world of radio. Back in college my good friend and I hosted a weekly show with the creative title ‘E Block on a Thursday’. This consisted of us manoeuvring our way into a boxy little studio that you couldn’t swing a cat in, picking out the best tunes (Busted and Lionel Richie to name a few) and panicking in-between songs about what we were going to say to our loyal audiences, of course mates in the college cafe. I knew the show had reached a high point of recognition when my AS History tutor came over to inform me he’d been tuning in. That’s a moment logged in my diary of self-pride.
After last week’s self-bravado I tried to not get ahead of myself this week and went into the task at hand, cautiously. Luckily, for Rebekah and I, we weren’t performing our feature alone. We were supported by a group of international students who were relaying their cultural experience of Leeds. This created a great collaboration for the mini show, as we told them all about our adventures so far with Her Campus and what exciting things the union has to offer to the world.
One memory that the event brought back to me was the importance of keeping close proximity with the microphones. When I listened back to the recording of my first ever radio show, my voice was nothing but a low fridge-like hum in the background. This was because I hadn’t spoken right into the recording equipment. Consequently, the show seemed very odd as it made my friend appear very lonely as she sounded like she was conversing with her imaginary friends. Similarly on this task, the helpful committee were gesturing for us to put the mics as close as possible to our chatterbox’s to ensure all our wonderful witty banter was captured.
Despite these challenges, we muddled our way through the short segment under LSR’s direction and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. The society is definitely a great stepping stone into the world of media. From my experience as well it gives you not only creative directional skills over a show, but technological skills that would look impressive on a CV. For me it brought back all my college radio nostalgia and has left me considering branching into the society in the New Year. Who knows, maybe I’ll bring ‘E Block on a Thursday’ to my Leeds pals and make a name for myself up here in the Yorkshire lands.
Unlike Hannah, I have had no radio experience and am a complete novice to this field. I’ve never really considered radio, as I feel that one must be witty in order to win over the audience, which I definitely am not! Also, I do not like the sound of my own voice and so to be quite honest with you, the thought of being on the radio was slightly terrifying. But at the same time, I was also very excited. In this day and age, radio presenters always seem to have a celebrity status, so being on the radio (albeit for 10 minutes) was basically just like becoming a celebrity! Well, kind of.
It all seemed very professional. With the techy kit (I don’t know the proper names for everything) all set up in the foyer, such as the microphones and a proper set list, it was somewhat overwhelming. However, the committee just like others that we have met during the writing of these blogs were very welcoming and helped guide us through our short ten minutes, explaining what kind of things we should talk about and so on.
We met Lissie, who is a full time employee at LSR. She was telling us how she oversees the management and organisation of the radio. Did you know that LSR is on air from 9am to 12am? Considering that this is a University programme that is seriously impressive! Anyway, this means that the radio needs a lot of work. I was surprised that LSR have an employed worker, which just goes to show the many amazing opportunities that the union have to offer in terms of societies. You never know, it may spark potential future career plans!
I don’t think though, my career path will be leading towards the BBC radio studios. It was incredibly fun and surprisingly nerve racking talking on radio, but having listened back to the podcast, I just cringe at the sound of my voice!
I think we could both feel the pressure. It seemed very surreal, as we were having a conversation with just the people around us, but knowing that this was being broadcast out to the whole University population. It just slightly upped the nerves ante. I had to hold the microphone for both Hannah and I, which probably caused the sound issues for Hannah (sorry about that!). Another thing which I noticed was how I really had to concentrate as we were talking to one another, for fear of making a mistake or embarrassing myself on air. Because of this, it may have sounded a bit contrived, but then that is probably me being picky!
This was a fun experience and I think so far one of my favourite societies that we have attended. It was a chance to do something that I hadn’t really considered before, and I can see why people enjoy the radio ‘buzz’. The high pressured atmosphere made it exciting, although nerve racking! If any budding presenters are keen to get their voices heard, I would definitely recommend LSR – this isn’t one to miss!
That’s all for now folks. Bring on the next society!
Rebekah Chapman and Hannah Cowton
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