Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Forum Phones

KQED’s Forum is first and foremost a live radio show, which means we welcome calls, emails, tweets, online comments, and facebook posts throughout the show. From the very beginning, the interns have been responsible for collecting all the comments from all the online platforms and bringing them into the studio. But last week, things started getting interesting!!

Last week, we were encouraged to spend some time with the producers figuring out how the phone works. What to click, what to say, etc etc. And then, at the end of last week, I got an email that basically said come in next week and you can actually answer the phones. So that is what I did. Today’s 9-10am hour was all about melanoma, sun exposure, and sun protection. If, for some reason, you called into Forum today between 9:30ish and 10, you would have spoken to me!

To say it was nerve-wracking when I started would be to describe the ocean as big. True, but not really expressive. When I picked up the first caller, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and I was more than a little nervous. But Tina is really amazing at being supportive enough without smothering, so just having her stand there was helpful. Plus the fact that I’ve been carefully observing the producers every time I walk in to bring comments in for approval, so I already had a pretty good sense of what I was doing. I asked a lot of questions about which button to click, so I didn’t mess anything up too bad, but it worked out.

I got to record comments for a half dozen callers or so, and I was busy the whole time (because both hours today were particularly exciting and elicited a lot of comments and calls.) I was responsible for deciding which caller had the most interesting and pertinent things to say on air and, subject to Tina’s approval, suggesting those callers to Michael to welcome onto the show.

I’ve been watching the various producers perform what seems to be an incredible juggling act in the studio every week, but I think I’m slowly figuring out that it isn’t really so impossible. Just like I figured out all the bits and pieces of stage management with time, producing a radio show seems to be quite similar. Once you’ve got one job mastered you tack on another, until you’re basically doing it all.

Obviously, as an intern, I’m not expected to master or perform all the tasks, nor do I expect myself to; I’m sure there are jobs I don’t even know exist that the producers do every day. But as time has gone by, my responsibilities have slowly grown to include sending emails to potential guests, pre-interviewing guests, writing blog posts for KQED online content that ties into Forum shows (more on that later this week, hopefully!), and now helping to answer the phones. I’m really excited that I’ve gotten to see all these different aspects of a show being put together, and I can’t wait to see what I learn over the next four weeks!

On a less happy note, tomorrow will be 2/3 of the way through my summer and my time at Forum :(. I should probably start looking for a job for the fall…


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