Listening to the Tickle
I learned a really important lesson in 2015 that I’m taking with me as we charge ahead into the New Year.
Sometimes an opportunity presents itself to try something completely new – something you’d never expect to be interested in or be able to predict all the doors it would open for you down the road.
When that opportunity arises and you feel your curiosity pique, a buzz of excitement tickle you inside, don’t let fear or doubt dissuade you from what could be the beginning of a fun, life-changing journey!
For me, that unexpected opportunity was diving into the unknown world of radio.
Three weeks into 2015, my Facebook status declared in revelation:
2015 is all about getting out there and exploring unchartered territory! And so far January has been off to an amazing start, from checking out my first songwriters’ circle that motivated me to compose a new tune … to doing something totally unexpected but surprisingly interesting today – a volunteer workshop for Ryerson’s radio programming hub “The Scope”!
I had learned about The Scope at Ryerson from attending my first songwriters’ circle – a Meetup group organized by Bruce Harrott, Neel Modi and Phil Emery – where I discovered that this fab trio are also co-hosts of a show called Song Talk Radio at The Scope.
After returning home from the meetup, I started curiously browsing around The Scope’s website. Lo and behold, there was an announcement that they would be holding a volunteer boot camp in just a couple of days.
Watch Out, Radio World!
At The Scope’s volunteer workshop, I was surprised to find that I already had a lot of assets that could help me succeed in the radio scene.
Working as a researcher in the criminal justice field meant I had transferrable interview and research skills. Having dabbled in songwriting meant I was comfortable using audio recording and editing software.
In the meantime, I was also using my newfound gung-ho-ness (totally a word) to submit a request to be a songwriting guest on the Song Talk Radio show! This was a big deal for me as I’m typically pretty shy about sharing my music and singing in front of others.
But I’m going to make a confession here that I haven’t divulged to anyone yet – including Bruce, Neel and Phil.
What I ultimately hoped to come out of my guest spot on Song Talk Radio wasn’t to showcase my music or singing, but rather to get a volunteer gig specifically for their show on The Scope.
I mean, it all made perfect sense! I was passionate about songwriting and I was interested in further exploring the world of radio, but I didn’t have the time commitment to develop and pitch my own program.
If I could just show them how engaging and musically inclined I was through my guest spot, perhaps they’d want me on their team. Surely the stars were aligning?
Well, at the end of a fun-filled hour in the Song Talk guest chair in February 2015, I mentioned that I was volunteering for The Scope and if they ever needed help with anything …
“We’re looking for a live tweeter!” Phil replied.
I’m not sure if I knew exactly what that meant at that very moment, but I was on board!
I swear the studio momentarily shook and a resounding click echoed high above our heads. I smiled knowing the stars had aligned.
It’s been a fantastic, whirlwind journey tweeting for Song Talk Radio over the past year.
At first, volunteering for the show as Song Talk’s “Tweeting Songbird” simply meant that each week I could look forward to immersing myself in music and songwriting for a full hour.
No matter how bad my day was going, I knew that the musical happiness vibes would take over once in the studio.
Over the following months, my life outside of every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. has also been unexpectedly impacted from tweeting for Song Talk Radio.
I have made some lifelong friends – i.e. Bruce, Neel and Phil – who support me in and outside of music. I have made connections with other songwriting enthusiasts whose talents awe and inspire me. I have been encouraged to attend open mics, which led me to snag my first gig at The Free Times Cafe. My motivation to write music has been kept alive by my continuous exposure to the songwriting world and the people in it.
This beautiful journey wouldn’t have unfolded the way it did had I ignored the little tickle inside me a year ago.
At the end of 2015, we had our last live show of the year where I got to guest co-host the episode with Bruce, Neel and Phil. Each of us gave our reflections on 2015 and I was more than honoured to be mentioned as a highlight by the guys!
Phil reminisced on how he felt after my first show of live tweeting. If I could frame this quote by him, it would be currently hanging on my wall:
“I remember when I went home and looked at the tweets that Janice did – I was almost in tears.”
Aside from making Phil’s social media dreams come true, it’s been my absolute pleasure to be a part of the Song Talk Radio Team. I can’t wait for more songwriting inspiration and laughs with the guys (and our newest member, Etain) in the upcoming year. #OnwardAndUpward!
So, what’s tickling you at the start of 2016? Let us know what new and creative endeavours you’re excited to try out this year!