THE LUCKY THREES
FIRST LIVE SHOW: A REFLECTION
Hosted by Sammy and Dusty
Panel operation by Rose
Produced by Olivia
Social media run by JJ
On today’s gloomy, rainy Monday morning our group met at Triple R at 10am to prepare for our first live to air show. Naturally, I had uncontrollable nerves in the lead up to airing. I was also very shaky and beaming with signs of anxiousness at the beginning of the show, but it soon settled and I was far more relaxed as the show progressed. JJ was manning the social media deck, live Tweeting our each and every move. Pictures of Sammy and I with our behind the scenes team and with our guests were shooting into cyberspace left right and centre over the hour. Everything was appropriately communicated and organised within our team, and for that I am extremely grateful. I felt we worked so well in our little radio show cohort.
THE WARM UP
Sammy and I ran through our script outline / running sheet in both the greenroom and in studio one with Rose practicing her panel operation, in the lead up to our 12pm takeoff. This was really helpful for us, as it made Sammy and I work together to adopt a natural flow with this new content, and to smooth out anything that we hadn’t realised didn’t quite fit with our dialogue or content.
As mentioned, initially, I was pretty nervous. I was really trying to calm my voice in the first part where I spoke. I was focusing quite a lot on taming them, because I knew the nerves were so unnecessary. As we finished up our introduction, Fortunes.‘ song Focus arrived. At this stage, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders, the beginning was over. I managed to relax a little after that, I think this is where my body realised that ‘actually, it’s not so bad after all, Dusty!’ The beauty of having these moments during a song to speak with your radio team, is that you can all reassure each other that everything was and is going to be totally fine. Because, we all managed to nail our roles thus far – even if it was only a few minutes in. Asides the comfort we gained in finishing up on the introduction and spreading kind words, I also found that the Lucky Threes live show was definitely sounding better than the (all three) demo introduction(s) already. I suppose this is mainly because we actually had interesting content to speak about for the real show and we were all much more comfortable in our roles.
LIVE INTERVIEW CONTENT
What made our show interesting was primarily, its diverse interview content (along with music choice). We looked at climate change, medieval role play and the conservation of birdlife. Issues around climate change effect everyone and the basic ideas around it are understood by a lot of our population, the other two were more community-based or niche subjects of discussion but were interesting as a result. It seems we had a good mix of spreading both social awareness and entertainment in our show.
CEO and founder of the Less Meat Less Heat initiative
I thought that this interview went really well as Mark was articulate and easy to speak with. Sammy and I had managed to split the speaking time between us fairly evenly which is not absolutely necessary, but I feel that it definitely sounds better as a listener if there is some ping-ponging between hosts. To be textural, seems to give a better chance of engaging with the consumer. As I was getting into the discussion, possibly I broke a little in accidentally talking over either Sammy or Mark. It’s quite hard to stop yourself from being conversational and adding your thoughts into someone else’s thread of discourse (particularly when you’re the one at the receiving end with the feeding of information). I thought that both Sammy and I were getting really into the discussion, which was good as we would have sounded genuinely engaged to the listeners. I made sure than both Sammy and I downloaded his Climatarian Challenge app about 5 days or so before we went live, to monitor how much meat we consumed. This was so that we were able to discuss the app (a major element to the Less Meat Less Heat initiative) with appropriate knowledge of its inner-workings. I also made sure to read up on him as well as watching his TEDxStKilda talk video on YouTube (above). Both Sammy and I had done quite a bit of research and were interested in the cause, which meant the interview did go a little too long as a result (however, this was lucky due to our technical trouble which occurred later in the show). We had so many questions which we had planned to ask. Perhaps it would have been a good idea to have less questions written down in our outline, we had definitely over prepared in order to reassure ourselves we wouldn’t run out of points of discussion while live to air. However, definitely better than not having enough main topics. Because it did turn out to be so natural (and we weren’t sure what the “vibe” would be) it meant that we filled a lot of the time with conversation which stemmed from these questions, leaving us with a few quality excess questions which we didn’t manage to get to.
Member of Swordcraft, Melbourne
This was definitely my favourite interview of the two. I feel that was evident in how much I communicated during the segment too. Possibly more of the questions were coming from me because I was so interested and had done quite a lot of research on the concept of live action role play. It was not just because I had picked this interview topic either. Once the show was over, Sammy had mentioned I lead that interview more so and I agreed. We both thought it was okay that it had happened this way though, because Sammy’s pre-recorded interview was involved in our show as well.
I was initially quite unsure how this interview would go due to not having close ties with the selected interviewee. I had only recently met Oliver, and it was only through one encounter where we were sitting next to each other in the same lecture theatre earlier in this semester. All worries of the interview’s potentiality to fail, had flown out the window as soon as the interview began. Oliver was a really engaging subject and so passionate about Swordcraft and medieval history. As a result, he was able to articulate so much for discussion. It was really great that he brought his helmet and sword which he plays with, to the studio. Despite this being an audio interview, it was great for our promotion pictures for Room With A View‘s social media accounts. Also, was ideal for some helmet-tapping sound effects in between our discussion around the attire one sports, when partaking in live action role play.
Again, this segment was another case of wanting to talk more in-depth with the interviewee, but we ran out of time.
(as a pair)
I would say that Sammy and I had a cohesive dynamic going together, her “radio voice” is quite exuberant in nature and mine has a more low-key, lazy Sunday, quality to it. I think the contrast gave the show necessary texture. It allowed the audience to differentiate between the two of us. It is evident in our live show, that I took in the constructive criticism from our team, by speaking louder than I had in the demo recordings.
During the Swordcraft interview I seemed to have taken the lead, and had my fair share of discussion time throughout the rest of the show too (I felt, at least). It’s a tad ironic because after the demo practices I had reflected on our demo piece and mentioned that I felt like I was not speaking enough during it, this time it was not the case. After the demo I had discussed with Sammy that the live show should be more equally divided, we both agreed this was important. I think I really gained more confidence by the time we went to air, I just felt more prepared as there was finally substantial content for us to form discourse around.
We made sure to be super thorough and consistent in our running sheet and always had noted the appropriate moments (non-excessive) to announce the time, as well as detailed front and back announcements for our interviews and music. This was important, as people can tune in at any time. I always find it frustrating when radio hosts don’t remember to back announce songs – as this is the most important time to be told the song titles, as you’ve just heard the song and may have really liked it upon listening. I feel we did a really good job of doing this.
I think the fact I had included the upcoming gig announcements of both Yollks and Fortunes. worked well as it gave a sense that, as hosts, we were supportive of the music we were presenting. I’m not entirely sure whether we were meant to be promoting gigs that weren’t on the list which Triple R has for announcements in their shows, but I think it was really important to do for the aforementioned reason.
At the end of the show I mentioned April Amnesty which was to tell the listeners to subscribe to Triple R and why. Elizabeth (the ‘Talks’ producer) was really glad that we had done that for the station. I think it showed her that we did a lot of research and were really committed to producing informative content.
(and the pre-recorded interview dilemma)
I guess I have to address the elephant in the room (with a view… live show recording *cue slow clap*). The elephant, being a technical mishap with Sammy’s pre-recorded interview with Simon Starr which we were playing. Basically, Rose had the file playing from the Google Drive, which worked fine and dandy during our demo recordings. This time the file cut out around 3 minutes in. It was the only thing we had playing through the drive, too. We suspect that the internet may have cut out from connecting to the computer and halted the audio from the file. It was peculiar, because the track was still “playing” but nothing audible was coming from it. Sammy, Rose and I went still as this happened. We all looked at each other in a nervous panic. Sammy ran from Rose’s side and back to her chair, I straightened up my microphone and was preparing for a blabbering mess to explode from our (mostly my) mouth. Sammy swiftly began talking to save the day! I was still trying to figure out where we should lift off from on our running sheet document which was in the Google Drive and managed to confuse myself into thinking that Sammy was wrapping up the show, so followed suit. Oh well, these things happen! Rose and Sammy quickly gestured to me to announce a song to stop the awkwardness. From that, I finally managed to sort myself out. We both played it off smoothly once the songs finished up! We had recovered and Sammy reiterated that the full interview would be available online for the audience to revisit.
Because the pre-record cut out, we had to fill some time. We threw in and extra song which Rose had prepared earlier. Thank goodness for that!
Wise words of advice: always have back-ups and always play all your prepared audio from the CD player at Triple R, regardless of how much confidence you have in the station’s public ‘Greenroom’ wi-fi.
With Rose’s panel operation and CD preparation, I think she did an incredible job. She recovered from the prerecord cut-out technical glitch so swiftly and I was really impressed with her ability to do so. She got our microphones back on and managed to successfully express to us that we were to go to another song while sorting out the problem as a team. There were a few moments of dead air, but it was mostly so slight and listeners would not have really noticed.
For our whole show, Sammy and I viewed the (very detailed and well-constructed) running sheet on our Google Drive document. This was possibly not ideal in terms of having our laptops out; just with their size, it can be a little distracting. But, it was so useful for Sammy and I to communicate which questions we should move to by making notes when we were not speaking to the interviewee. It meant we could interact with each other without interrupting the interviewee and the flow of discussion. We avoided paying too much attention to the screen, but it was certainly useful when we came to the technical issue. It meant we could rearrange a little of our outline to suit, and go from there. Ideally, an iPad would be best if this technique is used.
Despite the mixups from the technical difficulty messing with the flow of our music, our whole group seemed to agree that it was suitable for the Triple R audience. We kept it relatively local to stick to the non-mainstream, community vibe which Triple R is all about. I think the song choices alone were good because most were Australian or New Zealand musicians and there was an eclectic mix. The only problem was that we flustered trying to mend our technical error by playing Earth Tongue‘s Portable Shrine and Melody Pool‘s Mariachi Wind after, they clashed a little too much. One was heavy and the other, much softer. All-round, we could have just arranged the songs so they were a little more fluid to suit the moods.
It was good that Rose managed to make the Fortunes. song quieter on the CDs she ripped for the live recording, as part of it was really loud in the demo.
JJ did a great job with the social media stream throughout the show. Sammy and I took pre-show pictures with our interviewees which were used to promote our interview content. JJ managed to keep live-Tweets going, letting the listeners know who was part of the discussion at different points. Sammy made sure to mention our Twitter handle at the beginning and end which directed audience members to stay updated with, or look back on any missed content (particularly important in the case of the pre-record only being half-played).
Here is the full show, in all its glory (and endearing, minor flaws):
If there were something that I would change about this live to air assessment, it would be to have an outsider’s reflection on the show. A listener who is not part of the course. Someone who is constructively critical. So you can grasp a better understanding of what you sounded like from the receiving end.
As it was the first radio show type thing I’d done before. I am very happy with the result. I feel Sammy, Olivia, Rose, JJ and I all worked so efficiently together. Very organised and on top of it, such a relief to have a group where everyone is like-minded and driven. Even though it was stressful to prepare everything as we had less time to do so, it was good to get it completed to deflate the balloon of stress a little and for us to be able to focus on other tasks in the course. Looking forward to deciding on, and conducting my individual interview and constructing our radio feature together. I’m really proud of The Lucky Threes!