Did you know that I had a brief stint as a radio personality? Well, sort of…
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, I was required to take a writing course. Many of the writing courses Penn offers are unexciting, but I was lucky to enroll in a course called “Writing for Radio.” The class was held at the local independent radio station, WXPN, which was about four blocks away from campus.
The course was a fun diversion from the math and science courses I was taking. We had four instructors, and each one was an actual radio host at WXPN. We spent ten weeks listening to a lot of radio, like news programs on NPR and band interviews that were recorded at WXPN. Our instructors taught us how to speak properly on the radio, like how to break up a radio script into bite-size chunks you can say without running out of breath.
The final project for this course was to go out into the world and interview someone about an event they were hosting. I hopped on a train to Wilmington, Delaware and interviewed a member of the Delaware Theatre Company. She was directing a Christmas play called “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.” It’s basically the traditional story of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but they tell it as if it were broadcast on the radio. So the actors and actresses on stage interact with a lot of props to create sound effects during the play. It seemed appropriate for an assignment to create a radio piece.
I really liked how the interview turned out, and WXPN even broadcast it live on the radio! Give it a listen and let me know what you think. Should I eventually return to radio?
Note: The audio levels aren’t that great, so you might turn up your volume to hear it better.