We’re talking patience. If you’re in this industry, and something either before, during or even after a broadcast hasn’t gone according to plan at least once in your life, then you’re only fooling yourself.
It happens to us all. Some more frequently than others; not that I’m one of those, of course…
The most important thing I have learned while in this profession is something that should resonate throughout all aspects of life.
Patience goes a long way.
The patience to handle issues that might arise during the course of a broadcast, be it technical, man-made, or self-induced. The patience to hear and understand, as best you can, criticism or rejection regarding one’s work. The patience to deal with a co-worker who might not have as much patience as you do on a particular day.
Given what we’ve gone through in the electoral process for the better part of the last two years plus, we could probably all use a bit of patience.
I have also found that many of the mishaps that occur make tremendously entertaining stories. A reminder of this came to me Monday, after driving a round-trip total of 60 miles to lend a fellow broadcaster a piece of equipment that was misplaced the previous week in another town.
This was about seven years ago, and a similar circumstance happened to yours truly, with the exception that no other broadcaster was able to assist in my time of need.
I had arrived at a football field to call the game about an hour and a half before kickoff to set up my gear. It was then that I noticed the power source of said gear was missing. Turned out, I had left it in the community I was in the previous Friday night; and that town was a little more than an hour away.
Through patience and some clear thinking, I was able to reach out to the athletic director of the previous town, meet him halfway, pick up the power accessory, and make it just back in time for kickoff.
What about a pregame show you ask? I thankfully had that covered. During the start of the drive back after the equipment rendezvous, going about 80-85 miles an hour, since we were still using phones to do our games back then, I called the station and presented my two minute scene setter. The rest of the pregame show was recorded interviews and the probable starting lineups. They say preparation is the key to success, and whomever, “they” are, they’re right!
I look back on that moment now and have a pretty good laugh about it. If I ever write a book, I can guaranteed that tale, along with countless others are going in there, the good, the bad and the ugly.
The point is to try to avoid being overtly flustered with mishaps or failures in the moment; many of which will be out of your own control. They are all too common in life, and especially in the field in which we love.
Look at Luke Skywalker. He wanted to go out and take down the Empire as fast as possible. He probably would have been destroyed very easily had he heeded his own emotions in that moment. But thankfully for Luke, Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan preached patience, and the rest as they say is fictitious history.
I’ll confess, it’s taken some time for me to learn that lesson, and I’m still trying to have that lesson fully take, but I know I’ve become and will continue to be better for it. If you haven’t yet discovered this simple truth, I know you will soon enough.
Patience young padawn.