10 Questions with ... Shaffee
January 3, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started my radio career in 1998 at WWCK in Flint, MI doing weekends. After three months I landed my first full-time gig doing nights at WJXQ in Lansing, where I created a highly popular show called "The Skankshift." In 2002 I landed a gig at WRIF/Detroit, where I hosted the local music show "Motor City Riffs."
In 2006 I moved to Kalamazoo to do nights at WRKR. After a year-and-a-half, I was hired to host the morning show at WKLS in Atlanta. It was a great experience that lasted nearly four years. While in Atlanta, I was also the "Voice Of Blueland" as the PA announcer for the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL. I held that position for the final three seasons of NHL hockey in Atlanta until the franchise relocated to Winnipeg.
I also spent 10 years working in the pro wrestling industry. I did play-by-play for "Big Time Wrestling," which aired on television stations all over Michigan. I also wrestled occasionally and most notably managed Sabu in over 100 matches in several promotions in the Midwest and Canada.
I'm 33 years old and was born and raised in Detroit Rock City. I'm looking forward to my next opportunity.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I've been enjoying spending time with family and friends in Detroit, especially since the Tigers and Lions have had terrific seasons. I've also been playing my guitar a hell of a lot and visualizing what I'd like to accomplish in the future.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Does radio plan on sticking with me is a much more interesting question. I'm an entertainer and will definitely stick to entertaining others, whether it's on radio or another platform. I do get a certain rush while on the mic ... kinda like a drug addict getting a fix. I don't believe I've done my last show.
3) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
I was out of the game for about nine months in 2005 after being fired from WRIF, but I was able to travel more to work pro wrestling shows, so I didn't think of being out of radio as a bad thing. I had a ton of fun and experienced things that I'll never forget, like sharing a hotel room with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik.
4) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
When I first broke into the wrestling business, I lied to a promoter by telling him that I was fully trained to wrestle when I wasn't. I'm happy that I didn't break my neck and even happier that I didn't paralyze someone else. Everything worked out, but I realize now that it was an insanely stupid thing to do.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Very poor. Applying for a job is like asking a girl out. I'd much prefer that she tell me flat-out that she isn't interested, rather than just avoiding me until I go away. Whether it's a lack of time or a lack of guts, if somebody can't find a minute to send a rejection e-mail, then it's safe to say that I wouldn't want to work for that person anyway. I would respect somebody so much more if they told me that my demo was garbage and my voice hurt their ears.
6) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
My listening habits haven't really changed. I flip through stations while driving to hear music and I try to listen to Howard Stern as often as possible, but nothing else has me very inspired. There's a severe lack of personality on the air these days during a time when it's needed most. There are too many other options for listening to music out there. Give me a reason to sit through the same songs every day.
7) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
Of course. Family is very important to me and it's nice to be able to hang with my old neighborhood friends, but I know I better find a job soon or else I'll probably eventually get into some type of trouble. Detroit's a hard town not to have a good time in.
8) If you were offered a similar position to what you were doing for considerably less money, would you seriously consider taking the job just to stay in the biz?
I would. I've been accused of being a lot of things, but greed is not one of them. There is more to life than money. Of course, we all want to get paid, but I'd take a job I love doing for peanuts before I'd take a job I despise just to be rich. We're all gonna die and you can't take your bank account with you. I'm all about enjoying my life and if that means big money, then great, but money has never been my motivation. I kinda like being a hobo.
9) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give to people trying to break in?
Put a .38 to your head and pull the trigger. If they didn't follow that advice, I would tell them to learn as much as they possibly could about all aspects of the biz. People who can handle various responsibilities at a radio station certainly become more valuable.
10) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I'll be better in all areas. It's healthy to get knocked down from time to time as long as you always get back up. Nobody wants to be out of a job, but I've always found that as long as you stay positive, things will work out in the end.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
I recently read a book called Charles Manson Now. The author was a victim of a horrific tragedy and struggled with grief for years. After a lifelong fascination with Manson, he decided to interact with him. He took a journey into one of the most twisted minds in history and found solace. Even in bad, there is a little bit of good.