10 Questions with ... Andy "Krash" Pondillo
February 21, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Hey radioheads! I'm a young buck with a lot of work leading up to this point. At the ripe age of 23 I have been "on-air" in various roles since I was 16. My official radio experience started in college where I was the face of sports broadcasting. I worked play-by-play and color commentary for all major athletics at Sam Houston State University. I would work my way up to Sports Director, leading to some breaks in the commercial field. I began to turn my attention to the music format when I was brought on for an internship at KKHH (Hot 95.7)/Houston. I began to find my niche in the Top 40 format working alongside host Kaden. I was able to really learn the ropes of radio in a huge market, while breaking in on-air. In addition, I interned for Sport KILT-A/Houston. I currently work eight hours a week for KNDE (Candy 95)/College Station, TX. I couldn't ask for any more up to this point. I'm truly blessed to be able to have a strong presence in my community, hundreds of social media followers, and experience in various radio tasks. I'm now searching for a full time opportunity!
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Call Of Duty usually is a good stress reliever! But really, I'm an upbeat guy. It obviously can become frustrating in this business, getting shot down. However I know what I'm doing is right. I believe in my talents, I'm honest, I'm real and I apply myself. I stay motivated by practicing my craft. Seven days a week, I'm working on something vocally, production-wise, or just listening to other hosts.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Yes! There is no quit in this dog. My dream as a child was to be a baseball player. I fell short in high school after being cut from the team. As you could imagine, I was devastated. It took me awhile to realize I had another talent -- and that is speaking. I made it onto my high school's video news team, "Dobie News," when I was 16. I then found a niche in sports broadcasting, leading me to broadcasting school. I then realized news wasn't for me. I had a very energetic personality, and loved working with the viewers. I found radio to be much more enjoyable and something I excelled quickly at. I feel like I failed on one dream once, and it was good for me. It engraved a work ethic in me that I will not fail. I am determined that I will be a force in this radio business one day ... wherever that takes me remains to be seen.
3) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
There seem to be a lot of "how to" books on getting jobs. Personally, I don't believe in following everything the book says. Formalized cover letters? I'll make a video. You have to go out and get what you want, while still being yourself. Show some character; roll the dice! You may not get your favorite position, but it's a start. If you're talented at what you do, paid your dues and are willing to learn, the door will open. My beliefs are always that if you're willing to learn, everything is limitless.
4) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Obviously a reply is a true luxury! I've talked to some amazing people this industry. A lot of them appreciate the passion and effort I have put in to reaching out. I have had pointers come from over a dozen individuals. I take every compliment, every criticism and store it in my memory bank. Very recently a PD told me that I was one of the most talented people he has heard in years. I don't view a rejection as a failure. I view it as a way to grow and a new contact to do business with.
5) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
I have found mostly that part time work is a hot commodity. In a lot of markets, night jocks have become stripped down to part-time. I have even seen morning part-time entries. I believe that with the current economy, the people who are high on the totem pole are given a lot of work to do. Fewer full-timers will mean doubling and tripling duties for the ones gaining the benefits. As for salary? I've seen a mixed bag. Lucky for me, I believe I can stay on momma's insurance for another two years!
6) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
I founded a ghost-hunting show while in college. It was a cheap knockoff of Ghost Hunters with hot college babes. Come on, you know you'd want to try it! My PD saw that on my resume and asked me a series of questions about ghost hunting.
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
I may be listening to TOO much radio! Is it sad that I can probably sing Katy Perry's music by heart? I love plugging in random stations across the nation and listening for the smallest things. I have learned a lot of utilization techniques within the highs and lows in my voice, just by listening to others. I also enjoy listening to all the stations I apply to. I feel like it's silly to apply somewhere and not listen for at least 20-30 minutes. We can all learn something from each other. I consider radio a team sport. When I played baseball I gained skills by studying my teammates. I feel like this is no different!
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
This may seem silly to some, but it is graduating from broadcasting school. I have heard from various folks that college doesn't mean a whole lot in the radio biz. It's not the degree itself I'm proud of; it's the work to get it done. During my four years I created shows, anchored newscasts, developed programming, scheduled music AND took a full load of classes each semester. At a personal level it was very rewarding finishing school. I didn't graduate to get a degree. I went through it to be the best I possibly could be in this industry. It led me to two internships, a weekend gig and skills I can apply right away.
9) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I definitely won't be reloading AllAccess.com 25 times a day! But seriously, I think my mindset stays the same. I have an ultimate goal in mind and I will continue growing. I work hard even when I'm not working. I've developed ideas for stations to grab onto the movement of the music industry and be more financially successful. I have interviewed rising talented artists. I love this stuff, and I can't wait to do more of it.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
That's always a tricky one to figure! Married, kids ... don't scare me like that! In a decade I'd like to be settled in a place with trusting people. All you can ask for in any industry is a chance. If I have that chance and the finances are stable, I look to be an integral part of a radio station. I don't want to say I want to be a PD or I want to be a morning show host. I want to be somewhere where it all fits, and we can be the best team together. I definitely know radio is where I want to be, and I'm very much looking forward to that future!
Seen any great movies lately?
Let me tell you, Netflix is amazing. When it's 1a and I'm hours away from sleep, it's an easy decision. Forget movies ... how about series? I've ramped through numerous seasons of Weeds, Dexter, and Californication. I've actually gotten radio bit ideas from various episodes. And Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol was pretty intense. Tom Cruise is THE man.