10 Questions with ... Uncle Scotty
June 4, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
After years of singing in bands on the Sunset Strip, I decided to break up the band and get into radio at the end of the nineties. A DJ friend from 105.5 KNAC suggested that I avoid years of college to prep for this career. "Dude, you already have the gift of gab, just make some recordings." So I did, and a year later I slid into radio through the back door! I left my home in Los Angeles to do mornings in the Mojave Desert, Kansas, Idaho, Washingto, and finally back to a bedroom community outside of Los Angeles called Palmdale. That's where I met radio legend Jeff Gonzer, who took me under his wing and became my PD at Dial Global, where I performed an all-request show Saturday nights broadcast into 40 markets. Things were going so well, and then the California budget went to hell, I was laid off, and ended up landing a morning show gig in Canada. After three years in this frozen wasteland, I'm once again on the beach and ready to bring my skills back to the States!
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
These days, sad to say, I'm keeping lots of good company in the unemployment line! Many of the most talented people in the business are out of work, so I know that I am not alone. I've had lots of encouragement from PDs and seasoned jocks who sincerely believe in me, and that support keeps me strong and confident that another closed door only opens another door. Or maybe a window.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
If you've got to be unemployed, Vancouver Island is a great place to do it! I've got a beautiful ocean across the street, and miles of forest to walk through. It helps to quiet my mind and enjoy the down time as much as possible. I know the chances are good that this ocean view and fresh air may not be around in the next market I get hired into!
3) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
The first lesson I was taught when I broke into the business was "It's All About the Listener." Nowadays, I find that lesson to have been twisted into "It's All About the Clients," or even worse, "We Play what WE want!"
4) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
I spent one year collecting unemployment checks after losing both jobs in California. I spent that year "working" for free Monday thru Friday at KNAC.COM to keep my chops up!
5) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
When I had recorded my first "demo tapes" on a four-rack recorder out of my home, I flew to a broadcasting convention and just hung around for a few days and attended seminars. When Q&A came up, I'd make sure to get called on and start my question with, "As a guy with no college education and a dream of breaking into the business...". That strategy got me two job offers on the second day, one of which I eventually accepted. The guy who hired me later confessed that "I not only loved your sense of humor, but thought you looked cool with your long hair and leather jacket".
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I love doing morning radio, but I'm not above doing an overnight shift if the market is desirable and the station is a good fit. At this point in my career, I'm just as motivated by enjoying my time off of work as I am on the job.
7) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
I've found that PDs are actually writing and calling me back this time around, sending along words of encouragement. I've also been fortunate to have met and maintained friendships with enough people in the business that often I can get a foot in the door with a personal referral. Several stations have told me that they may very well need my services within the next few months along with those famous last words, "Hang In There!"
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
Although I'd like to be considered for other formats, I'm a rare breed of "Classic Rock" jock. I'm 52 years old, grew up on the Beatles and Hendrix in the '60s, saw Zeppelin and Floyd in the seventies, and performed alongside many up-and-coming hair bands in the eighties. I don't use Wikipedia to talk about the music, I live it. There are other older jocks out there who've also experienced rock and roll in it's heydey, but many of them sound tired and jaded. I've still got a youthful spirit locked up in the aging body!
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
In the past decade I've managed to maintain loyal followings from every market I've left, and I've managed to impress coworkers and bosses from every station I've worked for. Knowing that I've made a lasting impression is the accomplishment I'm most proud of.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Know who you are and what you stand for. Although many around you who lack this quality may keep their jobs, they are also quickly forgotten. Make and keep friends in the business. You never know when they'll be there to catch you when you fall. One day you'll probably be laid off or fired from a job. Always leave your workplace with a smile on your face and a spring in your step, and look forwards not backwards!
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
Eckhart Tolle "The Power of Now."