10 Questions with ... Charles "Chuck" Vance
January 27, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My career took many "possible paths," first with a stint in Graphic Design Art School, playing drums in a touring band and then following my love of audio/music by going to work for a high-end AV company. All along, I was always fascinated with radio and had a few friends on the air/in the biz, so I kept in touch. I got a shot on the air in Tampa during an "'80s at 8" show and fell in love after that. I began by working overnights at a Soft AC in Tampa, then nights at a Hot AC and then got a shot at hosting a morning show on a Caribbean Top 40. LOVED every minute of it!
I honed my editing/imaging chops and used my sales background to help work closely with clients along the way. After moving back state-side, I worked PT at a West Palm Hot AC (WRMF) and also at another high-end AV dealer -- all the while searching for the right doorway back into radio full time while doing freelance imaging/production work from my full home studio. I'm hoping to get back into the Radio industry full-time again.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Keep telling yourself it's all about doing what you love and what makes you happy. Expect doors to close, but persistence will pay off when that door finally opens.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I'm working for a high-end custom AV dealer to make ends meet and doing freelance imaging/production work from home.
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.
I constantly read blogs and comments about how radio isn't the same and it's tough and there are so many unstable factors about the jobs, but stepping out of the industry made me not only see how much I truly miss it and want to be back in it for the long term, but also how to better re-invent myself, keep learning and increase my versatility so my new PD/GM gets one valuable team player.
4) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Absolutely! I've been told I'm crazy for wanting to get back into it, but it's in my blood and I know in my heart there is nothing else I would rather do.
5) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Be "effen" persistent. Call the PD once/twice a week, drop him an e-mail (or 10) and make sure he REMEMBERS you when an opening comes up.
6) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
I put together a custom 60-second promo, complete with a professional VO guy, placed sound effects and movie quotes asking the PD to "Give Chuck Vance a Chance"-- with Steve Winwood's "While you See a Chance" in the background. Seemed somewhat cheesy, but it worked! Do something that makes you stand out ...
7) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
Make yourself versatile and more valuable to your potential boss. Keep on top of trends, stay sharp behind the mic and in production. Never get too comfortable or complacent.
8) Is there anything specific that you regret doing while you were still working?
I regret not nurturing the early friendships and contact relationships I had early on that might have helped me along the way.
9) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Don't give up. Expect doors to close -- knowing all along that one will eventually open for you if you're dedicated, passionate and persistent.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
Head of a Production Department either at a station or production house.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
Sure. "Destination Success" by John C. Maxwell, "Never Never Quit" by Mike Shields and "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown.