So luckily in the end I didn't chicken out, and I went live on the Roman radio waves this morning. It was hands-down one of the most fun things I've done since I've been living here. Really interesting to see how a morning radio show works, and the idea that these people get paid to talk and joke around all morning... well, needless to say, it seems like a dream job, and I can attest to the fact that it literally felt just like hanging out and shooting the breeze. We had a great time and lots of laughs during the broadcast. Grazie ancora, Emanuele!
And now, for the photographic evidence. You didn't think I was making this all up, did you?
This friendly face is Fabio, the studio engineer who runs the show. He's in charge of the timing, music, advertising, and all that technical stuff with buttons, levers and switches. He also has three phones on his desk, which is quite important-looking as well. Really nice guy and does a great job...it can't be easy trying to get radio personalities to stop talking and conform to time constraints! I can tell you that we blabbed so much this morning, if it weren't for Emanuele keeping an eye on Fabio and cutting things off every once in a while to squeeze in a song or two, we'd still be there talking...
Here's me in the studio, a little self-portrait during a commercial break.
This is the mythical Emanuele Artibani himself, checking the computer where the SMS messages arrive throughout the show. We had a great time chatting about everything from stereotypes about Americans and Italians, to, yes, I'll admit it, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. We couldn't contain ourselves and didn't even get around to reading and commenting on the morning's headlines like he usually does (see all those newspapers on the left?). We kept getting lots of friendly and interesting SMS messages that we'd respond to and chat about live.
Here's another self-portrait of us with our headphones on. Before we went live, I asked him why they have to wear headphones. He started laughing, and maybe it is kind of a funny question, but if you've never actually gone on the radio before, you might wonder. It's so that you can hear your voice feedback. It's simultaneous so it's not like having an echo, but it's a way of isolating the sounds around you and just hearing your voices. Let me tell you, I felt like a real pro, pretending to be a radio personality for one morning. I've already been invited back, but who knows how long before people get tired of the whole "American in Rome" routine. Do you think a gig as DJ Shelley is in my future?