The title should really read ‘I was unbelievably close to Radio 1’ but details, details… I WAS AT RADIO 1 YESTERDAY! I somehow managed to get a place for the
#R1WeekendsStartEarly Q&A featuring Scott Mills, Matt Edmondson, Mollie King, Dev, Alice Levine & Maya Jama. I was SHOOK to be on the floor under Radio 1 and got to London 5 hours early (whoops) but getting there that early wasn’t just cheaper, it also meant while waiting at the R1 reception area, Brad Simpson from The Vamps just casually walks in! (I was having such a good time!)
As for the Q&A itself, it was awesome, this panel of pros really do know their stuff. I felt all kinds of emotions and even more determined that one day I sure as hell am going to work there. It wasn’t all fun though and in the ‘mingling’ time afterwards, my anxiety really started to get the better of me. My plan had been to somehow persuade Dev & Alice to let me sit in on one of their shows since I think it’s such a unique format they present with and I think out of everyone there I’m most like them (Alice) from listening to her on the radio for YEARSSSS! But of course it’s me and instead of coming across as myself, I ended up greeting her by saying “omg I can’t believe you’re real”. Now I have no idea why I said that and it 100% sounded better in my head but she was so distracted and went on to ask a few questions to me, which I answered in flustered ‘omfg ALICE LEVINE IS TALKING TO ME IDK WHAT TO SAY’ sentences.
The remainder of that session was me standing around trying to get into a conversation with a presenter, ANY presenter and proceeding to do that for 45 minutes before I had a TINY window with Dev before some angry BBC staff told us “WE HAVE TO CLEAR THE ROOM FOR THE NEXT EVENT”.
Now I like to think you all know me by now, I will happily preach to no end that ‘it’s ok to cry’, ‘it’s ok for boys to cry’, ‘it’s ok to not be ok’ or something like ‘it’s normal to be upset if things don’t go as you planned, you need to pick yourself back…’ WELL. I had a full on break down in the toilet at London Euston at 1pm on a Thursday afternoon. And I don’t feel great about that. Working in Radio is a dream job for me, echoing what some people said on the panel, most other Radio stations force their presenters to basically be robots. I don’t like that, it’s why I’ve burned so many bridges in the radio industry already, I have a distaste of three, twenty-second links in one hour with the occasional 1/2 minute link for a competition or to sell something. As you must know, Radio 1 isn’t like that, it’s the station I have listened to since I was too small to remember, it’s the dream job for me, the only job I think I’d ever be fully happy in, on that top floor of New Broadcasting House. Today I had such a rare opportunity to really make an impact there, start the groundwork, get advice from people who work there already, try to book another visit, shadow some shows, but oh no, my mental health had other ideas.
I know all too well that I don’t do well in situations like this (however much I love the place) but I’d prepared for this beforehand, I was ready to cope with whatever was thrown my way and I crumbled into a blubbering mess at the first sign of opportunity. I’m not confident in the same way others are and I wish people could see that.
What I am trying to say is that confidence isn’t everything, I feel completely worthless compared to the lads I saw networking with RADIO 1 presenters today… MY DREAM! 6 PRESENTERS I KNOW AND LOVE IN ONE ROOM AND I FUCKED UP! OF COURSE I’M GOING TO BE UPSET, my anxiety stopped me making the most of what was most likely a once in a lifetime chance to throw my name into the lottery that is radio 1. This is my dream and I need this to be heard because the number of times I’ve been to other BBC interviews + companies, they keep coming back with the same feedback of eye contact and self-confidence… how’s one supposed to get self-confidence if you keep turnin’ them down! I know I would put my ENTIRE SOUL into any job I got in radio, be it faxing or presenting a 3am comedy show. Yet no one gives me the time because they can’t see me, I feel inviable and that hurts. I want to prove myself. Radio 1 better be ready, I’m gonna get there… soon. somehow.