Getting Started in the Business
From time to time, people will ask me how I got started in this business by way of trying to figure out for themselves how to do exactly that. Honestly, I look back at it now and I'm not really quite sure how I got here exactly – but I do have a few suggestions on how to figure out if you might give it a shot.
First, call a few games. Of anything. I was narrating my friends' bubble hockey games when I was eight. Go to a local game where you know a lot of the players or can get easy access to rosters. Take a recorder with you and then just go for it. Say what comes to mind. Talk about things going on in the game. Try being both color and play by play (because for a long time you'll be doing just that). It can be any sport at any level.
Second, if you decide you want to follow a certain high school team, call the school and ask for help. Talk to the team coach or anyone who might have stats available. Maybe a local minor league team or college team will let you occupy a corner of the bleachers or press box. Don't be a pain in the butt, but ask for help and explain that you're trying to figure out if this is what you want to do with your life. Usually if there's a broadcaster associated with the school or program you can ask them for help as well.
Finally, be confident enough in yourself to actually just go ahead and say what you want to say. Sure, someone may make a joke in your direction, or you might get some ribbing. But if you're going to get better, you've got to practice. You can even do this at home with the sound down on the TV. Maybe even calling a video game (but your friends may get annoyed quickly). Just see what comes out of you and go with it. Don't copy anyone's schtick. Be yourself and let that determine your style.
Well, I hope somehow those words resonate with some aspiring broadcasters out there. At some point we all hang up the headset, and someone has to be waiting in the wings to take over – why not you?
Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.