Thursday, February 18, 2021

Navigating Life's Career Turns, Updates

 One of my resolutions this year is to get back on the blog more. And now seems like the perfect time to do it. COVID-19 has certainly wreaked havoc on all our lives and has forced me to make some adjustments, just as it has everyone else. The first major adjustment was losing the 2020 baseball season. How disappointing that was. It really hit home for me when I realized I would not have another opportunity to compete for a championship as a broadcaster. To come within eight outs of a championship, as we did in 2019 and not get a chance to finish the job hurts. A lot. You always have that feeling after the last out of a season , you'll say, " We'll get them next year." You never expect that there won't be a next year. And then, minor league baseball undergoes a cataclysmic change in their system, with 40 minor league baseball teams going away, and whole leagues being shuttered. Talk about a gut punch. It has forced me to acknowledge that maybe this is the end of the line for me and baseball broadcasting. I hope not, but I will be 57 on my next birthday, and if Lowell doesn't come back, what are my options? I'm not ready to quit yet- I am thinking I have 10 years of games left in me, God willing. So we shall see. 

There have been some adjustments in hockey, too. COVID has affected my hockey broadcasting as well. Because of COVID-19 we have lost the ability to travel on the road with Merrimack to do games. We do games at home and that's it. I can't help but think forward to next October when hopefully we will be back to as close to a normal schedule as possible. Thankfully I feel a lot more secure about my hockey future. College hockey isn't going away, even though many athletic departments, including Merrimack's, are under a real financial strain because of things now. 

Because of these unsettling changes and the potential of career upheaval (particularly in baseball),it has forced me to think about other things, and other ways to earn money and enjoy life in the process. A Plan B if you will. This has led me to the exciting world of audiobook narration. I signed up for a 10 week online course called The Audiobook Adventure.  The course covers the business of audio narration from soup to nuts. I have completed the course and am ready to give this business a go. I have a home studio built, with all the necessary components. Now it's just a matter of getting this thing off the ground, getting in my studio, and recording. 

These crazy times have also given me the time to update my website and expand my brand. I have realized the importance of putting all my talents in play- sportscasting, which will always be my first love, but also podcasting , which I have fallen in love with. This business of podcasting is something I've always wanted to do. Yes, I am fairly new to it, but I am learning distinctions about how to do things better. I am literally teaching myself. But I am passionate about it and oh, so eager to learn. It allows me to sharpen my interviewing skills, while improving the performance aspect of my game. There have been a few bumps in the road as far as the learning curve, and I hope people will stay with me on this journey. I'm all in with this. Podcasting is an incredible experience. I'll be doing it for the rest of my life, for sure.

And then there's music. COVID has eliminated my ability to play in front of live audiences for a while. Another major blow. But that will come back. I'm certain of it. Thank God for social media like Facebook Live. I do shows on there occasionally and also expanded my music life on my website, adding some songs. My goal is for people to love to listen to my music as much as I love playing it. I'll be posting open mic dates out once we get clear of this COVID situation. Oh, and coming soon, I'll be releasing my new song " Broken Fields" out in to the world.  

And finally, there's Cameo.  A place where I can really give back and use my talents in a fun way. Let me start by giving props to the man who got me started with Cameo, my good friend Tom Calhoun, the public address voice of the St. Louis Blues. I worked with Tom in the Frontier League from 2008-2010. We stayed in touch (thanks Facebook) and I saw the success and fun Tom was having with it, and I really wanted a piece of the action. Long story short, he helped me to get hooked in with it. AND I LOVED IT, AND STILL DO. Cameo gives me a chance to do it all- play a little music, make my requesters the star of the game, and make people feel good. I can even make a little money at it. So, if you would like a customized video shoutout with a personalized twist in the absolute coolest way possible, please head over to my Cameo page and consider booking me. I promise you you won't regret it. I will make it worth your while. Five star ratings don't lie! 

So I've gone on a while with this post, but I had to make up for lost time. I'm looking forward to keeping this thing active and getting back to normal at some point in 2021. Thanks for stopping by. More to come later.