– Aerosmith, ‘Dream On’
In my last post, I teased that one of my greatest experiences as an intern at XTU came only a day after I began working there.
And it’s about time I tell you what that was: I just so happened to meet Steven Tyler (yes, from Aerosmith!) while he was visiting our station to promote his new country record.
Let’s jump back in time to the first day of my internship. On Monday, January 25, I left my home on SJU’s campus and made my way into my newfound second home: the radio production room. There, I became acquainted with everything from complicated audio editing tools to simple things, like how to use the intercom and the hold lines on the phone. My supervisor — who everyone affectionately refers to by his last name, Crockett — and I went over the day-to-day tasks I’d be completing, which included publishing podcasts, gathering and logging the details of contest winners, and even preparing one-page information sheets for interviews.
“Speaking of interviews,” Crockett said nonchalantly, “we have Steven Tyler coming into the studio tomorrow to talk to us about his new country album.”
“What!? You mean Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler? Like, THE Steven Tyler?” My jaw practically hit the floor.
“Yeah! Who else would I mean?”
As you might already know, my whole life essentially revolves around music, particularly music from the 1960s through the ’70s. Its integrated into every aspect of my existence: my walls are plastered with photos of my favorite musicians; my iPod is jam-packed with everything from Pet Sounds to Physical Graffiti; my blog posts are even titled with lyrics from songs from these decades.
So you can probably imagine how I felt when I heard I’d have the opportunity to be in the same room as Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s legendary frontman — at a country station, no less!
Fast-forward to the next afternoon. Everyone was crammed into Studio X awaiting Tyler’s arrival. I anxiously wrung my hands, mindlessly checked my phone, and rapidly chatted with the folks around me. I couldn’t stand still. Then, without warning, an interview in another studio began and a raspy voice boomed over the speakers.
It was him. It was really him! And before I knew it, Steven Tyler was sauntering into Studio X, sending the intimate crowd into an elated applause.
Tyler gave two back-to-back interviews, one with the morning show’s hosts, Doc and Andie, and one that would be broadcast later on during the nightly news. Once the camera stopped rolling, Steven jumped up and was ready and eager to take photos with fans.
“Please get in groups of four to six! Keep moving, keep moving!” We were shuffled up to the front of the room, closer and closer to the musical icon. Suddenly the crowd parted and I was in the midst of Steven Tyler, who proceeded to playfully hug me and then kissed me on the cheek.
I couldn’t have planned a more picture-perfect moment in my wildest dreams.
After a few seconds of photos — which honestly felt like an eternity — Tyler turned to face me and took my hand. We spoke for a few minutes, until it was time for the next group to meet Steven and I exited the studio.
Typically I’m fairly good at keeping my composure in professional situations… but I may or may not have cried (let’s be honest, I absolutely cried).
Although I haven’t mingled with any other rock stars at my internship, every early morning at XTU has been thrilling in its own way. Even the most mundane occurrences bring a smile to my face, and learning about the studio’s various programs and gadgets keeps me on my toes.
It just goes to show you that — as cliché as it may sound — you truly never know what to expect when you begin an internship. Sure, they may provide you with a job description, but those bullet points don’t detail all of the skills you can learn and the experiences you can have.