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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My journey to Choq

Here I am again with another unknown word. What in the world is the meaning of Choq? This is the name of the first radio station I worked at in Canada (so far it's the first and only station, but I believe there are many more to come).

How did I come to know about this station? It's a long story.

Here I am, new to Canada, with three years of experience in radio broadcasting under my belt, trying to nail my first job without even getting my work permit yet (Superman, watch out). The only connection I had in Toronto was the Internet (what a good one!), and the only place I knew was the public library (another good one). Networking has been one of my strengths (the Internet and the public library were the first good business contacts I made. I was the man!!!).

But, after a few calls, I knew that my two contacts were not enough. I had to meet real people. However, I kept coming back to the library (I am a faithful friend) because the Internet helped me to keep in touch with my family. One day, while returning from the library, I met a guy I knew back home. I knew him from when he used to work at the National TV station. It was easy to recognize him. We became friends and I told him about my desire to work in a radio station.

He mentioned to me about a French speaking radio station located in downtown Toronto . He gave me a phone number of a person I should contact (now I could improve my network outside my two friends the Internet and the public library).The next day, I called the radio station and asked if I could come and visit. The person on the other side of the line said yes. I thought: these Canadian people are cool!!!

He gave me the address of the place (now my networking was drastically improving) and we set a time and a day to meet. So I went.

The meeting was great. The guy who was working at the station was very nice (didn't I say that about Canadians?). We had a good conversation. I asked him about the types of radio shows they had, to which he responded by giving me a list of programs. To my good surprise, they had a show on sport news. That was my passion. I mentioned that I had a show back home talking about sport (not hockey though). I asked him if it was possible for me to come one day and do the show with the person in charge. He said that he would connect me with the host of the show. Are you kidding me???

I thought: I love Canada , I love Canadians, I love the world....

Two days later, I was on the phone with the host of the sport show. I mentioned my passion for radio, for sport, for Canadians (I was in love with them). And when I mentioned the name of the country I was from, he just shouted: “We are from the same country!!!! Come over on Saturday and let's do the show together”. What are the odds???? This time I was confused. Everybody is nice here!!! It's not only for Canadians; maybe it's in the water people drink here, or maybe it's the weather. I don't know. I was so excited man!

On Saturday, I showed up very early (I didn't even sleep the night before). I first went to see my friend the public library to see what was happening in the sport world (I didn't want to look stupid when I get in front of the microphone). At 10 O'clock I was at the studio. The guy I met before was there waiting for me, but the host of the show was nowhere to be found. Then the guy said: “The host is not coming today. He had a family emergency. Do you think you can do the show by yourself?” OK. This time you may be thinking that I am joking. How in the world!!!??? (Check out my blog: My journey to Bonesha).

What a feeling! I was in front of the microphone, talking about stuff that I was reading at the library half an hour before (it's good that I didn't want to look stupid). I even talked about hockey (hey, I was the only guy available that time. I was the expert! Don't tell me I could not talk about something I knew nothing about.).

Six months later, I was still working at Choq as a volunteer, and then they gave me my first contract. How the whole thing came together is another long story. Stay tuned.

Moral of the story? If you don't know anything about hockey, talk about it anyways. You may get a job.

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

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