February 16, 2007 § Leave a comment
“Are you a new DJ? Are you here for training?” a wide-eyed young woman with dark brown hair and a welcoming smile asks. “Oh, okay, you must be here to see Greg,” she realizes with a matter-of-fact nod of the head.
Walking into WTSR station is like falling into a welcome wagon full of energetic music heads with a gift for gab. Everyone is conversing, whether they are in the studio spinning records that will “open your mind” (“Open Your Mind” is WTSR’s slogan, insinuating their mission to open minds to music most haven’t heard) or hanging outside the studio joking around and simultaneously preparing for the next on-air program. They are a laid-back bunch, and they are always excited to see a new face.
Greg Miller, 22, is the WTSR station manager and a jack-of-all-trades DJ, covering music, news, and sports with a level of energy unmatched by caffeine. “I’m pretty much the figure-head of the radio station,” he says. No, Miller is not cocky. He really does put in his time, 15-20 hours per week, and that is only the time when he is scheduled to be at the station. Miller tends to hang around more often than he has to. “I do it out of the love for wanting to play music…I’ve always been an others first, me second kind of person, and the best way for me to do that is to provide a service musically–,” he explains stopping between sentences to make sure he isn’t speaking too fast, which he often does in conversation.
Miller’s 5’8 stocky frame is situated at the center of the modest college-run studio. He is at the helm of one of three microphones and a slew of gadgets, keyboards, controllers, and computers that make the music flow out like clockwork. His mastery of all the intricate parts of the music control puzzle is telling. Spinning each record is an addiction for him, and going to rehab is not apart of the equation. However, as time goes on it becomes obvious that Miller’s certainty about his love of music is nearing its musical end. Miller will be graduating in a few months, and he will leave his DJ job behind.
But, Miller says he prefers to live in the here and now. He introduces the next song, an indie-pop record with a mellow sound. He grooves to the melody, his bald-head swaying in-and-out of rotation. He’s in a musical zone. After each song plays, he grabs a pen and jots down the title, artist’s name, and the time in a music log. “I’m good at multitasking,” he says grinning.
The aura of the studio is inviting. It has a professional feel to it, without appearing too stiff. Afterall, the college students are who spin the records here. The back wall of the studio is stocked with thousands of CDs, neatly aligned, side-by-side like slim silhouettes that slide perfectly into their openings. A large floor fan sits in the middle of the carpeted floor, circulating much-needed air for the on-air personalities, who often stand in one place spinning several records for three or more hours during their show.
Although music is Miller’s passion, he said he does not see it as a potential career after college. Like many graduating seniors, underneath all of the excitement lies uncertainty. Still trying to find himself, he is unsure of what the future holds. However, if his future foretold he would only get one shot on-air, he’d use his time wisely. Laughing boisterously, he says, “I would curse on-air for three hours, I would literally say every raunchy, dirty, nasty joke, and curse for hours on end. I would play all my favorite music and just not follow the rules,” he explained, mischievous grin and all. “I mean I spent four years following all the rules, I think for one day, I cannot follow the rules.” While uncertainty hovers, so does his sense of humor, which shows that no matter what is in the cards, Miller will be just fine.