I grew up in a town of about 600 people, a place nowhere near a TV station… How did this prepare me for a life where thousands if not millions could see me on a daily basis?
In a LOT of ways – I’m constantly reminded of how small town life prepared me for this business.
Growing up one of my Dad’s most repeated advice to me was “Don’t say anything out loud that you wouldn’t say on the loud speaker at the basketball game.”
In my small town everyone attended the basketball and football games… So obviously, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want everyone you’ve ever known to hear.
It works perfectly for a life in the public eye or on TV. My mic may be on when it’s not supposed to be, the cashier/waitress/ANYONE could see me do something or hear me say something and tell everyone.
Talk about a ruined reputation.
I may work 3am-11am, but I am ALWAYS working.
My day off at the grocery store or at the park may turn into a quiz session about the weather or an opportunity to turn someone into a viewer.
So obviously, talking right and being nice is required… And really it should be for everyone even if they aren’t on TV.
How else did my upbringing prepare me for TV?
My family was in the oilfield (like most of the people in my area) and the oilfield doesn’t know what 5 p.m. means or what Saturday or Christmas or really anything else means. When there is a job to be done, you take it and don’t complain.
My parents worked hard to be at all of our sporting events, assemblies, etc. But, I can tell you there were lots of vacations or weekends cut short, lots of family dinners interrupted, all for the job.
I hope to not sound bitter about that, because I’m certainly not. Those phone calls are the reason I was able to go to college, the reason I was able to chase the dream of becoming a meteorologist.
I’m actually extremely thankful for those phone calls & that upbringing in an environment that didn’t shut down… because that’s what the weather is like.
I work the morning shift, but I also work the afternoon shift, the evening shift, the overnight shift really every shift if there is weather. There were plenty of days last spring that I worked 20+ hours and didn’t think a thing about it because that’s what I was used to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sick, have a vacation scheduled or your mom is in town… if the weather starts acting up your phone will ring and it’s off to work.
What about when the weather is quiet? Am I off?
Nope, still working. And in some ways it’s harder work. Trying to find something to talk about when it’s sunny and hot again for the 15th day in a row is not easy.
What about in the evening when I’m “off” work?
Nope, posting to social media… I mean that is a HUGE part of our job now and continues to be more and more important & it never sleeps.
Three things never sleep… The oilfield, the weather & social media.
So for all of that… I am thankful for my small town oilfield upbringing.