The Lonely Side of it All

Monday, February 27, 2012
Lively, jolly and all hyped up are some of the common characteristics that people regard radio personalities, more popularly known as DJs. They are celebrities in their own field who dominate the airwaves and fill them with music pleasing to the listeners’ ears. But what really happens to the people behind the voices is something that is not really familiar to the majority.

Oftentimes, it is very easy for people to jump into conclusions and that, unfortunately, includes the mentality that being a radio personality only requires eloquence. In reality, the job requires more effort than what people perceive. Jessica Moldez, a [former] radio personality of Killer Bee Dumaguete, believes that her job is, more often than not, underestimated. She thinks the reason behind this is the people’s lack of information about her career. Attending to thousands of listeners, hundreds of text messages, arranging the flow of songs, answering phone calls, preparing information tidbits as well as getting all-hyped up has become part of her system as a radio personality. But despite those, Moldez still loves what she’s in right now.

(Jessica Moldez and me. KB Tech JC behind us.)

“This is an avenue where I can express myself and at the same time, entertain people with the right dose of music they love to hear.” Moldez further explained that music has become a stress-reliever for her especially that she’s usually stressed as an employee of a BPO company. At the same time, she finds joy in pleasing her listeners, “hearing simple admiration from listeners is a very pleasing experience that never fails to make me smile.”

They say nobody can please everybody; that applies to the job of a DJ too. Radio is a very complex medium and so is its listeners and Moldez understands that it is either a please or piss situation for anybody in the industry concerned. “It’s all a matter of taste. Apparently it’s mandatory for us to welcome comments or criticisms or let’s just put it this way, we just don’t have any other choice.” She is better off facing criticisms, taking them as challenges to further enhance her performance. In radio, there is really no way to control who the listeners should be—one reason why radio personalities should all the more understand that it’s a diverse community out there.

“Sometimes listeners tend to be so harsh on us but even though it hurts a lot, it must not get into us and affect our performance because the rest of them will surely notice it.” The more depressing fact is the presence of listeners who send criticisms, often without any basis, aimed at bringing radio personalities down. Those are just some of many problems that Moldez and people in the same field are faced with.

A lot of people ask Moldez what exactly happens inside the studio off-air. Contrary to what it may seem, it’s a lonely world for her inside the DJ’s booth especially when alone. In her case, she has to face the computer and read numerous text messages that people send within her 3-hour shift. “I myself thought I’d go nuts after a few months working here [at Killer Bee] in a sense that the computer and the microphone are the ones I usually talk to on-air.” What’s more difficult for Moldez is the part where she has to do away with certain dilemmas and emotional pains just to entertain her audience. For her, it’s essential because most, if not all, listeners care less about what’s happening to the jock on board—a sad reality that radio personalities are aware of. “A lot of our listeners miss the point that we are also humans who are prone to hurting at any given time, even at work.”

For a rate of Php 25.00 an hour, Moldez is ought to do multi-tasking and worst, troubleshooting. Just like employees of other companies, she gets her fair share of reprimands whenever mistakes are committed though she always view them as constructive. Whether or not the salary is worth-it, she doesn’t really mind. What’s more important to her is the experience that she’s enjoying and the opportunity given to her that not everybody is entitled to.

In a world where what is apparent becomes the majority's reality, Moldez is forced to wear a mask because in reality, it’s all happy when the microphone turns on but it’s different when it’s shut off.

***Article written August 24, 2009. Minor changes done.***