Many years ago, before I became a book editor, I worked in radio. It’s great work. I learned so much about dialogue and, with broadcast time always limited, I came to appreciate the art of telling a story concisely.
But one great thing about working in radio is the voice-over studio. It’s where the reporter goes to record the intro and links between the pieces of pre-recorded interviews.
It’s often a small room filled with all that audio gear and lined with soft, cushiony foam. It often has a comfortable chair too; one that doesn’t squeak when you’re recording.
The interesting thing about many of these rooms is that you can raise the slider on the mixing desk to open the microphone, ready to record, and a red light automatically comes on outside the room, alerting people not to enter. Anyone who works in radio respects that red light, way more than they would a traffic light.
For me, this was perfect. A magical little room. I’d always book the room for a half hour in the afternoon. Around 2 PM. I’d record what I’d have to (sometimes I didn’t always have to, but I’d still book the time – please don’t tell my ex-colleagues), then stop the recording.
But I’d leave the microphone fader up to keep that red light on outside. I’d then sit back in that quiet chair, wheel it against the wall and lean my head against that soft, pillowy foam, and fall asleep.
Well, it’s not really sleep. As anyone who naps will tell you, we don’t really fall asleep. It’s a nap. It’s different. It’s somehow not quite so deep, but it can be every bit as regenerative as a full 8 hours.
Yes. I admit it, I take naps. [Read more…]