the number “3”. And why I left WNCX!

8 01 2010

Yep!  you read that correctly.  Big changes for me as we head into 2010.  I’ve felt them brewing, I felt the right time was coming, and the energy feels good… right here, right now… and some of it has to do with the number “3“…

I’m not a big “numerology” person, but I have often been drawn to certain numbers more than others, the same way someone might be with colors.  Some people like green, others prefer blue… most people are drawn to the colors that complement them the best.  My favorite color is purple; and it was long before I attended Northwestern University.  The fact that I get to wear purple with all things NU is a bonus – the color looks really good on me!

Similarly, I have always been drawn to the number “3“.  I consider my lucky number to be 39, with is 3 and 3x3.  Or in the numerology world, you would take 39 as 3+9= 12; then take 1+2=3 and I’m back to 3 again.  I first learned about numerology when I was about 11 or 12 on summer vacation, reading about it from a book (remember those – that’s a whole OTHER blog post).  Just thought it was cool.  So for the year 2010, that year becomes a “3” as well 2+0+1+0=3.

I got this from the web:  “The number 3 suggests that the direction of growth in your lifetime will be toward a more creative and inspirational nature. This path also leads to establishing yourself as an inspiration person spreading optimism and cheerfulness wherever you reside or travel.”  Ok, COOL!

Therefore… NOW was the time for me to make some big changes and growth.  My website (where you are reading this) is going to evolve into a 3 point platform:  an on-line portfolio of the work I can do for companies using social media; Voiceover demo/info and, lastly, my “content”.  For now, my content is going to be my blog.  In ALL of these 3 platforms I want to take the 3 step approach of crawl, walk, run.  These are self-propelled elements, so I have to be realistic with abilities and what is in my control.  It is all about building momentum, therefore the I need to be patient and trust the process of crawl, walk, run.

I plan to also have my blog progress in steps as well (hmm… 3 steps, kinda) printed word, then add in podcasts (both audio & video) and then eventually, I would love to create an on-line radio station.  With the recent announcements of wi-fi to be standard in new cars within 2 to 3 years, I truly believe it is the future of  radio (we may not call it radio then, but for now… you understand).

And…. that brings me to the recent decision I made to resign from WNCX.  It had been a good, long run.  14 years.  That is a LONG time in the radio world.  But my heart wasn’t in it anymore.  I first fell in love with radio because the DJs were my musical mentors – they turned me on to new artists, new genres of music and were also the friendly and familiar voice in the dark.  Sadly, this has changed over the years, and terrestrial radio is now heading into its greatest challenge to stay profitable and relevant.  The nature of a “Classic Rock” station dictates that there are not new artists going to be played, so I realized that would not be the platform to allow me to be a musical mentor to others.

So I’ve taken the risk and stepped off into the unknown with the belief and faith that I can help create or be a part of something that is truer to my personal vision of “radio”, and truer to my personal “brand”.  Yes, it’s scary, but if I don’t make the change, change isn’t going to happen on its own.

I’ve been sitting on this news for almost 2 weeks now, and I wasn’t sure how and when I was going to present it.  But then I come across 3 women in the past week who also have also chosen to make big changes in their lives this year: Jennifer, Gini and Heather.  Their stories are all very inspirational, and I will give them proper attention in my next blog!  Their willingness to take the plunge and be open about it inspired me to do the same, and share it with you.

Ok, that was a lot.  Hope you understood the number “3” thing;  for my wonderfully loyal WNCX listeners, I hope you will follow me to my next adventure (more info next week!) and for my new friends and everybody else – here’s my final reference to the number “3“… my goal is to have this blog out 3 times a week.  So I guess I will see you on Monday!!!





Story arc… or It’s a Wonderful Life

29 12 2009

This blogging thing requires more discipline than I thought…. I have lots of ideas in my head… some of them get down on paper, but from the paper to the laptop to the blog post can be a long walk.  Along that walk this week I kept thinking about the various story arcs that have existed and are still existing in my life.

There is a LOT of transition going on in my life now, and a lot of unknowns.  It can be scary – I’ve been out of work 9 months now, and the wolves are at the door.  Meanwhile, I am finding out more and more about myself in this time of transition, and sometimes it just makes me wonder how I fit into the world.  Where do I belong?  What is my contribution? What’s my “calling” in life?  These can be unsettling questions, which is why I was so happy I had the chance to watch one of my fav Christmas movies in the past week, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Hopefully you have seen the film.  Although it was released in 1946, and people have been watching it religiously since, I only really started watching it in the past 10 years.  I have to give credit to my ex-husband for turning me on to the film.  I think he may have gotten a completely different message from it, because for me, it has an amazing spiritual message of acceptance an affirmation.  Please watch it sometime; the story may be set at Christmas time but the message is timeless…. we just don’t know the power of what our good deeds may do over time.

In case you haven’t seen the film…

Lead character George Bailey’s life is not glamorous.  He has missed out on many of the things he thought he wanted to do with life (college, world travel, exploration) but all throughout his life, his actions have been based on what seemed like the next right thing to do, even if he may have seemingly “lost” an opportunity at the time.   His apparent reward is a wife who adores him, four loving kids and an old drafty house.   When a seemingly insurmountable business problem comes up, he thinks the world would have been better off without him, so he is ready to jump off a bridge.  It is then that “Clarence”, his guardian angel, jumps in the water before George does, knowing that George will jump in to try to save him instead.

The really amazing part is what happens after that:  George, still in his full pity party, comments that the world would be better off if he had never been born, and Clarence allows George to have that experience – to see what the world would be like if George had never been born.  Needless to say, there are all kinds of things – from the little to the big, George had done which in turn had a huge effect on others.  Because George saved his brother from drowning as a child, his brother grew up and became a war hero, saving numerous lives.  If George hadn’t saved his brother, his brother wouldn’t have been there to save these other people, and so on.

Every time I see the film it gives me faith that ALL we do; what ALL of us do; can be of significance. (Pretty existential stuff for 1946!)   What an empowering feeling!  It gets me out of my pity party.  It also reminds me that what I struggle with today, may very likely be the seeds of tomorrow’s success.  I may just be in the middle of my story arc.  Quite frankly, if I hadn’t been laid off, I never would have had the time to learn social media; and highly unlikely that I would have begun blogging.

I would like to invite you to come along with me through this current story arc, and hopefully the ones that follow.  So despite my challenges of this year, and the ones that lay ahead, I hope I can continue to look around me and enjoy the moment.  Because, after all, it may just be a Wonderful Life!





It’s one for the Bucket List

22 12 2009

Being able to go backstage at a rock concert really is cool.  I’m not going to deny it; it is one of the elite experiences that is an earned privilege.  It’s one of the things I would have everyone put on their “bucket list”.  You cannot buy a backstage pass like you can with “special vip” seating and parking at certain concert venues (a smart, albeit annoying, marketing ploy in my opinion).  So I always look forward to when Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) comes to Cleveland and I get to go backstage.

I have “earned” this privilege as WNCX (the radio station for which I am DJ) was the first station in the country to really play TSO, and my boss, Program Director Bill Louis suggested to TSO creator Paul O’Neill that he take the story and do it as a concert.  I have always been a big advocate and believer of the band, doing my best to promote and support them and the individual side projects as well.  The first two years of TSO shows were very “evolutionary” compared to the current, regulated grueling tour schedule; back then TSO would have a show in Cleveland, then 3 or 4 days off, drive to another city, then come back to Cleveland.  The band got to hang out a lot here in Cleveland, and that’s how we all got to know each other.

This past weekend marked the 11th year TSO played in Cleveland, with matinée & evening shows on both Saturday & Sunday. Yes, I was at all four shows and I stayed true to my philosophy: I want to share this fun experience with friends and family who have never seen the band and/or have never had the “backstage experience” before (so they can check it off their bucket list!)

This year my guests were:  Mary Kay Stahley, Executive Director of Malachi House, a wonderful facility which provides hospice for the dying poor www.malachihouse.org @MalachiHouse;  Adam Gercak (@acgercak), the man behind Throwing Quarters blog & podcast www.throwingquarters.com/ and his lovely wife and graphic designer, Jenn (@jmacgercak); Susie Sharp, CLE social media enthusiast and soon-to-be blogger (@SusieSharp); and a last-minute fill-in, Pat McKay, good friend of Adam and a drummer with local band The Poland Invasion http://www.myspace.com/jenpoland, who was blown away by Jeff Plate’s drum kit!  (http://www.jeffplate.com/)

I told my friends to forget about any pre-conceived notions of backstage drunken debauchery; this tour is now a well-oiled machine, with no time for shenanigans.  But there is awesome catering (sushi bar, lamb chops, prime rib & even a full cooler of Dippin Dots!) Plus it just looks cool to see everything works.

With four shows in two days, you know these peeps work hard!  To help them blow off  some steam, there was a special after-show private party Saturday night at the Q – a Karaoke party for band members, crew and friends.  There was a similar party 4 or 5 years ago (the years have begun to blur).  The last party was hilarious as professional singers mixed with, er, “non-professionals”, singing everything from Madonna to Metallica.  I’m not a singer, so I never thought to get up and “karaoke” last time.

HOWEVER, that changed THIS year!

Yup, after quite a bit of prodding from Rob Evan (who, btw, starred in the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, playing the title roles for three years and over 600 performances www.Rob-Evan.com ) I got up to sing in front of a bunch of professionals.  I didn’t have any booze for “courage”.  I had never done karaoke before.  It was all pretty scary stuff- guitarist Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) was watching too!  www.alexskolnick.com.

Sorry, there is no “and then she was discovered” story happy ending here – the fact is, I bombed!  I tried to sing “Pepper” by The Butthole Surfers.  http://www.last.fm/music/Butthole+Surfers/_/Pepper I couldn’t keep up, so I had them start the karaoke machine over again.  My mouth was so dry by the end of the first verse, I could barely swollow.  But I stuck it out all the way until the end and finished the song.

Driving home later that night, I kept replaying my “performance” in my head, berating myself for doing so badly.  Then a smile slowly came across my face.  It didn’t really matter how well I did; just that I had done it!  How many people will EVER have that opportunity in their lifetime:  to sing Karaoke in front of broadway leads, rock stars, and professional singers? I had the opportunity and I DID IT!  (I should tell you that NOT ironically, you could see the giant LeBron Nike “Witness” billboard outside the window – the one that takes up almost the entire side of a building).

Another very cool, elite, and special experience I can check off my bucket list!

I’ll leave you with this thought:  The next time something comes along that seems too scary (or potentially embarrassing) to tackle, take a pause… maybe it’s the universe giving you an “at bat” with something from your bucket list.  Think for a moment; will you walk through your fear, or live with regret?  Nike gets props for this one, “Just Do It!”





From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale (and a look at my life of late!)

19 12 2009

This is a “reprint” of my first blog post which was published on the “Throwing Quarters” blog/podcast (http://www.throwingquarters.com/) Thanks to Adam for allowing me to use it here; I feel it gives you all a good idea of what is currently going on in my life.  A birthday blog post will be up later today!

 

From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale

 That is how I would describe my relationship with Adam Gercak (AKA Throwing Quarters).  So when he asked for guest bloggers to help cover his posts over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it seemed the logical thing to do; the next progression of our friendship. It is also an honor to have this, my first ever blogpost, featured in his blog. 

 But in order to appreciate where Adam and I are today, we need to look back and review how we got here.  Ours is truly a happy story of the ‘social’ aspect of social media; of some of the best results one could hope for from this new era of communication.  The coolest part: versions of this story could be happening to people everyday, maybe even to you!

 The Common Question (?)

 “So how have things been?”  “What’s new?” “Whatcha been up to?”

“How ARE you?”

 How many of us will be asked these ubiquitous questions over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?  How many times will we answer with polite, generic responses: “Things are the same”, “nothing much”, “I’m good”. 

 I was recently asked these very questions by a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months.  I looked at her and I wasn’t sure where to begin. Instead of giving her one of the usual scripted responses, I was honest with her, telling her how I had been let go from my ‘day job’ on 4/3/09 – and I that am still job hunting.

 I saw her look of concern and sympathy, but before she could say anything, I told her it was all ok – even better than ok. Now she looked puzzled. 

 I explained I felt like Dorothy when she opened the door from her black and white world to the new world of Oz in Technicolor, or, maybe more appropriately, like Neo, when he swallowed the red pill and wakes up in ‘the real world’ and begins to understand the true nature of The Matrix.

 No, I wasn’t on drugs: rather, I had finally discovered the world of social media, and I couldn’t imagine how I had ever lived without it.  She looked skeptical and dismissive, possessing the same attitude I had toward social media only 6 months ago: Facebook and twitter are a playground for self-absorbed people with way too much time on their hands.

 Extolling the virtues and conveniences of twitter (especially once I had been shown Tweetdeck) fell on deaf ears with her, and the glazed look in her eyes made me realize I was losing her.  I offered to give her an example of the power of twitterverse….  Here it goes….

The common (or not-so-common?) occurrence

 My first day on twitter was Friday, 7/31/2009; just five short months ago. (I’m @KaseyCrabtree, BTW).  Two weeks later, Friday August 14, 2009, I experienced my first #FollowFriday using Tweetdeck.  It was so exciting – I felt like I had arrived! I think I had about 75-100 followers at that point and was excited to connect with new people. 

 @TeamNEO (an organization that promotes business growth and development in NE Ohio) had several #FollowFriday suggestions, many were business, but there was one in the list that was just a name – @acgercak.  I clicked on it and stumbled across one of Adam’s great Throwing Quarters blog entries discussing an “off day” vs. a “day off”.  The quick read was entertaining, candid, witty and well written. I was intrigued.

I tweeted him back complimenting his writing, and so began a dialog between us.  Based on some of his writing, I wondered if he worked in retail?  yes he did; I then shared how I had recently been let go from a high-end retail job myself.  As our short tweets continued back and forth, we both began to see a picture of each other and how many common interests we shared.  Moreover, he was working practically right across the street from my condo, AND we both regularly frequented the same Starbucks.  It was quite the series of coincidences!

 I can’t remember the exact sequences of events as he discovered I work part-time as a radio DJ (Adam also has some radio experience), and I then invited me to attend the taping of a ThrowingQuarters podcast on Sunday Aug 16th at The Barley House.  Sunday rolled around; I went to the show featuring singer/songwriter Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorMusic) and then found myself sitting in on the recording of the podcast, interjecting questions.  It all seemed so effortless, so natural, so comfortable.  By the time the night had ended, many smiles had been exchanged and pictures taken.

 Adam seemed like a friend I had known for years, yet 48 hours prior, neither one of us had known of the other’s existence (Adam may have heard me on the radio).  Now, I couldn’t imagine not having this kindred spirit in my life.  I told him he was like my new BFF GF, but he wasn’t a girl, nor was he gay!  However, I felt like I could talk with him about almost anything, and I have!

 We are still good friends; I have come to know his wife Jenn, and I tease both of them about the fact that they may have named their new daughter Addison, but I already had a 3 yr old cat by the same name.  See??? Yet another coincidence. 

 Now remember, this wonderful friendship is ALL a DIRECT RESULT of having connected on twitter.

 So what did my friend think of this story? She was intrigued, but still concerned about my current status. I acknowledged that on paper, my situation might seem bleak:  I am divorced with no kids (I have 3 cats), I have been unemployed for over 6 months, plus I am deeply in debt and terribly behind on all my bills.

 I smiled and looked her straight in the eyes.  All these facts are true; these are all hurdles for me to overcome.  However, I have more hope and a stronger positive feeling toward the future than I have had in over 10 years!  I feel that our society is on the cusp of a new dimension of communication, almost as significant as the invention of the printing press. 

Yet more importantly, I feel like I have finally found “my people”.  A community of caring, positive, foreword-thinking people who embrace change and the future, with excitement and awe.  I have happily stepped into the new world of Social Media, and with every bone in my body; I believe it represents my future. 

To paraphrase a line from a favorite book, please join me; please join US, as we ‘tweet the road of happy destiny’.  See you all in the twitterverse!





Hello world!

19 12 2009

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