Years ago when I went to work in a TV newsroom and wore suits with big bows, I was the nightside reporter, racing around as the sun went down to scribble out a story in the field and wrap it with a liveshot.
Often in those days, I was partnered up with an amiable shooter with a superb eye. He shared my love of pushing deadlines to their outer limits–never missing one, but jazzed by the last minute drama.
When we got the “Clear!” from the producer in the control room and were off the air, we had a nightly ritual that we employed before we turned off the lights and packed up the gear.
“Fooled ’em again!” we would holler in unison as we high fived.
Fooled ’em again, because we had found a way to get paid to do the most endlessly fascinating job there could ever be. Fooled ’em again because we went places where we had no business going and got people to tell us their secrets. Fooled ’em again because we turned our geeky curiosity into a marketable skill.
I no longer lug around a 20 pound TV tripod and thank goodness I don’t have to work in pumps, pantyhose and polyester.
But I’m still fooling ’em.
I dropped out of college at 19 to go to work at a small town radio station, then proceeded to hustle my way into television where I worked as a reporter, investigative journalist, anchor and producer.
After 25 years in TV, I went back to radio and hosted a daily talk show.
I’ve moved on to digital reporting and now fool ’em as a free lance writer for print.
Reporting has given me the greatest possible education, an advanced degree in the University of Everything.
Like the saying goes, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.
What a gig!