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Nov. 22 2012

Holidays are what (and when) you make them

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | Comments Off on Holidays are what (and when) you make them

Happy Thanksgiving! If you’ve had WBJC on since 10 this morning (and of course, I hope you have) you might have noticed that I’m working. If a holiday falls on a weekday, I’ll be here unless I ask for vacation time in advance, and you know what? That doesn’t bother me one bit. Many people (both listeners and friends) are shocked to hear that – when told I’ll be at the station on a day when most folks are off, some express such sympathy that I laugh. When I got into radio, the program director of the first classical station I worked at gave me an invaluable piece of advice: “If you’re serious about this business, you’d better give up the idea of having all of your weekends and holidays off, even if you’re management.” Not everyone in my life was thrilled to hear that, and my non-traditional work schedule has been an issue in more than one of my relationships over the years. Given that many jobs now require one to be connected to the office via electronic devices 24/7, I find all of this quite odd. If I have a choice between spending Thanksgiving Day playing great music in a nice, quiet radio station or having to check work email a dozen times a day while at the beach, I’ll take the former, thanks.

Since I also sing and do theater, I lose quite a few non-holiday evenings and weekends to performances, too. I hate having to turn down dinner invitations or miss friends’ shows in such cases, but my love of being onstage (and the realization of what a privilege that is in today’s world, especially if one is getting paid) still wins out at this point. To that end, I’m thrilled that my birthday celebration is being pushed back a couple of days this year because – hooray! – I have a gig on the actual date.

My friend Madeleine Gray, a fabulous mezzo, said it much better, so I’ll defer to her:


Have a wonderful holiday, and thanks for listening!


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Dyana is WBJC's midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

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