For my 200th Blogcritics Magazine article (in three-and-a-half years), I figured I’d do a little something out of the ordinary. Hence, this snapshot of what 2010 did for me personally, at least that which is somewhat Blogcritics-related.
Almost one year ago to the date, for instance, I was given the very cool opportunity to be a co-host alongside then Blogcritics head sports editor Matt Sussman of the (now on hiatus) Treehouse Fort Internet sports radio show on Blog Talk Radio (for which I always made weekly 15-minute or so guest appearances via my “What Were They Thinking” segment). Filling in for his usual co-host Tuffy for an hour was a challenge going into it, but by the time it was all over, after talking everything from the MLB Hall of Fame inductees and snubs to the NCAA Championship game between Alabama and Texas, the nerves were calm and all aspects of the show went smoothly. So that was pretty exciting.
Weeks later, after doing a rare book review, I got a job offer to do “informational book reviews” for a Florida company called EMSI. How did that happen? Well, the publicist I got the book (Healthier Without Wheat) from to review for Blogcritics liked my review so much that she offered to send me a steady amount of non-fiction books to review for her company and at a price that I charged. Needless to see, it was my highest-paying freelance job yet!
As many journalists know, interviews with celebrities and other famous people can be hard to come by. Getting the chance to ask actors and actresses questions during a conference call is even harder, as you have to be lucky enough to be picked to ask any questions. In December of 2009, I was lucky enough to get picked to pick the brain of John Lennon’s first son, Julian, for a few long minutes.
In April and May of 2010, I got on two FOX-run conference calls (representing Blogcritics, of course) with stars from the channel’s hit show 24. First up was Annie Wersching, who played agent Renee Walker, Jack Bauer’s (Kiefer Sutherland) sidekick and later love interest who was killed off the show just before the call. I didn’t get to ask any questions, but spending a half hour on the phone listening to her insight on the show was a treat.
In late May, just before the 24 series finale, Mary Lynn Rajskub, who played computer whiz Chloe O’Brian, did a conference call with journalists from all over (just before she headed over to be interviewed by Chelsea Handler). And this time, I was lucky enough to get picked to interview her for a few minutes. She was every bit as funny and smart off-screen as she is in character. And a character she is. Rajskub is truly one of a kind.
By the end of June, a new challenge awaited me, as I (along with a couple of other Blogcritics writers), was given the rights to help run the sports section as co-head editor in place of Sussman, who moved on after five tremendous years. It soon became a two-man job (with Victor Lana), and has become my featured (and favorite) role here.
Speaking of favorites, getting to meet and get autographs from one of my favorite new bands of the last 10 years, Minus The Bear, at a Newbury Comics store in my home state (Massachusetts) and seeing them live three times (in one year) was more fun than I could ever ask for.
Then there was the accomplishment this past fall that people in my hometown are still coming up to me about, the eye-opening 25-minute interview I did by phone with Neil Fallon, lead singer of hard rock band Clutch, one of the best and most consistently awesome rock bands of the last 20 years.
That Fallon interview is up there with my nearly 40-minute phone interview of Judas Priest’s Rob Halford in late 2008 as my all-time favorite one, not only because of the coolness of it, but due to the publicist who set me up with it relaying to me that the band (Clutch) thought it was the best interview they’d seen since starting their own record label.
So off the top of my head, this was 2010 in a nutshell for me. Can 2011 be any better? I’ve got a whole new year to find out.