DJ at KAOS Radio 89.3 FM in Olympia, WA
The planet Krypton™ was doomed….
(Sorry, wrong bio)
But not unconnected. I’m a child of the fifties, a child of the tube (tv/radio), a child of comics and cartoons. The arts has always been a part of my life, visual, dramatic, comedic, audible… you get the picture.
I hail from Niagara Falls NY; tourist attraction and birthplace of Shredded Wheat cereal; in the forty years I lived there before coming here art played a major role in my life. Superman, then in comics, on radio and in the Sunday funnies made me want to draw, as did the great cartoons of Warners and MGM. The cartoons had another side effect – making me aware of and appreciating voice acting. By the time I was ten I was doing impressions of real people and cartoon characters, a wonderfully bad habit that hasn’t left me.
After high school, I did a number of jobs including working in a print shop doing graphic design/layout and an obsolete task called phototypesetting. I also worked to help create a local comic art museum. Media remained a love, landing me in a local video store in the 80s. While there, the local paper would call each week asking about what movies were popular, what was coming soon, etc. One week, I told the editor I had to leave early for a sneak preview of Star Trek V. He said, “Want to write about it for us?”
Suddenly, I was a newspaper writer; doing book/movie/cd reviews, a weekly video column… and interviews. And I was smack in the middle of the arts again.
My first interview was with Curt Swan, who passed away in 1996. “Who??” you ask?? Curt drew Superman for 30 years (I told you it was connected ). The second was Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones, who created Pepe LePew, the Road Runner/Coyote cartoons and much more. The third, June Foray – voice actress (now 94 and still acting) trust me, you’ve heard her. A little up the road, a new TV cartoon had started… I didn’t think much of it… but I agreed to interview the creator. His name- Matt Groening… the cartoon- The Simpsons.
We had a great talk, and he told me about the college he attended; it sounded crazy and fun. The school- The Evergreen State College.
Suddenly, I’m turning 40 and decide it’s time to get a college degree. I couldn’t decide where to go… when it HIT me – that crazy, fun place in Olympia. And so in 1993, I arrived at Evergreen. I was involved in group writing a tv comedy show that aired on TCTV, “Infectious Waste Theater” (I did NOT name it )
A fellow named Michael Huntsberger liked my writing and voice work. He was the General Manager at KAOS-fm. He came to me at an Evergreen function and the following conversation ensued:
Michael: John, we have to get you into radio.
Michael: Because you’ll like it.
Me: Ummmm, OK…
He was right. I’ve been there ever since; hosting Jazz shows, doing News/Public Affairs shows; I’ve held every position there except the General Manager. It’s been an interesting life; one filled with the arts. And it all started with Clark Kent.