Saturday, January 30, 2010

Down Memory Lane of All Things Phantom

Let me start by saying this post is a personal reflection down memory lane regarding the past seven months of broadcasting All Things Phantom on BlogTalkRadio. I have much to share, so hang in there with me!

In June of last year, a frustrating experience plummeted me into action where I was faced with a choice to react one way or the other. I chose to do something bold and start my own Internet radio show entitled, "All Things Phantom."

Since January of 2008, I immersed myself in the Phantom community and discovered that many fans, like myself, had much to share about how the story touched their lives. During my networking, it was obvious some voices were louder than others, but there were other fans in the community that needed a way to express their Phantom obsessions, if you will, and a platform to do so. Of course, I thought it would be a good medium to promote my blog in book form, Lessons From the Phantom of the Opera, but that wasn't my main goal.

As a result, our show quickly booked with collectors, authors, make-up specialists, cartoonists, film reviewers, book reviewers, and artists. One show after the other, people flocked wanting to share their love and talent, and I gave them a voice. Too much Phantom some would say? I don't think so! It was desperately needed in the Phantom community and a unique avenue no one before had tapped into in order to bring fans together.

The word spread and others began showing up in our chatroom during the show. Brianne Kelly Morgan, who plays Meg Giry, in the Vegas production, found her way and chatted with other fans while we broadcast.

We were invited to broadcast at the Phantom Fans Week in Las Vegas in September, and two of the principles allowed us to interview them (Andrew Ragone and Brianne Kelly Morgan).

My co-host and I began to get a bit bolder, and to our surprise even stage actors accepted invitations. Byron Nease was our first, and we were thoroughly thrilled! He had played Raoul in the original Toronto production and also Phantom on the Yeston & Kopit version. He sang for us a few tunes and blessed the audience with his wonderful personality and stories of his tenure on stage.

December, the very talented Brianne Kelly Morgan, who plays Meg came out from the chatroom and granted us an interview. Talented and much loved, we enjoyed her immensely.

January, of course, was another Phantom blessing straight from Vegas. Our first guest was the very handsome Andrew Ragone, who plays Raoul. Then on January 23, the Phantom - Anthony Crivello, and Christine - Kristi Holden, were our guests!

I cannot thank the Phantom Vegas Production enough for the kindness and support they have shown our show allowing us to interview the principles. A true blessing indeed.

Also, kudos to BlogTalkRadio who consistently made us featured shows when we had Vegas guests! At one point in time we hit the #2 slot in popularity out of 500 entertainment shows! As of today, we've had over 7,289 archived shows downloaded for listening. Wow! Amazing.

January 30th is our last show before we go on hiatus, and I do have mixed feelings giving up this wonderful medium to bring fans together. However, I have some personal life issues that need attention and planning the show takes time and money. Teresa and I are on the brink of burn-out, so we want to hang up the mics before we crash and burn.

I want to thank Teresa, my Facebook buddy, for going along with me on this insane idea. When it first popped into my head, she was willing to sink or swim with me - that says an awful lot! After all, when we broadcast it goes worldwide and the archives are there to listen to even after we stop broadcasting.

Of course, like anything else, we had our share of critics. I found that the old adage you can only please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time, quite true. Teresa and I tried to stay true to the vision and commitments of our scheduled show, which was important to us as a team. Our fan based stayed strong, and new listeners discovered us each week.

The lessons this journey has taught me boils down to a few profound revelations.

When others wish you to slink away, don't do it! Go stand on a rock and shout! If someone infers you have nothing of value to offer, go prove them wrong. Take your rightful place in life and follow the passions of your own heart regardless of the critics. Give a voice to others, when people try to silence you. You'll be a better person for it and extremely blessed, as I have been, after embarking on this journey with All Things Phantom. It's been a liberating experience of growth and success that I will never forget.

Will I be back for more? Stay tuned! If you've missed our seven months of broadcasting, they are all there on BlogTalkRadio. The player is on this page and the archives are on the show page from months past. Go listen and enjoy!

The Phantom's Student aka Vicki Hopkins

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