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Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Cruz’n the Borderland: Spirit of Radio Part 3

After all the highs and lows of my career choice, I can say…radio broke me.   Ok, ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic.  But I CAN say it changed me,  dare I say it opened my eyes to things.  I learned from her.

Life isn’t always straight forward with bumps in the road, its more than that.   Its curves, and jumps and set backs and magicians doing tricks, and if you’re  lucky enough to watch from backstage, you get to see how  the tricks are done, and realize it all one big production that runs the same every show, in every town!

Now, I’m not saying I don’t believe in the magic of it anymore, I’ve just been exposed to SOME of the truths. (No, no…I’m not talking Illuminati/skull and crossbones things!)

Let me explain:  Radio was magical…in its very process.  From talking into a mic to thousands of people you could see, and they couldn’t see you!   Sending music and audio from the studio, to the antennae on  top of the mountain so that these invisible signals could reach these boxes that decode them and let the listener enjoy the audible nuggets in the privacy of their home, or car, or work…MAGIC!

The reactions of people when they found out that YOU were in fact the voice that came out of their radios…and if you could “say something you would say on the radio, but don’t change your voice!!”

And yet, somewhere, almost recently, the true magic is gone.  I COULD blame corporate suits and their homogenizing of radio, making one station sound like every other station across the country, sucking the fun and soul and – dare I say – the talent out of it.

It’s true…listen to any so-called “DJ” here in town.  Listen to their delivery…fast, monotone…almost as if they are trying to hurry to say what they have to say so that there’s time for the commercials to play!  Guess what?  That’s what they are doing.   No life behind what they are saying,  no conviction.

But not all of us….some of the best (yup, present company included…*giggles*) still try to give a bit of character and provenance to what we are telling you.   Makes it a bit more personable.  We try not to sound cookie cutter, and non-complacent.   That is, those of us who are STILL live on the air…*is that a behind the scenes factoid about how corporate makes DJs voice track, and record their shows, and maybe that’s ANOTHER reason why its become life-less??*

And because of radio, I’ve become a bit more jaded in life, a bit more bitter.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still the same wise-cracking, lovable SOB you’ve grown to know and love, but I’m constantly looking for the man behind the curtain in the merry old land of Oz because I KNOW that’s  how it works…I’m the guy figuring out the movie’s plot-twist before it happens.

I’m the guy looking for the “plant” in a production where audience members are asked to go on stage…I’m the one looking for the string, or stagehand dressed in black, or hand signals that indicate something went wrong or right!    Oh, yeah…I’m A LOT of fun in public outings.

But that’s not to say I’ve given up on the magic.no, no…in fact far from it.  I’ve just happened to have found a new hiding place for the magic: It’s in the people I’ve met.

The friends I’ve made, the people who are on tv and movies that know me,  the family that has supported me over the years, the people who still get excited that I’m the guy from the radio, and want to talk musical opinions with me,  the local bands I’ve know,  it goes on and on.

And that’s the real magic.

Those people who have basically, in a sense made Victor Cruz who HE is.    Those are the stories that need to be told…because everyone has a story…and when you meet them, and find out about them, you absorb their energy, they life, their story.

It becomes a part of you, and THEN it needs to be released into the universe, so that they themselves live on.

Indulge me, for in the next few weeks I will be telling those stories…the stories of the people I’ve met, that have kept me going.   The stories of my friends and family.

Man, this would make for a wicked book…

About Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz was born in El Paso in the early 70s. Graduated from Burges High School and went to EPCC, where he got his first real taste of radio. He has bounced up and down the dial locally and continues to call El Paso home where family is. FULL BIO

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2 comments

  1. One of the BEST articles I’ve ever written. Victor Cruz is an absolute gem for all El Pasoans and it makes.me proud to see another celebrated artist arise from the dust of El Chuco to famedon. Great writing skills coupled with the gift of truthsaying make Victor a very special treasure indeed. Will continue to follow him and his work because he makes it so relevant. Thank you for the gift you share with us, VC!

  2. I’m still the same wise-cracking, lovable SOB you’ve grown to know and love, but I’m constantly looking for the man behind the curtain in the merry old land of Oz because I KNOW that’s how it works”.
    Very true even in wrastlin’! Truely a genuine, humble, smart, entertaining and outgoing guy. I am ALWAYS curious how the radio industry works and anytime I get to step into a studio I feel like the kid going to the planetarium. It’s always a treat. Great article to read brother! Cheers to you and Z.

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