The arts have played a huge role in my life and career. While I am a radio host and television sports anchor, my experience with the arts STILL influences my job performance. In elementary school, my ability to write song lyrics and poetry gave me confidence at a young age. It forced me to challenge myself and expand my vocabulary. I would read and write virtually every day. In my late teens and early 20s, I was able to perform my inspirational poetry at local high schools, colleges and universities, the Indiana State House, the Indiana Black Expo, and at numerous events. Public speaking, an area that so many struggle with, became a strength of mine. When I became the public address announcer for the Indiana Pacers, I was asked several times, “Do you get nervous speaking in front of nearly 20,000 people at home games?” My response is always, “No…” because of those early experiences that was made possible because of my interest in the arts.
Theatre was also an area that I excelled in. I loved drama class, and would audition for plays dating all the way back to grade school. I firmly believe that those experiences help me every day on television and radio. Memorization is clearly a huge part of theatre and that practice has also helped me recall vital information like stats, player names, etc. when I am on the air.
In all, I love the arts because the arts breed passion and expression. We all have gifts and creativity that is brewing inside of us. We have so much to share with the world, and exposure to the arts allows us all to find our own avenue or area of expression that we can passionately tap into.
My favorite artists are Jackson Pollock and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Both troubled souls, who may not have seemed brilliant via normal forms of communication, but their brilliance was in their ability to tap into their creative subconscious and produce amazing works of art.
I am also a huge fan of fashion, which for many years was not given the artistic credit it deserves.
To me, art is starting with nothing and producing something beautiful. I am obsessed with the concept of the blank page.
The blank canvas.
The blank notebook page.
The presence of nothing…which brings anxiety for so many. That is the toughest stage for many creators. Standing in front of nothing, waiting for the light bulb to go off so they can put paint to canvas, pen to paper, and needle to thread.
But I do not see anxiety when I see the blank page.
I see potential.
And that is also what I see in today’s youth. Potential.
Potential to be great. Potential to be anything they want to be when they grow up. Potential to live comfortably. Potential to thrive and succeed. Potential to change the world. It is all at their fingertips. And it is a reality that is possible because of the exposure to the arts and the impact it unquestionably has in all phases of our lives.
About the Author
Michael Grady is the host of the “Grady and Big Joe Show” weekdays from 10 -12 pm, on 93.5 (FM) and 1070 (AM) The Fan. Michael is also a sports anchor for Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV6, and he is the public address announcer for the Indiana Pacers.