Suddenly, here I am. And what an interesting path to get here. But now that I am here, I should probably bring you up to speed.
First of all, I am an honest to goodness, Western NC native (despite the lack of a deep accent.) I grew up in Waynesville, NC (which I often tell people is 30 miles and 10 years west of Asheville - though I am not sure they get the joke, or even if it is a good joke.) My youth was filled with morning TV game shows (where I got my buckets of useless trivia from), comic books, and Star Wars. So, yes, I have a VIP pass to the world of Nerddom.
From an early age, I wanted to create characters and worlds, so I became a writer and a performer. Before the advent of VCRs I would adapt movies that I saw into mini-novels upon returning home from the movie theatre, and later I moved on to original works. Eventually my love of performing led me to writing for theatre, which turned into something of a success (in 2011 I celebrated 20 years since my professional playwrighting debut, having written 25 scripts in that time, and seeing nearly half of those produced and/or published.)
I became political minded in my early teens, when, in the 1980s, I decided to write a series of Spy Novels (mind you, I was 13 years old at the time, so it was a bit like James Bond meets Beverly Hills 90210.) I loved political intrigue, and as I got older, I started following politics. I wrote political columns and rants for my college paper in the mid 90s, and in the 2000s, started to blog regularly. Along the way, I worked as a professional actor (mostly on stage, but some commercial and film stuff here and there), ran my own theatre company for a short while, did a lot of odd jobs here and there, and had a kid (my figure has never fully recovered either).
The constant through it all was that I was a political news junky, and in 2006 submitted an audition tape for a Radio Talk show contest. 880, The Revolution (via AirAmerica Radio) held a competition, and (rumor has it) I came in second place. Funny how it all works out, as, now, some 6 years later, here I am.
It all comes around, I suppose. In college, my acting professor gave me a review one semester, and simple said: "Messer, you just need a talk show." I don't know if that was a compliment, but I took it as one.
When you wind me up on a topic, I am like the Energizer Bunny. And a childhood of filling my head with tons of game show knowledge shaped me in so many ways. I tell people that I know a little bit about a lot of things. And I love being that way (even if it drives others crazy.) It makes me a mean machine at trivial pursuit too, by the way.
So, here I am. 880, The Revolution. My own show. Hard to believe. At long last, I can put my trivial pursuit brain and Energizer Bunny mouth to good use.
I love Asheville, which is why I settled here in 2000. I traveled all over, but never found a better place. And the growth that has happened here in the past decade has caught the world's attention. We have a balance and harmony here that is unique.
I want to bring Asheville and all of its wonders into my show, giving you all a platform and a voice for smart, fun, insightful and stimulating conversations about everything Asheville and beyond. No topic is off the table here. No voice is turned away. It is time to be loud and proud, Asheville, and I want to be a leading voice in that movement, and I want all of you to be there with me. I want to create something fresh and new on 880, that will be distinctly Asheville, but will reach well beyond the radio signal strength. People all over the nation and world love Asheville, and I want this show to be the highest flag waving for our great town.
So here's my invitation to all of you: make this your radio show, not mine. Inspire me, drive me, laugh with me, challenge me and let's make something special that we can all be proud of.
It's Asheville! The sky used to be the limit, but let's take it just ever so higher.