Last night, from midnight to 2 am, I did a radio gig with a small group of others on the 3RRR Party Show, hosted by Headly Gritter and his zany producer, DD. Headly's other guests in the studio were an archeologist from La Trobe and an astrophysicist from Swinburne (plus various people on the phone from time to time). It was not my finest hour - well two hours - though maybe not my worst, either.
I've done quite a lot of radio interviews by telephone, but never anything remotely like this gig, and I must admit I was too nervous to relax into the conversation until we were deep into the two hours. It really is quite different being placed in a room where you don't feel at home, with a bunch of people you've just met, headphones on, a huge microphone sticking in your face, and an expectation that you be witty and cogent for an audience that you can't see. There are particular skills involved. For me, it was scarier than having to perform in front of a meeting hall or a lecture theatre or even in a courtroom.
On the other hand, you soon get used to it.
By the end, the setting had already taken on a kind of familiarity, I was feeling less terrified of saying something stupid, and was actually thinking that I'd enjoy doing something like this again, having had a taste of it. I wonder whether they'll invite me back.