By Sam Fidler
Sam Fidler has been the host of Standing Room Only © (SRO) for three years, starting in the Fall of 2016. Thank you Sam for your passion and dedication to the station. Sam's last show will be on Saturday, June 8th, at 10am.
I didn’t see my first show on Broadway until I was already a college student. By the time I actually sat down in a bonafide, New York City Broadway theater with a playbill and a ticket for the Fiddler on the Roof revival (how appropriate!), I had been led into the life of a performing arts student by other means. Community and high school theater in my hometown of Newton, Massachusetts certainly played a large role in my artistic upbringing, but when it comes to the musical theater canon, my roots are in listening to WERS.
My family home had our radio tuned to 88.9 all weekend for their specialty programming. Back when The Playground was in the evening, I would borrow my mom’s cell phone and wait patiently for the DJ to say what the request line was so I could call and ask them to play my favorite songs. My first learned showtunes were the ones that overlapped with The Playground’s library--songs from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, and more family-friendly classics.
With SRO, that library only grew. Certain songs would play over and over again that I would grow to expect–I remember being spellbound by "A Weekend in the Country" from A Little Night Music simply because it was such a long song! Along with the recorded music, it also blew my ten-year-old mind whenever a Live Mix would come on featuring a show that I had seen advertised elsewhere or that I had actually seen with my parents. The people from the stage were also on the radio? Get out!
Cut to the end of my freshman year at Emerson College, when I see a single 8x11 sheet of paper taped to the wall of a multipurpose basement reading “Wanna be an on-air DJ?”. Despite knowing it was a college radio station, I hadn’t put together up until that point that the DJs I had been listening to for over 15 years were students like I now was, and that all the music had come from a studio less than a block away. I called the number on the paper, went in for an audition, and hosted my first SRO show about a month later.
I didn’t need to live in New York or go to a performing arts high school to have the artistic life I have now. All I needed was the vibrant Greater Boston theater community, and SRO has been a pillar of that community. I mean it when I say it–it really is a pleasure and a privilege to uphold that pillar for the past three years. For all the Live Mixes and Concept Albums and ticket giveaways and Live Music Weeks, thank you, and keep on enjoying the show!