Warhol divided by fifteen

I am all set to get my one minute of fame this Friday (at least that's the plan as of now) when a segment in which I am interviewed about an exhibition I helped curate is supposed to air on the local-interest mid-morning show of the local public radio station. Note qualifiers. We're not talking prime time here.

Thank goodness this was taped and not live. But let me tell you something about being taped for the radio: have water with you. With all the talks I've given you would think I'd be used to the physical effects of nervousness. But a roomful of people is nothing compared to tens of thousands of transmitting devices. (With any luck, those transmitting devices are not connecting to ears. Who listens to public talk radio at 10:37am? except maybe grad students? note to anyone hoping to listen: I don't know the actual time it's supposed to air.)

So, my mouth was like an ad for baby diapers. My mouth was its own private Sahara. We were taping in the museum, so I couldn't bring my water bottle in with me. Every time I got to stop talking as the interviewer asked a question I had to make frantic efforts to produce saliva. (Sorry if that's too much information. You may be aware that bodily fluids are an academic specialty of mine...)

Part of the reason for this experience might be that I've been taking small doses of a new medication. Silly me, I didn't stop to check whether "dry mouth" is a side effect. The last time I was on a medication that of which "dry mouth" was a side effect, I told the doctor that it dehydrated me. "It's not dehydration, it's DRY MOUTH," he snapped back.

On the radio, remember, your voice is the only thing you can use to make a meaningful contribution. I had worried that my throat might be a bit scratchy. I was assuming, incorrectly, that the sound emerging from my throat would actually make it into the open air. If your mouth is so dry that your lips are sticking to your teeth and your tongue is glued to your palate, this is a problem.


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