This month we put a Member Spotlight on Dan Burke in our latest “Inside the SMC studio,” a monthly blog post highlighting our members and their incredible talent! Dan is the host of “Words On Film,” which has been on Boston Free Radio since January 2014 and airs Tuesdays at 1pm LIVE on BFR & SCATV Ch.3. He also hosts another show during the holidays titled “All That Jingles,” which has been hosting perennially since 2013 and has its 5th annual premiere on November 14th at 1 PM.
Dan is also a member of the Somerville Media Center board of directors and a loyal volunteer with Boston Free Radio. He is an incredible asset to the greater SMC community and we love having Dan here as an active community member – thanks for being a part of SMC family!
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Dan Burke, and I host the show “Words On Film”, which has been on Boston Free Radio since January 2014. I also host another show during the holidays titled “All That Jingles”, which I have been hosting perennially since 2013 and has its 5th annual premiere on November 14th at 1 PM.
2. What was the strangest job you’ve had?
One summer, I sold kitchen knives and other cutlery to people in their houses. It wasn’t door-to-door; I had to call them to make an appointment first. It was a strange and exhausting job that I don’t want to ever do again.
3. Where is your favorite place to retreat for mental or physical health?
I wish I could say Fiji or the Virgin Islands, but I don’t have that kind of money yet. My parents have a cabin overlooking a lake in Smithfield, Maine which is only a 3-hour drive away, and is especially a great place to visit during the summer.
4. Who were your early creative mentors or source for inspiration?
I think I have read every review Roger Ebert ever wrote, and his writing still has an effect on the reviews I put on “Words On Film”. Even though he died five years ago, I still go to his website to read whatever reviews of older movies he wrote.
My best mentor still remains Lee L’Heureux, who was General Manager of my college radio station when I was a freshman. When I became GM as a sophomore, he was always available to answer any questions I had as I navigated the new process of being a leader in addition to a communications enthusiast. I could not have done as well as I did without him.
5. How do you get past creative roadblocks?
This is where procrastination helps. Seriously, though, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a project and maybe get overwhelmed with one problem you have. When that happens to me, I take 10 minutes, get a drink of water, and maybe even play some old-school, 8-bit video games to take my mind off a project for a while. Then I return to it with a newer perspective.
6. How has Somerville Media Center been a positive influence in your creative career?
It got me back into radio again! Five years ago, I had been out of radio for a while, and thought it would be great to get a show even if no one was paying me for it (which was a very realistic way of looking at it). Then I got onto Google, typed in “community radio boston”, found BFR, and the rest is history.
Boston Free Radio, and vicariously the Somerville Media Center, has really made Tuesday the best day of the week for me. Plus, not only is there great technology at my disposal, but the staff and some of the volunteers at SMC has been helpful and encouraging without exception, and it gets better every year.
7. What is your favorite music album?
“Graceland” by Paul Simon. Every song on that album is amazing, and is fitting no matter what kind of mood you’re in. I make it a point to listen to that album from beginning to end every Thanksgiving. It’s not related at all to the holiday, but it just works for me, especially when I’m driving to see the family.
8. If you could have entrance music, what would it be?
That depends on my on-air persona. If it’s just me as a film critic for “Words On Film”, I guess I would choose “I Know What I Know” by Paul Simon, because who am I to blow against the wind?
Your Convivial Uncle Dan of “All That Jingles” would enter to “Christmastime All Over The World” by Sammy Davis, Jr. If I had exit music, it would be B.B. King’s rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”.
9. What’s your favorite spot in Somerville to hangout or visit?
The Somerville Media Center. I’m not trying to suck up with that answer either. Even when I’m not working on my radio shows or my podcast, I can always find something that will keep me busy and productive. Plus, the people here are amazing, and it’s always great to chat with them.
10. In 140 characters or less, how would you pitch your show or who you are?
You won’t get a lot out of me at parties. If you put a microphone in front of me, however, watch out because I’m just getting started!