It was a challenge to determine who my first interview would be. I had to deal with the question of ‘what the show would look like’, my own nervousness, and simply finding someone who could articulate their narrative in a powerful and clear way to ensure that the launch of HatRadio! was successful.
I thought about these challenges for a while. Initially, I considered family members thinking — what better way of being comfortable behind the microphone than with someone I love, trust and know.
I new I would eventually interview my sister Chavi who had lost her husband to murder a number of years prior, but felt the issue of murder was not the perfect place to start. Too potentially unsettling.
My internal Rolodex continued to flip. How about colleagues who could tell a rockin’ story? I waited for that ‘yes’ moment, when I just knew the person mulling about my mind was right. It did not come. I continued to struggle with this most fundamental of questions. “Perhaps”, I thought, “I’m putting too much pressure on myself. After all, wouldn’t there be many guests to follow? Surely, my success was not predicated on one show.” Listeners are forgiving, aren’t they?
As a Painter & Artist the Process Felt Very Similar
Really this process was not dissimilar to what I experienced in other aspects of my life. I’d go through something similar every time I sit down to write an article for the Canadian Jewish News (which I’ve been doing for over 20 years). The page would be blank and I’d daydream trying to let it come to me, hoping a topic would jump out at me. As a fine artist, my journey to get a decent picture on my canvas is not that different. Again, I’ll stare at that white space for hours. Sometimes it’ll feel like days until I finally apply my first brushstroke and eventually a picture begins to take shape.
That crucial second arrived. The ‘aha’ moment. I figured it out. I do have a dear friend who is highly articulate, thoughtful and has quite a story to tell which included chapters about his soulmate, someone whom he loved with all his heart, and lost.
The Aha Moment! | A Powerful Story about Love, Soulmates & Loss
That person was Lou Berkovits.
Lou had been married to Renee Roth for ten years. He was madly in love with her. They were soulmates. I just know most folks, be they men, women or any other gender, live to hear about romance, or to read about it, or see a story of love on stage. Lou and I had spent hours talking about his feelings and thoughts about Renee’s death. I knew where his soul lay and I was more than willing and determined to create a schmooze around that. Lou was my guy and the central motif of our talk would be about him and Renee and their ethereal-like love for one another.
The question was not how their love played out however. That would be easy. Illicit some romantic and beautiful stories from Lou about their walks in Amsterdam; their dinners at home surrounded by meters of rose petals. I had to consider how to deal with Renee’s very quick death and how their romance, their soul-matedness, came to an end. Ugh, that’s so sad and can be tough to share. This would require great sensitivity and would be a challenge ensuring my guest was comfortable and at ease talking about love lost.
Intuitively I believed I had arrived. I just knew Lou would agree.
The day came. I picked up my cell and dialed Lou’s number. He answered.
“Lou”, I said “I’m launching a podcast called HatRadio! and I’d like you to be my first guest”.
Lou was gracious and always the gentleman. He asked me a few questions about the show, my goals and objectives and then answered in his inimitable way, “yes, I’d be honoured to Avrum”. I thanked Lou for agreeing to be my first guest and asked him if he’d be amenable to speaking freely and openly about Renee’s passing and how that impacted him and some poignant pointed questions about romance and losing one’s soulmate. Again, Lou said he was fine with all of that telling me he is an open book and I could pretty much ask him anything I’d like.
I had already purchased the equipment required to make the technical end of HatRadio! I had Howard Pasternack, my buddy and a techy sort of guy, lined up to help with post production, key to a successful show. Sure enough, HatRadio! was born and Lou was our first baby – our first schmooze. The interview went stunningly well and comments followed stating how at ease we seemed with one another, how fascinating it was to hear about Lou and Renee, and their love affair.
I was delighted and felt I was truly in my element, as I hoped I’d be, interviewing people for an hour and a half about their lives, often in a very deep and personal way. Lou was everything I wanted out of my first guest – open, honest and intimate. My friend nailed it. Together we made magic.
There is more to tell about determining subsequent guests but I’ll leave that for now. I am thankful to Lou for being with me at the launch o HatRadio!. He was enthusiastic about the project as well as very supportive. And he talked a really good game……and walked it.
About HatRadio! Podcast | The Show that Schmoozes
The HatRadio! podcast was created by Avrum Rosensweig. Avrum spent over a decade on commercial radio including Toronto’s CFRB and Talk 640 co-producing and co-hosting quirky and delightful food and restaurants shows with Hollywood stars and singers like Michael Bublé, prolific chefs, restauranteurs, servers and of course foodies from all over the world. He is also the founder of Ve’ahavata, Canada’s only Jewish humanitarian organization, a writer and a dad.
HatRadio!’s Tagline is “The show that schmoozes”. Avrum’s intention through this new and refreshing podcast is to create an environment that reflects an honest and earthy midnight talk amongst friends around a bonfire where ideas and feelings flow freely and the participants have many honest and often courageous “Uhu” moments. Avrum is hoping these interviews will reflect positive human behaviour and inspire many to pursue greater goodness and kindness.
If you have any suggestions on people you feel should be interviewed or would simply like to get in touch with Avrum, please contact him at this link.
HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.