I recently suffered a serious case of imposter syndrome.
I was at dinner with Sony Music Australia. It’s work AND play as K rock’s Music Director. You eat and listen to great tunes. Win-win. We went to a restaurant on Swan Street in Melbourne, before making the trek up to Margaret Court Arena to see Amy Shark perform.
This restaurant is set up like a butcher. You walk in and on the left is a display case, (because the record company was paying, I went straight to the prime wagyu cut. You’d do the same TBH) while on the right were the tables.
As we sat down, I took note of the stools. Six people would be joining us for the feast. One by one we arrived. A mutual acquaintance from Fox FM, a guy from the AFL, my friend, and a rep from Sony took a seat.
Then SHE walked in. A breakfast announcer from a Melbourne radio station. Her hair was slicked back into a ponytail and she was wearing a green pinafore. Cool, calm and stylish… and my current radio idol.
I was speechless. When I come to these events, I’m usually surrounded by fellow music directors and show producers. The people behind the scenes, making the radio station sound “hot” and “tight” and “slick” and other wanky radio terminologies.
So, here she is, her hand is reached out… and I lose the gift of speech. I can’t remember what I said so I verbalised something like “ahhhhuuummmmmmtayyyyyaaaaHi”.
This is a woman who breathes air, wears shoes and has a regular bowel movement. I assume. I didn’t follow her into the bathroom. What I mean is, at a basic level we are all the same. We all eat and shit.
People warn you “not to meet your idols” because you may not like what you meet. But what if they are even better? This woman is at the prime of her radio career, sincerely nice and genuinely funny. And here she is sitting across from me, eating a steak. But I couldn’t talk to her. It was my first chance at a first impression and I may have blown it!
I’ve clearly put her on a pedestal she did not ask to be put on. I sat there telling myself my stories wouldn’t be funny or interesting enough. My life up to now felt boring against the life I’ve seen on Instagram. But here’s the thing. This assessment was all going on in my mind. I had built up this wall of expectation and assumption, and because of this, she didn’t stand a chance.
As we’re leaving the restaurant, she asked me if I was ok. At the time I thought it was because I had eaten my weight in cow and fried potato. Now I think about it, she was probably concerned about my lack of sentence structure and inability to make eye contact.
I need to work on my self-belief. I should be my own cheerleader while muting the part of my brain that tells me I am way out of my league. We are all interesting and inquisitive and passionate. And we all poo.
‘Til next time, Stampsy xx
Check out Stampsy on the gram lee_stamps and on FB StampsyKROCK
Stampsy is the Music Director and Drive Announcer at K Rock in Geelong