Broadcasting is a field chosen by many students at PSU. For Shelby White, newly hired broadcast and Technical Coordinator at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, it’s not only a breeze- but a passion.
Shelby was born in Manhattan, but grew up in Scammon. Growing up, his family lived out in the country, and late at night their entertainment was the Royals on the radio. This sparked his desire to do broadcasting, originally starting as a dream to be a radio-talent. He thought about it constantly- even practicing how he would call a play-by-play in his own life. He was hooked from there. His father and extended family also graduated from Pittsburg State with a degree in engineering.
“It’s a familiar university, outside of just being born in the area,” White said.
Shelby graduated from Pittsburg State with a degree in communication, and an emphasis in broadcasting. Now, he is a graduate student in the Media Production emphasis area.
“What really drew me to Pittsburg State was their excellence in broadcasting,” White said. “I started as an accounting major, switched things up for a while, but then returned to Pitt State in 2013 with a passion for broadcasting.”
Shelby’s favorite shows he has broadcasted include the Barbara York Concert in July, because it made him feel more comfortable in his first month.
“I was able to really fully get invested in how I wanted it (York memorial concert) to look, and to help get the vision out there,” White said. “My second favorite is the Kaleidoscope of Styles, which was fun because of its variety. Looking back, I could see it was night and day, from the comfort that I had, because that was my first week here. […] And the comfort level here was really, really nice.”
As far as his favorite musical, Shelby is old-school, with The Sound of Music at his number one spot. “The movie version is what I always liked, and it holds a special place in my heart because it’s one of my mom’s favorites.” Shelby also mentioned that as a family, they would watch it together all the time.
Shelby thought back to his childhood, and remembered how he would watch PBS Sunday night shows, and he said. “I have that sort of level of professionalism that I want to aspire to.”
Shelby’s passion for broadcasting has been present for him since he was a child. “I just love the adrenaline rush of doing something live. With that adrenaline rush comes that same amount of horror, guilt, and sickness whenever something goes wrong and it can’t be fixed live, but the overall rush and euphoria I get from a successful live event is incredible and broadcasting is something I have always wanted to do.”
White also said his goals in this position include challenging himself with a variety of different broadcasting events
“My first goal is to stretch and challenge myself,” White said. “When I came back to college, I did a lot of sports broadcasting, and so I never really got a chance to do anything with theatre, or any sort of pre-planned live event. And so to have this opportunity to stretch myself and increase my knowledge of broadcasting is really important to me, and it’s very nice to have that… I want to be able to have the Bicknell Center put on performances that go out on […] social media, and I want them to look as though they are done by high end production companies.”
White’s co-workers at the Bicknell Center also mentioned the experience of working with him.
“We searched high and low, and turned over every rock we could turn over for the right person,” Firman said. “John Eastman – the technical director – suggested Shelby as the perfect person for the job. Shelby has an attention to detail, artistic eye, and his desire for more video and audio production at a higher quality, and that he can bring it up to the next level… His skill; Being able to run the equipment from day one, and to be able to put out a professional product has been really valuable to us.”
Shelby also desires to teach students about broadcasting and has really developed a passion for teaching students how to use the equipment for it. He wants students to learn the skill of broadcasting- even if they don’t pursue it professionally- if they have any equipment at all and know how to use it, they can make some extra money doing so. “There are always people who want to have birthday parties, or weddings, or small get-togethers recorded and put together for a keepsake. So, if you know how to shoot, and how to edit, and a decent camera, you can make a decent amount by saying ‘Yeah, I can do that for you!’”
White also said his passion for broadcasting comes from the effect it has on people.
“I saw just the amount of people it can reach, and the enjoyment,” White said. “So being able to bring that happiness to others is another big factor in what I want to do in broadcasting, and that’s really what I want others to get out of it.”