KCRW’s August Volunteer of the Month

Meet Phil! He’s been a KCRW volunteer for over a year and he’s made himself indispensable! Any event he signs up to volunteer to, the team knows they’re in good hands. Phil is great with the community and with the volunteer team. He’s friendly and funny, making him easy to work with. Phil also works with Raul Campos every other Sunday. Get to know him a little better…

Where did you grow up and do you have any siblings? Pets?

I grew up in West Covina, and then moved around a bit to Upland and then my family finally settled in Walnut…and then Walnut again since they recently bought a house!
Pets…well my family always likes to keep fish, but currently we have 2 dogs one of them is a maltipoo and the other is a bichon frise-poodle mix, their names being Lily Mae and Chase (after Chase Utley, my mom is a Dodgers fan), respectively.

What 5 things would you wish you had if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Let’s see…if I can’t bring friends and family and it’s just myself, I’ll go with these 5:
– A basketball, I’ll assume there’s a court somewhere on the island.
– My phone, I’ll assume there’s wifi so I can browse the interweb and listen to music.
– My headphones, a pair of TMA-2s, for the music.
– A movie theater, I like seeing movies in theaters
– My trusty cardigan, it’s like a second skin to me.

What is your current occupation / what do you do outside of KCRW?

I work for a construction company (not in the field!). They worked on the Expo to Santa Monica rail line and are currently working on a few more rail projects around LA.

What is your fantasy occupation?

King in the North or a jedi…oh not that kind of fantasy? How about professional basketball player?! But honestly, I’d love to have my own podcast and talk about food, music, basketball, pop culture, etc. with my friends and guests.

When did you first discover KCRW?

By accident. I discovered NPR first in college and then found out that KCRW was the NPR member station in Southern California. I then later found out that KCRW does many more cool things than just showcase NPR. But I didn’t really get into public radio until I started listening to podcasts and NPR’s Morning Edition to and from work. It was only then that I realized the connection between great audio programs and public radio..

How did you find your way to our station for volunteering?

Funny story, I had originally emailed the wrong address, .com instead .org. I was interested because my job was slowing down, so I had some free time and I wanted to help out NPR, and to an extent public radio, in any way I could.

What’s your current volunteer position and how long have you been at it?

I’m mainly at events, i.e. Street Team, and I PA for Raul Campos every other Sunday from 3-6pm. For PAing I’ve started just this year, and for volunteering in general I started last year in mid-September.

Favorite volunteer moment?

One of my most absolute favorite things is the look on people’s faces when they’re happy to support the station at Street Team events. Knowing that I’m contributing to a good cause is its own reward…but being able to see exciting artists live or engaging movies doesn’t hurt either!

If you could get on the mic and say one sentence on the air, what would it be?

It would have to be either: (In my most “Rocky” voice) “If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!” OR (Impersonating Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood) “I drink your milkshake!!”

What song(s) have you hit repeat on lately?

Right now, “Come Be Me” by Helado Negro, before that it was “Masterpiece” by Big Thief, before that it was “Plastic Soul” by Mondo Cozmo, before that…well you get the idea, KCRW plays a big part in what I have currently in rotation. But I can always listen to a tune by Angel Olsen, Beach House, or The National.

Favorite book, movie?

My favorite book is either The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace or Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. So I’m one of those “currently reading Infinite Jest, going for like 5 years now, but never finished” people, but I really like Wallace’s writing style so I have to put him there. And I really like all the different time displacement things that happen in Slaughterhouse-Five. For non-fiction, I really like books written by Jon Ronson (he also wrote the screenplays for Frank and Okja).
Movie-wise, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is definitely one of my faves because Charlie Kaufman wrote it (he also wrote the screenplay for Being John MalkovichSynecdoche, New York; and Anomalisa, the latter two he also directed/co-directed, respectively), The Big Lebowski is another, being set in LA and directed by the Coen Bros., and then lastly There Will Be Blood because Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance is a tour de force.

Favorite thing to do outside the station?

I like going to concerts, I’ve been trying to see a concert at every venue in LA and I only have a few more left to visit, I think! I’m always down to watch movies, the Arclight and the Landmark being my preferred locations. Going to museums is always fun, I’ve been to the Broad a bunch and the Getty Center is a sentimental favorite. And I’m always on the lookout for good bars and restaurants!

What does KCRW mean to you?

It’s like looking at your favorite building in the city and even though you’ve seen it a million times it’s still just as beautiful as the very first time you saw it. Every time you see it, you learn something new, gain a new perspective. Similar to that building, when I listen to KCRW, it may be the same station, but each time I listen it’s like a new experience.
Thank you, Phil! We’re so happy you’re a part of the KCRW family!