It’s a little after 3 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon, and WWPT, the Staples High radio station – 90.3 on your FM dial – has just begun the live portion of its broadcast day.
Crazy Colabella and tenacious t—known to their teachers as Andy Colabella and Todd Rawiszer—are still flipping through sleeves of CDs, choosing songs to play later on their ninety-minute show even as they’re cuing up music.
“He’s into comedy and AC/DC,” says Colabella, a sophmore who is the more measured of the two. “I’m into the Beatles.”
Their studio is the tiniest in a warren of white-painted, cinder block rooms off a broad corridor near the auditorium. Save for the broadcasting console, a telephone and what the two have brought with them, the spartan space is empty. You would think a radio studio at a high school station would be an amalgam of teenage pop culture and renegade radio — something like American Pie meets WKRP in Cincinnati. Instead, the room has all the ambiance of a holding cell.
No matter. What comes out of their mouths and over the airwaves isn’t a reflection of their sterile surroundings, but of their fertile imaginations. “We make our movie picks of the week and have jokes of the week,” explains Rawiszer, who speaks in excited bursts. “The best part is that we get to act like we do every day of our lives and talk like normal people would.”