Broadcast senior Kevin Valencia finds a purpose in life by making the people around him laugh.
Telling stories and jokes and doing voice impressions make him feel fulfilled, he said.
“Just something in my blood that makes me want to entertain,” Valencia said. “Not saying I can’t live without it, but life is kind of bland without it.”
Originally studying music in college, Valencia switched to broadcasting after going to a Communication Day. His passion for being on the radio started in his childhood. Valencia currently hosts a UTA Radio show from 7 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday.
“It’s like finding your childhood dream again and realizing you could do it, so I jumped on it as quickly as I could,” Valencia said.
Although he maintains an interest in music, issues arose after spending time in the field of study. Studying music made him feel boxed in and retrained his creativity, he said. Creative freedom and pushing the boundaries are important aspects in his work.
The competitive environment of music stifled his ability to make friends with his colleagues. The drive to practice and play better than the other person can cause friction in relationships and attitudes, Valencia said.
With broadcasting, diverse talents and traits can appeal to various audiences, which leads to a less tense atmosphere, he said.
“The hard work to do music was more hard work and less pay off,” Valencia said. “If you’re going do something, you have to have fun doing it.”
Painting his nails, wearing blonde streaks in his hair and riding a scooter around campus makes him stand out from the crowd.
“I like to stand out. I like to be unique,” he said. “I don’t like to be, like, a normal college student.”
In broadcasting, guidelines exist but do not close the paths to self-expression, Valencia said. His current field provides different directions to approach a project.
Having experience in working in news and entertainment sections of broadcasting, he prefers the latter, in which he can make audiences enjoy themselves, Valencia said. The news side of broadcasting is more formulaic, whereas entertainment gives more choice in angles and presentation.
Radio is a cheap and accessible way for people to receive entertainment, he said. His end goal with studying broadcasting is to become a radio personality.
“I got this quirky, weird personality,” Valencia said. “Why not put it to use and make people laugh?”
He watches internet personalities for inspiration and entertainment. Kidd Kraddick, YouTube content creators and internet culture influences his ideas for radio and broadcasting.
Despite taking aspects from radio hosts and idols he admires, he wants to put his own flair to his work.
Sam Hale, station manager for UTA Radio, said during a late night broadcasting, Valencia found his voice and went from a reserved place to a more outspoken position on air.
“I think he’s one of those guys that is very unique,” Hale said. “I never really met anyone quite like Kevin [Valencia] in that way he’s got kind of eclectic interests.”
Valencia brings something different to the table, he said. His mannerisms and word choices differ from the average person, resembling an “older personality,” which he identifies with.
“He’s always trying to make wherever he goes better,” Hale said. “Having someone like that to work with and alongside is just a blessing.”
Hale said he has respect for Valencia’s commitment to his ethics and variety of talents to succeed in what he focuses on. His honesty, caring nature and straight-forwardness are some of his best values.
“Kevin is one of those guys I have a lot of respect for,” Hale said. “I think he’s one of those dudes that, no matter what he does, he’s probably going to succeed.”
“I’m not just cookie-cutting what someone or something else has done,” Valencia said.
The fatigue of attending school, work disputes and life pressures hinders maintaining motivation. Describing himself as an extroverted and outgoing person, Valencia said he needs time to unwind from stress. Collecting game cards and tape cassettes and playing video games gives him time to rest from his daily routine.
“Sometimes life is a little dark and glum, but it’s how you pick yourself up and keep moving forward,” Valencia said. “That helps you stay alive.”
Growing up, his parents gave him exposure to two different cultures. His parents taught him Spanish and Mexican cultural norms, and his father ingrained the value of hard work into his lifestyle, he said.
“I can put that into almost anything,” Valencia said.
Perseverance and dedication are traits he works well with, he said.
“I love people that sacrifice time, work hard, put the work in, are willing to do more work than was asked for,” Valencia said.
He works two days a week as an intern at a children’s hospital and works to entertain youth. Arriving at 8 a.m., he sets up for game shows, runs equipment and host events there.
“When you look at a kid at the studio and you turn and do a goofy face and they look at you and smile — it’s just so heartwarming,” Valencia said.
Valencia said he is incredibly hard-working and willing to help, and he’s good at keeping the conversation going and keeping the atmosphere light-hearted.
“He’s working really hard, and that’s motivated me to do the same thing,” said Elliot Valencia, Dallas resident and Kevin Valencia’s brother. “He’s what I call a great role model, for me and my little brother.”
He keeps people’s spirits up and gets his work done, Elliot Valencia said. He has an outgoing personality and is confident in being himself.