For our July/August issue, Hot 89.89 host Race takes us behind the scenes of her daily life.
What inspired you to pursue your career in radio?
I didn’t even know what I wanted to do as a career when I was still in school. When I was 19 though, I became a mom and my life changed drastically. I was getting up early with my son and I fell in love with morning radio/television. So I decided that was what I wanted to do with my life, and I went back to school to do it.
Have you always been comfortable with public speaking? If not, what helped you to become comfortable?
If you asked my mother, she would probably say I always liked attention and talked a lot (laughs). I still get nervous when speaking in public. I’ve just done it so often that it has become easy. The trick is to know what the heck you’re talking about.
What is your favourite and least favourite part of your job?
I get to listen to and talk about music all day, every day! That is most definitely my favourite part. My least favourite part is that I can’t really have a bad day. I need to be upbeat and happy no matter what. There have been times in my life, that I would cry in-between on air-breaks, only stopping to collect myself when the mic was on. I would also bet that I’m not the only one who has done that. Working from home during COVID was probably the hardest. I was so miserable, but had to wake up and be happy all the time.
It’s hard to imagine, because you always sound so cheerful. What’s your secret?We all have bad days. The key is to keep it simple when you’re having one. Stick to a script and keep it short and fake it.
What is the one piece of advice you could give anyone wanting to go into the same industry?
Be willing to relocate and be flexible. You can’t just be good at one thing in radio anymore, people who work here wear many hats.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Moving to Ottawa from Kitchener for my first job in radio. It doesn’t seem like much, but I was a young mom and I moved here for a job on overnight radio. Daycare for my son was hard because of my work hours and I had no family here. The first couple of years in Ottawa were tough to say the least but we made it.
Can you remember the first time you ever talked on live radio and how that felt?
Oh yes! My first commercial radio job I totally announced the wrong song! I was so nervous.
How do you prepare for your show?
I am always preparing. I take screenshots of stories or things I find interesting all of the time. Each morning I go through those and write my breaks. I script EVERYTHING. I’ve been in radio for over 20 years now and the best radio I do is when I am super prepared.
What do you think is the most important skill to have for your job and why?
What a loaded question. There are so many different skills required for different aspects of radio. I think the most important skill is creativity. Whether it comes to being vibrant and engaging on air and coming up with some really awesome contest or promotion or even commercial. Everyday you have to bring something to the table that will capture listeners attention and also keep that attention, entertaining them over and over.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now career wise?
Although most listeners know me as an on-air personality, I’m also a radio programmer. One day I’d like programming to be my sole purpose. Either that or retired. A girl can dream.
What is your most memorable moment in your career?
One cool thing about radio is sometimes you get to do some awesome things and meet awesome people. If 14 year old me ever knew that one day she’d meet NKOTB or The Backstreet Boys she would have totally lost her mind. That was a full circle moment for me.