Shining in the format

My Swinburne Commercial Radio course lecturer/teacher/mentor Jim Barbour was the one who got this stuck in my head, this “shine in the format” mentality. From what I recall he was gently telling the ambitious class of 2005 (all 14 of us) not to blow off our first radio gigs too quickly.

The majority of us were eager to snag a regional station role even before graduation day. Being offered a job while on the mid-year work experience placement was the most AMAZING thing that could happen of course. We could quickly leave that entry level gig behind and move on up to a bigger market – provincial. Give that a red hot go, and then we’d mosey on back to cap city and hopefully, the glory of working at a Dmg or (then) Austereo station. ARN was considered too of course, just not as high up on the list for us “young ones” back then. 😉

On the question of how much time we should wait before looking for the next move, Jim’s logic was that you should give back to your employer at least the same amount of time they would invest bringing you, a wide-eyed radio industry newbie, up to scratch: six months.

Give it a good year in the country town that you might find daggy as hell was his message. Dig in to community life and embrace everything, don’t spend all of your weekends driving or flying back home. Rather than baulk at having to play music tracks off CDs (or vinyl!) and news beds from ancient cart machines, relish the opportunity to be so “hands on” with the studio gear and, instead of nit-picking your stations’ sound and trying to reinvent the wheel… aim to shine in its format.

Once you’re rocking that format, expertly prerecording the national news feed onto minidisc before top of hour while cueing your next cd track, tweaking some production on Cool Edit Pro and preparing to make listeners rush to the local fruit and veg store with your passionate live read about 50-cents-a-bag carrots…THEN you know you’re ready for the next challenge.

It’s a mentality I applied through my radio career (though I know I could have easily spent more time in my role in Sydney) and one I am still using in my career today. I have so much I want to achieve, and I’m relishing the challenges that will slowly but surely buff me into shape until I’m nice and shiny.

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Where have you been?!

I swear if one more person asked me that at the gym the other night I may have actually successfully taken them down – I ONLY TOOK ONE WEEK OFF GUYS! But ok, I have had to ditch the two-classes-per-week goal of late thanks to a sore knee and back. One class a week is still better than none, right? It just means that no one really seems to remember you still train. 😀

I am happy to report that while the BJJ training has been lacking, other aspects of London life have been full-on in mostly fantastic ways.. I’m starting a new job soon – just after Easter in fact and I am looking forward to it so, so much.  My new dream career took a bit longer to manifest in this city than I anticipated and while I have had a blast in the random occupations I have found myself in, I am definitely ready to feel back on track and placing my feet firmly on the rungs of what I feel is now the right career ladder for me.

Before the new job kicks in though I will be making a pretty special Easter trip over to Malta. Special not for the time of year, (although I will no doubt be attending multiple church services..) but because my beloved Nanna will be there, having come all the way over from Australia for what is likely to be her last visit to her home country. It has been 18 months since I last saw her so I can’t wait to give her a big hug and soak up all the family time, along with lots of sun. (*Update, apparently I’m deluded thinking there will be sun in Malta over Easter. Sooooo I suppose I pack a weatherproof jacket instead of swimmers. *sigh*)

There has also been a pretty amazing guy in my life over the past few months and I am enjoying that relationship immensely. After spending the majority of my late twenties single and dating prolifically, it’s such a joy to click with someone and be as wrapped up in them as they seem to be in you.

And he trains so, you know – bonus points!

With Nanna and Nannu at my 'leaving for London' party... golly back in 2013, how did THAT happen?!
With Nanna and Nannu at my ‘leaving for London’ party… golly back in 2013, how did THAT happen?!

Oh, hey there

Stuck between tube stops due to a signal failure on the district line… what a perfect opportunity to play catch up on the blog!

Belated Happy New Year – I made a simple BJJ related resolution, and I am proud to say that I have stuck to it so far:

Make it to training at least twice a week.

Two sessions as a base is extremely achievable, and I find I’m beating myself up much less than when I was getting to four classes one week (huzzah!), but then sometimes none the next.

In happily averaging three times per week at the moment, and trying to really focus on retaining more of what I’m learning. Moving off one stripe in 2015 would be kinda nice. I do still have the short term training memory of a fish though, sadly.

What else is occupying my time? Well, I’m job hunting – I mean proactively job hunting as opposed to just wishing a new gig would fall out of the sky. Crossing fingers and toes a shiny opportunity presents itself soon (well spoken EA/Project Manager and media type for hire, just sayin).

Happy 18 months in London to me!

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HOW have I been in the capital this long already? Ashamedly I am yet to see the inside of any museums bar the Hunterian, and have only made it to one musical (Urinetown, odd title but a good show).

While many of my Aussie friends here are now realising they have under a year left on their working holiday visas and are frantically trying to tick off their euro travel bucket lists, I am wondering when I should start compiling mine.

The beauty and danger, of an EU passport.

I’m really keen to make this year count – on and off the mat, in my career and in my personal life. The latter part of 2013 was very much a career holiday. 2014 saw me jump into a bunch of new things including my first Gi competition (I did enter a second Southend Open in November, annnnd let’s just say I didn’t surprise myself but I DID learn a lot).

It’s time to build now. Oh, and I’d also love to find a new flat.

Dream achieved – time to chase the next one.

Working on a top rating breakfast radio show in your hometown – it doesn’t get much better than that. Until it does – you’re moved to a top rating drive radio show in your hometown.

Hello sleep ins! Hello life!

That’s the bliss I have found myself experiencing this year, after three incredible years reading the news for the Matt and Jo Show on the Fox – and being a ‘Best News Presenter’ finalist at the 2012 ACRAs.

Photo: In2Events.com
Photo: In2Events.com

 

'Star' themed party. My boobs had help.

I’ve worked hard, I’ve moved states for job opportunities, I have set alarms for 2:32am (yes, newsreaders wake up even earlier than breakfast announcers).

I’ve loved every minute of my radio journey – from the clunky graveyard shifts at SYN, to walking to work at 2LM and ZZZ in Lismore with a torch to make sure I didn’t step on cane toads, to the bright lights of Bris (go Roar) Vegas and Nova – to (Melbourne versus) Sydney, and back home to Melbourne.

After I graduated Swinburne’s Commercial Radio course at age 20 and scored my first full time job, I told myself “cap city by 25.”

Grad Dip Arts/Commercial Radio, RIP.
Grad Dip Arts/Commercial Radio, RIP.

My welcome home party was also my 25th birthday bash.

It’s a really weird feeling when you realise you’re working your ultimate dream job, the job you secretly think you may never get to do, but if you come close that’ll be pretty awesome.

And then you realise as awesome as it is, it’s also leaving you craving the next dream.

So I’m taking off in a few months time to chase it, so proud and grateful for everything I have achieved, and all the amazing friends I have made.

I’m nervous and excited – feeling those same emotions I felt when I sat behind a radio microphone for the first time.