Long ago and far away at a point in my radio career, I transitioned away from being a music host into newscaster and reporter.
News wasn’t new to me. My first radio demo from college was a newscast. It was what I wanted to do. But when I was looking for my first job, a radio station needed a “deejay” – how I loathe that term – and I needed to work. I was thrilled that anyone wanted me to do anything on the radio! So, that’s what I did for the next 15 years or so. I was good at it. Maybe not the most creative person on the air but I had my moments.
Over the years, I’d done reporting during elections when it was all-hands-on-deck. Later, I started to specialize in entertainment reporting. Then I got into talk radio and hosted my own show for several years. After that, I was offered the job of morning newscaster on Toronto’s CHFI. Behind the scenes, I worked at 680 News. On the air, I was a tiny cog in the #1 Toronto morning show wheel.
Who would say no to that?
One guy in the 680 Newsroom was very upset by my presence. He said I wasn’t a “real” newsperson, aloud in front of me and our colleagues, as if he was outing me for supporting dogfighting. He was a bully, trying to make me feel like an imposter. I hadn’t done only news every second of my broadcasting career and therefore he decided I wasn’t “real”.
Wasn’t it real when I popped into the CHFI studio every half hour for three years and delivered a newscast? Erin Davis seemed pretty real! I was there, live, on 9/11, for most of the day. That was too real. 680 then offered me the morning co-anchor position where I stayed for many more years. That was real, too.
This guy popped into my head uninvited recently as I realized I’d made another career pivot. I’ve taken on several editing projects in audio and text. Audio is a no brainer but I certainly didn’t get formal training in editing books, proposals, and a booklet for a university. However, my own writing has undergone scrutiny from many excellent editors and I’ve learned a lot. I’m not about to take on anything I’m not capable of – there are editors of all abilities and specialties. I know my lane. I work for money, not credit, and I make project leaders look good. I absolutely love it.
Finding One’s Voice (Over)
For the first time in a long time, voice-over work, especially new business, slowed down in 2023. There are many factors including Artificial Intelligence (AI), and an over-saturation of voice-over talent. So has freelance writing. Companies have been scaling back and doing more in-house. I’m still getting work, but it seems wise to diversify a little more. Editing and proof-reading are natural options for me.
I edit a document, get paid for it, and make a client happy. That’s what an editor does. It makes me an editor even though I haven’t been once since I was a fetus. Creative professionals are pivoting all over the place when their work ebbs and flows. It’s part of being an entrepreneur. (The part no one brags about in a fancy meme!)
I have no idea, nor do I care, where the “not real” guy ended up. If you cook and people pay you for it, you’re a real cook. If you paint and someone buys your artwork, you’re a professional artist. If someone pays you for editing, you’re an editor. That’s just a fact.