Once upon a time I was a recording artist on the Canadian Country Music scene, and while it’s hard to chose my absolute favourite part of that amazing time in my life – I can tell you… I LOVED MAKING MUSIC VIDEOS. Do the math and you’ll see they total 14 – which is a lot considering I only had 2 albums . Then again I did squeeze in a couple of Christmas singles and when it was all said and done you better believe the “production” side of my storytelling soul had been awakened! As for how I ended up working in Television – well that really was the result of ‘wanting to have something to tell everyone.’ Let me explain…
But first let me tell you – I like to be busy. That’s just my nature. It might be an Aries thing or something passed on from my ‘always busy mom’ but whatever the reason – I’ve never been good with just chillin’ – especially when it comes to work. You can imagine then, how uncomfortable I am in social situations – work events and otherwise – when the inevitable question of “So… what are you doing now?” comes up. I need to have an answer or to be more accurate – I need to have an impressive answer. Truth be total that necessity is often times what drives my creativity. Well, that and coffee. Okay so back to how I got into television.
You see it was September and time for the annual get together of everyone who’s anyone on the Canadian Country Music Scene. I’d been nominated and even performed on the broadcast in the previous years – but I was between projects and that meant heading to the CCMA Week with nothing on the go. That couldn’t be. I wouldn’t allow it. So, having already done a bit of festival reporting for my friends at CMT Canada I felt pretty confident pitching a BACK STAGE SPECIAL where by I would give viewers a behind the scenes look at all the goings on during the festival and the award show. It meant interviewing artists and musicians, getting the inside scoop from the director and crew and really learning how it all came together. It was so much fun! And such a success that they invited me to come back and do it again the next year. A broadcast for which I won a ROSIE from the Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) for Best Light Entertainment Special. Truthfully – it was everything I loved and I couldn’t wait to do it again. I finally released my second album WAY OVER MY HEART and was eight tracks into my third when I pulled the chute and shifted career gears to go all in on broadcast.
At first it was radio at CISN Country FM in Edmonton, and wouldn’t you know it – at the same time I was co-hosting the morning show with Bruce and Sean, AND hosting my own midday show – an opening came up at the local A-Channel TV station. The position was for Entertainment Anchor and WIRED host. So that meant I was essentially doing the entertainment section of the 6pm news hour and producing, writing and hosting a 30 minute live-to-tape entertainment show 5 nights a week. If you add it all up there was VERY LITTLE time for sleep but I was doing what I loved – and doing plenty of it! Now for the full circle moment that I attribute to both destiny and satellite television.
The video above features myself along with two of the HAPPY BOYS (that’s what we called my band) performing on Breakfast Television in Halifax, Nova Scotia way back in the day. I was on a tour of Atlantic Canada opening up for the legendary George Jones (imagine being able to type that sentence #GRATEFUL.) While we’re on the subject of gratitude I really need to pause in my storytelling to salute those two lads in the video above who are both equal parts completely awesome people and incredibly gifted musicians. Do yourself a favour and find out more about that fella to my (camera) left. That’s David Kalmusky who now works with everyone from Keith Urban to Vince Gill to Justin Bieber to Meghan Trainor (and the list goes on and on) at Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville. Check him out at kalmusky.com. And to my (camera) right that’s my former band leader Jon Park-Wheeler. I have Jon to thank for all that breathtaking gut string guitar work on all my tracks (including “Moondust”) and Jon co-wrote one of my all time favourite songs “Until You Begin.” Jon’s still performing, and writing and producing so be sure to check him out here. Okay back to the story – which is the reason I’m sharing this particular video. I remember so vividly being there that morning and thinking – “one day I’m going to host a show just like this!” And guest what?!
Not only did I host a show just like it – I actually ended up co-hosting with one of the hosts from that Breakfast Television show back in Halifax. That’s none other than Kurt Stoodley!!! So that’s the destiny part, and as for the “satellite tv” portion – well that relates to the fact that Richard Gray just happened to be in Calgary on business – and during a break his hotel room when while randomly switching channels I popped up on his screen hosting WIRED. He called me the next day in pursuit of someone to take over from their regular LIVE-EYE Host who was heading off on maternity leave. It was without question – the call I’d been waiting for and I’m here to tell ya – it was even better than I imagined! I loved working with the team in Ottawa and being LIVE on location every morning. It truly felt like a new job everyday. I met so many amazing people, had so many wonderful experiences, ate sooooo much incredibly delicious food and was treated to the best of everything our nation’s capital had to offer. All that AND a wardrobe allowance. I went on to co-host BT in Victoria and then returned to Ottawa for a second maternity leave contract. All of it was wonderful!!!
And how about this for fully-full circle?! After moving back to Nova Scotia I was invited to guest-host their morning show when Maria went on vacation, and after launching seaandbescene.com I was invited to be a Holiday Contributor for a series of segments in which I got to sensational ways to celebration the SEAson East Coast Style. You can watch all of those segments here.
Needless to say I was completely thrilled when back in 2012 I was given the opportunity to expand my EAST COAST FUN FLAG WAVING – from online to on TV too!!! Broadcasting into homes all over Atlantic Canada via BellAliant’s Community One channel and all over the world via YouTube too. I loved taking viewers on that trip – right into all the action – on set, behind the scenes, in the middle of the biggest festivals and most wonderful events. For four plus seasons with 22 x :30min episodes per season – there was never a dull moment. Handling all of the pre-production, research, writing, producing, hosting, and post-production allowed for start to finish management and seamless creativity. It also made for a ton of fun as I continue to celebrate all the people, places, and things that make the 4 Atlantic Provinces so very special – from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island to Newfoundland & Labrador.
So YES – I’ve been busy. But that’s just the way I like it. With plenty of things to talk about and celebrate. Hey and with any luck you’ll be able to watch a few more of my projects on the small screen (and maybe even big screen). Indeed there are a few things in the hopper so keep a good thought and PLEASE STAY TUNED!!!
In the meantime you can find the full catalog of SEA AND BE SCENE TV episodes here.