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Radio Life

20 Day Audio Drama – The Comet by W.E.B DuBois

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

In this post we go behind the scenes of the live broadcasted dramatised reading of “The Comet” by W.E.B Dubois. Also, my first time producing and sound designing this type of audio work.

For Black History Month I had the smart idea to broadcast a Black audio drama or live reading. Except that, I couldn’t find any in the public domain that we’re well read/acted and generally the pickings were slim. So I DIY an audio drama. Here’s some candid info about the process:

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Pods on my mind…

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

Finding the perfect podcast for you is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are so many choices that I’ve been using my current feelings, wants, and needs as a listener guide.

Here are some of the newest podcasts on my playlist:

Needs:  Terrible, Thanks For Asking

What I need in the America that includes an Angry Cheeto for President, are stories that get thru the hard times with humor and care. I also had been looking for examples of first person narrative that also includes the host experiences dealing with grief without being a total cryfest. Host, Nora McInerney is able to have really hard discussions about death, illness, and coping that combine her experiences and make it OK to laugh to keep from crying.

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Feelings: “The Hilarious World of Depression”

What does depression look like? It’s hard to answer and even harder for me as a high achiever, very functional, social person, that can’t quite pinpoint why it’s so hard to get out of bed some days.

And then I found John Moe and The Hilarious World of Depression!

Comedians and entertainers are often pushing through mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc, all while bringing joy to people daily. The one on one interviews show the resilience that is needed to get through their day and make people happy.  For me, the most important takeaway is that: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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Wants: Bronzeville”

Produced by Larenz Tate and Laurence Fishburne and starring the voices of an impressive array  of contemporary Black actors, Bronzeville is everything I’ve been looking for!! In front of the mic and behind the scenes, Bronzeville is for us by us.

As a hugeeeee fan of audio drama and Black history, it tells the story of a flourishing Black community of Chicago and chronicles the lives of local number runners. The acting and sound design is superb while blending a fictional story with accurate historical depictions of Black life in the 1940’s.

In front of the mic and behind the scenes, Bronzeville is for us by us.

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INSPIRATION: “The Comet” by W.E.B DuBois

I’m doing a bit of audio art of my own.

On February 28th a live reading of W.E.B DuBois’ short story venture into sci-fi, “The Comet”, will be aired on bondfireradio.com. I produced it because People of Color in fictional audio storytelling is scarce and I wanted to challenge myself by casting, directing, and sound designing the piece. Complete with live readers, our goal is to bring Black voices to life.

the comet flier

 

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Conference Flow. #ThirdCoast16

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

I.

It took me a month to fully decompress from Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago and I still feel like things are unfolding…

I attended Third Coast as an AIR New Voices Scholar, which is a scholarship opportunity for audio producers from different walks of life to attend and gain mentorship.

These are a few of my takeaways.

II.

Diversity in media was a topic that was repeatedly referenced over the three days, especially in the aftermath of the Trump election. We talked about the need for more reporters of color, how news shouldn’t be racial news- it should just be “news”, and who are the POC reporters that are going to spend the next 4 years following the President-Elect?

While the numbers of POC personnel in public media are increasing, one thing that is super real is that we need more POC in management and hiring. We need to be in decision making spaces, who understand the cultural nuance of  other radio people of color. Folks that know what/how/when to code switch and why we do it.

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Folks like my New Voices mentor, Andrew Ramsammy. Andrew is dope. He’s an award winning radio guy and he spends his days calling people/companies/news orgs out on their non-diverse, non-inclusive sh*t. My kind of guy. ::insert heart emoji::

 

If you imagine a public radio conference, you think it’s gonna be a ton of white dudes everywhere, that you won’t have anything in common with anyone, and that you won’t have a voice. My talks with Andrew were really empowering and motivating and helped me go into the weekend really confident in my mission and who I am as a broadcaster.

III.

Introducing yourself over and over really gets to the core of understanding what you want for yourself. If you feel confident every single time you give your elevator speech, that’s a great sign.

My mission is about normalizing the voices, tones, dialects, and language of POC. On my morning show to talk to different sounding people 3 times a week and aim to expand by creating independent and freelance audio stories that feature the lives of different (sounding) people.

BOOM.

Turns out people are into that sort of thing. Check out my day one thoughts…

A video posted by TK (@tastykeish) on

 IV. Stand out by being a useful loner. I made some great friends at Third Coast, many of them were fellow scholars that I foresee having life long relationships with. But, during the weekend I traveled from panel to panel alone and sat with new people every time I went to any meal. This forces you to say hello and meet someone new every single time. Little did I know that my penchant for oversharing was a useful tool for some of the conference go-ers. I live tweeted every single panel I went to. Sharing is caring. Here they are again compiled for your reading pleasure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V. Find the void. Fill the void.   cxpbvavuaaadzmm    

If you have a skill that you’re absolutely sure of and there is an opportunity to use it, use it. Don’t intrude. Figure out if the ship is sinking and offer your help.  For instance, I know I can cold rock a party. It’s part of the TK package. I love it and I live it. The DJ at one of the conference after parties was… struggling. So, after talking myself into it- I introduced myself to him and asked he would mind me being his “hype-man” or MC. From then we were a team. I tried to bring some cohesiveness to his playlist and crowd interaction to an event with several hundred of my industry peers. It was really fun and another great way to offer up another one of my skill sets to my peers.          

A video posted by TK (@tastykeish) on

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into how my life has changed in the one month since Third Coast. That’s a whole other post.

Until then, I say thank you AIR, especially Karen and Emily for supporting all of us New Voice Scholars. 

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2016 Newhouse Audio & Radio Summit

Categories: Blog, Media, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

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When you’re passionate about how you want to live your life, you go out and learn as much as you can and I have been on a professional development kick all of 2016. I love talking with, listening to, and being around the people of my industry. It builds confidence and relationships and shows you where the deficits lie. And if you have a chance to speak up, you do that.

I went to the Syracuse University Newhouse 2016 Radio & Audio Summit last week where the heads of terrestrial, satellite, streaming, podcasting, and online radio were panelists. Jarl Mohn, CEO of National Public Radio was the keynote speaker as well.

The theme was creativity, but topics from advertising, social media, “diversity”, consumer habits, talent, and more were covered.

Check out my live tweets and follow #NHSummit on twitter for more great pieces of advice and audience tweets.

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Podcasting for Businesses

Categories: Blog, Media, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

As more and more businesses and professionals leap into podcasting, one should know- there’s more to it than constant commercials for your product. In fact that should be the last thing on your mind. Here are some of the first things that you should be thinking about:

Create high quality accessible content. 

Produce a high quality podcast by planning your guests, getting the right equipment, and having your script or notes at the ready. Study keywords and titles to maximize its reach online. Make your podcast easy to access by adding it to directories, and sending it to as many platforms from iTunes to Stitcher to Youtube to Soundcloud and more.

Humanize your industry. 

By putting a voice to your profession, you bring listeners closer to your product. Imagine being a funny plumber with a podcast about the awful things that get stuck in toilets? You’ve entertained and you have an opportunity to tell people what not to put down their toilets. Don’t just try to sell, sell, sell. Tell a real story.

Become an expert. 

Through the power of conversation and consistency,  you establish yourself as an “expert”. Tips, tricks, and information empowers your listeners and builds your reputation as a trusted source.

Shares as interaction. 

Your content being shared is a very direct way to market and follow up on these interactions by saying thank you and asking follow up questions. If the content is on their facebook page- interacting with them “bumps” the conversation to the top of their feed. For comments on your own tracks, do the same and ask them to share with their friends after each genuine exchange. When your listeners comment or share with their community, it’s one of the highest forms of trust building.

For more, check out my 1 min Podcasting tips and tricks:

Sign up for the October edition of The Podcasters Retreat, my one day podcasting intensive in NYC! Register HERE.

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Changing your life takes life changing actions…

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

I didn’t mean to sound so crunchy with the headline, but  you’re here now and I got a story to tell… ::cues Notorious B.I.G::

I’m always in motion. Day job, podcast, workshops, fundraising, hustling to make a dollar- rinse and repeat. Day in and day out. I was tricking myself that I was doing enough. That there was nothing more I could possibly do without falling over and dying of exhaustion. And yet, I was still in a rut.

My depression was creeping in and my anxiety was a beast of burden. My joy was gone, I felt like I needed to do something drastic to remind me who I am at my core.

So I took a class.

Womp. I know, school is so not sexy.

Let’s call it “professional development” instead. That sounds sexy like a my High School Spanish teacher Ms. Maldonado. ::TMI::

Anyway, I took a chance and applied to Air’s Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive. They only selected 14 mid-level audio production professionals to learn from each other and industry professionals about podcasting, interviewing, storytelling, sound design and more.

The application slid in my inbox two days before it was due, but something in me told me “just do it” and see what happens.

I did it. I got in. Oh shit. It costs $850. Do I just take 5 days off from work and lose all that pay? What was I thinking? 

The Universe was like: “You wanted drastic… I’ll give you $850 worth of drastic.”

Then I was like: “Universe, I’m in- and i’m gonna learn the shit outta this class.”

And, learn the shit out of it I did…. after being so isolated by my unrelated day job, I was suddenly surrounded by industry peers and professionals having substantive and challenging discussions.

I gave myself the week off and committed only to this class. After classes, I did a lot of reflecting about my place as a Black Woman in broadcast/podcast media. I thought about resources, accessibility, invisibility, whether I am subject to producing programs that speak to the Person of Color’s experience, all these things continue to swim through my head over and over. Being in a room where I was getting my intellectual fill was wonderful, yet I felt guilty that access is a problem. Most of my POC friends jobs won’t pay for them to come do this, and dipping into that savings isn’t always an option.

I still had to deal with the after effects when I got back. A snowball of bills that got shuffled around and doubling my workload in the subsequent weeks, which put me in a funk.

I know what you’re thinking…. Was is worth it?

YES. 

I learned new techniques and workflow. I got validation that I was already on the right path. It increased my confidence about speaking up and out. I started working with one classmate on a news segment. I got some awesome podcast suggestions. I applied to a some producer jobs (still looking!). Finally, I also started teaching my own class for beginner podcasters!

All this to say… Shake shit up sometime.

Below is my IG diary during the 5 day intensive:

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The Podcasters Retreat

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

I am very excited to announce that after teaching children and fielding questions from peers, that I will be teaching a class about podcasting!

 The Podcasters Retreat is a small conversational style one day intensive that takes you through basic broadcasting and sound techniques for the 21st century. Topics that are tailored to the group as well as organizing the flow of your show will be discussed over a catered lunch.

A video posted by tastykeish (@tastykeish) on

By the end of the day you will have a better understanding of where to start with your podcast and the action steps to realize your goals. 

A video posted by tastykeish (@tastykeish) on

Summer session is on June 26th.

For more information contact me directly HERE

Happy Podcasting!

 

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Non-profits and the alternatives…

Categories: Blog, panels, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

Last week I was invited to be on a panel about starting your own non-profit for The SisStar Loop women’s empowerment organization. As a neophyte in this arena it was a pleasure and confirmation to be seated with such panelists like Regine Roumaine the Executive Director of Haiti Cultural Exchange and Galit Adani of Dance to Unite. Both women started from scratch building their organizations from the ground up, finding the right team members through trial and error and living to tell the tale of how they keep going each day.

As Co-owner of Bondfire Radio I fall in the ‘social entrepreneur’ category of business person. BFR is not a non-profit (yet. maybe soon?). Not because we can’t be, but because to me and my business partner- it was important to decide this work was something we could sustain and know there a place for us in this world. Social entrepreneurs are do-ers that seek change in their industry for the betterment of society and can either be profit or non-profit entities.

Being on the panel I got to express that the only way to start anything for profit, non-profit, hobby, or career is to JUST START. It’s so much easier to seek mentorship when you have something to show for it. It’s easier to narrow down your needs if you started the process of finding out what you need. And when you have a clear picture of your mission and can recite your mission statement like your home address you can walk seek information with confidence. So, go from idea to reality buy just starting.

Some other tidbits I took from the panel and fellow panelist were to:

  1. look into your state’s Attorney General website for free workshops and help on starting your non-profit.
  2. If you are an artist or arts org, find out if your city or borough has an arts council that helps fund local artists. The 2015 Bondfire Radio Audio Festival was made possible with funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council.
  3. Think very hard about who will be on your board and know that the primary function of a non-profit board is to raise funds.
  4. Consider partnerships as ways to cross-promote and cut costs. Share the work, double the exposure for both businesses.

 

As a person that is still thinking about what path to take next for our organization, many of this applies to us and there is always room to grow. Our baby steps include looking into alternatives to becoming a non-profit such as:

  1. Join an already established nonprofit as a volunteer, board member, or staff.
  2. Work with an already active nonprofit compatible with your ideas and values; collaborate with them to develop a special project to meet a specific public need.
  3. Start a local chapter of a national organization if there isn’t already one.
  4. Form an informal nonprofit: an informal gathering of people to meet a short-term and local need.
  5. Become a social entrepreneur: running a for-profit business with social goals and charitable causes in mind.
  6. Fiscal sponsorship: a fiscal sponsor shares its tax-exempt and tax-deductible status with the sponsored program, the new program operates as a program of fiscal sponsor.

Take your time choosing the right path for your organization. The only wrong way to start is if you don’t.

Helpful Links: 

http://www.schwabfound.org/content/what-social-entrepreneur

http://thecne.org/nonprofit-101

http://nonprofit.about.com/od/faqsthebasics/f/unincorporationassociation.htm

http://sisstar-loop.wix.com/

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Oct 08 2015
TK For Hire

TK For Hire

Categories: Blog, Radio Life | Posted by: TastyKeish

You read that correctly.

TK for hire.

Yessir, your favorite side hustler is leveling up in the game and officially open for business (I was never closed, but you know…). This Summer I started producing content and audio with an amazing private client: The Arielle Loren Show, a daily podcast about the journeys of creative entrepreneurs.

I applied for the position because it spoke directly to me, the host, the content, the job description was affirming in every way. And, when I find myself editing audio at odd hours of the night and day I get to listen to people that sound like me confirm ever thought I’ve ever had about living on one’s own terms.

When you do anything, you should ask yourself: Screen Shot 2012-08-12 at 12.42.25 AM

  • Does this lift me up?
  • Is the direction in my life confirmed by its content or am I bored?
  • How long can I do this with joy?

Being able to answer these questions led me to want to help others in this age of podcasting. So many people have questions and as a 10 year professional in radio and current online radio station owner and Program Director- I have answers, opinions, & feedback.

There are too many people podcasting and creating media for the sake of trend. Do you have an audience or are you yelling into the void? Is your idea organized and well thought out? Will you be consistent or produce content haphazardly?  Do you have the right tools and team? Is your interviewing technique up to par?

If you’re serious about using a tool like podcasting to enhance your business, think about some of these questions. If you need help, I’m here for you. I love what I do to the point I recently found myself in the studio with a new broadcaster for 12 hours without eating. #thatsLove

Email me for more information about making “pick your brain” appointments, inquiries about producing content for your business/brand/organization, and feedback sessions on how to make your podcast better.

Until then friends, have a listen to the first 12 inspirational episodes of The Arielle Loren Show!

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  • About TK
    Radio, web, video, social media...TK is a professional multi-media guerilla and idea person. Read more...