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Letting Go: A Timeline.

Categories: Blog | Posted by: TastyKeish

January 2017: First episode of TK in The AM for the new year, I blurt out on the air that this is the year I will be quitting my job…my day job. By my birthday…in 4 months.

Quitting the job that pays my rent, that makes me feel secure-ish. Also, the job that I was good at but never wanted. The job that made family proud of me.

I also don’t make promises I can’t keep and I don’t lie, especially to my listeners. So, I have to keep my word.

February 2017: I took a few weeks to actually come to terms with and fully commit to the decision to quit my day job. I always knew. I knew my first day, 17 years ago- that I wouldn’t be staying long. I never applied for pension, never for 401K, I worked per diem, opting for maximum flexibility so I can chase my dreams part- time.

February was also the month I produced The Comet a creative project that would take me away from talk radio and news production and plunge me into the world of directing, sound designing, and audio drama. I thought, if i’m going to be a “starving artist”, I’m going to make ART.

Might as well.

……..Now, Let’s time travel further back……

In 2015, I went to the Audio Engineering Society convention at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC. Walking through the impressive array of mics and electronic doo-dads I stumble upon a table advertising audio drama. My interest was piqued. I heard stories on the radio as a kid around the holidays, listened to War of The Worlds by Orson Welles, and always wanted to do my own.

I talk to the nice people at the booth and Sue Zizza of the Hear Now Audio Fiction Festival gave me two free tickets to come to a live listening session of performed and recorded stories.

I went and it was magical!

When I got home, I joined their mailing list and for 2 years in between projects and life stuff, kept wondering: howwww do I do this??

My main concern in listening to contemporary audio drama was “Where are the Black voices?” From then on I would talk to other audio producers about my dilemma, ideas, and make it my mission to listen for voices that were from People of Color, anything that would signify a different accent, language, speech pattern, or dialect.

…….Fast Fwd to late February 2017…….

After one of  our rehearsals for the live reading of  The Comet my first audio drama production. My inbox pings and the Hear Now Audio Fiction Festival has extended it’s deadline to submit for their festival in Kansas City!

Our production was a week away and I was working to place all the sound effects and music all the way until the 11th hour. The night before our production was also the due date for late submissions, I sent in 3 clips from our best rehearsal and crossed my fingers.

March 2017:

I was encouraged by a friend to apply to present The Comet as a workshop at Allied Media Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Why not? So I did.

I’m now a month away from being able to keep my promise to myself and my listeners. Would I be able to quit my job at this rate?

I had one foot out the door working with Brooklyn Deep’s Third Rail podcast as a producer. Good sign…

I was teaching successful podcast workshops. Good sign…

All while still going to my day job, subsisting on naps, bad diet, and no exercise. Something had to give.

At the very end of the month, I hear back from both…. WE MADE IT!

BOTH FESTIVALS… that’s a GREAT sign!

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April 2017: I got some more good signs, put my name in the hat for a couple of audio jobs and fellowships that I didn’t get. It seemed one day I was on a high, excited for what my life might be and the next day a nervous wreck, depressed at rejection and paralyzed by fear.

Oh, and my birthday was coming. I had grand plans in mind, that never materialized. (Picture a grand party and I would wear a gold gown, raise my champagne glass as a I gave a speech about the long road travelled…)

I needed to decide. I needed to pick a day.

Mid April, I experienced some microaggressions at the day job and I had ENOUGH. The next day I gave my 2 weeks notice, and just like that I started to enjoy my birthday season. I was free. I allowed myself to receive love, to sleep, to eat well, to not hate certain days of the week.

Without missing a beat, I was picking up freelance jobs, doing more workshops and panels, and was invited on a BET facebook live show to make a mother’s day appearance. I was living for the first time in the history of myself, FULLY as TastyKeish.

All, good signs. 

 

June 2017: Where am I now?

Learning and relearning my worth.

Battling 17 years of shift work related jet-lag (it’s so real).

Saying no to stuff. Saying yes to stuff.

Figuring it out as I go along.

<3,

TK

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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.

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Community Media in The Social Media Age

Categories: Blog, Media, panels, Multi Media Gallery, Video | Posted by: TastyKeish

After many years on public FM radio with WBAI and bringing social justice news to the forefront on my current platform, Bondfire Radio I was proud to be asked to discuss Community Media in The Social Media Age with colleagues and audience members vested in independent media.

The conversation followed a screening of Radio Unnameable (which is on Netflix), a film about living radio legend Bob Fass and the rise and falter of WBAI, one of New York City’s first public radio stations.

As a younger to mid generation of independent media makers I was amazed at the influence that Bob Fass and his free form radio made on how I do radio today. He reminded me that even though we are operating within social media and online it is more important now than ever before to “event-ize” your media.

I always tell new broadcasters/podcasters/online media makers, give people a reason to tune in. Make it a big deal. Be social in real life so that your social media can reflect that. Tweeting and facebooking your media is not enough. YOU have to give people a REASON to pick your needle out of the haystack.

If you’re not physically out in the world. You’re not doing enough. 

Later the conversation turned to monetization, and the current challenges that small webcasters are currently facing in streaming online, and the fight to stay ahead. Myself and Anthony Riddle, Director of Community Media at BRIC discuss in the following clip:

For more information about the panel and participants, Manny Faces, Bill Weinberg, Anthony Riddle, and myself, visit: http://bricartsmedia.org/events/community-media-in-the-social-media-age

Thank you Baba Israel & Yako 440 for moderating and creating The Spinning Wheel Exhibit so that we could look back at our media history and discuss our future.

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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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My life in the sunshine…

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

Summer’s over, but I feel like I’m still coming into bloom.

The year started off rocky all the way through the Spring season with moving and then through the Summer dealing with feelings from all the places that feelings come from.

Then things started to happen. Things I said I wanted in life, I started to get:

  • After an internet thief absconded with my domain name two years ago, I watched it and had it on back order waiting in the shadows for the wicked soul to slip up and release unto the world the domain name that should rightly be mine. ::ends dramatic scene:: Soon, you’ll be able to get here via tastykeish dot com as well as dot net!

The Bondfire Radio Audio Festival!! We did it. We went bigger and better and more amazing than the first time around. We had community sponsors, vendors, live musical acts, and every single show on the roster broadcast from the beautiful rooftop of our building location in Brooklyn. For the recap visit: Another Bondfire Radio Audio Festival in the Books

  • For awhile now I’ve been talking about wanting to be on panels, host events again,  and enjoy more professional conferences…  We’ll i’ll be that! ::cues the Redman:: This Saturday I’m on double duty, moderating the “Dating as a Nomad” panel at the #NDMN travel conference at 11am and later that evening hosting a great concert at the Success Garden in East New York for FTF Presents, a non profit based on growing the community thru the arts.

Another thing I’ve been letting the world know i’m available for is freelance work in my field of audio. And the universe provides! I’m open as a consultant for people that need help starting their podcasts and radio programs. Soon they’ll be a button in the side bar for you to make an appointment with me. We can kick it thru Skype and have a great chat about what you would like to accomplish with your programs. Also, I am the producer of The Arielle Loren Show, a new podcast focused on the nitty gritty journey through creative entrepreneurship. I really love all the guests that we’ve had so far and Arielle is a top notch marketing expert, business owner, and Harvard Business grad!

That’s not it by any means. It’s just the beginning of the rest of my life.

Are you in bloom?

 

 

 

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