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"How I went from fangirl to hosting a daily Mamamia podcast."

You know the old saying ‘don’t meet your heroes’? 

Well, what if you met them and it changed your life? 

That was me, about to turn 30 at a Mamamia Out Loud Live show with my girlfriend Kelly (yes, that Kelly!) McCarren. We’d had a great night and at the end, I was intent on saying hi to Holly (Holly!!) Wainwright. She’d just released her debut novel and I planned to ask for a sneaky copy to take to Europe with me in a couple of days. Before we could get to Holly, Mia (Mia!!!) Freedman intercepted us, asked our names, drilled us with questions, nodded intently and thanked us for coming. We were STOKED! So we had a few drinks afterwards and look, the next day I broke my shoulder, but that’s a story for another time.

Kee Reece with Kelly McCarren and her friend AprilThis isn’t from that night but proof that Kelly, our friend April, and I are long-term, nerdy Out Louders!!

 A few weeks later, I received a DM from Mia. She knew I was working as an Influencer Manager and Mamamia was about to launch an Influencer Marketing Agency called Squad. The rest, as they say, is history. Well, not quite.

Kee Reece on her first day at MamamiaMe on my first day at Mamamia

About seven months into launching Squad at Mamamia, I was off sick and Luca (yes, that Luca, who is now my work husband) popped my name on a list that was going around taking expressions of interest to host a new pop culture and entertainment podcast, The Spill

Next came weeks of auditions. Firstly, with internal people at Mamamia. They were testing for chemistry and potential and let me tell you I DID NOT have either. At first.

I think when it comes to podcasting, what we hear is so perfect, or at times perfectly imperfect, that the assumption is, “well, I can talk, surely I’d be good at this.” Nope. The thing is, us humans talk a lot of - pardon my French - well, shit and fluff. We talk in circles and use searching words like “ummmm” and “like” and “so”. Luckily, our producers edit the latter out in post-production, but for the shit and the fluff and the circles, you have to learn. Learn to think critically, formulate responses, engage in conversation, provide your opinions, add value. Oh, and sound like you’re energetic and having fun with great chemistry with your co-host. Sounds easy, right? Not quite.

Kee Reece with Laura BrodnikLaura and I, super awkward (but also satirically on point, amirite!? Not planned btw) posing for a pic for the announcement in the newsletter.


After a few more auditions, this time with external talent, I was paired with Mamamia’s Entertainment Editor, Laura Brodnik. We’d had one conversation prior…about nipples (also a story for another time). We were tested, they saw something and WE GOT THE JOB. I remember, so vividly, getting that call from Mia and Holly to tell me I was going to be the co-host of a daily podcast at Mamamia! They were so thrilled for me, I was so excited but also terrified! 

Before launch, we recorded a show every day for 2 weeks. None of those went live (you’re welcome) because we were learning. We learnt mic techniques, hand signals so we didn’t talk over each other and had to listen back to ourselves as homework (a.k.a torture!). Then the day came and look we were good-ish, not great. Chemistry takes a little while to build. You’re learning about each other - personality, humour, sensitivities, likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses - figuring out your role in the dynamic and what you bring to the duo. Thankfully we got through it and now have not only a great working relationship but a genuine lifelong friendship. Last month we celebrated six million downloads and next month will be TWO YEARS!!

Kee Reece with Laura Brodnik at Stan's red carpetLaura and I on the Stan blue carpet...a bit keen.

 So how do we put a daily show together? Let me give you a little day in the life. 

9:10AM Planning Meeting! We each come with three headlines or stories to pitch. Pick the top three and allocate while one of us will be ‘bringing’ the topic. 

9:30AM Research! We go away and research each topic, find audio grabs to use on the show, fact check and pop our notes into the shared script on Google docs. 

11:30AM Record!

Kee recording under a blanketThis is how I record during COVID WFH times...under a my cupboard

12:00PM Headline. We decide on a headline (or title for the pod) which is usually based on the biggest topic or celeb that we discussed and voila! For us at least, the producer starts editing and finalises the show to go live at 3PM! 

There’s also screenings, events and tapings, interviews with celebs and A LOT of TV and movie watching. So much. But worth it to stay on the pulse for our Spillers!

So after all that, I go off to the second half of my day as the Branded Audio Manager working on the new Podcasts we create with our brand partners. Now I get to work alongside Holly and producer Lize - turned HEAD OF PODCASTS Lize - on our branded shows like That’s Incredible, our co-listening podcast for parents and kids with Andrew Daddo and The Delivery Room, a new series that tells 8 women’s birth stories hosted by Jessie Stephens. Plus all of thenew ones we have coming but I can’t tell you about those just yet!! 

It’s certainly a juggle and most people now know not to talk to me between 9AM-to-12PM. But what helps is being organised, and really leaning on each other’s strengths and loving what we do.

When I look back at everything I’ve achieved at Mamamia in three short years it is really incredible. 

So if you are not quite sure what’s next, just know there is so much out there and you never know what is going to happen. Personally I feel like my life is just beginning. It’s never too late to chase dreams and meet heroes and be who you want to be. And for those who feel like they have made it, congrats! Soak it up and pay it forward. You might be the hero in someone’s story.

Feature image: supplied.


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