I’ve been either on the radio, on television, in front of a camera or behind a microphone most days of the last decade. Yikes. That’s a lot of talking about a lot of stuff. During my long-winded stint as a media personality I noticed a trend. People would always ask me one question….
Who is the most famous person you’ve interviewed?
I have had to refine, revoke and evolve my answer as the years have sailed by. As I hung up the headphones on a career spent making compelling content, interviewing celebrities and doing my best to be cool, not cool, relevant, quirky, sassy, not too serious, honest, grounded, outrageous, friendly, fascinating, truly myself with traces of someone a little more perfect, I’ve had some serious down time.
My career has been littered with beautiful and terrible moments which makes for a great balance to write a book. That and the continual barrage of questions from random people about which celebrity did, said, wore and ate, what; is why I decided to write a book.
As if in sync, my hairdos evolved at the same pace as my, who-drobe. The list of celebrities I interviewed kept growing, as did my mermaid locks, my favourite person kept changing, as did my highlights.
My first ever interview was with Blink 182. I was a fan. A big fan.
“Was I nervous? Hell yes. I was nervous for a hundred reasons. They were Blink 182. I was no-one and this was going to be played back on live television across Australia. I asked myself what would become the usual questions on my way to an interview. Is my outfit okay? Is my hair going to stay in place? Did I need to eat that extra piece of raisin toast for breakfast?
Then other questions started whizzing in my head. Which one was Mark Hoppus again? Imagine if I confused the band members and called Travis Tom and Tom Mark and Mark Travis? Argh. What if they asked how long I’d been in the job and they realised they were my very first interview and I’m a fraud and I have zero experience and how in the hell did I even get a job on television with zero experience? Where’s Catrina Rowntree? She should be doing this, not me. “
Sandra Bullock was my teen idol so when I interviewed her about her new movie Miss Congeniality 2 for my job as a VJ on MTV, I almost self-combusted I was so excited and I think she was by far the most famous person I’d met at that time.
What MTV viewers saw at the time was a perfect interview, on point, well versed and beautifully edited. What they didn’t see was Sandy B gushing over my on sale cowboy boots and our quick goodbye.
“After probably another four minutes of post interview chat we were interrupted. Jabba from Channel V strolled into the room to do his interview and so we hugged goodbye. Me and Sandy B. Not Jabba. He’s quite tall and I’ve always found it awkward to hug him. I exited the room like a Beauty Pageant Queen toward her crown, I floated.”
A few years later during my time as a Night’s Radio Host I interviewed Kanye West, a few times, once he had spinach in his teeth, the other times he didn’t.
“Man, you have very accurate facts; you’re really good. You did your homework.”
Skimming over the minor detail of him calling me a man, which surprisingly happened a lot when I was on radio, this compliment played over and over in my head for days after our interview. To the point that I thought I might get it printed on a tee-shirt. I’m glad I didn’t.
It was extremely good therapy to be able to flesh out my mad career, reflect on the fruit of such hard work and put in my own words what happened on that day when I found out I’d lost my radio job.
“Yes, that’s right—I read in the newspaper that I had been fired. Has that ever happened to you? It was so confusing. I was reading this article that was saying a new person was rumoured to be taking over the reins on the Sydney breakfast show, and I was like, “Haha, that’s funny because that’s my job.” As far as I knew that morning, I still had my job. But I would find out at 10am that morning, that I wouldn’t have that job anymore. I would find out on a phone call.”
No-one has a silky-smooth ride, no matter what is on Instagram, there will always be rough days and tricky moments. From the high highs to the lonely lows, I’ve chosen to look back on my career with light and positivity. How I navigated some of the turmoil with grace and style I hope encourages others to do the same when facing a tough situation, and the rest is to be lapped up and laughed about.
From accidentally spitting on a movie star, to being evacuated from a hurricane in Mexico, this is my mini memoir, ‘UnEdited.’
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like when the microphones are off, then I think you’ll find this an interesting read. Best read with a cuppa, at home in your trackies, (which is how I wrote it) ‘UnEdited’ is available from amazon.com now.