Thursday, 29 December 2011

2012: The Year of New Beginnings

For the past several months I've had this burning desire to move. To where? Well, at first I didn't really know. For years I'd said that when I finally moved out, I was headed to Toronto. My birthplace. The city is truly magical; it's loaded with personality and movement and life. It's a familiar setting and I know people who live there, so it would be a relatively easy transition from the small town of Milton. I'd even considered Niagara for a complete change of scenery and the opportunity to explore a different side of Ontario.

I mulled it over, and decided that I wanted my move to be something of an adventure. I soon discovered that what I really wanted was to move abroad, specifically to another province. Canada is nearly 10 million kilometres of land overflowing with beauty, diversity and character. There is so much to explore and it would be a shame to limit myself to Ontario. Plus, I'm single, I'm 19, and I'm about to graduate from college. If there was ever a time to travel, it's now!

It wasn't until a month ago that Alberta became an alluring option. I'd read that there are 10,000 new jobs available, with their economy doing very well and seniors retiring from their jobs. Additionally, Toronto is a competitive market to crack for an aspiring journalist, because virtually every grad wants to land a glossy, sexy job in one of the world's hippest cities. At least in Alberta, I'd be able to gain a more hands on experience at a television or radio station than I would in Toronto.

Career isn't the only driving force in my move to Alberta, however. Take a looks at this video:

It's stunning. Did you see those landscapes? It takes my breath away just watching the video so can you imagine what it would be like to be there and experience it? I couldn't be more excited. It seems like a lifestyle that places a huge emphasis on doing things. On being outdoors and connecting with nature. I can't wait for that. I figure I'll finally learn how to snowboard with all that powder lying around!

Am I nervous? Of course. I'll be on my own for the first time in my life, surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar place. But that's what makes it an adventure! I will get to know people, become familiar with the area and make something for myself. My family will miss me desperately (especially my Mom), but that's where airplanes save the day. Skype will make things easier, I'll phone and email regularly, all that.

The lyric from my favourite John Mayer song says it best: "Everybody is just a stranger, but that's the danger in going my own way, I guess it's the price I have to pay". I'm looking forward to opening the next chapter of my life, & I'll be keeping you guys posted every step of the way :)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Painting All Journalists with the Same Brush

Stereotypes are peculiar. They use the attitudes, opinions and actions of a select few individuals as a general analysis of the entire group. Generally speaking, society views stereotypes as a skewed representation of people, yet admit that there's truth in said stereotypes. I bring this up because I read an online article called "5 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Journalist" that was written by Tom Chambers in 2007, which has resurfaced and created a second round of buzz. It acts as a word of caution to potential partners that dating a journalist is completely different than dating someone in any other profession.

Like I prefaced, stereotypes are peculiar. When you tell someone you're a journalist, you'll either be met with polite interest or obvious disapproval. Society has the idea that journalists are self-righteous human beings who believe their intelligence and worldly knowledge makes them vastly superior to that of anyone else. When I've told people I meet that I'm an aspiring journalist, there are two types of "Oh!"'s I receive in response. The first "Oh!" means "Wow, that's interesting!" The second "Oh!" says "Ah, you're one of them, eh?"

With respect to the article I read, the tone for me was extremely off-putting. Take this sentence for example: 

"Guaranteed, when you say “towards,” we will automatically say “toward” — “towards” is not a word. We’re not trying to call you dumb (even though you don’t understand the English language), it’s habit."
It's irritatingly pretentious. The rest of the article continues in a similar air of arrogance. In the comments section (comprised of more than 350 polarized responses) working journalists in print and broadcast disagree with the contents of the article. In no way am I disparaging the opinions of Tom Chambers. It's his journalistic right to write about truth as best it relates to him. I do believe, though, that articles like these perpetuate these types of stereotypes.

Journalists are not mystical creatures with brains two times the size of  the average person. Journalists are, or should be, regular people with extraordinary curiosity. What I do does not make me any more superior to a passionate elementary school teacher, or more important that an accountant who specializes in taxes.

Simply put- you can't paint all journalists with the same brush.

Here's the link to the article: 5 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Journalist

Demo Reel

I put together a demo reel! Check it out :)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Kimbra: The New Girl In Town

Life Lessons

Here’s the bottom line. The underline, the denominator. Not everyone is going to like you. No matter how charming you think you are, or how polite you attempt to be, other people aren’t necessarily going to respond to it the way you want them to. Does that mean you raise your hands in the air and give up? “Oh, he/she doesn’t like me? Fine, I give up on being a nice person.” No! If a single person can completely change your personal resolutions, then you need to re-evaluate who you’re living for. Shake off the shackles, already. Be your own person. Really, all you can do is try. Because you know what? For every 1 person out there who doesn’t like you, I bet there are 10 who think you’re pretty rad. So remember: not everyone is going to like you- but hey, life goes on. Just remember that for others to like you, you just have to like yourself first.

Blast Off

he asks me why i bury my head in space, amidst the stars and comets
instead of face, face to face, him and us and me
where else will i find the air? the space? stifling, he makes it hard
but i couldn’t tell him
couldn’t break him
shake him out of his dream that he’s held onto so dearly
the words are not there and the actions are unclear
if only we knew how to say goodbye without severing ties
love is not enough anymore
no, not nearly enough when my feelings are shoving me out the door
into my helmet and my suit and my spaceship
he doesn’t know what he wants to do
wave goodbye to the spaceship, or sit beside me, in the cockpit
is it worth it? are we there yet? whats the mileage on this?
worn and tired we’re losing traction
losing attraction

More Poetic Ramblings

its days like this that make me look forward to days like this
its solitary confinement; a state of utter bliss
wrapped in a blanket of contentment i’m okay
and okay is great today
nothing can touch my mood
its a private museum of feelings
and unbeknownst to you or you or you
im full of secret smiles
yes, my cup runneth over
and ill make no effort to clean up the spill
let the juice of my joy spill into every crevasse
and saturate the inner most dwellings
so ill sit here in the glorious mess i’ve made
and smile
i’ll smile because i’m okay

I'm a Pseudo Poet

Good Morning

i’m trying to figure out the best part
the trouble is figuring out where to start
do i begin where you whisper to me, every morning
that today will be the best day of my life?
or the part where i laugh, and tell you not to start with that
that motivational crap
no, i’ll begin where you smile, like a loving parent to a wild child
amusement and frustration dancing across your face
go back to bed, i end up saying, all the while praying
that you will never raise your anchor
never set sail so that i will become a tale you tell
your piano fingers stroke the keys of my body
and play me like a motzart piece
oh, here’s the crescendo
the height of the symphony
don’t tell me not to close my eyes
its a roller coaster and im at the top
i don’t dare look down, look at the drop
the fall is steep, the jerk is deep
then i open my eyes
meet your eyes
greet your smile
im late for school
but i’ll stay for a while

Monday, 12 December 2011

Anchor Crush!

Lisa LaFlemme

When I was a little girl, all of my friends gushed over celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. They'd pine over them and say how desperately they wanted to be them for a day. Personally, I never wanted to become them, even though I did admire them in my own way. I knew all the words to their biggest songs and the dance moves featured in their music videos, but trading places with Britney Spears was never my desire.

Fast forward nearly ten years later to present day, and I still don't want to be any celebrity for a day (even Beyonce, and that's saying a lot because I adore her). Unless, you count CTV National News anchor Lisa LaFlemme as a celebrity, that is.

Meeting Mr. Lloyd Robertson while volunteering with CP24!

Lisa LaFlemme is the anchor I aspire to be like. She breathes life into her readings, makes all the appropriate facial expressions, and is joy to watch. Even if I didn't have an interest in news, I would still watch her just for the sake of watching her! Her appeal has a lot to do with how approachable she appears to be. Lisa LaFlemme filled the chief anchor position that Lloyd Robertson created when he retired after 41 years of anchoring for CTV.
It's also who Lisa LaFlemme is off camera that gives me so much respect for her. As a foreign correspondent she travelled to Iraq to cover the American invasion and the elections, has reported on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan and was one of the first reporters on the scene when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

Television has been doing an excellent job of showcasing strong, successful women in positions of influence. It's encouraging watching a female anchor such as Lisa who is compassionate, intelligent and involved in her community.

Lisa LaFlemme's poster may not be hanging in bedrooms of little girls, but it doesn't make her any less of a superstar.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Do Messages in Music Matter?

Its clearly tough because you have to weigh the right the artist has to express themselves through their own music against the popular ideas of what’s considered right and wrong. I for one won’t sit through a record knowing it contains anti semetic remarks or hateful lyrics or overall negative vibes. You could very well enjoy the record because its really well produced and the beat is amazing, but I feel like my sitting a listening to the track supports the ideals of the artist and encourages them to produce more of the same thing. It’s the responsibility of the artist to include all races and cultures and genders, because every listener is a potential fan. But when your content offends and excludes a group of people, you could have lost a whole bunch of people who would have bought your album because of how great your sound is. Bottom line is- have respect for your audience so your audience can respect your music. That’s my take on it!

Yay, Internet!

So essentially, Tofugu is a wacky, quirky Japanese culture and language learning website that I LOVE.

Most times, when you Google Japanese culture or language you get these dry, bland, mechanical info sites that look like they haven’t been touched since 1999. But this one is great! The point of this post isn’t necessarily to rave about how amazing Tofugu is (but it is), but to share this article!

It’s lengthy, but extremely informative and really beneficial in my opinion. I haven’t put any of these to the test yet, but I plan to. PLUS, it can be applied to studying anything.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Explaining Broadcasting to an Immigrant Family

Unless you're in school to become a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or a teacher, immigrant families tend to view your chosen career path with leery eyes. In my family, which is all Jamaican, the "dream" is to get your Masters or PhD, make tons of money and retire with a comfortable amount of wealth. In a country like Jamaica where opportunity is minimal, the expectation is that you're going to come to Canada to establish a name for yourself. Live the "Canadian Dream", if you will.

When I told my family I was entering the Broadcast Journalism program, it was met with skeptical acceptance/support. The question came up of whether or not I'd make it onto TV, how much money I'd make so on and so forth. In no way am I implying that my family is unsupportive of my career path, because I've been blessed with a big and encouraging family. They never doubted my ability to be good at it, but did tell me that its a hard industry to break into, black people aren't on TV as much as other races, among other words of caution.

Perhaps my family's intention was to prepare me for the real world, but for a while I thought they didn't believe in me. So instead of letting that lack of faith get me down, I resolved that I would prove to them that I would be successful. I figured I'd be determined to reach the highest stratosphere of my profession. My attitude was "I'll show you, I'll be big some day!"

It wasn't until I had a conversation with my Mom during a car ride that I came to realize my success needs to be for me. Going through my career and living to prove a point to my family is a recipe for an unfulfilled life and bitter attitude. My desire to succeed should be for my own happiness and my own satisfaction.  Seeking to make your loved ones proud of you is a motivational factor to succeed, but it cannot be the determining factor. Exceed your own expectations!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Guys, I'm Going On a Diet... Tomorrow

When it comes to eating healthy, I have good intentions. 

For the first two days of my "diet" I'm a green eating machine. Salad, broccoli, celery, you name it, I'm consuming large amounts of it. I convince my mind I that I would really rather eat copious amounts of carrots than have a Big Mac with large fries and a medium Fruitopia (strawberry). I substitute that Snickers bar for a Vector energy bar and tell myself I'm making the right choice. And I believe it... for a while.

Then I hit the 72 hour mark. It's usually around this time that I feel gorging on General Tso's Chicken with a side of fried rice and a can of Sprite is an appropriate reward for all my hard work. Counter-productive? Not in the slightest.  

It goes without saying that everything goes downhill from here. My locomotive runs out of steam and I abandon the diet. Now, during this time I'm still exercising. I do love working out. But you can't expect results if you work out like a maniac then go home and raid your pantry for brownies. 

This time, though, I'm determined to stick with my diet. And this time I'm employing the buddy system. A good gal pal and I are going to keep each other accountable by checking in on how our respective work out's and diets are going. If I see her walking towards the line up for Harvey's at school, a little clearing of the throat and a disapproving glance will help steer her in the right direction (literally- towards Subway). And vice versa. 

Feeling good and looking your best starts from the inside. So find a friend whose just as motivated as you are and partner up! Also, I'd love to know how you're doing on your healthy lifestyle journey! Keep me posted :)  

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The High of Live

As of this past Wednesday, watching live television will never be the same for me.

On Wednesday, both sections of the Broadcast Journalism program came together to produce a live 20 minute newscast, to celebrate the grand opening of Sheridan's Hazel McCallion campus in Mississauga.  We had a team at home base in Trafalgar, and another set up in Mississauga. I was incredibly excited to be hosting at the Mississauga campus along side a truly amazing team of floor directors, field producers, reporters and directors.
Nothing compares to the adrenaline rush you feel before and after a live hit. There's something exhilirating about never truly knowing what will happen next, and always being on the tips of your toes. I want that feeling for the rest of my life! 

Of course, live TV rarely happens without a hiccup. Case in point, I had to stretch my throw to weather because a reporter had to run to give the weather anchor her IFB and microphone. I have to give myself credit for creativity here! Take a look:

"Yup, still clear!" Ad-libbing at its finest, right? Staying cool under pressure while directors are yelling in your ears to extend your throw is nerve-wracking! But, if there is one thing I took away from this experience, and there are several, its that the audience won't know you made a mistake unless you act like you made one. Playing it cool, laughing it off, and even apologizing for your error then moving on are all ways to make live TV more comfortable for yourself and more enjoyable for the audience.

Needless to say, I really want to do this again. Because honestly, I'm addicted to the high of live.

Check out more pictures and video of what went down behind the scenes on Scribble Live!