once upon a stormy afternoon

As a preface, if you will, my first thoughts where; “why am I actually writing this blog?” It seems I’ve found myself in a situation where I potentially don’t trust my memory anymore; or this process of self-reflection and critical thinking, has become a rich part of my professional and personal development methodology.

With that in mind, I spent a few moments figuratively scribbling down my thoughts and contemplating a recent ‘dicey’ situation; I wanted to reflect on how the situation was handled – was there anything to be learned?

Wednesday October 28, 2020 – Day 2 of a motorcycle ride in South east Queensland. After a soaking final 5 kilometre finish to the first, Day 2 was looking great for a nearly 400 kilometre, casual ride – Caloundra to the Bunya Mountains, passing through some scenic Queensland country towns. (Kilkivan, Goomeri, Murgon, Wondai …) With 85KM to the destination, there was a pause at Wooroolin to don our wet-weather gear, as it appeared there were dark clouds ahead. Upon rolling off, there was a little light rain for the next 20KM to Kingaroy, but very manageable. “Oh look! Lightning in the distance! Those forecast storms for 1pm are looking to be right on time.”

Kingaroy to next/last fuel stop at Kumbia30 kilometres

Continuing to follow our Road Captain’s map on the GPS; rolling through Kingaroy with no rain – clear road and clear skies ahead – storm appears far off in distance.
…wrong! It was moving fast and the rain started quickly – over the next few minutes rain increased to small hail, lightning strikes on both sides of the road, reduced speed to 30km/h in an attempt to find a line in the water, huge wind gusts and generally bad riding conditions. Should we simply stop, seek shelter and wait it out? Turn around and go back? (pull over under trees or in open fields with lightning? no shelter to see! U-turning was not a good option.)
As we and the storm part ways, shelter arrives at Kumbia fuel stop.
Well, that was exhilarating. The last 35 kilometres to our destination were a little wet under-tyre, but beautiful riding!

Chef – Pink Ladies VP

During my professional career, I’ve learned to trouble-shoot situations quickly… “we’re onair – get it done!” Problem appears – think of potential solutions & risks – react.

Being comfortable with a hasty, but experienced decision is the key. Hindsight, or later me, can reflect and work out if it were really the best decision.

The key words from this situation – conviction to the decision.

a revised look

For an audio guy, I hang out with some very talented visual specialists. Recently, I asked Anna to photograph our team… (including herself).
I am over the moon with the images of my whole crew
…and am stoked with my new look too.

huge respect to these amazing visual storytellers in my life… thank you for letting me see what you see 🙂 Anna SingletonCindy LaineHakan Nedjat


When my NZ journey started, one of the first web pages I bookmarked was WHITILIVE – a live stream camera positioned overlooking Mercury Bay.  This site is extremely valuable as a source to feel ‘at home & local’…when I’m unable to stick my head out the window.  A massive thanks to owner of whitilive and fellow CFM staffer – Sam Howell, for keeping this site up and live.  Feel free to stop by anytime to check the amazing view.

why not
tune into CFM while you watch 🙂

notable advice

Skimming through my usual weekly radio news sites, I stumbled upon an article from someone I have heard of, as yet have not met, but look forward meeting. Noting my previous post – hyperlocal, you’ll understand.
The article: Tips on runnning a standalone station: Glenn Smith 1XX New Zealand © Radioinfo.com.au

With fervour and excitement, I read Glenn’s tips on running a radio station; the article just simply rang true for me, making it easy to connect the dots in my own context.

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Recently, a client returned a piece of equipment that had been out on loan; for digitising cassettes. So, while it was on my desk; I decided to finally digitise my very first Audition tape (which I scored a job with in December 1987, in Emerald, Queensland Australia).

The Radio School 1987

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Although, I’m 18 months into my New Zealand radio journey; I’m still learning and getting to understand the many differences and similarities from my experiences of commercial radio in Australia.

One major similarity between the two countries – is the large amount of big-stakeholder radio ownership. ie: Southern Cross Austereo in Australia and the duopoly of MediaWorks and NZME in New Zealand – all with very sizeable radio holdings in Metro and Regional locations. Add to the mix the state run radio ABC (Australia) and RNZ (NZ) and then the smaller independents – BrianFM1XX, BOP and CFM to name just a few. My particular case study today is CFM – owned & run by John & Lynda Grant – Radio Coromandel Limited.

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know your working tools

Over the past 15 years, I have developed as a Voiceover Mentor; thanks largely to my academic colleagues – Dr Kate Foy, Dr Ashley Jones and Dr Bernadette Meenach; and also my peers – Sharyn Doolan, Reg Mowat and Marcus Oborn. The many conversations and time spent working with these people has rubbed off on me obviously. 

Since the early 90’s, I have considered myself a professional voice over person. Reflecting back; (as mentioned in a previous post) not only has my style and acting changed – but it seems the many years of just doing it, and soaking up knowledge from the afore mentioned people, has amounted to a lot of acquired knowledge, that just slips out sometimes.

In my last session with a mentee, I heard myself discussing how important it is as a voice actor, to understand the working tools of your trade. This has brought us to this post.

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vo style

Reflection on one’s style and technique is an imperative skill for a voice actor – to improve or progress you need to be able to critically listen to your work and offer yourself feedback. I find it fascinating how my own style has changed over the years, from that very forced ‘radio announcer’, to a casual more realistic human sound. Today I was writing and listening to the radio; and a couple of my own voiceovers jumped out at me.
I have read commercials for both of these clients, a number of times; I wonder if my read style has been influenced by a personal connection to the clients – both of whom I’ve enjoyed many glasses of wine with. Keep Reading