Hi. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I bought the URL thecarlamarie.com when I first started in radio with the dream of one day having my own website. I had just started my career in radio and had absolutely no money. I started my job as the Phone Producer for Elvis Duran and the Morning Show one month before my graduation from Rutgers University. My love for radio began at a young age, as I would listen to Elvis Duran and the Morning Show on my way to school. This was my literal dream job, and I landed it at 22, so I didn’t matter that I was only making $10 an hour. It’s funny, people think you’re in radio so you must make a ton of money, that’s the best joke ever. I knew what I was getting into, our professors at Rutgers did a great job warning us what it was like working in media. Making $10 an hour at 22 wasn’t uncommon but having $800 per month in student loans and paying $360 a month to park my car in the city was very uncommon. After taxes, loans, and parking, I had $90 a month left for gas and anything else I needed. I lived with my parents, they paid my cell phone bill, any medical bills I had, and they paid for my monthly toll through the Holland Tunnel from New Jersey into New York City which was a whopping $170 per month. If it weren’t for my parents I wouldn’t have had enough money to GET to my job let alone pay for anything else. ((Shoutsies to mom & dad – love ya))
I’m not trying to get a Carla Marie pity party started, I want you to know that I have come a long way…but I’ve worked my ass off to get to where I am. I never ever said the word “no”. If I was asked by any of my supervisors to be anywhere at anytime, I did it. And most of the time I wasn’t paid extra. Do an interview at a movie premiere at 9pm in NYC and be at work by 5:30am the next day? Sure. Go through hours of audio looking for one single sentence? No problem. After my co-workers realized I could handle any task thrown at me I was given the honor of being able to make extra money by “running the board”. ((Running the board means you push the buttons and babysit a show that’s not live, for example, if our morning show was on vacation I’d come in and make sure the re-runs would run properly.)) I didn’t have the money to travel so this was perfect. The show would go on hiatus for a week or two weeks, I’d come into work for 5 hours, make extra money for running the board and I’d go home. I then began to pick up more responsibilities at work, not responsibilities that made me extra money, but new skills that made me invaluable. When I started my career my dad said “Make yourself invaluable” it came full circle when in a meeting with Elvis he said “you’ve made yourself invaluable to us” and I got my first raise ((which was about two years after working at the show)). I still worked some vacations and ran the board one Saturday night per month for the show Saturday Night Online Live with Romeo ((it’s now called Most Requested Live)). I gave up my Saturday nights to make extra money and to prove that I was dedicated to this industry and this company. I knew it would payoff one day, and it did. ((Romeo is now one of my bosses here in Seattle!!))
Elvis started giving me more air time and he even game me my own daily segment, “What’s Trending”, where I talked about the cool new thing you needed to buy, see, or download. I began getting on air endorsements and scheduled appearances to represent the station. I had enough money saved to move out of my parents house and buy new clothes when I needed them. I WAS SO HAPPY. Three years after working for Elvis my co-worker and friend, Anthony and I were traveling to go snowboarding. In the car we had the idea, “let’s do a podcast.” That was the birth of what eventually would be called, “MyDayFriday”. We wanted an outlet where we could “practice” radio. Anthony was convinced we’d have our own show one day, I laughed at him and went along for the ride because I was having fun. We took the podcast seriously, scheduled meetings and lunches with each other, bought URL’s, reserved social handles and email addresses and even had our logo made before we started. We wanted to treat this like a real show. We knew it would be a commitment so we wanted to have our ducks in order before we started. About two months after our original conversation we did our first episode of the podcast and posted it to ElvisDuran.com. We did it every Friday, even on vacation, and 10 months in to recording MyDayFriday evry week, our very own company told us they added MyDayFriday to our iHeartRadio app…we had our own channel. WE HAD OUR OWN CHANNEL!!! This was amazing. There weren’t many podcasts on the app at this point so it was pretty unreal to be honored like this. Fast forward about another 10 months and not only do we find out that HUGE bosses who make HUGE decisions at iHeartRadio were listening to us…but we were being considered for OUR OWN SHOW. The girl who was answering phones, who started at $10 an hour and the guy who was an assistant turned video editor had an offer on their own morning show?! We were shocked. We interviewed, got an official offer, and moved across the country to Seattle, Washington six weeks later.
The move was pretty insane. It happened so fast and I never ever thought I’d leave New Jersey/New York City but here I was, moving as far away as I could! Luckily, I had my best friend making the move with me and starting this new career with me. I’ve been in Seattle hosting “Carla Marie & Anthony” on POWER 93.3 for a year and a half and there hasn’t been one single second where I regretted this move. I have never worked harder or longer on anything in my life, sometimes I pull 12-17 hour days but I love it because the payoff is super rewarding. The city of Seattle and Western Washington is incredible. It’s gorgeous and there is always something to do. It’s definitely been a lifestyle change…but for the better.
Why did I just tell you all of this? It’s been the reason why I haven’t started my website/blog. My career always got in the way, but that’s a good thing. I’ve started to realize, my career is always going to get in the way and I need to embrace it or I’ll never ever have this website. I read Charlamagne the God’s book, “Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to those Who Create It” and I’m in the middle of Jen Sincero’s “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” and they both lit a fire under my butt. I knew I needed to do this now. Shoutout to my friend Michelle (@itsMeMeach) who built this site and dealt with me changing the tiniest details. You’ll find everything on my blog…recipes, outfits, beauty products, gadgets, and so much more. Who am I to be an expert on any of this stuff? No one, I’m just your average girl navigating life who likes to try new things and I’m excited to share it all with you. Thanks for being here, I appreciate it. Here. We. Go.