10 Questions with ... Taylor Diaz
January 20, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Unable to contain my frustration any longer, and not knowing a darn thing about radio, I jumped in the car, fibbed to the receptionist and marched right into the producer's office of the award winning 'DVE morning show with Scott Paulsen and Jim Krenn, and with all the sass in the world, slammed down my resume and headshot and told him in no uncertain terms "You need to hire me for your morning show, because I just got back from New York, and I do all these voices! ... And I'm good! ...And your show needs me!" (So there!)... I turned around to walk out and he said, "Hey! Where are you going? Let's talk!" ... Like a deer in headlights, I said, "Huh?... What?" (Who me?!) Thus began my fabulous radio career in Pittsburgh!
From there I went onto co-host the Breakfast Jam at WAMO as "Taylor Diaz" (Best On-Air Personality, 1997). Aside from my talent, I was hired because of my ability to relate with equal ease to both the African-American and Caucasian audiences without losing my own identity. WAMO was where I created some of the funniest characters. (Norma - a homemaker from Stuebenville, Ohio, with a very strong Midwestern accent, who lived in 'da hood and translated/defined "The Word of the Day" - i.e. "Shcizel my Nizel"...and "Homie")... As well as Tonisha (a highbrow British woman quoting rap lyrics for station contests) and Jamie, the Japanese woman who had a Tupac sighting in Tokyo!
I also filed news features for AURN/SBN and then went on to sharpen my journalistic skills as a part-time reporter/anchor for KDKA AM 1020, where I also filled in a few times as a talk show host.
I do 3,000 character voices, hilarious pranks and just love having darn good conversation. And I want to get back to doing what I LOVE ... Making people's day fun while I, too, am having fun! ... Hire me and you'll get it all - and more! ... I promise!
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I'm a walking party; there are 3,000 voices in my head so I'm always going to have fun one way or another. I wrote a hilarious, yet poignant, Colbert-like book on being bi-cultural, and so I lecture nationally and do funny videos based on the book. This keeps me happy!
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
My second book is a cookbook and right now I'm working on a cooking show! My parents have owned a restaurant for 43 years, and I am the only family member who literally cannot cook! No lie! So, I wrote a cookbook and am following up with a very outside the box, cooking show!
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Absolutely! My voice, my ideas, and random things that just pop into my head - I can't keep them inside - they've got to come out! They're too funny to leave inside - plus, it'll make me crazy!
4) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Walk in. Yep. Just walk in! Works like a charm ;)
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
George Clooney's second wife.
6) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
Not really "unbelievable" - but darn funny!
(Them): "You do realize this is a Black station, right?."
(Me): "Yes. Yes, I do."
(Blank stare...awkward pause)
(Me): "I'm not Black, though.
(More blank stare... more awkward pause)
(all parties agree and move on ... They instantly became my family)
7) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I have a genuine connection with people because I love what I do, and I have a Colbert-like twisted sense of humor. I do all these character voices who bring life to the show, but I have to show PDs I'm different. I bring to the table something they're not going to get anywhere else - something fun, unique, different - but I also bring wisdom, insight, intellectual wit and of course, sass! Gotta have sass!
8) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
A former co-worker, Marshall Adams, who remembers me from a long time ago, and who now runs his own consulting business, Marshall Adams Media in Pittsburgh. I would be completely lost without his help. He is amazing! It's a beautiful thing to have friends in the business who you can still count on to have your back.
9) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
It was threer years into WAMO that I realized that this was a REAL job. I was having so much fun, I forgot! I miss the connection with the listeners, the fun with my co-workers, and using my creative talent, writing skits, voices and pranks. I miss dancing in the studio, the phones and perks. The least? Waking up at 4a!
10) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
I've traveled to 22 countries, written two books, helped open a few businesses and lectured on cross-cultural relations. No matter how insane the world is - people are people - and we all need to laugh, and dance, and sing and play and enjoy life! If we could all do this, I swear, life would be so much better!
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
As a lifestyle talk show host - possibly with an ensemble! I'm completely passionate about this and will put my heart and soul into making it happen!