10 Questions with ... Diane Cartwright
October 27, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- B.A. English, Spanish, 1st Class Radiotelephone Operator's License, College Teaching Credential/Mass Communications- UC Berkeley
- Several years as a high-energy Top 40, AC, HAC morning and midday music talent from small markets (Modesto, Salinas) to Sacramento and San Francisco (KYA, K101). Jazz personality: KNUA/Seattle, KQBR/Sacramento, KRVR/Modesto.
- Developed as a journalist anchoring for KJR and KMTT/Seattle; KCRA, KFBK/Sacramento; and KGO, KPIX-FM/San Francisco.
- News Director-KKIQ-KKDV/Pleasanton, CA
- Announcer/Director-KOVR-TV/Sacramento, CA
- Voiceover talent for radio, TV, film: onevoiceworks.com
- Freelance writer, Central Valley CA newspapers, magazines
- Backup career: residential and commercial real estate acquisition, investment, management
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I'm very involved in animal welfare and rescue, saving strays, finding them homes, writing as an animal rights advocate to lawmakers and government leaders to protect and support the environment and its inhabitants. I've also branched out into real estate investments and, for better or worse, I am a landlord of both residential and commercial properties. I continue to write, have finished one book and am working on another.
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
Before my mother and stepfather developed Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, radio was my whole world. I loved Mondays and hated Fridays. Going to work was my daily adventure in Disneyland. When the reality of life unplanned hit, I could either put mom and dad away in a "facility" and go on with my wonderful career or care for them in their home. I thought, "I only get one chance at this. There is no 'do-over' for Mom and dad now. My life is ahead of me. I can always find a job but I can't always take care of Mom." So, I left a wonderful job as News Director in the Bay Area. My observation is that we have choices to live a selfish or selfless life. The real life is the one that makes others feel safe and happy. I loved radio but I loved Mom more.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
I still love the industry and continue applying for work. It may sound crazy but at some point a PD will see my value, no matter how long I've been away from the mic.
4) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
This is it, nine years next month. Mom had Alzheimer's for 17 years. I was able to care for her by hiring a full-time staff, but at some point I needed to be there personally every day and sometimes every night.
5) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Be bold. Just because you're not able to answer, "Who may I say is calling?" or, "What company are you with?" doesn't mean you aren't somebody who will add value to the station. Be positive, humble and make friends with the receptionist. Kindness and courtesy opens doors.
6) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
I check All Access, Milkman, Unlimited, public radio websites and targeted company websites almost daily. Sometimes I just directly call the program director and ask if we can meet. Other times I'll contact them with a personal e-mail.
7) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
I sent a singing telegram to a PD. She arrived in full formal outfit singing about me and offering the PD an invitation to call. He did. I didn't get the job, but did get high praises for originality.
8) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd love to anchor with a morning team unafraid to show personality. Plus, I'd like to host a regular show on alternative health/integrative medicine as I did in Sacramento in the mid-1990s.
9) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
I miss the energy on the air and with my workmates, the creative electricity, the joy of playing, working hard and the privilege of working in radio. I don't miss the backstabbing that can happen with insecure ones both in mid-management and at my level. It's unexpected and unnecessary.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
If this is the right business for you, you will always love radio, but it is highly unstable. Have a backup plan. Get a teaching credential, invest in real estate, learn a skill. Be humble and accept temporary work in or out of the industry. Always have Plan A, Plan B and Plan C in the back of your mind.
Care to contribute a recipe for our "On The Beach" cookbook?
Yes! I love to cook! This is a delicious winter meal suitable for those of us who are long-time vegans!
"Quinoa Vegetable Soup"
- ¾ CUP QUINOA
- 1 TBSP. OIL
- 2 ONIONS FINELY DICED
- 3 CARROTS, PEELED, FINELY DICED
- 3 STALKS CELERY, FINELY DICED
- 2 ZUCCINIS, FINELY DICED
- ½ CUP YELLOW CORN KERNALS
- 1 RED BELL PEPPER, FINELY DICED
- 1 TBSP. MINCED GARLIC
- 2 TSP. SEA SALT
- 12 CUPS VEGETABLE BROTH
- 1 28 OUNCE CAN WHOLE, PEELED TOMATOES
- 1 TBSP. GROUND CUMIN
- 2 TSP. GROUND CORRIANDER
- ⅓ CUP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH CILANTRO
- Rinse quinoa, dry in skillet over medium heat until crackling and golden. Set aside.
- Heat oil in medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery. Saute 12 minutes.
- Add zucchini, corn, red pepper, garlic and salt. Sauté 3 minutes until veggies release juices.
- Add stock, bring to boil. Stir in quinoa, simmer 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes with juices, stir in cumin, coriander. Simmer 10 minutes until quinoa is tender.
- Stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper if desired.
156 calories, 4 g. fat, 1 g. sat. fat, 0 cholesterol; 9 g. protein, 23 g. carbohydrates, 152 mg. sodium