Revealing my mentor- Jim Brown

March 1, 2010

In my wildest 20 something and 30 something dreams, having a radio show was nothing that ever crossed my mind. Taking the airwaves at 40, with no radio experience seemed the impossible when I decided to do it. But, it happened and it was a blast! There were several people along the way who were wonderful to me and encouraged me to keep it up : Dan Frazier, Eric Asher, Ann and Paul Tuennerman, my husband, Debbi Vafides, my Mom, my Cotillion sisters, my Milblogger friends, Jeff Crouere, Patti Bader, many of my internet friends and a countless amount of others (you know who you are) who I will forever be grateful.

But, there is someone very special that I would like to thank today. Since April of 2009, I’ve been alluding to my “Sun Tzu” or “Yoda” radio mentor on this blog and Facebook. He never told me not to reveal his identity, but it was for the best to keep it on the QT. I learned pretty quickly that there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the radio world and yours truly certainly did not want to piss anyone off. New Orleans is a small city and the radio world is even smaller. It is Jim Brown.

When I was given my radio show, I had a total of a half hour of training with then producer, Daniel French (now with Man Cow), and then it was a go. I was told to do whatever I wanted and just have fun. My show constantly evolved and often times, became frustrated with myself. My husband was a decent critic, but sometimes you need more than that (plus he was biased). Eric listened from time to time and was wonderful about giving me pointers and tips. I knew that my internet presence and radio show needed to merge to capitalize on my strengths. I’d been following and listening to Jim Brown for some time, so in February of 2009 I reached out to him and asked for some advice. I had been a guest on his show discussing Soldiers’ Angels and we both contribute to Louisiana Conservative, so it did not seem too awkward to approach him. Well…this wonderful man, with a colorful Louisiana history, took my request very seriously. He took his role as mentor very seriously and took time out of his busy schedule to listen and analyze my shows and blog. He either called me or wrote me to give me feedback. He believed and still does, that I have something unique to give the airwaves. That honestly means the world to me! We still have never met in person, but Jim Brown is very special for taking me under his wing. Please sign up for his weekly columns and read his books!

Jim – thank you form the bottom of my heart! Looking forward to meeting you in person someday!

* January 2007 Moved to Mandeville, Louisiana
* April 2007 Began writing for NOLA.com
* April 2007 Began volunteering with Soldiers’ Angels
* August 2007 Began hitting the airwaves for Soldiers’ Angels
* August 2007 was a guest on Jim Brown and Eric Asher’s shows regarding Soldiers’ Angels
* August 2007 I was asked to be a guest on Andre’ Trevigne’s radio show for a new Friday women’s rountable. I was a repeat guest for this.
* February 2008 Approached Eric Asher of WIST to see if there was any room on his station for a 40 year old housewife who had fallen in love with radio. He brought me in to meet the station manager Dan Frazier, and the Kiss My Gumbo radio show was born on April 19, 2008.
* January 2010 my show finally went off air. Dan and Eric have been so wonderful and I will always be grateful for the opportunity they gave me.

c/p at Kiss My Gumbo


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