CTRL Z Is Your Friend

When I received the email that I was selected to attend this boot camp, I was in the darkroom photo lab. I smiled so big, the even darkroom lit up!

I first found out about the program through the USC Annenberg school. It was posted on their social media feed in the building’s main lobby, and after seeing it I knew right away that this was an amazing opportunity to learn how to produce audio professionally. 

I follow someone on Instagram who recently published a post that read, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” I am trying to live by that motto so I applied.

This week has been a blast and one of the most satisfying weeks I have had in some time. The theme — to profile a person who works within the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. — was difficult but  was worth the challenge. Just walking into the Annenberg Digital Lab each day felt great because of the productive environment and because of the blueberry bagels. I knew I had to put in work and I welcomed it. Meeting all the deadlines was a rush but it made the results oh so sweet. As sweet as a ripe mango!


The support system in this program is incredibly uplifting. I was very lucky to have Vanessa as my mentor.  She is articulate, patient, and sharp. Although I had worked with other Adobe software, I had never worked in Adobe Audition before, and she took her time to teach me shortcuts. She also taught me how to strategically place audio so that the non-narrative story comes to life. I am forever grateful for her continuous constructive feedback. I hope she continues to be a mentor for others in the program as she was for me. Other mentors were also extremely helpful and generous. Alex and Amara let me borrow audio equipment that I needed to report my story so a shout out to them as well! Thank you!

One major lesson from this project is that to get a story on a tight deadline one has no choice but to create ledes by all means necessary. If one person can’t help ask if they know someone who can. Or, if you’ve got someone on the phone for written pieces, ask their opinion of the issue you are investigating. Going back and forth with Vanessa on ideas about what kind of people might make a good interview, I started off a little slow. But after making a few calls I was able to get permission to access the 7th Street Produce Market. At that moment, the song, “Fresh” by Kool and the Gang was my mood. I felt fresh and excited. 

P.S. — Some T-shirt slogan ideas for Next Gen Radio that Vanessa and I came up with: “Ctrl Z is your friend”, “I’m on the 110,” and “Highlight, Highlight, Highlight”.