Sunday, January 25, 2015

Workout Incentive

Since the picture went up, the wisecracks have been surprisingly varied in their levels of inherent hilarity but reassuringly steady in their frequency.

The picture dates back to January 8th, the day after fitness columnist Jennifer Rochon did her segment on meeting fitness goals for the New Year. She insisted one effective way to meet your goals is to put your face on top of the physique you strive to achieve and then place the picture on your refrigerator door.

The picture, according to Jennifer, should provide added motivation and incentive to get it done.

One of our show directors that day, Bruno, Bruno LeFou on Facebook, generously decided to provide me added motivation by preparing a picture and posting it outside the wall of the morning show pod.

When she was back last week to do her fitness segment, Bruno, Bruno LeFou on Facebook, showed the picture to Jennifer who, reportedly, busted a gut.

Don’t think me ungrateful, but the picture seems to be motivating others far more than it’s motivating me, although, at this rate, I could still come around.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Life Is Grand

A grand.
I know.
It’s all relative - and always will be.

Justin Bieber has 59.3 million twitter followers.
I just tipped 1,000.

I’ll take it.
It’s kind of fun!

I like twitter; it’s a simple and quick way to keep in touch with people who are interested and interesting. 

I’ve tweeted thousands of times about all kinds of stuff; thoughts, music, pictures, nonsense and all kinds of quasi-insightful information about the fun I’m having meeting people and working in our amazing city on Global Montreal Morning News!

I appreciate having people consider my tweets and it's been fun corresponding with tweeps!
Gee, I have another G to tell you about.

I’ve been a musician since I sang in the school choir in elementary school, touring institutions for the elderly to sing Christmas carols. I was touring high schools in the city with our school’s production of "Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat". I’ve performed at countless weddings and corporate functions. I’ve been given standing ovations at university talent shows and I’ve sang anthems at sporting events. It's always exciting and gratifying! 

Also, exciting and gratifying is being on youtube, where my cover of Bruce Hornsby's wonderful love song "Mandolin Rain" just reached 1,000 views!

Yee-haw! I feel so brilliantly leading edge.

I’m fully aware, in the grand scheme of things, my reaching 1,000 followers on twitter and 1,000 views on youtube is barely blip-worthy. Yet, for me, never opposed to modest and vehemently against overstatement, it rates as noteworthy and as proof yet again, life is ever so grand.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fraught With Peril

Posting pictures of our guests to social media is an easy and fun way to promote our show. I post pictures of guests our viewers see on the show and guests our viewers may have missed!

The vast majority of our guests are truly worth documenting! Global Montreal Morning News features some stellar names; from such international stars as James Blunt, Sarah Brightman, Gino Vanelli, Roch Voisine, Chris Hadfield and Jason DeRulo - to such iconic Canadian names as Caroline Ouellette, Roch Carrier, Conrad Black, Anthony Calvillo, Measha Bruggergosman and Mikael Kingsbury! On top of those more recognizable guests, we get so many wonderful locally-known scientists, athletes, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, actors, chefs, newsmakers, experts, analysts, columnists and more. Montreal attracts a high caliber of individuals and for that, we are fortunate.

Media outlets in smaller markets may not have that same range of potential guests.

No noteworthy interviewee has turned down my requests for a picture. I tweet the photos and post them to Facebook and Instagram. There can be challenges, but the guest in the photo isn’t usually the problem; the problem is more often the photographer. The photographer, typically, snaps one quick, ill-considered photo and hands my iphone back to me.

Inevitably, someone in this casually captured single moment could look better! Often, it’s both the guest and I. The single picture is often badly framed, poorly lit, blurred, unflattering, or includes part of the photographer’s digit!

I can’t count the number of pictures I’ve deleted because they’re purely unpostable!

The only person who gets it right is co-host Camille! I can rest easy when Camille snaps the picture. It’s well framed, well lit and there are several alternate pictures available. Whew!

If she’s not in the studio when I need the picture taken,  I’ll stall, keeping the guest there until she returns. If she hasn’t made it back in time, then, reluctantly, I’m forced to grasp at straws.

Actress, singer, jewelry designer and entrepreneur Caroline Neron came in for an interview right before Christmas. Caroline is always energetic and fun. After the interview, with Camille unavailable, I handed my smart phone to Caroline’s publicist. I urged her to take more than one picture, warning a single picture often ends up with me or a guest looking “like this”; I made a face.

The publicist laughed and announced she had just snapped that picture.

I reacted to her announcement by sheepishly blurting “oh no”, after which the publicist announced she had just taken that picture, too!

It’s such a basic and simple thing and yet the picture snapping process is fraught with peril, I tell you! Where’s Camille when you need her?

Thanks to the patience of Caroline and her publicist, we eventually got it right and I tweeted t a visually appealing picture.

A couple of weeks ago Olympians and newly-crowned Grand Prix figure skating champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford came in for an interview. Camille wasn’t around and not wanting to oblige them to linger, I hastily recruited someone else to take a picture. When I looked at it afterward, it was so dark I wasn’t able to post it!

I much prefer looking at my photo selection and saying, “oh, nice” instead of  “oh, snap”!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Holiday Happiness

We’ve had so many wonderful and talented musicians on our show over the nearly two years we’ve been on the air. Speaking of which, the second anniversary of our morning show is just weeks away!

As we headed into the holiday season, I contacted quite a few of the musicians who’ve visited us over the last several months to ask whether they’d be willing to come on Global Montreal Morning News to perform Christmas tunes.

Dynamite Montreal rock band “The Damn Truth” came on our show and did a spellbinding version of “Amazing Grace”. Ethno-classical duo Beija Flor, who you see in this picture, with Charles on guitar and the season-appropriately named Marie-Noelle on flute, performed themes from the holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker”.

The Carolyn Fe Blues Collective, who got all dolled up for their early morning performance, did a groovin’ holiday tune and 18 year old tenor Marco Bocchiccio sang “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”. Ensemble Ko performed wonderful traditional Christmas carols and the Lyric Theatre Singers were typically terrific!

Carolyn Fe Blues Collective

December Rose, who performed for our entire 2013 Christmas Eve show, came in to sing a smooth and oh so cleverly choreographed version of “Santa Baby” on December 24th!

One of our crew favourites is the women who form the a cappella group Montreal City Voices, who came on during the holidays for a performance laced with their usual zeal and panache!

It’s such great fun to have musical artists on our show! I believe it adds so much to our content quality and originality, plus it gives our television station a chance to support local art, culture and community.

We had a special appearance by M.T.L. (Made Them Lions), a bunch of local guys who’ve been getting considerable commercial success with their first album. Their first hit “Crazy” did well and on our Christmas Eve show, they announced plans for their first nationwide release with the song, “Forgotten How To Dream”. It's out now as (look at me - so in the loop) the guys do some songwriting and skiing in Vermont right now.

We pre-taped their segment after our December 23rd show to air it the next day on our Christmas Eve show.

The guys ran through “All I Want For Christmas” once and we asked them to do it again as we tweaked the sound. They ran through it twice and then three times as we tweaked some more! Finally, we did the interview and the song for real, only right after the interview, I dashed into the control room to listen to them sing and blurted out a comment while my microphone was still “hot”, meaning we could hear me talk in the middle of their song! Nice going Rich! They gladly did the song a fifth time while I was properly muzzled and then we edited the interview together with the final song version and aired it Christmas Eve.

Through it all, the guys were smiling, patient and grateful to be on the show. How awesome is that! How awesome are they? How awesome are all our musical guests? I thank all of them and many not named here for their generosity, patience, professionalism and for sharing their talent with us and our viewers.

I’m already stoked for the 2015 holiday season; I'm keeping my fingers crossed they are too!