Freelancing: feast versus famine.

freelance blog post

It’s coming up to roughly a year since I started freelancing as a radio person* and I have truly discovered what people mean when they describe it as feast or famine. Fortunately when I started I was still studying so money wasn’t so much an issue, but soon after moving into a new flat and for once being truly self-sustaining I did have a panic that I wasn’t going to earn enough and started working some part-time jobs in waiting and bar work just to top up the rent money. Summer suddenly became quite manic, it slowed down a lot again around Christmas, but throughout February I have been working double shifts.

I wanted to write a quick post about how I both love and hate freelancing at the same time. On the one hand it’s great, I get to work with a variety of stations, and do so many different things each day and I can never complain of getting bored or finding myself typecast to one role when I am still working out what I am best at. However, I would love to be able to feel a lot more secure in what work I am doing, when I am next getting paid and when my car decides to breakdown at 5am on a dual carriageway on my way to work I know that I’m not going to look unreliable.

What really spurred this blog post though is the fact that today I got my first pass to Radio Solent, and I am starting to work on a lot more of their programmes – so I feel like I am making progress. Unfortunately now I just have to be able to control my habit of saying yes to everything to make sure, like my car, I don’t conk out at 5am on the roadside.

*Mainly as a broadcast journalist, but now as a voice coach, broadcast assistant, and social media manager.

Freelance roster

Who I am working with LEFT TO RIGHT: Bournemouth University, voice coach; Wessex FM, broadcast journalist; Jack FM, broadcast journalist; Hot Radio, presenter and broadcast journalist; Approved Family Friendly, social media manager, BBC Radio Solent, broadcast assistant; Fire Radio, broadcast journalist; Spire FM, broadcast journalist; and The Breeze, broadcast journalist.

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2013 Roundup

Radio 2013, graduation, Nerve, Greg James

Clockwise starting from the left. Graduation, 2013 Nerve Awards, My Family, Meeting Greg James (again) at SRAcon13, Presenting on Nerve Radio.

Ah 2013, you’ve been quite an intense and end of an era type year.

Without repeating my Post University Roundup blog post, I’m now re-adjusting to non-academic years and the reality of adult life. Since graduating I’m working as a freelance broadcast journalist, but I am finding myself torn between my heart and my head with what to do next.

I’ve grown up adoring BBC Radio One, and as you can see meeting Greg James was one of the highlights of my year, but being a journalist and a presenter at the same time is something people in this industry are finding a little difficult to get their heads around. I’ve applied, got to interview and been dubbed as ‘also suitable’ for two BBC radio jobs now, it’s frustratingly close and yet not quite there because jobs in the beeb or this industry aren’t exactly easy to come by.

However my time as a journalist has meant my efforts into presenting have been put on the back-burner aside from my weekly Hot Radio show, I’ve not been making the podcast and need to start really channeling all the great feedback since being nominated for SRA Best Female back into my on air work.

I don’t usually blog, mainly because my radio show is often my way of audio blogging but I’m really writing this to try to push myself into working harder to get where I want the be in the radio industry.

The problem is picking my direction.

Anyway, for anyone who reads this at the time of posting, Merry Christmas and may 2014 be a successful year for you and I.

Hot Radio – Freelance Broadcast Journalist

Here’s a record of a sample bulletin from my fortnight covering local news for Poole and Bournemouth at Hot Radio.

Hot 102.8

Sample Hot Radio Bulletin by Charlotte Gay on Mixcloud

Post university roundup

Bammj Ball blog

It suddenly occurred to me that for the past three years at the end of each academic year I have been self-indulgent enough to write a summary of what key things have happened in said year,

Sadly enough this will be that last time I can reflect on what I have done during my time at university as it has now drawn to a close.  Like each that passes I think this one has been the best so far in what it has offered me.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with Nerve Radio for the past three years and for my final year as station manager. I’ve made many great friends out of it, hopefully learnt a lot more that I could have ever without dealing with the challenges of leading 200+ volunteers and I’d like to think I’ve left a decent mark on the station as it progresses year on year. In terms of presenting too it has been an incredible year with winning Best Female, Best Interview and Best Feature at our Nerve Radio Awards – I promise it was not a fix! Also the student radio conference like every year was epic – getting shortlisted for the Voice of the Student Radio Awards has made me look into voice over opportunities more than I would have otherwise considered.

In terms of my course, the US Elections certainly took over the first term of the year but, despite how demanding the extra work became, I think it gave us all the most realistic impression of a 24 hour rolling newsroom. That said as much as I enjoyed being live on Hope FM and online from midnight till 7am, I certainly struggled with staying awake near the end of a 26 hour day.

This year also allowed a huge amount of freedom in terms of my major project and dissertation, both massive in terms of the amount of work needing to be put in and also their impact on my degree as a whole. I’m pleased to say the Prison Pen Pal project was possibly one of the most interesting pieces I’ve worked with and getting real interaction from people across the world in what the project was trying to achieve. From years gone by of hearing horror stories I must admit it worried me that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a really insightful dissertation, especially since beginning the course I noticed my marks swayed towards to practical hands on broadcast work. Yet again I was astounded that my idea of political satire and journalism coming together to pose the question ‘what is the role of British political satire programming in a modern democratic public sphere?’ was relatively fun and exciting to see come together to make something I was proud of. I think the interviewees made the piece more than myself to be fair with the likes of Rory Bremner and Krishnan Guru-Murthy as part of my interview list. I’ve been recommended to consider getting it published so I cannot reveal anymore than that at this stage.

As I said, this year really came together for me as finishing with first and second year with middle to low 2:1 marks did make me despondent about the chances of getting a first – but low and behold I proved to myself that it is possible to finish with a First Class Honours.

At this time I have moved into a new place in Bournemouth as I’m working a freelance broadcast journalist for the likes of Fire Radio, Hot Radio, Wessex FM and hopefully in the near future working with the new BBC breakfast in Dorset show. I still feel like a student balancing my time with these stations, though at the moment it is probably easier that what I was doing near the end of my degree.

Fingers crossed the next chapter will go relatively smoothly and I’ll keep this site posted.

Student Radio conference 2013

New Hot Radio Show

hot radio mic edit copy

I’ve got a show on Hot Radio 102.8FM (The FM part is the most important bit!)

Some of you may already be aware of this but as last week’s show was the first I got carried away with other things and completely forgot to promote it – so chances are you haven’t heard any of it yet.

You can catch me Thursday evenings between 10pm and midnight, for a lot of people that might be in the taxi on your to a night out, or a cheeky listen before hitting the pillow.

The show runs quite differently to my Nerve Radio show, I’ve cleaned up my act when it comes to gay related puns – they don’t even have my surname in the jingles!

My regular features include chain reaction and cover to cover, I’d tell you what they are but I wouldn’t it be great if you listened in and you found out for yourself!

So you can tune in on 102.8 FM in the Poole, Bournemouth and the surrounding areas or you can listen online at hot1028.co.uk

@Hot1028 and Hot Radio Facebook

 

Popular podcasting

I was putting up catch-ups of my show on my Mixcloud page for over a year and the time had come for me to make a proper podcast to go on iTunes and other podcasting sites.

The Charlotte Gay Podcast

The Charlotte Gay Podcast

For those who are not aware, iTunes has a New and Noteworthy section of it’s podcasting page where they put the top podcasts they reckon are worth a listen to. At this point The Charlotte Gay Podcast has bounced around in there for coming up to two weeks, which means there are some people out there who like what they hear or at the very least are intrigued by my name.

site

New and Noteworthy

The podcast is listed under the music tab but this doesn’t completely limit the podcast’s content. It will be a compilation of my Nerve radio, new Hot Radio shows and interviews from the world of music and comedy.