Role: Creator & Editor, KQED Pop | Producer & Host, The Cooler
1. What’s the best professional decision you’ve ever made?
Not being afraid to change gears. Growing up, I told anyone who would listen that I was going to be a novelist. That was still the plan throughout undergrad and grad school, but then I got an internship at San Francisco’s NPR station and fell in love with other modes of storytelling. Eight years later, I’m still here podcasting, producing, writing and editing, and loving it. If you’ve been doing the same thing for a long time and it has stopped giving you butterflies, go find the thing that does!
2. What’s something you’ve learned from a professional setback or challenge?
Setbacks are con artists. In the moment, they hypnotize you into believing they are much bigger and badder than they truly are. They might even convince you that the end of times the Mayans predicted is upon you. But give it a few days. These same setbacks are revealed to be no more powerful than that little old dude from behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. And that almost apocalypse fizzles into another Y2K. Setbacks have also taught me that we all spend way too much time beating ourselves up over little things and telling ourselves we aren’t good enough. There are Internet trolls who will do that for free. They’ve got it covered. So use that time to cheer yourself on instead. Be the Gayle to your Oprah.
3. What is one thing you wish you would’ve known “then”?
I wish I would’ve known the power of power posing through fear. Yes, standing in the middle of the hallway or in an elevator like a member of the X-Men might seem silly at first, but it’s helped me work through moments when anxiety almost got in the way of my saying yes to an opportunity. Do you want to host, produce and edit a weekly podcast, on top of all your already full-time responsibilities? ~*runs into stairwell, power poses, runs back*~ YES! Do you want to be a guest on live public radio to tell angry NPR fans why it’s okay that Kim Kardashian was on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me? ~*power poses extra hard*~ I SURE DO! You get the idea. Maybe it’s psychosomatic or perhaps it's just the product of taking a few moments to reflect and get some perspective. Either way, it works for me and baby Emmanuel could have used some of that.
4. What’s one of your favorite public media stories, podcasts, shows or series? Why?
I’m currently loving WNYC’s 2 Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys. Not only are both podcasts hilarious, but they also make it their mission to feature voices that are too often underrepresented or excluded altogether, something I try to do with my own podcast and blog. It’s a beautiful thing to see public media redefine itself to include more stories from people of color, LGBTQ people, women and Millennials.
Follow Emmanuel: @xcusemybeauty