Radio: Marilu's new frontier
One of my all-time favourite sitcoms is Taxi so when I found out that 'Elaine Nardo' was going to be a featured interviewee at hivio, I was giddy with anticipation. Since her days driving a hack at the 'Sunshine Cab Company,' Marilu Henner has remained in the spotlight but had no idea how much she had accomplished since. Here are four things I learnt about Marilu Henner but most importantly why she loves radio so much.
1) Marilu is a busy woman: I was first introduced to Marilu's acting talents on Taxi. Since then she has continued to channel her thespian talents in both TV shows and feature films. She was even a contestant on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice not once but twice which may come in handy if The Donald is elected president. In between all her appearances in front of the camera, Marilu manages to find time to sit behind a keyboard authoring nine non-fiction books primarily focused on approaches to healthy living. Marilu is also a highly touted keynote speaker talking about a vast array of topics ranging from diet & fitness, to women's issues to child psychology. And in between all of her part-time jobs, there is her full-time employment of hosting the aptly named, nationally syndicated radio program "The Marilu Henner Show" five days a week.
2) Marilu's passion for radio: Before hosting her show, while on the road promoting her books, Marilu always looked forward to radio interviews. She thought the personalities were sexy and funny and unlike doing structured TV interviews, she felt there was spontaneity to radio that allowed interviews to 'breathe'. Being an auditory person, she's always had a passion for radio and once she delved into her hosting duties, she had no idea how 'immediate' radio was and how much fun that was going to be. Radio is Marilu's new frontier allowing her to always learn and grow― of all the great things Marilu does, radio is her favourite of all.
"It has the immediacy of a live performance, it has the personal expression of writing a book, it has the story telling of a movie, it has the global reach of a long running sitcom, and the opening night on Broadway every single day." When asked by Mark Ramsey when she knew she was a great radio host, her reply was "when she got Nancy Grace to cry".
3) Marilu's tips for radio hosts: To be a good radio host, one has to i) love it, ii) feel passionate about the medium, iii) be a really good listener cause things happen so quickly you don't want to lose that moment, iv) use everything that is present in your life, and v) not be afraid of hard work.
One of Marilu's great strengths is how she can mine the info to find the little nuggets of information that makes a personal connection with her guests. As she has been on the other side of the interview, she is respectful of what the publicist wants her to cover and as the conversation ebbs and flows, (feels like it needs something here…) she thrives on discovering the little things that no one else can find.
Her personal approach is relating a lot of the content back to her own experiences. She did give birth to one of her children on national TV so apparently there are no secrets. Her radio show content talks about what people are talking about, stays away from politics and religion unless it relates back to health issues and refers back to her books. One of her features puts people in the 'brat corner' – did I mention one of her publications is called "I Refuse to Raise a Brat"?
4) Marilu's extraordinary memory: She always knew she had a really good memory but never knew she was one of only 12 people that have been classified with having HSAM (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory). She can remember every day in her life in precise detail since she was 12 years old compared to the average person who can recall about 11 events from each year of their life. As this is totally unrelated to the media industry, I will not go through her suggestions to developing great memory but encourage you to buy her book "Total Memory Makeover".
This wraps up the hivio series of speakers. I thought the overall conference was as content-rich as any industry gathering I've attended which in part was due to how Mark Ramsey conversed one-on-one with his guests that led to informative and enlightening sessions about many-things 'audio'. I hope the posts not only reflected my passion for radio but passed on a detail or two that's applicable to your daily media duties.
Other posts you may be interested in:
HIVIO 1 - Mark Ramsey's first ever audio-future festival
HIVIO 2 - Scott Baker and the 'Golden age of audio'
HIVIO 3 - Kirsten Wolf's "holistic, platform agnostic, audio neutral" approach
HIVIO 4 - Music Streaming Services – Slacker & Spotify
HIVIO 5 - A discussion with Michael Schneider from TV Guide