Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

My wardrobe

November 24th, 2014
By



Olivia is always asking if she can pick out my outfit and jewelry for the next work day. I thought it was because she was girly and likes the bling.

When convenient, I let her, but she's kind of slow, and I just want to get the task done. Also, she likes to wear the colors of the rainbow to school, and I don't want that color scheme for my on-air image.

Di Ron two shot

Then she said something to make me melt. "I watch you on TV in the morning and I like to see you wearing things I picked out for you."

That is the dearest statement. So yes, now I let her select my clothing and jewelry, and I try to wear what it is even if I'm not the craziest about the pairing.

It makes my sweetie happy.

Chef Ed Kenney's new restaurant, Mud Hen Water

November 21st, 2014
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Chef Ed Kenney has a lot on his metaphoric plate. The award-winning, telegenic, seemingly ubiquitous culinary figure recently opened Kaimuki Superette, is still managing Town, and is in the planning stages of his latest restaurant, named after the area of town its located in.

Me with Chef Ed Kenney

Me with Chef Ed Kenney

"This is going to be an evening restaurant. We're calling it Mud Hen Water. It's the English translation of Waialae; wai is water, and alae is the native mud hen. The legend goes that there used to be a spring here that the alae frequented and it was only for royalty. It was literally a watering hole. This is going to be a watering hole," he exclaims with what I'm starting to understand is his trademark charismatic enthusiasm. He pointed to a section of the wall and indicated that he'd like to open up the wall and add an outdoors dining section there.

Site of the future Mud Hen Water

Site of the future Mud Hen Water

Kenney kindly took time out of his schedule to continue showing me around the property at the corner of Waialae and 9th Avenue. He gestures to a small shed attached to the two-story building. "This whole property, we're calling it Food Shed. It's because this shed was here, but it's also based on a watershed - the flow of food from producer to consumer. We look at everything we want to put in this property as kind of food or health and wellness oriented. Upstairs we have acupuncture, Eastern medicine," he continues.

He's excited about the venture, and tireless - and I'm sure Oahu gourmands will be just as excited to see what he comes up with next!

 

Waking Up with Maryanne Ito & The Astatine Collective

November 17th, 2014
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Honolulu band Maryanne Ito & The Astatine Collective lives up to its name as a rare collection... of talent. On the elements chart, astatine is the rarest naturally occurring element, and band member/producer Subzero felt that the moniker fit a group of people whose collective skills produce a rare and unique sound.

Courtesy: Maryanne Ito

Courtesy: Maryanne Ito

I had a chance to meet the musicians recently, and was captivated by 31-year-old Ito's soulful voice and sweet demeanor. Surprisingly, she has no musical training, though she adds, "I come from a family of musical talent. My mom is a pianist, my dad is a guitarist. I grew up singing around the house. Al my training is by ear!"

Courtesy: Maryanne Ito

Courtesy: Maryanne Ito

Ito and her band produce soulful music with hip hop, reggae and R&B touches. Her vocals show the influence of neosoul stars like Erykah Badu and Alicia Keyes. The group released its first album, Waking Up, earlier this year. Without any advertisement, it peaked at number four on the UK Pop Chart. "I rely on the DJs to play my music," she explains.

Courtesy: Maryanne Ito

Courtesy: Maryanne Ito

Waking Up is an album about love, and it was inspired by "life, different experiences, and a little bit of imagination," says Ito. "I am very pleased with it. I'm happy with the hard work we put in on it, and how people received the album."

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She is currently writing more material for an album to be released possibly at the end of 2015, "but I also don't want to be rushed." Ito and her band are also rehearsing because they hope to go on tour soon - probably the West Coast, and ideally, New York City.

As she sits on the cusp of major stardom, she reflects on how it's been a long road here. In the early 2000's, her older brother, who goes by stage name Blessed Child, needed a singer for something he was recording. "It was convenient I could do this for him, and then I realized I wanted to keep doing this."

Ito, who is seven-eighths Samoan and one-eight Japanese, is a former "Army brat" who was born in Kansas and spent the first part of her life in California, before her father's tour of duty took them to Honolulu in 1992. "My mom fell in love with the islands and told my dad she wanted to stay. Poor Dad - he did a few tours of duty alone!"

She attended Aliamanu Intermediate, was graduated from Moanalua High School, and is currently working towards a degree in business marketing from University of Phoenix. "It's just hard to find time with my day job and my singing career." Additionally, she is the mother of two youngsters.

"My oldest is eight-year-old Quincy, which is his father's name too. My daughter, five year old Naima, is named after a John Coltrane song that I listened to constantly when I was pregnant!" she reveals.

Interestingly, Ito's career aspirations are not just aimed at music. "I am a licensed insurance agent now, and would like to be an independent agent in the future. That would give me time to make my own schedule around music gigs." She works at IC International as a broker, and says she likes helping people and the challenge of problem-solving.

Ito and me

Ito and me

What dose she love about music? "I love how it makes me feel. Music says a lot of what I want to convey. I'm a horrible speaker, but I can relay my emotions in song. It's a great way to express myself and a great release. I'm also touched when I listen to great music," says Ito, "and love if I'm able to touch people with my music."

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A day in the life of a morning anchor

November 14th, 2014
By



The question is often asked of me, What is your life like with an early morning job? It's different, I'll tell you that.

Di & Ron, KHON2 Wake Up 2Day anchors

Di & Ron, KHON2 Wake Up 2Day anchors

I wake up around 2:30 a.m. for a shift that is officially weekdays, 4 a.m. - noon. I say "officially" because it can go longer depending on what news breaks after the show.

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I do my own makeup and hair, and while we have a dressing room at work, I prefer to do it at home. Once I get in, I read through the scripts (which is a lot for a three hour show) and help write any unwritten parts. There is always something to write.

Wake Up 2Day's executive producer, Chanel, with Ron and me.

Wake Up 2Day's executive producer, Chanel, with Ron and me.

Wake Up 2Day producer Adam, me, Wake Up 2Day producer Lance, and photographer Terry.

Wake Up 2Day producer Adam, me, Wake Up 2Day producer Lance, and photographer Terry.

 

We have three producers and an associate producer working behind the scenes. They start as early as 11 p.m. the night before. They find the content for the show by updating any big stories from the night before, and by looking at what's making national headlines.

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Once we're in the show, it moves pretty quickly, especially if there is breaking news or many in-studio guests. It's fun and it keeps us on our toes. In this age of social media, part of our job is to keep the social media pages updated as well, so we post Facebook and Twitter updates during breaks, particularly if it's news people really need to know, like a major traffic accident and road closures.

Di interviewing guests outside the studio.

Di interviewing guests outside the studio. Carlson on camera.

It is critical that an anchor team get along well in order to make the show run. I am lucky in that I joined a well-oiled machine with a terrific group of professionals. We all get along on and off air, which is such a blessing.

Jai Cunningham, Di, Ron at Shriners Ice Challenge.

Jai Cunningham, Di, Ron at Shriners Ice Challenge.

I'm fortunate that I clicked with my co-anchor Ron Mizutani immediately, and that within a few days of knowing each other, it felt like a long and comfortable friendship. One can't fake that kind of energy - nor predict when it will happen - and it does come across on air.

Di & Ron

Di & Ron

After the show, the entire team meets to debrief what went right with the show, what can be improved, and what's coming up tomorrow. Ron and I then immediately go to our desks to start writing any elements that we can for the next day's show.

Most morning anchors in television news are required to get off the set and file reports from the field, which will air on the evening news. The entire on-air staff leaves the meeting and goes into reporter mode after the morning news. There is always a story that I'm researching or working on. If I have a shoot that runs late, I stay until the story is filed.

Around 1 p.m. I usually get tired and need a nap! When your body is not in sync with the sun's rhythm, everything is thrown off. I could easily work a 12 hour day under "normal" circumstances, but because I get up so early, I get tired much faster.

I choose this shift because I have a second grader, so I can pick her up from school and spend time with her after work. I may be a bit of a zombie, but at least I see her, and it's worth it to me.

Mommy & Olivia

Mommy & Olivia

I go to sleep at 6:30 p.m. Other people work out their schedules different ways, but I like eight hours a night, so this keeps me fairly balanced. It is, sadly, too easy to slip back to "regular" life after the weekend, which makes Mondays hard. Therefore, I don't like to stay up past 9 p.m. even on a day off. Consistency is key.

I have to pick out my outfit and prepare my food for the next day before I go to bed, because that saves me valuable minutes in the morning. I feel like I'm in elementary school when my mom made me do this the night before!

I have no social life. I cannot tell you how many evening activities, parties, and events I've turned down because of this.

The crew!

The crew! Emi, Moose, Lance, Adam, Jai, me, Ron, Jared, Taizo, Kelly, Chanel

However, I love and need it. I love the energy of the newsroom, the type of work I do, and the passion it fulfills in me. I have known since I began this career right out of college that I loved it, and I consider myself lucky that that passion has not diminished over the years.

On my birthday! I love these guys! Jai Cunningham, Ron, me, Kelly SImek, Taizo Braden.

On my birthday! I love these guys! Jai Cunningham, Ron, me, Kelly Simek, Taizo Braden.

I also love and appreciate that from the minute I walk into the newsroom - pre-dawn, mind you! - that I'm happy. I so enjoy seeing my friends here. It's amazing that we are joking and chatting before, during, and after the show - and a nice validation that we like one another and the product that we collaborate on. This feeling is not something I take for granted, and is another big reason why it's well worth it to me.

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I love my job. How many people can go to work and say that?

Whose workplace is more fun?

November 10th, 2014
By



I took Olivia to work at KHON2 with me recently because there was a day of no school. She's been there before for half a day, but this was the first time she came at 4 am with me.

She really, really wanted to come with me, and I warned her she couldn't complain about the early wake up. She was a very good girl and woke up promptly.

I laid out a sleeping bag at my desk and she snoozed for the first half of my show. Then, around 6:30 a.m., she woke up and wanted to sit in the studio with me.

Sitting on my lap at the anchor desk.

Sitting on my lap at the anchor desk.

She sat quietly without complaint, playing video games and talking to Kelly in between Kelly's weather segments. I told her I was proud of her for being so good.

Olivia and Kelly

Olivia and Kelly

After the news, I took her to Kissaten Cafe for breakfast and cheesecake. The owner was nice to her and gave her ice cream.

After the day was over, we drove home, and she admitted she was tired. "Now I know why you're tired all the time, Mommy. And now I know why you like your job so much," she said. I thought that was cute.

On the floor by my feet.

On the floor by my feet.

"I want to come to work with you every day!" she continued. "Please can I come tomorrow?" She likes that everyone's so nice to her, that we eat at Kissaten, and that she can watch me live instead of waving at the TV in the mornings.

I told her she could come back the next time there's no school, but it also depends on what I have going on at work. She might have to go with Daddy to his work at Moanalua Mortuary, if I'm too busy.

"I like your workplace way better! Please?" she begged.

"What's wrong with Daddy's place?" I asked. I think there's nothing quite as exciting as a newsroom, but I was curious to see what she thought.

"Well, for one, most everyone's dead there," she explained.

So, I thought I was such a cool mom, but maybe the bar is lower than I thought if my competition are people who are no longer drawing breath.