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Karen’s Journey to Running Late (Not too sure how amazing…) Ahhhh… where to begin… where to begin. I was born a poor bla… ooops… wrong beginning.
When I was a kid, my family had many pets and I always thought how cool it would be to one day work with animals in some way. My love of animals continued with me to adulthood… so much so that I now live with 5 cats and 40 fish. So it was only natural that I began working in television production!!
During my High School career, I’m ashamed to say, I focused more on the social aspects than the academic. And while I did manage to graduate and get accepted into College… it was no surprise that my partying ways continued and completely undermined my first attempt at higher learning. Fortunately, I was able to convince my parents to give me another chance. And I did very well on my second attempt at higher education. I even made the Dean’s List on more than one occasion. Sadly, I was still not mature enough to appreciate school, I got bored and dropped out.
Fast forward 5 years. My younger brother was attending the University of Iowa and had invited me to drive out for a weekend. He was involved in a student produced sketch comedy program called “Eggplant” and I was enlisted to help out during my visit. And somewhere between shooting and editing the program I got hooked. It turned out to be one of the most fun and enlightening weekends of my life!! Needless to say… by the time I reached the Mississippi River, I had decided to go back to school. The following fall quarter I too was attending the University of Iowa and on my way to finally graduating.
And as is the way of my life… hit another speed bump. This time it was out of my control and I ended up in the hospital. Upon my recovery I found that returning to Iowa was not in the cards and I needed to work. I wanted to find something in the field of television production, but had absolutely no real experience. As luck would have it, my father knew Jerry Patton, the President of Classic Worldwide Production (a local Television Production company) and got me an interview. Jerry offered me a job as the company’s receptionist. I accepted, figuring it was a foot in the door.
Jerry believed in on the job training and, knowing that I had hopes of a career in production, shocked me one day by asking if I would want to try running a camera sometime. I said sure but reminded him that I had never operated a camera before. He said that there was a first time for everything. Two days later, I found myself on the upper level of the Coliseum running the beauty shot camera for a Cavs game!! Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt that night. But I guess I did ok, because I soon found myself being transferred from the receptionist desk to third shift in the tape duplication department. I was also getting more opportunities to run camera. Classic’s Sports division was responsible for the Jumbotron shows at the Coliseum (later the Gund Arena) and Jacob’s Field, and I was getting to run camera for everything from Hockey games to Demolition Derbies, Cavs games and Indians games. Soon enough I was moved from the duplication department to production. I had finally gotten to where I wanted to be… and then life happened again.
Classic was forced to downsize and since I was low man on the totem pole… you know the rest. But thanks to Jerry and everybody at Classic, my training kept me from being idle for too long. I got picked up by WUAB/WOIO as a studio news camera op. It was there, as I was hanging out in the ghetto (the unofficial break room for the news production staff (which is behind the WUAB news set)) that I met Todd. We had similar tastes in music and movies, and debated those topics often. So, after a concert or two (and a flying saucer of M&M’s) we became fast friends. Alas, my time at WUAB/WOIO was not to be very long, but I got a good pal out of the deal… so it wasn’t for nothing.
After leaving WUAB/WOIO, I focused more on freelancing. I’ve done some teleprompting for Billy Graham, A.D. work for New Ride Media Days at Cedar Point, and stage managing for ESPN. And I’ve remained good friends with Todd. So when he asked if I’d like to add radio to my television production résumé… of course I said yes!!
So, that pretty much covers my long, arduous journey to Running Late. I guess I fulfilled my childhood dream of working with animals after all.