Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

May 10, 2021

Inspiring Woman Interview: Meet Carla Marie of The Carla Marie and Anthony Show

 I am so excited about this month's Inspiring Woman interview guest- I've followed and looked up to her since I became a morning show host in 2018, and she became an even bigger inspiration to me in 2020 when I saw how well she and her co-host Anthony pivoted their content and kept hustling after losing their radio jobs. 

     After they lost their morning show jobs last summer, Carla Marie and Anthony embarked on a cross-country road trip! They held socially distanced outdoor meet-ups for fans of their podcast in many cities across the country. When I found out they were going to be in Richmond one weekend, I knew I had to be there. I went down for the meet-up, and it was a blast!! In addition to meeting Carla Marie and Anthony, I met a new friend! Cara lives just an hour away from me in Harrisonburg, works in radio, and also has a blog! We had so much in common! We stayed in touch after that day and have since done a few fun winery days together. So I thank Carla Marie and Anthony for also introducing me to an awesome new friend! 

    If you're new to my Inspiring Woman interviews, this is a new blog post series that I started at the beginning of 2021. Every two months I'll be sharing an interview on the blog with a woman who inspires me and that I think you should know about! I'll be alternating between women in radio and bloggers/content creators, although in the future I might share women in other industries as well.

    Anyways, without further ado - time to meet the amazing Carla Marie!

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Michelle Photography 

1. Introduce yourself! (What you do now, your former radio job, where you live, any side hustles): 
     Hi hi hi! I’m Carla Marie and I live in Seattle, WA! I hosted The Carla Marie and Anthony Show for iHeartRadio in Seattle for five years but now the show is streamed exclusively on Twitch with some extra content on YouTube! I hosted the Side Hustlers podcast for three years, where I highlighted small business owners who followed a passion outside of their day job. I also host the MyDayFriday podcast with Anthony and we’ve done the podcast together for seven years! I also hosted the Finding Home podcast where I worked with a regional real estate company, Windermere, to help answer any and all questions about the home buying process and make it less scary! 

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Michelle Photography

2. When did your interest in radio begin? How did you find out about the opportunity to intern on the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show?
      My interest in radio began as a kid. I listened to the Phone Taps on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show (or Z Morning Zoo as it was called then) on my way to school! I told my mom I wanted to be on the radio because it seemed fun and “all they did was talk." (HA!) I went to Rutgers University in NJ where I studied Journalism and Media Studies while working at the Rutgers radio station as News Director and host of our weekly night show, “Knight Beat”. During my junior year I was in class and thought “I should probably get an internship” and googled “Z100 internships”. I applied to Elvis Duran and the Morning Show in the middle of class and got a call a few weeks later about an interview. I interviewed with David Brody (the executive producer) and we talked for TWO HOURS. I got the internship and never left (until I got my own show). 

3. Did you ever consider working in TV or other parts of broadcast journalism or digital media? 
     YESSSS! I considered ALL of it. I loved ALL types of media. I was obsessed with MTV VJs and TRL. On my 16th birthday I was in the audience of TRL and did a shoutout LIVE! One of the producers handed me tickets to come back to the show and I was hooked. I had always known I wanted to work in media but that moment solidified everything for me. I also had an obsession with magazines and wrote for my high school newspaper so I definitely considered written media. I even did my high school’s morning announcements because I wanted to learn any and all skills. When I got to Rutgers I was considering applying for the campus radio and TV station. I realized the TV station was on a different campus but the radio station was across the street from my dorm so I decided to apply to the radio station…my laziness is what sent me down the radio path! 

Photo Courtesy of Carla Marie - interview Fall Out Boy on the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show in 2013

4. What are a few things that the average listener wouldn't know about the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show behind-the-scenes? 
      I don’t think people understand the amount of work that goes on during and after the show. I was practically glued to the phone for four hours because we had 19 phone lines that could ring at once and I answered every single call with the help of one intern. While Elvis’ show is structured in that certain things happen at certain times (Phone Taps, commercial breaks, etc) there really is NO structure to what else is happening and the spontaneity is what makes the show. There would be times I’d be on the phone talking to a listener and Elvis would start a topic that involved me and I was have to hurdle furniture to get into the studio quickly. I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

5. You and your co-host Anthony have a podcast, MyDay Friday, that is about to turn seven years old! How did the podcast start, and how have the two of you kept content fresh to be doing it weekly for all these years? 
     I really can’t believe it’s been SEVEN years. If you listen to the podcast from the beginning you can hear two people grow up, it’s pretty wild. In 2014, Anthony and I were driving to an event for Z100 and we were listening to on demand versions of radio shows from all over the country and said “wait, we could totally do this”. We were so used to hearing a show like Elvis Duran and the Morning Show with so many people that when we heard a two-person morning show we were confused (even though it’s the norm). 
     We decided to start a podcast to learn how to do a show with two people and refine our skills. At Elvis’ show we were small fish in a big pond so we didn’t get much airtime and wanted to use the podcast to gain more on air skills. We treated MyDayFriday like an actual morning show, we had a launch date, planning meetings, segments, a website, t-shirts, everything! It worked, because MyDayFriday is what ultimately landed us our own morning show in Seattle. When we launched the podcast there were no other morning shows or radio hosts doing “spin off” podcasts. I don’t want to take allllll the credit for the surge in radio podcasts but let’s just say once we landed our morning show A LOT of people started podcasts. 
      As for keeping it fresh, it got really hard when we first moved to Seattle. We were getting so burnt out doing our morning show every day, weekend voice track shifts, and the podcast. It took some adjusting but eventually we fell into a new groove. MyDayFriday became the place we were the most comfortable because the people who listened are the people who knew us the best and we didn’t have to worry about only have two minutes and thirty seconds to talk to them before hitting the next song. It was a great outlet for us to have at the end of every week. 

6. Tell us about how you and Anthony got to come to Seattle! What was your new radio job like? How was it different from working for the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show? 
      We had been doing MyDayFriday for almost two years when Elvis told us executives in the company were listening to the podcast and thought we had great chemistry. We were FREAKING out. In December 2015, we were approached about the opportunity to host our own show in Seattle. Two weeks after the initial call we were flying to Seattle for a meeting - neither of us told our families because we really didn’t think it would happen. Two weeks after our meeting we were on the air as the new morning show for POWER 93.3. Luckily we didn’t have to move that quickly. After launching the show in Seattle we flew back to the east coast for two more weeks and voice tracked our show from z100 after doing our jobs at Elvis. It was the craziest two weeks of our lives. There were going away parties, packing, working two jobs, leaving our families, friends, and our Elvis Duran Show family - it was the most emotional time in my life! 
      There was actually nothing similar between our jobs at Elvis Duran and the Morning Show and hosting our own morning show other than the fact that it was still a radio job. We knew we were going to have some culture shock going from the number one radio market in the world to number 12 but we had no idea it would be that different. Obviously our jobs changed but we were doing everything; hosting a show, producing, social media, shooting and editing videos, we were doing it all on our own and sometimes without a producer. We experienced burnout very quickly and basically just stayed burnt out for five years. It felt like anytime we got ahead or got good ratings we would have the carpet ripped out from underneath us and our show or station would have some big change. This was so so different than our life at Elvis Duran Show in NYC. 

Photo Courtesy of Lost Found Design

7. Seattle is far away from your home state of New Jersey! How did you make your new city and state feel like home? 
     I jumped right in to exploring my new city. Anthony and I lived in hotels for the first two weeks as we constantly explored neighborhoods to find the ones we would call home. We did our own bar crawl the first weekend in Seattle and had a drink in every neighborhood we were considering. Our station broadcasted live from Mariners games so we were immersed in the Seattle sports world. We would have lunch in random towns to learn more about the people listening to our show, volunteered with different organizations, explored Washington’s hiking trails and national parks. I made friends along the way and now I have so many supportive women in my life. Starting my Side Hustlers podcast was also very helpful because I became a part of the small business community in Washington and met so many inspirational people. In 2019, I purchased my first home in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. One thing I have learned in this process is that you can have more than one home. 

8. You and Anthony lost your radio jobs in 2020, but you both have done an amazing job pivoting your show and content onto the streaming platform Twitch. How did you guys get the idea to launch the Twitch stream? What's been the best thing about doing your show there?
      I credit Anthony for this one! We actually began streaming our radio show on Twitch in 2018! Anthony had been reading about Twitch in the gamer world and he knew it could be something we could use to connect to our audience. Anthony had been a producer on Most Requested Live with Romeo and they would stream video their show so this is something he always wanted for our show. When quarantine hit in 2020 we became super consistent with our streams. We were broadcasting our show from four different locations connecting via Zoom so we sent that same feed to Twitch and we streamed the entire show. It was so much fun and helped us stay connected to our audience when people weren’t in their cars anymore. 
      We got let go from our radio jobs on a Friday in July and that weekend we decided we would be on Twitch Monday morning to talk to everyone. The support we got that day and continue to get has been one the greatest feelings in the world. The people who listen and watch our show have NO idea how much they helped us mentally during that time and still today. The best part of about doing our show on Twitch and not the radio is that it really is OUR show. No one is telling us what to do, who to be, and we don’t have to sit in meeting after meeting. We make all of the decisions; what brands we want to work with, what guests we want to have on, how long we want to stream for, the topics we talk about, etc. We also get to see direct feedback and growth for everything we do. And of course the community aspect, we’re all in their chatting like it’s an AOL chat room in 2000 and it feels awesome. 

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Michelle Photography

9. Sadly a lot of people lost their jobs in 2020 or are still job searching now in 2021, and the year was especially rough for the radio industry. What encouragement would you offer to anyone also going through this? 
     There are plenty of things we love about radio that can be found in other industries. I’m not telling everyone to give up their radio dream but there are other options. The average person works a full time job for 40+ years, no one says you have to do the same thing and have the same career that entire time in order to be fulfilled. I’d actually argue the opposite. I suggest following @TheRadioFam on all platforms. They are always sharing amazing resources for people in radio who are looking to grow their radio skills, network, OR branch out into other careers. Radio is going through a renovation right now and I’m not so sure what the finished product will look like. Protect yourself and make sure YOU are happy with what you are doing. Don’t burn yourself out fighting for something that may not love you back. 
     (Side note from Annaliese: I interviewed Marie from The Radio Fam who Carla Marie mentions for January's Inspiring Woman interview- read that here!)

10. You have a big heart for small businesses, and have used your platform and shows to bring awareness to so many of them! How did your passion for this begin, and can you shout-out three of your favorite small businesses for us? 
     Three?! REALLY?! There are SO many. BUT….. 
     1.) Little Words Project! I have loved this brand YEARS and have enjoyed watching the founder, Adriana, grow from working in her parents’ basement to partnering with NIKE and Nordstrom. Their bracelets are created with words of encouragement and the goal is for you to where the bracelet until you no longer need the inspirational word in your life…and then pass it on to someone who does! Each bracelet has a set of unique numbers on a charm so you can register and track your bracelet and see it’s path!  
     2.) Art of Sucre cotton candy! I had originally talked to Emily, the founder, for my Side Hustlers podcast and at the time she was creating cotton candy for events in the Cleveland area. She had a goal of creating cotton candy that could be shipped all over. Anthony and I did a live episode of MyDayFriday in Cleveland and Emily spun cotton candy at the event…EVERYONE loved it! During quarantine Emily set out to achieve her goal of packaging and shipping cotton candy and then SHE WENT VIRAL ON TIK TOK!!! Now Emily ships nationwide and has the CUTEST packaging ever! She even makes cotton candy glitter bombs to drop into champagne!!  
     3.) Alair Gift Shop! While Alair is based in West Seattle you can shop from anywhere and it literally has EVERYTHING. I haven’t spent less than an hour in that store anytime I’ve visited. It’s like living in my small business dream. Shandon, the owner, sells products and creations from other small business owners all over the country. You can find the BEST cards, tees, baby gifts, birthday gifts, notebooks, recipe books, candles, pet gear, and MORE. During quarantine Shandon did curbside pickup, virtual FaceTime shopping with customers, and even delivery. Alair recently won West Seattle Business of the year because it’s that good.  

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Michelle Photography

11. What's it like to be roommates with your co-host?
     This is actually the second time in my life Anthony and I have been roommates! When we lived in New Jersey I lived with him and a bunch of members of the Elvis Duran Show for a few months! It’s convenient for this phase of our business where they are so many things we working on and creating. It also obviously makes for great topics! But we make sure we are exploring and living separate lives too because we want to bring the best content to the show! Also, most of our listeners know this but Anthony is SO clean…he’s cleaner than me! He cleans the kitchen, organizes, it’s like having a live-in maid! 

12. Leave your contact info and social accounts here so people can connect with you! 
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook - @thecarlamarie on everything 

     Thank you so much Carla Marie for being this month's Inspiring Woman guest! I am such a big fan of you and Anthony and continue to be inspired by you both. 

      God Bless,

       xoxo Annaliese 

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