August 31, 2010
I was waiting for Megan Edwards in front of the Pogue Fado in downtown Halifax on the hottest day of the year. How hot, you ask? Well, to paraphrase Katy Perry, I thought my popsicle would melt.
I thought Megan would be walking there, but instead, she popped out of a cab and said hello. We retired into the Pogue for dinner and drinks and conversation about being on the radio, being an actor, and the perils of mannequin modelling. But, enough about me. You want to hear about what Megan’s done.
Note that, 3 days after this interview was conducted, Z1035 changed format a bit, and is now known as "Z103, All the Hitz".
1. How did you get your start in radio?
Megan Edwards: I wasn't actually thinking I was going to go into radio. I took Radio and Television Arts at the NSCC, when it was in Kentville.
Bevboy: With Dave Bannerman?
ME: Dave Bannerman. Yvonne Colbert. Steve Melanson. I balanced it for a second. Do I want to take radio, or broadcast journalism? I decided to take Broadcast Journalism with Yvonne. I had a year in radio, which was my first year, because there's two years in the course. I planned on doing TV after I left school.
In the Summer of 2006, when Z103 first came out, I was driving to the beach with my friends. We heard it, and my friends said, “This is a cool radio station. This is awesome.” I was thinking, “I want to be on this station. This is my kind of music. I love this kind of music. I want to be on it.” I was in the course anyway.
Fast forward a bit to February, 2007. Nikki [Balch] emailed me and said, “We're looking for a part-time person for weekends. You should apply.” I was thinking, “OK. I'll apply. I really want to do this.” But, I was worried because I hadn't taken the second year in radio. I had taken it in Broadcast Journalism. I was worried I didn't know certain things.
So, I emailed Dan Barton my resume, my demo and all that. I was straight up honest. I didn't want him to think I knew a bunch of stuff that I didn't, so I just said, “Listen. I took one year of radio. I know a little bit, but I'm just letting you know that I haven't done it in almost a year. Just an FYI.”
ME: Yes. So, I did weekends for a while. Then, I was given the mid day show.
BB: Whom did you replace?
ME: Her name was JJ. I think she went to Toronto. I don't really know a lot about her.
I replaced her. I went into mid days. I was doing mid days and weekends for a while.
BB: A seven day work week for you?
ME: Well, it was seven days one week, and six days another. Basically, 13 days on and 1 day off.
BB: Good grief!
ME: Yes. You need a day off. After a while, you have nothing. You can't think of anything to talk about because, if you work all the time, how are you supposed to experience life?
BB: And how do you do show prep if you're working all the time?
ME: Exactly. I mean, there's ways. You read up on the news. But, a good way to connect with people is to know what's going on in day-to-day life. So, it was difficult, but I worked hard, and I'm glad I did because I got a good work ethic from it. Now I appreciate the weekends very much.
ME: Yes. And that's completely different. Summer Rush was a full day on Saturday. I've done 4 Summer Rushes. And, then, sometimes you do a remote. You go to a spa or a used car place or something like that. Sometimes you do live to airs, which could be on a Saturday night, or could be a Thursday night.
BB: Is that a voice tracking?
ME: No. I think I'm going to be doing the Club Soda live to air. You're live at the club. You're with the people. You're partying with them. It's a lot of fun.
BB: I haven't been to Club Soda yet. How is it?
ME: It was fun. I went on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago. It was super fun. I think they're doing the live to airs, though, on Tuesdays. I'm actually really excited.
BB: Well, this station did the Pogue Fado live to airs for a while.
ME: Yes. Jeff Cogswell did it.
BB: OK. You didn't know this JJ person, so it's not really fair to ask how you think your show is different from hers.
ME: I didn't know her, and I never really listened to her either. I don't know. I can't tell you.
2. Tell me about some on air mistakes you've made.
ME: It happened a few years ago. I pretty much wanted to die after it happened. The song is called “Electronic Funk”. You can imagine the word I said instead of “funk”. As soon as I said it, Shane [Wilson] was right next to me getting ready for his noon news. The look on his face. As soon as I turned off the mic, I was, “Oh, my God! Who heard that?” The look on his face didn't help the way I was feeling.
But, then, the phone started flashing. It was the hotline. I answered it, and it was Nikki [Balch]. She said, “Don't worry about it! I heard it. It's ok. I've done it before. You're going to be ok. It's no big deal. It's a mistake.” It's not like I purposely said the F word on air. I would never do that.
I can laugh about it now. I was not laughing at the time. I couldn't even talk about it for a couple of months, either.
BB: What did [then PD] Dan Barton say to you?
ME: I don't know. I didn't ask him. I don't think he noticed, and I didn't want to tell him about it. I think, now, I'd probably send a quick email and say, “Listen, this is what I said. Just an fyi.” I was just so scared, and it was very early into my radio career. I was just too scared to tell anybody.
BB: Were you still on probation?
ME: I never really had probation, because I worked weekends for such a long time, and then I was doing the mid day show as well. I don't think he would have cared. I think he would have known it was a mistake. Like you said, I'm human. But, I was just so scared.
BB: Any complaints from listeners?
ME: No. Nobody complained. I was saying a song name. I think, if people heard it, they would have said, “Oh! Ha ha”. I don't think they would have said, “I'm offended by that.” They would have know it was a legit mistake. It was a mistake!
BB: Everyone makes mistakes.
ME: I'm not going to say who said this because they'll kill me, but they said, “the temperature dips to 16 tonight”, but she said, “dicks to 16 tonight”. She hates me now, because every time she comes in, I go on the logger and find it. I wrote it in my calendar and everything. I play it over and over again, because I think it's so funny. It's hilarious, the way she said it, because she tried to correct herself very, very quickly, instead of just letting it flow. I thought it was the funniest thing ever. I still think it's funny. Tomorrow, I'm going to go listen to it, just to get a laugh.
BB: You should read the Chris Mills interview sometime, because a few years ago, he mentioned there would be “potchy fag” when he did the weather. They still won't let him forget it.
ME: [chuckles] Exactly. You've got to have a good sense of humour about it because if people hear you and it's an honest mistake, they're just going to make fun of you. It is funny, after a while. You don't mean to do it. The girl I've been making fun of for saying “dicks” on air does have a good sense of humour, thankfully. We can laugh about it now, although I'm sure she hates it, every time I play it, because I do over and over again. It's funny!
3. What is the best piece of professional advice you've ever received? Who provided it?
ME: The people who provided it were my dad and Oprah. Because, me and Oprah are tight like that. My dad told me just to love my job. I don't know if was Oprah, or somebody on Oprah. They said, “If you love your job, you'll never work a day in your life.” I was never really a kid who grew up thinking, “I want to get married, and I want to have kids. I'll just work because I have to. I'll work because I need to make money for my kids.” I never thought that. I always thought, “When I grow up, I'm going to work in entertainment.” I knew what I wanted to do. I never thought I would work just to make money. I knew I was going to work because that was going to be my life. My job was going to be my life.
I never thought any other way. I knew that I had to do a job that I was going to love. I knew it had to be in entertainment. I knew I was not going to be able to do a 9-5 office job. There's no way. I'm not that kind of person; I can't do that.
So, all of those people, like my dad and Oprah (or whoever it was on Oprah). Actually, when it was said on Oprah, I was at the gym on the ellyptical. As soon as they said, “If you love your job, you'll never work a day in your life”, I took my iPhone and was putting it in my iPhone. Because, it was a perfect quote. It really is.
4. What sparked your interest in radio?
ME: I always planned on doing TV, but when I started doing the radio and television arts course, I was, “I like this. I really like it.” I loved Z103.5 especially. I loved the music. I wanted to work in that environment. I wanted to work with music. I worked in retail when I was younger. Music would always be on, and I just thought how awesome it would be to work with the music.
BB: What station did you listen to when you were growing up? Probably C100.
ME: C100. All the time. Jeff Cogswell? I was so excited to meet Jeff Cogswell when I started at Z103. And Nicolle Bellefontaine. Kelly, Peter, and Moya. I used to listen to them every morning. Moya's little entertainment thing in the morning. My alarm would go off, and I would lay there and listen to it. Then, I would get up and get ready for school.
But, I thought it would be so cool to work in radio, to work amongst the music, not just listening to the music and working. I don't want to sound cliche or anything, but it's magical. People listening don't know what the person looks like. They don't know what buttons they're pressing. They don't know what the room looks like that they're in. They have to make it up. They have to create it in their mind, and that's what we do. We try to help them create that vision. That's very cool. I love that idea. Radio is magical, and its almost like when someone comes in and sees the studio and sees what I do, I almost don't really like it because it's not [as] cool to them any more as it was before.
BB: It's like learning how magic tricks are done.
ME: Yes. At first, I think it's awesome because when I first went into Z103.5, and I was shadowing K8, I thought, “Wow! That's what it sounds like when people call in.” I thought, “This is crazy.” And, then, you get used to it. Which is fine, because it's my job, but I don't want people to get used to it. I want them to still think it's cool.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
ME: I want to be in TV. I want to be either on an entertainment or travel show, preferably travel. I want to travel all over the world. I'm actually creating a TV show right now with two people. It's called “The Moment”. It's for EastLink TV. Right now, it's travelling within Nova Scotia, and PEI. In season two, we'll expand it so that it will go to New Brunswick, maybe even Newfoundland as well, depending on funding and that sort of thing. I would love it to be a syndicated show, and to maybe go to OLN or the Women's Television Network or whatever. I'd love to go to everywhere in the world.
All I want to do is travel. If I can travel and do TV at the same time, that is my dream.
BB: How about your cat?
ME: Oliver, Ollie Bear, will go to my dad's house. My dad will take care of my little boy. I have to do my travelling. That is my ultimate goal. I was in England and France in May. Every time I take the camera out, I'm always, like, “I need this to be a show!” This is what I've wanted to do for a very, very long time, since I was born, probably.
Any time my dad turned on the camera, he was trying to get a film of my sister as a little girl, my face would be right in the camera right away. “Megan, move!” I've got so many videos of my dad saying, “Megan, move!”
BB: All right. How about radio? Do you want to stay in radio?
ME: I actually think it would be pretty cool to be able to do both. Oprah does both.
BB: Satellite radio.
ME: Any kind of radio. I didn't think I'd do it, and now that I am doing it, I really, really enjoy it. And, it would be very cool to have a “Travel Around the World with Megan Edwards” syndicated radio show.
I still want to do both. If I do go into TV, and take a break from radio for a while, I do want to go back in, because i really, really love both.
BB: Do you have a preference?
ME: Well, I can't really say I do at the moment because I have never had an official job in TV. I've never had my own job in TV. I like both for different reasons. With the camera thing, you have to make sure you're always looking good. You have to have your hair a certain way. With radio, you don't have to look good.
BB: You can roll out of bed and go to work.
ME: Pretty much. Also, when somebody calls in, you can cut it, edit it, in a certain way. With TV, you can't really do that. It's not as easy because then you're cutting the picture.
BB: You can tell it's edited.
ME: Exactly. It is harder in that way. I just like both. There's different things that I just love about both of them.
BB: What editing software do you use when you edit phone calls?
BB: OK. Never heard of it.
BB: On a Windows computer?
ME: I believe. You're asking me all these technical questions! I don't know the specifics.
6. Say something about the following people.
A. Jeff Cogswell
ME: Can I swear?
BB: Whatever you want to say.
ME: Jeff is fucking hilarious. Every time I walk in there, we banter back and forth. I can say anything in front of him. He thinks it's hilarious. And, I think what he's saying is hilarious. He's naturally funny on air. What he's like on air, is very much what you see in real life.
BB: I've met him a few times. He's a great guy.
ME: He's a nice and caring person, too. He is legit funny. He's a very funny person. I go in there every day, and we make fun of each other until he leaves. We have this thing going on now; he does it with Nikki and Shane, too. If I leave my phone and leave for a second, he will hide it somewhere in the studio. So, I've started taking his keys and phone and sunglasses, everything that he has, and I'll hide it somewhere in the studio. He'll come in and we'll play “hot and cold”, and go find it. [chuckles] It's fun.
I listened to Jeff when I was a little kid. I was really excited to meet him when I started working at Z. He's an awesome guy.
BB: And, he's a big family guy, too.
ME: When we had our Christmas party, he told me how he proposed to his wife. I got tears in my eyes like an idiot. It was the sweetest thing ever; it was just so nice. You can tell he loves his wife so much, and his kids, too.
ME: No. I don't want to tell you just because it's his thing.
BB: I'll tell you how I proposed to Patricia.
BB: I proposed to her on Rick Howe's Hotline.
ME: Did you really? Wow.
ME: That's hilarious. That's Yvonne, my teacher's husband. That's awesome. I love original stuff like that. If I ever get married, and someone proposes to me, it had better be original and well thought out. No pressure!
B. Nikki Balch
ME: Nicole. I don't call her... well, I do call her Nikki. She's “Nikki” on the air. I met Nikki 5 years ago, when I started at Kingstec, at NSCC in the Valley. I met her back then. Nobody ever called her Nikki back then, ever. It was always Nicole. And, when I first started at Z, I still called her Nicole. But, then, eventually, everyone was calling her Nikki, so I started calling her Nikki.
She was the one who told me about the job at Z. She's the one who sent me the email about that.
BB: Do you find her to be supportive, a bit like an older sister? A very slightly older sister?
ME: Well, I'm older than her, so, no, I don't. I'm just a few days older than her.
ME: [Chuckles] We're the same age.
BB: I feel bad.
ME: That's all right. So, no, she's not like an older sister to me. She's more like a... co-student, a colleague.
BB: You were students together.
C. Shane Wilson
ME: Shane is my colleague, but he's also my friend. Every morning, he always comes up to me and says, “Hey, Megs!” We always have a nice chat. I always tell him what's going on in my life. It's not just work. We talk about a lot of things. He is older than me, so he's given me lots of advice on anything I needed advice about. Shane's not just somebody I work with. He's definitely a friend.
We got really close when he was doing the noon news. After a while, Sarah P started doing the noon news, but he would come in every day; and sometimes I'd be, “Can you come in a little earlier? I have to talk to you about something.” So, he'd come in a little bit earlier, and we'd have that little chat, 3-5 minutes of just chatting. He'd go on and do his news, and then I'd go into my request hour. It was like that every day, so we got really close doing that. He's a great person to talk to. We actually are a lot more alike than people would think because he's a self-proclaimed nerd. I don't think he thought I was like that when he first met me. I think he thought I was a little princess. In fact, that's exactly what he did think, because he told me. [chuckles] Now, he says, “You're still a princess, but you can laugh and joke about certain things.” It's not a negative thing. We have quite a few things in common.
BB: And he worked for the Q, and he probably worked with Jeff in a previous life.
ME: Shane? I don't know. Probably. Maybe. I don't know for sure.
ME: Kate is a phenomenal on air talent. I shadowed her. She trained me to do my job. I think she's so naturally good on air. It just comes to her. She can make anything sound natural. She has awesome ideas. Sometimes I'll think of something, and say, “No. It's a bad idea.” And, then she'll do it and make it sound phenomenal. She's just an amazing on air talent. I think she sounds so good. She has phenomenal ideas, and she's a great person in general. She would do the afternoon drive. After my show, we would always come in and see other other for a little bit and chat. She actually was there for a few hard times I had. It wasn't just a work thing. It was definitely a friend kind of thing. There were some difficult times I had and I could talk to her about it. I trusted her. She's a great person.
BB: Without telling me the nature of these personal issues, how hard is it to go on the air and be effervescent and so on when you're going through some turmoil?
ME: Sometimes it can be hard, but it's two minutes of that hour, four minutes of the hour, really. I have to think, “This is my job. Personal problems go aside. I need to give it all I've got for that two minutes and I can't let this get to me. This is my job.” I can get over this and I have to put it aside for these two minutes. If I don't, then how can you hire someone that's going to be that emotional? You can't do that.
So, I put it aside for two minutes, and after I'm off the air, I can be how I am. But, once you're on the air, you have to do your job.
BB: Is that something you're taught, or something you learn?
ME: Well, in Broadcast Journalism, especially, we're told to keep our emotions in, which I don't really agree with when you're doing a story that is emotional. If it pertains to my work, if you're doing a story that's emotional. Say, someone was doing a story on Hurricane Katrina, and the story means something to them, it's emotional for them, I think you should be able to get a little bit emotional, as long as you can still compose yourself and do your job. But, you shouldn't be taking your personal issues into work. I don't think that even has to be said. I think you should just know that. Your personal issues stay at home. If you're sad, go ahead and talk to somebody; but once you start doing your job, you have to get over it. You have to.
ME: I think there's no problem saying, “K8, I need to talk to you. I need your advice.” That's fine, but it can't be taken on to air. “I'm so sad. Oh, the weather. It's cloudy today.” You can't do that. Sometimes, you can use it as a show topic. Bad things that happen to you can be a great show topic.
Somebody dumped me in a note before. He wrote me a note and dumped me. I used it as a show topic. So, yes, it sucked. But, I made the best out of it. And, I hope he heard it.
ME: Yeah! [chuckles]
E. Mel Sampson
ME: I love Mel Sampson because she left the midday show position, and I got it.
ME: On the weekends. JJ worked on the weekends, so I took over for her.
BB: I misunderstood.
ME: Midday show. Mel Sampson was the last person to have it. I took over after she left. I love Mel for doing that. [chuckles]
BB: Well, she's doing real well in the Valley.
ME: I really like Mel. She's a really nice girl. I was on air with her a couple of times, and I'm hoping actually to go on her show again with my show, “The Moment”, for EastLink TV. We're doing a little thing for Kentville/New Minas. I'd like to go into the [station].
BB: It's a great studio.
ME: I've been in there, with Neil Spence. He used to do the weekends. I went to school with him. I looked around and saw in there. It's nice.
BB: What's Neil Spence doing now?
BB: She's agreed to an interview, too.
ME: Oh, yeah?
BB: I've interviewed almost everybody else at K-Rock.
F. Dave Bannerman
ME: He is so funny. At school, and it was after Christmas break. I came back. I was in the newsroom. He came up, and said, “So, Megan, what did you get for Christmas?” He wanted me to tell him all of these electronics that I got, because he's really into that kind of thing.
I said, “Oh, I got new a new shirt. I got some shoes. Some jewelry. Pants.” I was just talking about the clothes I got. I was so excited to tell him. I was so excited that he wanted to know about this.
And, then, he was, like, “So, you didn't get any electronics or anything like that?”
“Oh, okay.” And he just left. [chuckles] No interest!
BB: He didn't want to hear about the girly things.
ME: No. I very rarely get any kind of electronics for Christmas, or given to me at all. Except a camera; that kind of thing.
He's funny. I thought he was really funny. He was always a nice guy. He wasn't my main teacher, so second year, I didn't really see him that much.
BB: Your main teacher was Yvonne Colbert.
BB: A question about the course. Do you take any courses besides your core stuff?
ME: Well, first year, you take everything. You take TV, radio, Broadcast Journalism. And, then, second year, you major in one. But, even though you're majoring in one, I still took courses in TV. And, you could take little courses in radio, too, that pertain to broadcast journalism.
BB: But, you don't have to take courses in English? It's strictly whatever your focus is?
ME: It's two years. It's not a four year program like in university. There's really no time. It's like, “We need to teach you what you do in the industry. Boom, boom, boom. We want you to be able to do it. We want you to be able to do it the best of your ability. So, here you go: Two years. Gone”. There's not enough time for that. There's barely enough time to do what we already did.
BB: You must have been pretty busy for those two years.
ME: The first year, I was busy. But, the second year, I was really, really busy. And, then, I started working at Z on the weekends.
BB: You would drive up from Kentville.
ME: Oh, I did that anyway, because I didn't want to stay in Kentville. I wanted to come home, but the second year, I had no choice. And, plus, I was in the industry anyway. So, it was good: I was doing my course, and I was working in radio. It was perfect, but when you do your major projects, there was a lot of work I could have done on weekends that I couldn't do anymore because I had to work at Z. It was a lot of work at the end of it. At the end of it, I was pretty much ready to collapse.
BB: No regrets about your career choice?
ME: Oh, absolutely not, no. I think everything happens for a reason, and I came on this path for a reason, and it's only going to benefit me.
7. What was it like, the first time you heard yourself on the radio?
ME: I thought it was amazing, because when I did my weekend show, I never really voiced any commercials or any spots or anything like that. So, I didn't get to hear them. But, once I started filling in for mid day, I started voicing more commercials. I went home one night, and I knew I did something specific. I did the head to head, the challenger and the champion. I turned it up and said, “Mom, this is neat!” It was me, my voice, on Z103.5, the Beat of Halifax (back then). I just thought that was really cool.
BB What is it now? Just Z103.5?
ME: We say “Z1035”. We don't say, “The Beat of Halifax” any more.
BB: How come?
ME: It was too much.
BB: They just wanted to shorten things?
ME: When I first started, I would say, “The New Z103.5, The Beat of Halifax”, if you remember that. Then, they took the “new” out: “Z103.5, The Beat of Halifax”. I think they did, “Z1035, The Beat of Halifax”. Then, they did, “Z1035”.
ME: It's hard to get used to at first. I've been saying this for so long. But, you get used to it pretty fast. You say it every day.
8. What is your favourite thing about Halifax? Or “Hali”?
ME: Hali. I grew up in Dartmouth. I just moved to Halifax. I actually quite like the night life. Halifax has one Hell of a night life. I love it. Everyone's out. Everyone's talking to everybody, especially in the Summer time. You get the rickshaws going up and down. You've got people at Pizza Corner. It's packed. You're never going to walk a street that's empty late at night.
So, I just love the night life. Working at Z1035, it's really cool, too, because they are part of the night life. Reflections on Friday nights, and, soon, Club Soda, and the Lower Deck Beer Market. I'm still young and doing all that kind of stuff.
BB: Well, when I was your age, I used to do the same thing: Go downtown. I had an apartment in Dartmouth off Chrichton Avenue, Dahlia Street. I moved to Green Street, and I lived there for a long time. I used to come home at 3 o'clock in the morning.
ME: Oh, yeah. I don't come home at 3 o'clock in the morning. I usually come home at 5 o'clock in the morning.
BB: Sorry. Different generation.
ME: [chuckles] The sun's rising when I come home. It's just fun. Halifax has an amazing night life. I love it. It's crazy. The view of Halifax is amazing, too. I love being by the water. I guess you can swim in it, technically, but it's just nice to be by the water. I love that.
9. Why did you agree to this interview?
ME: Well, I love interviewing people because I'm nosey as Hell. And, I'd like to know about other people. There's a lot of work that goes into the interviews. You have to research the person. You have to know about the person. You have to prepare your questions. You don't want to ask the same questions. You don't want to ask typical questions. So, I thought it would be cool if for once I don't have to do that. I can just chill here, and I don't have to research anything. I don't have to make anything up. I don't have to stress a little bit about it. I can just relax and have you ask me the questions. Because my answer is my answer. There's no right or wrong answers, so I can just relax and do it. I love doing interviews, but I thought it would be very cool to have someone interview me.
BB: All right. Has it ever happened before, besides a job interview?
ME: People have done school projects and said, “Can we interview you?” We did something for Life at Five one time, me and a girl I went to school with in Kentville. We did a little [piece] about what Kentville was about. Then, we gave it to Live at Five, and Bruce Frisco interviewed us. It wasn't about me, but it was about what I had done. I liked it. There's a little bit of an element of stress about someone asking you questions that maybe you don't know what they're going to say, but when you're the one doing the interview there's a lot of pressure to carry the interview. Sometimes, it's no big deal, but when the person won't talk to you, it's hard.
10. You ask me a question, other than, "Why do you do this?", because everyone asks me that.
BB: No, I've never done a radio show. I've been on the radio a bunch of times. I didn't have the courage. I was really shy growing up. I always liked radio because I thought it was so neat to turn on this thing and there would be someone talking to me. I went to Acadia University, because I'm from the Valley. Our phone number in Port Williams was similar to the phone number to the campus radio station. People used to call us up and request songs. I just thought that radio was a really interesting medium. But, I didn't have the balls... the courage (I'm sorry) to go into it myself. So, I took computer science, something easy, instead.
But, if I were 18 again, I would probably do it; however, there are a lot of realities to radio that maybe aren't that pleasant. As you know, if your ratings aren't good, you may be doing the best job in the world, but you can be out of a job. You have no control over who listens to you. Your station could go through a format change, and all of a sudden, they want to go in a different direction that doesn't include you. There are all kinds of realities about radio that if I were working in it, I probably wouldn't like too much. It's easy for me from this perspective to listen to it and romanticize it.
ME: Yeah. Not to say I don't like my job because I do; but sometimes it's nice to think of what something would be like rather than do it, because sometimes you get disappointed in what happens. But, you're never too old to do anything.
BB: Well, there's always Wayne Harrett. He's hinted at me doing some stuff for him.
ME: Why not?
BB: I don't know. I have a full-time job. But, maybe.
ME: You never know. It's something you've always wanted to do. I would just do it. No matter how scared you are. When I was younger, I was brave with some things, but I was really shy with other things. I just had such an ambition and such a drive and such a want to do this that I was, like, “I don't care how shy I am. I don't care how scared I am. I'm just going to do it, because i want to so bad”, even though I was scared. And, things still are scary. But, you've just got to do it.
BB: Do you ever get nervous when you crack the mic in the morning?
ME: There are occasions when I think, “Oh, my God. This is really what I'm doing!?” Sometimes you think about it too much and you freak yourself out. That's why I try not to think about it too much, because then I do freak myself out. It doesn't happen that often, knock on wood, because tomorrow morning it will happen, as soon as I [think about it too much]. So, no, not really anymore.
BB: So, anyway, that's why I didn't go into radio: I didn't have the courage. But, it's a job like anything else, and you can learn how to do it.
ME: Yes. Never too late!
11. What songs on your iPod would surprise me if you lost your iPod and I found it?
ME: I have a lot of Latin music on my iPod. I'm a huge, huge fan of it.
BB: Enrique Inglesias, or older stuff?
ME: Well, I guess it's a little bit older, but one of my favourite groups is called Kumbia All Starz. I love them. Actually, the main guy in the group (his name is A.B. Quintanilla) , is the brother of Selena. Have you heard of Selena?
BB: The Tejano singer who got killed?
ME: Yes. That's her brother. This is his group, Kumbia All Starz. They have a new song out. It's called "Hipnotika". It's good, but I love the song that came out a couple of years ago. “Rica Y Apretadita”. It's the best song ever. I'm in love with it. I've listened to it for a couple of years. Branching out from his group, the girl that sang with them on that song (her name is Melissa Jimenez), came out with a new song called “Get It On”. It's not in Spanish; it's an English song. But, I listen to it whenever I'm on the elliptical. It's a really good, pump up kind of song. I really enjoy it.
And, there's another guy in this group called Ricky Rick. He sings this song with another guy named D.J. Flex. It's called Besos de Amor”. So, that's another song. I love Latin music. I just love dancing to it. It just makes you want to get up on your feet. I'm a huge fan.
BB: All right. No Kenny and Dolly like Nikki?
ME: I don't, but I do have Country on my iPod, too. A lot of old school Shania Twain. “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”. “If You're Not In It For Love”. Amazing.
Rascal Flatts. Some Kenny Chesney. Keith Urban. Carrie Underwood, of course.
BB: Of course.
ME: Of course. No Taylor Swift. I'm not a huge fan. Don't say that.
BB: You play her, don't you?
ME: We do, but I think I've heard it so much. And Queen.
BB: What songs?
ME: “Don't Stop Me Now”. I love that song. “These Are The Days of our Lives”. Such a good song; makes me want to cry. “Radio Ga Ga”. That's how Lady Gaga got her name.
BB: I had heard that. It's not that good a song, so why would she name herself after that?
ME: [Sings Radio Ga Ga. Bev revises his opinion of the song] It's a big, famous song. I grew up listening to Queen because my dad would play it endlessly.
BB: “We Will Rock You”. Blah blah blah.
ME: Yes, “We Will Rock You”. Everybody likes that. For people who don't know Queen, that's what they say. “I like 'We Will Rock You'/'We Are The Champions'”.
Oh, The Spice Girls, too. I have them on my iPod.
BB: My niece loved The Spice Girls when she was 8, 9, 10 years old.
ME: I was their fan. I had a little group, and we'd all perform their songs at the talent show. If I had my hair short, I was Victoria. If I had my hair long, I'd put it in a pony tail, and I was Mel C. It depended on what I had at the time, but I loved them. Two years ago, we went to see them in Toronto, me and my friends. We'd loved them since we were 10. To see them in concert live, all those years later, was amazing.
ME: Well, I couldn't really see them. We were all the way back, as far back as you could go. Obviously, they're older, but they're all beautiful. They have the money, so they can take care of themselves. But, they are all very good looking women. They're amazing. They were always my idols growing up.
12. Tell me about how you became involved in acting and modelling.
ME: When I was 10, my mom did home parties. I forget exactly what she was selling at the time. I think it was clothing. She did a home party with Weekender, and one of the women there took modelling. She showed my mom how a model walks. My mom showed me how to do it. She said, “That's really good! We should sign you up for modelling.”
So, I talked to one of my friends at school. She said, “I'm doing the same thing.” I said, “Why not?” I always wanted to be on stage when I was little. I told my parents I really wanted to do it, so they signed me up for modelling classes.
BB: What company?
ME: City Models. It was on Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth at the time. It was owned by Carol Iannuzzi at the time, and she was awesome. An awesome business owner and instructor. A lot of people look down on modelling and modelling classes, saying they just want you to be skinny. These modelling classes were amazing. They teach you etiquette. They taught us how to sit ... not like a lady. I hate saying that, but just properly.
BB: Are you sitting that way now?
ME: Yes. I am now. [Megan adjusts the way she is sitting and laughs. Bev is too much of a gentleman to look.] I know the right way. I may not do it all the time, but I know it.
How to walk down the stairs. How to put your make up on. How to put your nail polish on. We did photo shoots. We did mannequin modelling, which is you basically wear the clothes, but you stand really still. They did acting. It was so many things. I gained so much confidence from it, not to mention the fact that I went in and as a 13, 14, 15 year old, I knew how to do my make up. My friends were all experimenting, and didn't know what they were doing. But, I knew how to do that. Most women don't actually have that knowledge because they were never taught. It gave me an immense amount of confidence.
When I was 11, I had my first fashion show. My first fashion show was at Bedford Place Mall. It was the best feeling I've ever had, just walking on that stage, modelling these clothes up and down. I just thought it was amazing. I really don't think I would be where I am now if I didn't do modelling. I don't think I would have. I had an awesome time.
At the end of it, they were realistic, and they said, “In the modelling world, if you wanted to go to Toronto, if you wanted to go to New York, if you wanted to go to Paris”, I'm not tall enough. They were very honest. If I wanted to do a major market modelling, I was not going to be able to do that. Obviously, I was upset about it at the time, but I appreciate anyone who's honest.
BB: What kind of modelling have you done professionally around here?
ME: Especially when I was younger, we used to have the East Coast Top Model Search, which I competed in 3 or 4 times. One year, I was Top 20. That's when I was 13 years old, and they thought I was going to grow still. I think I was about 5'3” then. They were, like, “Is your mom tall?”
“No, my mom's not tall. My dad's very tall.”
“Well, you could be 5'10””. So, they were very interested in me at that time.
I did a lot of the Fall and Spring fashion shows, just in the malls. That was a big thing. It's really not a big thing any more. I did the mannequin modelling, which is crazy. When you see your friends, especially when you're 14, they just want to make you laugh.
BB: Never mind how I know this, but there's a place that sells lingerie off Spring Garden Road. They have girls sitting there in the windows. Is that the same sort of thing you're talking about?
ME: Yes. It's not fun. I'm glad I did it. It was great experience, but it's not fun because I'm a very fidgety person. I move a lot. Even when I'm sleeping, I'm always moving around. To have to stand like that... I need to scratch my arm. It's very hard.
BB: How do those young women do that? And how did you do it?
ME: Suffer, for a good 10 minutes, in one position. Then, you can move after that. They let you move when you want, but you suffer. I hate standing still. So, it sucked. But, it was cool to do it. Because, when you know you can't move, that's when you start thinking, “I can't move!” It plays on your mind. So, you just have to really concentrate.
So, I did a lot of that.
BB:But, have you been hired by any local companies to model for them? Some of the local women's clothing stores, for example?
ME: Well, back then. Not recently.
BB: Have you ever been paid for modelling?
ME: Yes. When I did mannequin modelling, and when I did the fashion shows for Fall and Spring, I was paid for both of those. I was always paid to do that. I haven't done much paid modelling in the last little while at all.
From then, I got an acting agent. Her name is Ciel Crosby. She owns Sky Talent Group. My mom met her somewhere. I took a course with her. She got me so many acting jobs that I never would have had without her.
BB: Now, we're getting into the acting side.
ME: Yes. This is how I started acting. That was probably in junior high. I did a little bit when I was with City Models, but it really started to take off when I went with Ciel. My first part was for the Elizabeth Smart Story that was shot here in Halifax. Very small part; it got cut out. We watched it, and I wasn't in it.
BB: But you were paid, right?
ME: I got paid to do it. I can write it on my resume that I did it. I was in Streetcents. I had a little part in that. It was called “Ten Ways Not To Break Up With Your Boyfriend”. It was hilarious.
BB: Tell me a couple.
ME: For one of them, we went to Dal. Bascically, he was the dumpee. I was dumping him. I went up on the stairs at Dal. He was right down on the ground. I took a megaphone and said, “Hey! Hey, you! You're a bad kisser!” I blasted him in front of everybody. That was one way not to break up with somebody.
Another one was, he used the typical, “It's not you. It's me”. And he dumped me. Then, there was another one where he was a gross eater. He bought a falafel or something like that from somewhere. He was going to town on it. So, I dumped him because of that.
That was so much fun. It was just me, him, the producer and the camera guy for two days. They wanted me to go back and do another one. It was something about drinking, but I was 18 at the time, so I couldn't. I had to be 19.
BB: Have you had formal acting lessons?
BB: Who taught you?
ME: Ciel Crosby. I took some while I was at City Models. Hank White, I think his name was. There was another woman. She was amazing, but I can't remember her name.
I've been in a few TV movies that came here that were shot for the U.S. One was a Jesse Stone one. I had a little part in that, but I don't know if it got cut out or not. I tried to look for it, but I didn't find it.
BB: Do you know which one?
ME: It was the one that was shot here in 2008. I don't remember what it's called.
BB: Is that the one where Jesse Stone gets fired at the end?
ME: I don't know.
BB: Oh, you should watch those movies. I love them.
ME: And, one of the most recent ones with someone who's becoming a huge star right now: Jay Baruchel I had a little part in a movie that he was in called “Just Buried”.
BB: It played at the [Atlantic Film] Festival last year.
ME: Yes. I had a little part in that with him, and I got to talk to him, which is really cool. I was in the States. I was in this tiny, remote place in Pennsylvania, almost at the New York border. Maybe it was in New York. They're so close together. I went to this hotel. I turn on the TV. And, one of the TV movies I was in, "Mother at Sixteen", was ending, and my name was up on the credits. That is cool.
BB: You get paid a fee for your acting. At what point would a person get residuals? Do you know how that works?
ME: I think, if you had a bigger part. In commercials, sometimes the deal is that you get paid a flat fee, and every time the commercial shows, you get paid. It's all about your contract. It's all about money the production company has, I guess.
BB: But, you got paid for being in the Elizabeth Smart movie, and that's it.
ME: That's it. And, it's the same for all the things I've done because they're very small parts. I don't think they'd want to pay me every single time. Then, they'd have to do that for all the actors, and there were a lot of actors. When I have a bigger part, maybe I'll get [more]
BB: And your own trailer?
ME: I had my own trailer for all of those. It was about this big [not much bigger than the booth we were sitting at], but I still had my own. It says your name on it. On the Elizabeth Smart one, they called me something like “Rude Girl” or “Snobby Girl” or “Girl in Cafe”.
BB: So, if they had fired you, they wouldn't have had to change what's on the door.
ME: Yes. “Girl in Cafe”. It was a just a piece of paper on [the door]. So, when the credits came up, it would just say, “Girl in Cafe – Megan Edwards”. I'll let you know what that was, because I've got to take a look at the picture again.
BB: I think I have the movie on tape somewhere. I'll have to dig it out.
ME: So, I had my own trailer. There was enough room for a couch, a little table, and a TV up in the corner. And a tiny, little desk.
BB: Tell me about craft services. How good is the food at craft services?
ME: Oh, it's so good. I'm an ACTRA member, so you usually are treated a little bit better than people who aren't ACTRA members. Most people, even the extras go in to craft services, but they always have good food. Always. And, I'm not talking just crap, but I'm talking meals. Meat, and vegetables and potatoes and pasta. Real food. The only thing I don't like about it is they feed you at weird times because their time schedule is different. I was an extra on the Trailer Park Boys once. I got there at 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon. They were serving breakfast. Which is good, because I don't mind having breakfast for dinner. It was cereal and fruit and pancakes and bacon and sausage. It was weird, you know?
I was there until late in the evening, or early in the morning. I think it was 11 or 12, and we went and had dinner. That messed me up. But, it was delicious. It just messed me up.
BB: They say The Trailer Park Boys was filmed on a really tight budget. What does a “tight budget” mean? They had enough money for good craft services. They had money for this, and they had money for that. They were renting out trailer parks. When they weren't welcome in trailer parks, they sort of built their own.
ME: I don't know. You have to feed your actors. You have to feed your crew. They don't spare an expense. They pay for that. I'm sure they straight up have less to spend on certain things. I have no idea what, whereas a bigger production company can just throw the money out everywhere.
The one thing about The Trailer Park Boys, the lot they were on, because we were sent back to base camp when we weren't shooting. We would just chill in a trailer, one trailer that was there. The rest of the trailer park? No lights at all. We had to use a flashlight to go to the outhouse. There was no bathroom. Maybe that was an expense that they spared [chuckles]. And, there was one eating hall that had lights. But everywhere else, it was pitch black. It was very scary, actually, because it was up where that old hospital was. When you're going towards Rainbow Haven Beach, that's where they did The Trailer Park Boys. It was near an old... I don't know if it was an old psychiatric hospital. But, it was freaky. I don't know what it's called. Everyone talks about it, though.
It was a very good experience. All of [the acting jobs] were great experiences.
ME: The last time I did any acting was [in] 2008. I had a part in the Jesse Stone movie. I haven't done much since then because a lot of the auditions are during the day. I'm working during the day at Z. I can't necessarily take days off to do these acting parts. Some of them aren't one day or two days, or three days. It's a bit harder now that I'm full-time, whereas in 2008 I wasn't full time. That's the last time I did any acting.
BB: Do you miss it?
ME: Uh, no, because I had a great time doing it. I'd love to do more, but I'm just having so much fun doing new things like doing my own show, and doing the radio show, that it's just new things that I get to do.
13. Wrap Up
BB: Megan Edwards, thank you very much for the last couple hours of your life.
ME: You're welcome.
BB: It's been a pleasure meeting you.
ME: You as well.
BB: I wish I could listen to your station more, because they frown on us streaming audio at work.
ME: You'll have to get yourself a radio.
BB: I have a radio at work.
ME: Oh, why isn't it on?
BB: And, I have an mp3 player with a built-in FM tuner as well. I do listen as much as I can.
ME: I've actually talked so much during this, I think I'm losing my voice. Not a good thing, Bev!
BB: I'll shut up, then. Thank you very much for your time.
ME: Thank you.