Imaging In 2019 – Ashley Cavaliere

Welcome to the “Imaging In 2019 Series” – a blog series that interviews inspiring producers and great creators of Station Sound.

Ashley Cavaliere

This week’s guest is someone I’ve known of for a number of years now, but only had the pleasure of meeting recently at the World Wide Radio Summit.

Ashley is one of the most positive and friendly people you will meet in the industry. I am a big admirer of her various talents,  that really are endless. It’s great to able to call her a friend now too!

Welcome to Imaging In 2019, Ashley

1. How did you get started in the business and tell us about your role at iHeart?

I actually started off as an intern for iHeart in 2007 after going to Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Once my internship was over, they hired me as a part time board op and I’ve been here moving my way on up ever since!

My roles here at iHeart now are Production Director for our 3 stations WKCI (KC101), 860 WELI and WAVZ1300, Imaging Director for KC101 as well as on air Mid Days for our KC101. Lots going on! It’s extra special too because KC101 is the station I grew up listening to.

2. What is your opinion on Vocal Coaches - have you used one in the past and are they worth it?a

I think it’s awesome! Every aspect. The sound, the community, the vibe.

For the current sound and vibe of imaging, my clients that I voice for always have fun copy and want their reads to be more personal / “talking to your bff” type reads and I really love doing that! I have a lot of fun reading copy that’s witty, has attitude and is topical. I seem to get most of that. My goal as a VO is always to make the listener feel like they know me and can laugh along with me, so those types of reads are perfect for that!

As far as the radio imaging community … well you know, it’s amazing! Honestly everyone in our world is so kind, supportive and motivating! I have yet to find someone who thinks of it as a competition. It’s one big supportive family and I am so grateful to be a part of it!

3. In 2019, what do you think is more important - creativity or technical ability (or both)

I think both are important, but I also think it really depends on what your goals are. To be honest, I am not the best technically. I mean I can run my boards and use my programs with my certain settings, but truthfully – I leave most of that up to my engineer. My board at the station just conked out so he hooked up a board on a tablet for me. Mind. Blown! I would have no idea how to do that. If it ever gets disconnected I’m screwed haha! That’s not to say that I don’t learn new things technically every day and strive to know more…I’m just saying my role in radio/vo is more on the creative side of things.

If your goal is to be a board op or engineer- of course what wires go where is more important to know than what sound effect you should use on an Ariana Grande promo or the tone of your voice. I do know people who are incredible at both though, and they’re super inspiring!

4. What was the best tip you know now, that’d you wish you knew when starting out?

I’m totally going to sound cliché – but to believe in yourself! In the beginning people would say “you sound great” or “that promo sounds so cool” but it’s one thing to hear it and another to truly believe that you could do something more with it. It wasn’t until Kelly Doherty recognized my work back in the day that I was like “wow – maybe I am kinda good at this” and became more confident. I wouldn’t change a thing about the path that I have been on – but I do wonder what types of opportunities would have come up if I put myself out there a little more in the beginning. Even when sending out demos I would say to myself “just wait until you do one more commercial or piece of imaging and then send it out”. Listen, you can say that until the end of your career, but you need to take the leap and send your stuff out there to grow and network. You never know who’s listening!

I also think learning about the world of voice over imaging in itself is important. I didn’t know about it when I started in radio. I didn’t even know there was this world out there!

I teach classes at Connecticut School of Broadcasting and I always teach them about our imaging voice over world. I think it’s so important. It can open so many new doors.

You hear the voices but not everyone thinks about where or how they got there.

5. You are an Imaging Producer, Voiceover and On Air Personality. Is it tough to balance all three or do you feel having multiple talents in 2019 is important?

I think it’s definitely important to know how to do multiple things, but again, I think it depends on your goals. Personally I have found that all my work helps me in all aspects of my work.  For example, being on air helps me with my voice over jobs. On air I have that “get to know me and lets be friends” vibe and can translate that type of energy to my imaging VO. Also, being an Imaging Producer helps me with my imaging VO and vice versa. I have a better idea of what the PD’s are looking for and it also gives me great ideas on my end writing wise.

If you strictly want to be an Imaging Producer and have no interest in voice over, you don’t need to start becoming a voice over … but at least dive into that world a bit to get to know all sides of what you love to do. I know a lot of people in VO who are looking to learn how to produce and I think that’s awesome! You can never know too much. Like I mentioned earlier, my goal is to learn more of the technical aspects. The more you know and have to offer, the better!

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