How My TV Career Began or Girls Can Be Camera Operators too
NHL Corner Camera
In the Beginning
When I was young my dreams were simple; I wanted to teach, work with orphans, take over my grandparents farm, and even become a nun.
As I got older I got restless. I wanted adventure, life experience, excitement and a career that would feed that need.
I loved it. Once I started taking pictures and playing in the darkroom I was hooked, addicted.
I spent all night, every night of the week, developing the pictures I had taken during the day for months on end.
I had found my calling, or so I thought.
One day, over 2 years into my course, there was a photo contest. Very excited about entering, I choose my photograph with utmost care. I made sure it was a well composed photo and sent the social message I was trying hard to express.
Well of course I didn't win.
The photo that did win was magical.
It captured a moment in time that could never happen again and it deserved to win.
At that moment I realized I didn't want to spend my life chasing and missing magic moments. That realization itself was prize enough.
I Love Rock & Roll, Hockey & ...
The list seemed so basic, almost silly.
- A career where I didn't need to dress up, jeans, comfortable clothes - no dresses.
- No office jobs
- No 9 to 5.
- To do something different everyday.
- To enjoy the job
- Bonus - to travel and have it paid for.
I had decided that if I ever had any, I'd take my kids traveling with me and teach them on location. (This was long before homeschooling was popular).
- Finally, good pay.
Okay, so what I wanted was completely unrealistic, good luck I told myself as I watched the highway pass by.
I arrived home and got a job as a waitress in a busy downtown pub the same day.
Within hours I was serving beer to the crew of the local TV station, CHCH TV .
I always say things happen for a reason.
I was standing in front of the door to my future and couldn't see it.
from an audience's camera, the concert I worked
Over time, as my new "regulars" shared their work day stories with me, I wondered if working in television might give me what I was looking for.
One night the crew invited me to come and watch them put together the late newscast. one night. I jumped at the opportunity.
As I watched them manipulate the images and sound I knew that these were toys I wanted to learn to play with. The cameras and editing suites were what intrigued me the most.
I was excited as I stood watching in amazement as they created stories for the 11pm newscast that night.
Well those magic moments changed the path of my life.
I had never considered film or television as an actual job option. I could see that within this industry there would be an opportunity to try a variety of jobs That made it even more appealing.
I was excited, eager to get started.
I could get passionate about doing this, and I did.
I Love My Job
It was the early 1980s and I started freelancing right away while going to college.
I didn't let being a woman in such a male dominated field affect me. I loved the job, being on the crew, so I did my best. It never occurred to me that I couldn't do any job I was asked to do, I just did it.
I spent my career working hard, having ethics, integrity, being a team player, and having fun, because people I work for deserve my best.
It's been a great career with great variety, lots of stories and opportunities, incredible people, long days, challenging working conditions, and travel.
It is definitely not as glamorous as the world watching from the other side of the TV set thinks.
I have done well as one of Canada's early pioneers for women in television.
As one of the first female broadcast TV camera operators and steadicam operator, Jimmy Jib camera crane specialist and rail-cam operator I have loved very minute of my career.
Even the bad minutes.
After 30 years I can honestly say camera operating fit my criteria perfectly. It has also opened up avenues for the next 30 years that I could not have imagined.
... but that's another story.
2010 Vanouver Olympics
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