A few years back, I regaled – hopefully not too longwindedly – a new friend with a rundown of my exploits through the years.
Hitchhiking all over the US on first leaving NZ; many subsequent visits to New Orleans and South Louisiana to dig on the music and food; eventually interviewing many musicians and cooks; toting old stoves from Copenhagen to London, renovating them and setting up shop in Camden Market to flog them; working on newspapers all over New Zealand and, more latterly, Melbourne; a half-dozen heady years as Entertainment Editor and Jazz Writer with the Sunday Herald Sun; 20 years doing a weekly radio show on PBS-FM.
My friend said: “You’ve led an interesting life!”
He was right – I have.
But much to my surprise, and dadhood aside, doing Consider The Sauce has topped everything before it.
The past two years have been a fulfilling and thrilling adventure.
The downsides have been zero; the upsides more plentiful than can be enumerated here – although many of them have been referred to in reviews and stories along the way.
But I have always seen Consider The Sauce as also playing a role in my more professional career.
Not in the “monetised” sense – more along the lines of “a blog is the new resume”.
In that, it has done its job.
The word is out, friends and contacts have been made, CTS has become integral to both who I am and what I do.
There’s has even been some gratefully accepted direct income – thanks mostly to the fine folks at GRAM magazine.
But it’s not enough to pay the bills.
The newspaper industry that has been a part of my life for so long is being overwhelmed by hurricanes of change that are sweeping over the media industry in general and, indeed, the world at large.
While I’ve always written at the various newspapers for which I have worked, my principle role has been as what’s called these days a production journalist or, often still, a sub-editor.
Our ranks are being ruthlessly thinned.
Of necessity, those who specialise in the design and construction of pages are being retained.
I have much experience under my belt in that regard, but more by happenstance than anything else have found myself these days pursuing – and greatly enjoying – what I think of as “word wrangling”.
Untangling scrambled syntax so that writers say what they mean and mean what they say; making sure someone’s name is not spelt two or three different ways in a single story; getting the tenses right; punctuation, too; dreaming up ripper headlines and captions; making sure there’s no loose ends; making reporters, writers, columnists, reviewers – and the publications (and, these days, websites) in which their words are appearing – look great and sparkle.
The various media proprietors continue to say they value these attributes in the pursuit of “quality journalism”.
But actions speak louder than words.
Having found what I thought was a home of sorts at the Geelong Advertiser, where the journalism has been of a high standard and the product one of integrity, things have become shaky with blinding speed.
The looming pear-shaped scenario is not without hope.
But it behooves me to explore all other options.
I believe Consider The Sauce shows what I know to be true about myself – I am hard-working, dedicated, honest, passionate, reliable, imaginative, professional and trustworthy.
And not without talent.
Talent just waiting to be utilised in a righteous cause.
My CV can be examined here.
The email address – all one word – is kenny cts blog at g mail dot com