Valonda Calloway: Embracing Carolina Her Way
Happy Wednesday Luvs!
In honor of "Working Women Wednesday" I had to share with you the story of this dynamic wonder woman named Mrs. Valonda Calloway. She's the host of "My Carolina Today" show on WNCN of NBC affiliate in Raleigh, Executive Producer of "The Dame Dash Show", Wedding MC for 360 Elite Entertainment, and not to mention a wife & mother too! Her career in media spans over a successful 20 years and is only getting better. Her kind demeanor and media expertise make her a powerhouse sensation. We had a chance to chat about her career, media today, ballet lessons, and what's next for her in 2016!
Here's how it all went down.......
How did you get into doing professional media as a career?
VC: "I've always worked in radio or television and at a young age like around 6 or 7 I knew I wanted to work in news. So I started in news working for my high school and college newspaper, did radio in college, and my first professional job was as a radio writer and reporter for the Voice of America in Washington. I was there from 1994-1999 then I transitioned into television after that. I did TV news majority of my career then I transitioned in 2010 to "My Carolina Today" show and we are considered info-tainment.
How was your transition to "My Carolina Today" and what can we look forward to seeing in 2016?
VC: "The show started in March of 2010 and I've been with the show since the very beginning. The other hosts and producers all came from news as well so we built it together. It has grown tremendously since that time and has become something the community enjoys, relies on, turns to as a resource, and I'm really proud of where the show is now compared to where we started."
"We enjoy our sales content because we are introduced to businesses and products we were unaware of and we showcase things we enjoy that we want to show in the community. So Bigger and Better for 2016! - Valonda Calloway
What market are you available to be viewed in?
VC: "Our market goes about as far east as Duplin County and down to the Sandhills. Then as far west as Alamance County, and north up to Roxboro area but primarily its central North Carolina."
What has been one of your favorite moments for you since being at "My Carolina Today"?
VC: "Wow there have been so many phenomenal moments but I would have to say the Wototo Childern's Choir was the most viewed performance in the millions we had featured. They travel the world to raise money for children in poverty. Its been shared so many times and I cried so many times watching it. It was truly one of the most delightful things to see."
"I love to dance so I teach ballet and jazz and I'm also a student." - Valonda Calloway
Tell me about your experience as the Executive Producer of "The Dame Dash" Show?
VC: "I've learned so much from Dame and he's been in the game successfully for a long time. He's had his ups and downs but he's consistent. So I never feel like he's putting on airs because he's always Dame. So its nice to be behind the scenes. This is a new challenge that I've enjoyed and I'm new to producing so its been great."
What can viewers look forward to seeing on the show?
VC: "The show is all about a look into how Dame has built this empire of who he is. He wants to share his knowledge and help other people achieve their independence.He has a hashtag he loves to use #HustleForYourLastNameFirst and he wants to teach people to leave a legacy for their family not working for someone else but yourself. He's all about you having your own brand no matter what your business is. He brings on his girlfriend and they talk about what they do "being in love for a living". He has Dr. Boyce Watkins on and they share business tips and a class called "Intelligent Boss Moves". So you can sign-up for their classes online at theblackbusinessschool.com but you will see a mini-version on the show. You can watch the show on Sunday mornings at 1:30am on WNCN."
How did you connect with Dame Dash?
VC: "So Dame moved to NC some months ago and he has a lot of friends like Big Bootsie in this area who knew somebody that knew me. So she reached out to me that Dame wanted to come on my show. I was like how does Dame even know about My Carolina Today? Why is Dame in NC? I had so many questions. So the person I know I told her here's my availability and information so his people can contact me. Then she said, "Well how about Monday?" So I scheduled it to be recorded instead of live because I wasn't sure if it would really happen and I didn't want to carve out a time to schedule it live on my show for it not to really happen. So we recorded after "My Carolina Today" and he showed up, he was early, and walked in. I was like wow your here. He did an interview on my show and then the same person contacted me again to be the executive producer of his new show. So him and I got a chance to talk about what he wanted for his show."
"I love being a mother its definitely my life's joy" - Valonda Calloway
Words of Inspiration?
VC: "I love to talk to students when they are juniors because once they are seniors its too late sometimes but TV is very difficult and very competitive. Its a lot of "no's" and moving around the country just to get that first recording job. I was very fortunate I didn't have to move out of the Southeast it was mainly from NC to DC back to NC for me but several different places but not all over the country. So in this business you have to believe that you want it and you can't go into it half-hearted. You've got to want to get out of bed if there is a fire at 3 o'clock in the morning or crash while your at dinner because as the news you have to catch the story as it happens. That was my life many of times until transitioning to "My Carolina Today". So the path to here is probably through news because like I said most of us on the show come from news."
All I can say is WOW what an amazing interview this was! Valonda Calloway is well on her way to producing more projects in the near future and of course bringing us the best in original content on "My Carolina Today". I'm so happy that we were able to connect and chat about her journey in media. It was indeed a pleasure to speak with her and learn about her pathway to success. She's now on my list as one of "Ladies who Rock"indeed !
Until next time ladies and gentleman this is The Lux Blog! - K. Knight