#BehindtheSelfie with... Bailey Schneider

This #EntrepreneurMonth, we go behind the selfie with true media mutlitasker Bailey Schneider - she's a radio presenter at Smile 90.4 FM, as well as TV presenter, voice-over artist, MC and blogger.
Proof that Schneider is the selfie queen!
Proof that Schneider is the selfie queen!

1. Where do you live, work and play?

I moved to Sea Point, Cape Town from Fourways, Johannesburg in 2013 and it was the best move I could have made; I’m really happy here. I work at Smile 90.4 FM, where I co-host the Afternoon Drive show with Maurice Carpede. I also guest present on SABC3’s Expresso morning show, do voice-overs and MC work and have a popular lifestyle blog called Vanilla Blonde, which incorporates my love of writing, photography and videography.

2. What’s your claim to fame?

Being in radio for 16 years and dabbling a little in TV presenting. People will also be familiar with my blog.

3. Describe your career so far.

I’m really proud of the hard work I’ve put into my career. Entertaining is my passion and I’ve proudly never missed presenting a year of radio since 2001 and worked on almost every radio platform. I started off in:
  • Campus radio at the age of 18.
  • Presented on a festival radio station.
  • Moved into retail radio.
  • At the age of 21, I joined commercial radio station: 94.7. I trained on the weekend graveyard shifts, before joining Alex Jay on the Afternoon Drive. I stayed on the Drive show on 94.7 for eight years, where I worked with various presenters, like Alex Jay, Revin John and Mark Pilgrim.
  • In 2012, I left 94.7 and joined SA’s biggest digital station, 2Oceansvibe Radio, where I hosted The Bailey Schneider Lunch Show for three years.
  • In 2015, I joined Smile 90.4 FM on the Afternoon Drive show.
As far as TV is concerned, in 2010 I came fifth overall in the Top Billing Presenter Search, which was won by the late Simba Mhere. After that I guest presented on the Expresso morning show and in 2016, I hosted a segment called Beauty with Bailey where I brought viewers fun and easy beauty and hair tips.

In 2010, I started my lifestyle blog, Vanilla Blonde, and it has grown organically in popularity.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

I absolutely love tea – its’ happiness in a cup – and my love for vanilla tea is what created my blog’s name: Vanilla Blonde. I also have a love for sunglasses and beauty products.

5. What do you love about your industry?

I love how dynamic it is. No two days are the same. I love the responsibility that we have to entertain people, bring them information and make them feel something, especially in a world where everything is so fast paced.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

As I said, no two days are the same, but an average day for me is as follows:

I’ve recently just had my first baby. George is 19 weeks old. I went back to work when he was 10 weeks old, so my days now juggle between feeding and looking after him and my career. I express breastmilk at around 5:30am, which is when I sit on my laptop and start reading through news and research for my radio show. I feed my son at around 6am and then sit down at around 7:30am to continue doing my show prep. Once all the features are prepped and put into our show’s format, I’ll send that off to my co-host, Maurice. I express again at around 08:30am. Feed him again at 9am. I then write and photograph content for my blog, Vanilla Blonde and I usually have voice-overs to record or meetings. Sometimes I am able to bring my son with me, otherwise, my husband looks after him.

I get home by 11:30am to express again, feed my baby and get ready for the show. I leave home at 1:30pm and my husband looks after our baby boy, which is wonderful, to get to Smile 90.4 FM. Maurice and I record some features and meet with our programme director and station manager to go through the show’s content and tweak it, then at 3pm we are ready for a fun afternoon of the Smile Drive until 6pm. I get home by about 6:30pm to express, then it’s bath time and bed time for baby.

I then either cook dinner and start researching more information for the next day’s show, expressing every three hours and feeding every three to four hours throughout the night. Alternatively, I get home to express for baby and then head out to MC an event. Once home, it’s expressing and feeding throughout the night!

7. What are the tools of your trade?

A good pair of headphones, a healthy voice and a witty mind.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

There are far too many to mention because I believe that everyone is doing their utmost best and honing their skills, but I’ve always looked up to and learned a lot from working with Alex Jay and Mark Pilgrim.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

I wish we had a board that regulates fees for MC work and freelance work. I find there is still a lot of undercutting because there isn’t really an industry standard.

10. What are you working on right now?

I have a few projects that I’ve put on hold as I’ve been on maternity leave so my focus has been on my newborn, but it feels really good to be back in my career, even though I am still trying to find my new norm. I’m excited to get back into my projects – my YouTube channel, my blog, writing my book and other projects I can’t speak of just yet.

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself:

  • “What’s in it for the listener?”
  • “Keep it real. Keep it positive.”

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

I find inspiration comes from all over, but I’m especially inspired when I’m in nature. As I’m a morning person, that’s my best time to be inspired. I’m inspired visually, so I love being able to create content for my blog and when it comes to radio, to also describe it to the listener, where I have to paint a picture!

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

I call it my ‘concert whistle’, where I use two fingers to whistle. This is bizarre, but I can also make the sound of a newborn baby cry using my throat – don’t ask!

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

Technophile. I love technology, even though it can be frustrating at times.

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

You’d find all the social media apps – Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. You’ll find the Smile 90.4 FM app, banking apps and a remote for my camera. You’ll find a diverse selection of music and over 10,000 photos… I really need to clean them up!

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

You have to be resilient and stay positive. It’s such an exciting industry to work in, but it’s also incredibly tough because the number of people wanting to get into the industry outweighs the number of jobs available, so once you do make it, you have to work even harder to stay current. Be prepared for the hard work and keep in check your reason for wanting to get into the industry… I’ve found those who wanted to get in “to be famous” are very short-lived.

Simple as that. Click here for more from the Smile 90.4 FM press office and interact with Schneider on the following platforms: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

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