Ten Questions with Saratoga.com's own Dani Stein, who's on track with Fox23 to achieve her dream job as a sports anchorwoman.
1. When did you know that this was your dream job?
I've known since high school that I wanted to be a reporter, and I've always had a huge passion for sports. It wasn't until I started looking at colleges that I realized I could combine the two into a profession. From the moment I saw my first news studio, I fell in love. And it wasn't long after that I figured out I wanted to be a sports reporter.
2. What do you love about being an anchorwoman?
I love the rush I get from being on camera. At first it's a bit nerve-wrecking, but once I start talking it's like I'm in another world where everyone has to listen to me! haha I'm a natural talker, I love meeting people, and I love telling stories. Being a reporter is perfect for me in that sense, I think.
3. Tell us about the road that brought you here.
I graduated from Syracuse University just about a year ago. While in school, I interned with NBC Olympics over in Beijing, China for the 2008 summer Games. I learned so much while I was there and I made a lot of valuable connections, but the one thing that proved more helpful than anything else was staying in touch with people that I met at Syracuse.
I was blessed with some of the best teachers in the business who have kept me in the know with job opportunities since my graduation. I must have sent out 30 or so demo tapes and resumes to different stations across the country and never heard a word back from any of them. It wasn't until a former teacher of mine from Syracuse informed me of the position opening at FOX23 that I finally felt I had a chance. I had interviewed at other stations before, but I was always getting beat out by people who had more experience than me. FOX23 is giving me a phenomenal opportunity to gain tons of valuable experience in the business.
4. Who is your greatest inspiration or role model?
I've always loved seeing women reporting sports. So while I don't have one inspiration in particular, I'm going to go ahead and say that every woman who I've seen reporting sports on TV has inspired me in some way or another. We are a huge minority in this specific field and it's awesome to be involved in such a small, yet incredibly strong, group. All it means is we have to know our sports better than all of the guys we work with!
5. What will you be doing for Fox for the next few years?
Well, for the time being, I'll be shooting, editing, reporting, producing, and sporatically anchoring the sports segments of the nightly news shows. That means traveling to different high schools to shoot video for highlights, cutting the highlights, writing and reporting package stories, writing scripts for other sports anchors to read, and deciding how the sports segment will be ordered in the show and what graphics will be used. The sports director at FOX, Rich Becker, described the position as a "utility infielder" in the very truest sense. I'll get a shot at literally everything.
6. How did working for Mannix Marketing, Inc. (and Saratoga.com) prepare you for working on Fox?
Working for Mannix [and Saratoga.com] gave me so much valuable experience in front of the camera. I made a lot of great connections through doing these videos and I had a lot of fun attending several of the events that I mentioned. The people who hired me at Fox were able to see my most recent on-camera work and that was hugely helpful. All in all, it was great experience that retaught me some of the most important elements of reporting!
7. What are some little-known parts of working on Television?
I'd have to say that not a lot of people are aware how laid-back many of the on-air talents actually are. These people everyone sees on TV are just normal people. They're not running around frantically in the newsroom preparing for a show. Everyone seems cool and calm and confident in knowing that they do what they do best.
When I first started learning about the TV business, I also didn't realize how much EVERYONE in the newsroom contributed to one single show. It's not just two anchors who have everything shot and written for them and they simply read off a teleprompter. Everyone writes scripts, everyone edits video, everyone helps each other out, everyone contributes equally.
Oh and also, I don't know about any of the anchors everyone sees nightly here in Albany, but when I was in school, I was always wearing jeans under the anchor desk! Suit coat on top, jeans and flip flops (or even barefoot!) underneath! I'm not sure how Fox will feel about me doing that, but it's at least what we all did in broadcast journalism school!
8. What would you tell anyone who decided that they wanted to work on television, too?
It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of a camera with thousands of people watching you. It's not as easy as it looks, but it's totally worth it. I also learned a lot about patience. Before I left college, I thought for sure I would be fine and find a job right away. That wasn't the case. I stayed patient and persistent and didn't give up on what I knew I loved, and when I got this first TV sports job, it made all of that SO worth it. This is the beginning of the rest of my life.
9. What are some other things you love to do?
Well, I was a swimmer for 16 years, so I'm absolutely in love with the sport. I also love running, hiking, good music, good movies, good food, my cat Rox, and my family and friends! There's nothing like spending a night at home with a movie and some comfy sweats, too!
10. When might we start seeing you on the air?
Hopefully soon! I'm not sure exactly when I'll show up on air, but once I get the hang of the cameras and editing equipment and the guys at Fox trust me enough, they'll send me out to start reporting some sports stories! And soon enough I'll be filling in as anchor, as well. So everyone better start watching FOX23 news!!