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  • Writer's pictureAidan G

Tessa Malisani's Many Roles

Updated: May 31, 2023

This week's guest is Tessa Malisani. Tessa is a voiceover artist, and if you couldn't tell from the title, one with quite the diverse portfolio. Aside from her current VO work, you'd probably be most likely to recognize her as the voice of the weeknight shift on 99.9 Virgin Radio in Toronto, and overnights across Canada on the Virgin Radio Properties.

You might also know her as the host of the backstage lounge at the

iHeartRadio MMVA's. Or for her time on CTV and MUCH Music. Or for her interviews with A-list celebs like Dwayne Johnson and Cardi B... The list goes on. You can check out her demo reel here, or scroll down a bit to see one of many great culinary-themed YouTube videos she released throughout the pandemic in partnership with Cuisinart.

In this episode, Tessa talks to us about her career path and how she's kept it so open. We go over her past, her present, and a little bit about her plans for the future. There's no shortage of juicy information and stories here.

If you're an aspiring VO artist, radio host, TV personality, or any other position that puts you in the spotlight, this episode is a great reminder to think about all the ways you can leverage your skills. There's no need to pigeonhole yourself into one position- if you've got a great voice for radio, chances are you'll sound great on TV or in voiceovers too. Keep your options open, and hopefully one day your resume might look a bit like Tessa's.

To keep up with Tessa, you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. If you're looking to bring her on for your next voice project, you can check out her website as well.



Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:01

Matt Fogarty from Matt Fogarty voiceovers. Thanks so much for supporting this podcast.

Matt Fogarty (VO) 00:00:05

Oh, thanks so much for having such a great platform for people to listen to.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:11

Do you know Tessa Malisani?

Matt Fogarty (VO) 00:00:13

I do know Tessa, yeah, we met I think it was VO North 2019 at the Gladstone Hotel, downtown Toronto. And yeah, I think we went to dinner with a couple of people from the conference over at the Drake. Believe I had a bacon cheeseburger and it was delicious.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:28

You see, I was at that conference and I didn't meet her. Big fail.

Matt Fogarty (VO) 00:00:32

Why weren't you eating cheeseburgers with us?

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:34

Perhaps I had an extended happy hour.

Matt Fogarty (VO) 00:00:36

Yeah, she's a super talented broadcaster, really nice person. You should totally have her on your podcast.

Tara Sands (VO) 00:00:42

The Sound Off podcast. The podcast about broadcast with Matt Cundill... starts now.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:53

This week, I'm speaking with Tessa Malisani. The resume runs deep with Tessa. You've heard her on commercials, television and radio promos for Bell Media properties like Much and Virgin Radio. Perhaps you've seen her interviewing stars at the Much Music Video Awards, maybe in the past at Move 105.7 in the Hamilton Niagara region. Or now on Virgin Radio Toronto in the evenings and overnight on all the Virgin Radio properties across Canada. Tessa also teaches at Seneca College, just north of Toronto, which is where you might think her story begins, but actually it goes back further than that. Did you grow up wanting to be an actor?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:01:33

Yes, actually, from what I remember, yeah. Well, the thing is, I actually started doing theater when I was seven. So, yeah, I was taking theater arts outside school, just like on the weekends, weeknights. I was part of a group and I was in productions and whatnot. And then I started doing that all through high school as well. And then I actually went to theater school in New York City. But radios kind of started before that. When I was still in high school. I actually had my first radio show at CIUT 89.5, the U of T station in Toronto. So going back to the acting, you know, when I was in high school and I was, you know, part of all these productions and I just, you know, I have a passion for it. I love it so much. But I was at that age where I was thinking, okay, where is this going to lead me? Do I really want to be an actress? I don't know, let's be more realistic, type of thing. So I said, what's something similar that I would be good at? And I thought, okay, maybe like TV or radio. So I got into a program where I had a placement at the U of T station for radio, and I ended up really loving it. And I eventually got asked to work there. And I had my own show there when I was 18, when I was still in high school. It was an independent show. I interviewed independent artists and bands and whatnot, it was during the day. And then I found out about this acting school in New York. I thought, oh, my gosh, this is, you know, once in a lifetime opportunity. I auditioned, I flew down to audition, and I got in, so I said, I have to go. So I went, and it was great. I was in New York City for two years studying theater, and then I decided to move back to Toronto. I don't know why. I would go back and forth, back and forth to New York.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:13

So tell me about the New York experience, because you went to the American School of Dramatic Arts. That's like being on the TV show Fame.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:03:22

Yeah, a little bit. Yeah. A lot of people would say that. It's like, is that Julliard? No, but similar. Yeah, that's exactly kind of how it felt. It was like even like the old building and the studios that we would have our classes, and we'd have all types of classes. We'd have vocal production, which is singing and which I was terrible at. I don't like singing. I was trained to do it, but it's not my thing. I'd rather do other things. Obviously, we had, like, dancing, voice and speech and everything, so that experience was amazing. I loved it. It was better than I thought. And the training I got was amazing. And just living in New York City at such a young age, I think I moved there when I was 19 years old, so living on my own in New York after graduating high school was a pretty big deal.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:06

But you've got to have some pretty- I mean, today's parents, there's a lot of helicopter parents out there that just would never think of letting their 19 year old go to live in New York. And that's by today's standard. So your parents must have been... what were they?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:04:20

Yeah, I guess they were very supportive. I guess you would say that. That's for sure. Very supportive. So, I mean, I think I remember my dad being super emotional about it, like, after when they left me, and I was like, woo, this is exciting. But, yeah, it was just definitely like a no-brainer for me and for them. Something I had to do, an experience. And I'm really glad I did. I think I'd be a completely different person now if I didn't do that.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:45

Do you remember who wrote your reference letter?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:04:47

No, I don't. I have no idea. I just remember auditioning and that's it. I don't even remember what my monologues were. I don't remember any of that. It was kind of a while ago now, I don't want to age myself here, but it was kind of- it was a while ago, so.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:02

I'm unfamiliar with the school, so I went and checked, and by today's standards, you need two reference letters to get in. One is a dramatic one and one is a personal one.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:05:09

Yeah, I probably had someone in my family that may be like an acting teacher or something. I honestly don't remember who they were.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:17

And then you went back to Toronto afterwards, and what happened next?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:05:21

And then, you know, I was kind of auditioning. I just said, oh, you know what? Maybe I'll just audition like an agent and I'll go back to school to work on getting my degree, because why not? But I don't know. I don't think that was really good for me because I felt as though just taking a course in university that's just general was not for me. I mean, for some people it's great, but I feel like I have to specialize in something. So I did that for a bit and it was good. But there was a point where I remember I was listening to the radio as I said, I started radio before and I was like, oh, I missed that. I'm like that's me. That's my job. I was, like, getting to the point where I was getting, like, angry listening because I felt like I was supposed to be doing that. So I thought about it and I was like, Why don't I just do it again? I just decided to apply for radio broadcasting program at Seneca. At York. And I got in, and I was like, okay. And once I decided to do that, I said, this is exactly where I'm going. This is exactly what I'm doing. There's no turning back.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:24

What are those favorite radio stations in Toronto you were listening to, that you said, I want to be there?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:06:29

I think at the time, definitely it was 102.1 The Edge. I've always been a fan of that station. I think definitely that one. Yeah, I'm going to say that one is the main one because I know since then it's changed.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:42

And the Seneca experience was a positive one, and I'm going to assume it was because we'll get into it in a second, because I think you're teaching there too.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:06:48

I am, yeah. It was a very positive experience. I had a great time, actually. I kind of fast tracked it, so I did it in a year and a half where I just went straight through the summer, which was good because I was not there to waste time. I made a lot of really good friends, and yeah, I found the experience really good. So I already had a little bit of experience in radio, so I kind of knew where I was going with that and like, what I wanted to get out of it. I knew I wanted to be on air because I had that experience before. I knew this is my passion. Like when first time I sat in front of a board at school, I was like, okay, this is my environment. I already felt super comfortable. Also, I was really interested in the music side of things as well. But yeah, so I did that and then I had my first internship at Chum, so I did that and I was working in the creative department, a bit of production. And then from there, this is kind of the advice I give to my students because, yes, I do teach part time also at Seneca. I always say, you know, because everyone has to intern to get a certain amount of hours to graduate. Once you graduate, if you're still interning somewhere, ask if you can still keep going, if you can just keep going to your internship. Because once you leave school and you leave a radio station, you have nothing left to hold on to. In a way like, yes, you can apply to certain places, you can do this and that, but once you're in the door, you're there. And so whether you're making money or not, you're still making those connections, you're still building those relationships, you're still learning new things, you're still in the building. So go work for free or do whatever you have to do for free until you find your first job. So that's with my advice, because that's exactly what I did. I said, Can I just keep coming here? Like, I've graduated. They were like, sure. So I would go every single day because I was free and I would just apply, apply to jobs until I got something and then that was it.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:42

Was there any pressure given by Seneca to look outside of Toronto for work?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:08:46

Not so much pressure, but encouragement, definitely, because the industry is so small, in a sense, where there's only a handful of on air people within the country, let alone just Toronto. So they encourage you to go make your mistakes elsewhere, learn everything, hone your craft, whether it's a year or two years, whatever it may be, then come back to Toronto, right? Because if you make all your big mistakes in a large market, then where do you go from there? They would definitely encourage and also to just with your experience, realistically, getting a job in Toronto right away is very rare.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:23

Has that changed today with the students that you work with? It's always encouraged that you could do that, but is it as necessary as it once was?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:09:32

So that's interesting because I do think it is still necessary, but I feel like our market has expanded so much so now that the smaller radio stations in like Kitchener or London or Barrie are not as far away as they once were. Do you know what I mean? Because the GTA, Toronto, everything is expanding so much. So those small radio stations are not that small anymore. So yes and no. Yes, go outside of Toronto, but you don't really have to go that far anymore. You don't have to go to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan if you don't want to. I think there's a lot of opportunity within reach.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:09

Yeah, I smirked a little bit because you said Kitchener being small and it's now a top ten market.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:10:13

Exactly. Whereas before, like, ten years ago, it was not considered.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:18

No, the market expanded largely because of tech. And as well, I think the region sort of all morphed into itself, and now it's a big blob of people.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:10:26

I know, it's exciting. Lots of competition.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:30

Tell me about interviewing, because there's a level of prep that goes into it. But when we watch you do it and you've interviewed a lot of famous people, what goes into the preparation for the interview? Because you do make it look easy.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:10:44

Thank you. Thank you for saying that. Actually, I think that's a really big compliment, making it look easy. And I think with that, maybe why that comes off, is because I go into any time I'm chatting with someone or I'm meeting this person for the first time, but I have to remember that they are just a person. You can connect with them in different ways. You know a lot about them, you have interest in them. So treat them like a regular person and go into it with that. Not so much intimidation. Like become their friend, or try to be, anyways. But in terms of prep, nowadays you can get so much information about somebody. Especially with social media. And that's such a good way to relate to someone, saying like. Oh. What they've been up to. Or what they've been posting on their Instagram. Or nowadays TikTok. Whatever it may be. Go in and see what they're up to, and create conversations based on that. Obviously, do your research to know. They obviously want to talk about or want you to know about the stuff that they're known for professionally, of course, because they're promoting music or their movies or what it may be. But yeah, I think it's good if you can connect with them by just being interested in them as a person.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:57

To me, it feels like you've narrowed the gap, really, between- if I tell you you're going to do a TV interview or you're going to do a radio interview, it almost feels like it would be agnostic for you to approach it, right? Aside from your presentation, with makeup and a little bit of clothing, the interview feels the same, whether it's on the radio and on television. That's what I get when I hear you.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:12:14

Yeah, I would say so.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:12:16

I guess my question is, as somebody who's just been working with audio forever, how did you narrow that gap?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:12:21

So when I was working in Virgin Radio in Toronto, we did like, a lot of videotaped interviews, so we used to have a thing called the red room. Now they do things a lot differently. There's a lot of things that are virtual and this and that. But when I started in radio, when I started in Toronto, it was a lot of in person interviews that were taped. And so I guess you just learned to- it's difficult because you have to make sure you have a presence, this and that. I think it has a lot to do with my acting background, to be honest. I just know how to position myself. I know that I'm being looked at. And you kind of want to have a presence. It's about having stage presence pretty much, right? So I think it takes a lot of practice, too, because when you're interviewing someone, it's different, like having a conversation on camera, because you have to be aware of yourself very much so, as you wouldn't be if you were just doing straight audio. So it's just being very aware, self aware, but also not being too self aware. It's like the fine balance. And I think it just takes practice, to be honest, because obviously, I'm sure my first interview, it was not as great as ones I've done more recently.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:13:34

In just a second, more with Tessa, including a lot of her television and voice work that you might have heard over the last decade or so. Did you know she was on Road to Avonlea and Goosebumps? She also got caught up in the layoffs and then pivoted in the pandemic to YouTube. And you know what? It was a good thing. Plus, Tessa tells us about her time in Halifax at the station formerly known as Bounce. There's more. There's always more, including a transcript of this episode, at

Sarah Burke (VO) 00:13:34

Transcription for The Sound Off podcast powered by Poddin. Your podcast is an SEO goldmine. We help you to dig out. Start your free trial now at

Tara Sands (VO) 00:13:34

The Sound Off podcast with Matt Cundill.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:13:34

Closed captioning of this Much program is brought to you in part by Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash. Use Aveeno lotion for twice the moisture and softer, smoother skin. This Wednesday, producer Dan Hoff and Motley Crue's Nikki Six take it up a notch. Music superstar Boy George shines a light on the next breakthrough artist. The Launch, Wednesdays, starting January 10 on CTV.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:46

Have you been working at Bell since you interned there?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:14:49

No, not always. So it was Chum CTV, and so when I interned there, then I got my first job in Halifax. So at the time it was 101.3 The Bounce, which is now Virgin Radio Halifax. So I was there for a couple of years and I got hired at Virgin Radio in Toronto and I was there for seven years. So we were up at a building, Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto. I was there for a couple of years, then we moved to 99 Queen Street down there, and that's when there was like that merge, because we were Astral. But at first I was at Chum CTV. When I got hired at Virgin, it was a completely different company. It was Astral at the time. And then they got bought by Bell. So essentially it's like, I have been at Bell the whole time, but not technically.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:38

Okay, so I'm not going to edit this part out. There are times I would edit around to try to make this a little smoother, but I think this is a good way to tell people about how the sausage is made for this podcast, and that's I will go and do research. And I looked at your LinkedIn and it said you had experience at 101.3 in Halifax at Bounce, and I thought maybe she was voice tracking. And that's what people do now, they'll add the station to their LinkedIn and I won't know if they move there physically to experience the city, or if they just voice track there. So I didn't know that. So you have to tell me all about your Halifax experience.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:16:10

Yeah, I moved to Halifax. I was interning at Chum and I applied and that was the one that I got. And two weeks later I moved. And like I said, I was there for two years. So I got hired. I was doing, I think, the night show, so at the time it was 10:00 p.m. till 02:00 A.m. And it was fun, I loved it. I had never been to Halifax before, I just moved, I was like, okay, let's go. And I fell in love with it. Actually, it took me a little while at first to adjust because I was used to bigger cities, obviously Toronto and living in New York, and I would fly to LA every once in a while because I have a lot of friends out there. So I was like, big cities, I'm like, where are all the tall buildings? But eventually, once I decided to embrace the city and the culture and everything, I made a lot of friends. I was doing lots of things, working at events, and I just had a really good time and I loved it. And I love Halifax.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:06

Who doesn't love the busker festival down there in August?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:17:09


Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:10

And that's a great time slot too. I mean, between ten and two in the morning, a shift that doesn't readily exist in a lot of places anymore. How much fun can you have on the radio in a city like that?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:17:22

Yeah, and it's funny because I was still learning. It was like my first commercial radio on air gig, so it was great for me to just kind of test things out and kind of find my voice at the time. And then eventually I moved to the evenings at 07:00 P.m. until midnight, and that was my thing for the rest of the time. But yeah, it was fun. It's such a great place. I made so many friends.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:46

Yeah, there's some great broadcasters too in that city. I think you're in the same building, possibly, as Steve Murphy.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:17:52

Yes, he was my neighbor. I lived right next door to him.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:56


Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:17:57

Steve Murphy was my neighbor. Yes.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:59

I think he was working at Q104 at the time, but somebody like JC Douglas, who eventually did go to work at C100, and then a station like C100, which is like the de facto radio station of the city of Halifax since its inception in the 1600s.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:18:15

Yes, exactly.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:17

That's great. I'm glad you had a good experience there. But did you say you were going from Halifax to Los Angeles at times?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:18:24

Before that. Mostly when I was in Toronto, I was going back and forth and then I did a couple of times when I was there, but that's too far. It's like going to Europe, if you're in Halifax, it's a long foot.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:35

Oh, that's an all day trip.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:18:36

Yeah. But yeah, I would go. A lotta my friends back from acting school and whatnot. A lot of them moved out to LA. So that was one of the avenues I was thinking of doing, but I never did. So I would just go visit and spend a lot of time there.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:50

Did you look for auditions, voiceover work? What was it in LA?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:18:55

No, I didn't. I didn't do any of it. Actually, you know what, I did. When I graduated school, I went to the Clear Channel Building at the time and I brought my demo and my resumes and all of that. And I remember I ran into somebody in the elevator. I dropped off my stuff there. And I remember I ran into someone in the elevator. I don't know who he was, to be honest. And after a friend of mine told me, they were like, that was an elevator pitch. That was your elevator pitch. And I was like, what? And I was like I was like, I don't know what's happening. What do you mean? And they said, that was your chance to sell yourself. So apparently this guy was asking me what I was doing and I explained to him, I'm here to drop off my demo. And he said, well, what are you looking to do? And I think because I was so fresh out of school, I really didn't know what I wanted, I wanted anything. And his advice to me in this elevator, as we're going down however many flights. He said, what you need to do is find that one thing, find whatever you want to do. Do you want to be on air? Do you want to do production? Find that one thing and get really good at it. Come back here and do that and say that's what you want. And I was like, okay. You know, I was kind of a little naive about the business at that time. I just graduated school, so that was an interesting experience. So I left there feeling like, a little defeated, but also feeling like, okay, I see what's going on.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:20:20

I love how the roots of what you do all go back to performance. And, you know, when I asked about the difference between television and radio, there's performance, so I'll throw in the voiceover side of it as well, which also dovetails back to your acting. So tell me about your experience doing voiceover, maybe what commercials you've been in and where we can hear you now.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:20:39

That's so funny. Actually, I almost forgot that I was thinking about it today. My very first voiceover gig was when I was eleven years old. It was for the show Goosebumps. So at the time when I was younger, I also had an agent. So I was in shows like Rotate and stuff like that, just doing random things here and there.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:01

That's significant.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:21:02

Yeah, that is significant. I was only on the last episode, I didn't really have a talking part, but I was in the show. So I had an agent when I was eleven years old in Toronto, and one of the jobs I got was a voiceover job, so it was for the show Goosebumps, and I was literally in there for five minutes. I just had to dub over somebody- over a scene of me saying, oh, are you going to the party tonight? Sure, okay. Something like that. Very quick, very short. But still today, I'm still getting royalty checks for that till this day.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:36


Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:21:37

It's not very much, but I'm still getting royalty checks in the mail, which is hilarious.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:42

Some people get like checks, and the checks are so small, they're smaller than the price of the stamp to mail them, but it'll still show up?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:21:49

Yeah, maybe like $10. Every year I get something stupid like that, but I'm like, hey, whatever.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:56

I guess I shouldn't have really been looking at your LinkedIn. I probably should have been looking at your IMDb. What else am I going to find up there?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:22:04

Yeah, maybe I should make one of those. In terms of voiceover, I think that was the start at such a young age. But once I got into radio, that's when my whole career kind of blossomed with everything. Most of the things I did were in house, but through working in Radio and Virgin Radio in Toronto and being connected to CTV and Much Music, I was asked to be the voice of Much Music, which I did for about three years, I would say. So all the promos you would hear a lot on TV or viewer discretions, all that type of thing. Little ads here and there. I would voice those also. I think there was like a show called The Launch. CTV's The Launch. I did all the promos for that. A lot of things like that. A lot of stuff was inhouse. So once I left Virgin Radio and left all that, I kind of stopped doing that. I also used to voice the stuff for the CTV up fronts, the live shows and stuff, which I love. I love doing voice work. It's a lot of fun.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:23:05

How did you handle the pandemic? And when you look back at it, how did you approach it? Because if you're in voiceover, you were largely sent home to record. If you were in radio, you were largely sent home to record. You're in television. That's going to be a little bit difficult. How did all that roll out for you starting March 2020?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:23:24

Well, yeah, we are changed significantly. Actually. It changed significantly before that in the end of 2018 because I was part of cuts at Bell. So from there on, I started working on personal projects. I ended up getting like a partnership with Cuisinart, for instance. I just kind of like did a lot of stuff on social media. I was doing a lot of cooking videos, all kinds of stuff like that. Just really just keeping up with the times and staying relevant. And then I was teaching. Of course I was teaching, so that was always good. When March 2020 came, actually, it's interesting because I started getting the most work that I've gotten during the Pandemic, to be honest, which is so rare. And I kind of hate to say that because a lot of people did not have such a good time, but I did get a lot of work. So I ended up freelancing for Bell again once the Pandemic started. And I was doing all my radio shows from home. And I've been doing radio shows from home for two, almost three years now, and I still do some stuff from home. So I got hired for- which is now Move 105.7 in Niagara. What was it before? EZ Rock. So I was doing Saturday and Sunday show and it was all from home, my condo downtown and it was great. It worked well for me. Nobody was going anywhere. I was working. I was back on air.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:46

Yeah, it's weird how all that worked out. If you had a studio and you were set up to do anything at home, the work kind of came to you. I know I picked up a lot of voiceover work. I picked up a ton of podcasts. My company radically changed in that period. It's weird to say while everybody else was scrambling for CERB and trying to figure out what they were going to do. And I think people who sang and performed in bars- now I found myself hiring them to come on board and to market audio instead of marketing their own audio. It was such a weird time. And I know that so much of the things you do were affected positive and negative with the pandemic. That's why I asked that.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:25:20

Yeah, it's interesting. And I also started a podcast too, just before that. So it was interesting because I was doing all my interviews in person and then I had to switch to online and I'm like, well, I was so worried before. I'm like, about being in person. I'm like, okay, I've got to make sure I turn off- You don't want to hear the air conditioner or this and that, to being online, to where the quality is not as good as it would be if you were live in a studio. I mean, now things have changed. You can make it obviously a lot better. But at the time, switching, it was, oh, my gosh, should I keep going with this? I'm like, yeah, why not? Everybody's doing it now.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:25:57

When you went to Seneca, you had an eye on radio, but when people go to take the same course or the course that you're teaching now, do they have an eye on radio? Is radio the first thing they want to do? Or is the course really more multifaceted that includes television and voice and performance and a whole bunch of other things?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:26:13

Yeah, that's interesting you ask that because I've seen such a shift over the years with the students. There's actually quite a few of my students in the past couple of years. I haven't been teaching the past year now because I was on Mat leave and I had a baby and all that. So I plan to go back and do it because I do enjoy it. But when the last, I would say, couple of years of teaching. Some of my students, they were really interested in production to the point of, like, music production. So they were there in this radio program, but they were making music and producing music with different artists on their own time. So I found it really interesting that they were in this program, but there's a lot of skills they could learn from that program. But the radio program, I feel like, is definitely radio based. There's a TV television broadcasting program that you can go to, so they don't kind of mix it like they would do. I think there's other colleges that they kind of do both, and then you kind of choose which one you want to specialize in. I would say this one is just strictly radio, which I think is good if you know that's what you want to do. But I also think it's good to know both because this industry now, a lot of jobs like TV and radio go hand in hand these days.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:30

Aside from what you touched on about them wanting to get in and produce a little bit more music, how are the students of today different than when you were a student?

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:27:40

Younger? I'm joking.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:42

Listen, you're too nice, and you don't want- and you're not the type of person who wants to staledate or date themselves in any fashion. But there's got to be something in your head that goes , heh. That wouldn't cut it in my day.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:27:53

Yeah, for sure. Definitely. The attitudes are definitely different. They're a lot more entitled in terms of, like there's a couple of times where some of the students would be challenging me and what I'm trying to tell them, as if they have more experience than me, but I kind of just, like, shoot that down right away, so I don't put up with it, really. I'm not, like, strict or anything. I just won't give you the time of day. Like, if that's how you're going to speak about things, I'm like, okay, I'm not going to focus on you because I'm not teaching high school. I'm here- If you want to be in this program, you're spending money. If you want to be successful, you should probably listen to the person who's teaching you, who works in the industry and has been in your position and knows what they're doing. So I just think that for me, I just wanted to absorb everything and learn from people who are actually working and doing what I want to be doing. And not all the students, obviously, most of the students were really, like, diligent in that way, where they were there to learn and just want to know everything that they can.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:54

What excites you about the future in this? Because there's so much and you're involved with so much, whether it's behind the microphone, in front of the camera, with the students, what is it that excites you about maybe the next five years, about what's coming and what do you see and what makes you go, man, that's going to be exciting.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:29:10

Yeah, I think- you know what, I love how we're all so connected more globally now than ever. And I think the pandemic has really brought that out in a lot of industries, because we're doing so much more online now, more than we would have been doing if there wasn't a pandemic, I would think. So I love that there's lots of possibilities for, I mean, all kinds of things, just connecting with other parts of the world and seeing where things like that could go. Because I don't think radio is going anywhere, even though people say that sometimes. I really don't. I think it's just going to expand into something different and I don't know, it's exciting. I don't even know what's going to happen. But I feel like you have to keep going with the times and keeping yourself relevant and keeping up with new trends and new things that are happening in the industry. Otherwise, you're just going to fall by the wayside.

Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:03

That's right. Tessa, thank you very much for joining us.

Tessa Malisani (Guest) 00:30:07

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Tara Sands (VO) 00:30:07

The Sound Off podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski. Social Media by Courtney Krebsbach. Another great creation from the Soundoff Media Company. There's always more at


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