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Spotlight on Janeane Bernstein
host of "Get the Funk Out!"
by: Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

Janeane Bernstein has been at KUCI since 2007, when she started “The Momz Rock the House Show,” a music show featuring women in the arts. Originally from the east coast, Janeane once worked in training and development as an instructional designer, but had this crazy yearning to work in commercials and animation as a voice-over artist. She completed her doctorate in Media and Technology at Boston University and decided a year later to submerse herself in voice-over training. In 2000, she switched coasts, accompanied by husband, baby girl, and voice reel, and continued her training in Los Angeles. Since that time she has voiced all kinds of projects from a Littlest Pet Shop game to commercials for Cedar Sinai and Babies R’Us.

During this creative ride, Janeane became a weekly contributor on a nationally syndicated Sirius-XM satellite show, Regional Coordinator of Mamapalooza, and continues to produce and host “The Momz Rock the House Show,” which airs weekly on OC Talk Radio and 90.1fm KBPK.

In the fall of 2011, Janeane launched a new show at KUCI on Monday’s @9am PST called “Get the Funk Out!”, a show filled with stories of inspiration and change, new creative directions, and surprising twists and turns on this roller coaster ride called life.

When she became involved in Mamapalooza in 2007, her intent was to find women with whom she could play guitar and form a band. In 2011, she began collaborating with singer/songwriter/music editor Ren Stewart. With their band finally in place, they are refining their set list to perform in LA and Orange County this coming spring.

Janeane is currently a professionally trained voice-over actress, reporter, writer, and freelancer of all things creative. She believes whole-heartedly in George Eliot’s quote: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

You can reach her at janeane@kuci.org.

How did you find your way to KUCI in 2007?

I was looking for sponsors for my first Mamapalooza festival and I met Tani Tinuviel at a yoga studio where she was working. She asked if I wanted to be on her show and I told her how much I loved radio! I signed up immediately for DJ training.

Tell us about your new show, Get the Funk Out.

My show features people with inspiring stories of changes and challenges. I was inspired by so many people I met on my other show, “Momz Rock the House,” but wanted to open it up to everyone. And I lost a close friend from childhood more than a year ago, who, unbeknownst to me, had been depressed for a very long time. I just wish she had found her way out of her own funk and into a better life. The stories I share are so inspiring on so many levels and I’m excited to find new and interesting guests to bring on my show.

Do you hear from listeners?

Yes, I hear from them via email, on my blog, social media, and also by phone at KUCI. My show reached people of all ages, both male and female, but specifically those starting a new chapter in their lives, trying something new/different and realizing that the change and challenge of it all was the best thing that ever happened.

You have a husband, daughter, voice over work, band, radio show, etcetera etcetera. How do you find the time?

Sometimes I don’t have much time at all! I left a career in training and development to find a more meaningful, creative life with flexibility to grow and have a family. It is a constant juggling act, filled with coffee, time management, lists, exercise, more coffee, and laughter. I have learned to become a really good communicator with my husband and kids, and I try to carve out time for myself and everyone else, but it isn’t easy. You do the best you can do.

Any tips for others who have dreams and goals and feel they don’t have the time?

Set short term goals and work hard to achieve them. Stop making excuses and stay away from toxic, unsupportive people in your life. As one of my guests said (Coach Sue Enquist), “They will suck the life out of you!” I am extremely fortunate to have a husband who supports me 100% with all the things I do and that certainly makes a difference in my drive to succeed.

I love the quote by George Eliott: “It is never too late to become what you might be.” I live by that and have spread the word to my friends and anyone I meet. Life is too short to wish you could do something that is a realistic, obtainable goal. You have to make the time and find ways to grow. For years I wanted to start playing my guitar again, instead of storing the guitar in my closet and using it as a clothes hanger. While living in Boston, I started having dreams I was a really great guitar player. I decided this was a very clear message and I needed to act on it. The very next day, I went out and found a fantastic guitar teacher from the Berklee School of Music, studied with him for eight years, and we are still friends to this day.

This is the same way I got into voice-over work and also how I learned about screenwriting. I always wanted to learn more about writing a screenplay, so I enrolled in UCI’s Screenwriting Program. Monday night was my night to get out and do something for me. I was so excited to finish each semester and then move up to the next class.

I love learning, which is never ending.

I would also suggest setting long-term realistic goals and set a timeline for working on those. I don’t watch much TV, so when I do have time, I sit down to write and play guitar. I would rather do that then watch most TV shows. Unless, the show/movie is good, I’m wasting my time.

What’s the radio set on in your car?

KUCI, KCRW, Myfm, KLOS, and my kids and I listen to KRTH 101’s morning show because it’s a lot of fun and engaging when I’m fired up on coffee driving to school. They have a great formula for exciting listeners to call in and laugh a little in the morning. I also listen to AM stations to catch-up with what’s happening in the world.

Any KUCI shows you particularly like?

Film School, Electric Pop Rocks, Play It As It Lays, Prescriptions for Healing Conflict, Writers on Writing, Health Matters, and Cure for the Blues are just a few that I listen to, but there are just so many great PA and music shows. I love that you can tune in 24/7 and get such an eclectic mix of content and DJ personalities.

When you’re in a nonverbal, musical mood, what do you like to listen to?

Depends on what mood I am in. I might listen to something really loud, cranked up or the total opposite if I am spent.

How has KUCI changed since you started here?

I see more support for one another, for the station, and for keeping things functioning and cohesive. So many people come and go, but it is great to see the people that continue on at the station through so many changes, as well as the new people that work hard to make a difference.

And when you have free time (don’t laugh), what do you like to do?

Play my guitar, swim, try to grow things besides weeds, write, and just take a moment of pause and try and decompress.

Anything I didn’t ask but should have?

How about where I’m from?

Where are you from?
I grew up in New York City and Connecticut. I had the worst grades in junior high and bombed my SATs (seriously, they were embarrassing!), but somehow pulled through and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in TV, Radio, and Film, and Education. I later moved to Boston, and earned a doctorate in Media andTechnology. I call it “mental bootcamp!’

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's son was four when she started "Writers on Writing." He's now 16. She's Orange Coast Magazine's new literary critic, author of Pen on Fire, and has a story in the newish collection, Orange County Noir (Akashic). More at Pen on Fire .


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