With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s always important to put the spotlight on not only women but also the women who have FOUGHT. Aside from that, it’s important to put a great spotlight on hard working women and everything they do for society. I had the chance of interviewing Amira Fair, a true Shetrepreneur. Besides being a media correspondent and radio host at Jersey’s own NonFiction Radio, she has a beautiful story to tell.
Where are you originally from?
I am originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Born & raised.
When did you know that radio and entertainment was your field?
During chemotherapy, I watched way too much Law & Order SVU. So once I finished treatment, I went to college I as a Criminal Justice major. I called myself wanting to be a detective, I was tripping lol.
During my first semester I went to see the ‘Wendy Williams Show’ as an Audience Member. During one of the breaks Wendy came over, started speaking to me about my hair ( it was very short at the time) & how she was going through Fibroids Disease. I was so hype because a part of her talking to me was taped for the show.
After the show was over, I was walking through Time Square. I just felt a vibe telling me entertainment was for me. It’s hard to describe the feeling I had, but it was just a true AHA moment. So I trust my gut & switched my major. Somehow landed an internship with NBC by March for the Summer semester. That was all I needed to seal the deal.
How did you get introduced to the Non Fiction Radio family?
I always heard about Nonfiction Radio during my WRSU-FM days. As I finished my term as the Urban Music Director for the station & stepped away from my show, I rekindled with my homeboy Shape. (He is currently NonFiction’s Head Photographer.) We spoke lightly about me possibly having a show with the station and put me in contact with the President Ray to make sure I was a great fit for the company. Now NonFiction Radio is proudly my home, and the rest is magic.
You’ve interviewed everyone from artists to producers to actors. What have you learned overtime about executing an interview?
You are in a very powerful position. You have the ability to convey a particular image of a person, to make them feel special, & also be their friend in your mind. Sometimes I spend days researching people just so I can ask them personalized questions. I get a kick out of surprising people with my questions after combing through their social media profiles. But all and all at the end of an interview I strive for my content to be used as a reference on their bio or just leave their audience learning more about the person.
How long has it been since you “kicked cancer’s ass”?
6 years strong, with many more to come 🙂
What have you learned about yourself while being a survivor?
I truly learned how to appreciate each and every day. Also to try to make the most out of it, I can’t stress it enough. I mean here I was, a 21 year old girl away at college without a care in the world, one day I had a tumor on my right ovary & my life changed drastically. When I went though Chemotherapy I was isolated for majority of the time so I was forced to really focus on my life, the good, the bad & the ugly. After reflecting, I realized the Ugly that I have done in my life, outweighed the Good. I had to make a change.
Also understanding that Cancer in many cases is deadly, I made a vow to make sure that I would truly focus on the betterment of Amira & work towards being successful until I legitimately can’t anymore. So during chemo I would write my college admission letters (I had to transfer from my out of state college back to NJ) & focus on how to execute my goals. Within weeks of remission I attended Bloomfield College as a full time student, 7 months later I snagged an internship with NBC. 6 years later I still use that same drive to motivate me to work harder.
To date, what has been your favorite interview?
Former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins.
That was my 1st interview as a journalist, and it was so epic for my career. He is the 1st and only African American to hold that office (no pressure at all right? lol). My team and I did this as a videotape interview & I remember we were having some technical issues going on in our first attempt to interview him. So of course I am panicking, I was such a newbie. We had to do the interview over and he was a little mad, but he said “I hope you know I am doing this over for her”.
After we conducted the interview he told me if I am ever in a bind with my career I can always say he is my Cousin & gave me his card. That was a very special moment for me and it helped build my confidence as a journalist.
What advice do you have for young females pursuing radio and entertainment?
Plan out your goals, write them down if you need to (I am a Notebook Hoarder lol) & hold yourself accountable to complete those tasks. If your goals don’t scare you one bit, dig deeper. Challenge yourself to grow!
This field requires a great deal of sacrifice for slow outcomes. A lot of times you won’t get the money you think you deserve or spend the time with your love ones that you want. But you will begin to see the bigger picture as you complete your goals. I mentioned earlier that I interned at NBC. What I didn’t mention was that the internship was located in Stamford Connecticut & I was commuting from New Brunswick, NJ on public transportation (120.00 a week). However I knew that Bloomfield College was not as competitive in the field and I need to make a name for myself if I wanted to be taken seriously. So after completing the internship & having that on my resume, I noticed that I received interview requests for many of the competitive internships that I applied for. The following semester I was in a position that I was able to choose an internship of my liking. Sacrificing in this field is essential
This is definitely key for the ladies, understand your power! This is a male dominated industry, it can be intimidating at times especially being in the Hip Hop world. But know that you don’t have to dumb yourselves down, stay true to who you are. Being that Men are Men, they will try you. So understand that you don’t have to compromise your worth for a position or a lead in your career. Also know that that expressing your opinion does not make you “sensitive” just because you are a girl, it means you have heart & your voice is important.
Only YOU can stop YOU. Not your Professors, Boss, Family, Friends, or anyone. There will be plenty of NOs on this journey. This is career is not for the faint of heart. But one thing I always say about Nos is, Drop the “N” pick up the “G” & you GO honey.
Lastly, SMILE!! You never know who is watching.