Week 46 | Artist 46: Created to Create 2016 Joel Carnegie, Broadcaster/Features & Documentary Maker
Joel Carnegie is an award winning broadcaster and documentary maker regularly working with various international broadcasters and media outlets, like the BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, ABC Radio National and others. In 2013, he founded The Space Company to take on projects and stories that deepen or challenge our understanding and relationship with the world around us, and has since filed stories from outback Australia, to the remote Faroe Islands, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Russia, UK and the USA.
As a professional storyteller, performer and musician, he holds a Master of Arts (Media & Communications) from Swinburne University of Technology and a Bachelor of Music (awarded with Honours) from the University of Melbourne (and Die Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz, Austria). Most recently, his feature "From Music Into Silence" was awarded a highly commended prize by Whicker's World Foundation.
Joel is an Ambassador of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) for Third Coast Festival (Chicago) 2016, and was a Jury Member for the "Radio Music" category at the 2016 Prix Europa (European Broadcasting Festival). He is also a member of Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Australia (MEAA). When he’s out on the road or at home, he can be found immersed in music of all styles, shapes, forms and colours.
Where were you born?
Geelong, Australia (Just outside of Melbourne, Victoria).
Where do you live and work?
On my laptop, anywhere in the world with a good WiFi connection(!), but my home base is Melbourne, Australia.
What fuels your desire to act/create?
There is something incredibly joyous and freeing about creating the space for creativity and performance. I set up my international media production house, The Space Company, with this in mind: to give space to explore concepts and ideas and to offer company for those who want to come on the journey with me. As a performer and musician, I’m always thinking about how I can offer a porthole into a different world and an opportunity for people to be changed (in some way) by the experience of the performance. The same thing applies in my work as a broadcaster and feature/documentary maker. I like to tell stories that envelop the audience, and take people on an experiential journey into someone’s life, or into a theme or an issue.
The best thing about being an artist is...
When you realise that you’ve made an impact in someone else’s life. Having worked in radio for about 10 years, your audience (most of the time) is invisible and sometimes you have no idea what impact you are having. That’s why I love working in live performance settings and having opportunities to meet an audience afterwards.
The biggest obstacle in working with self is...
Getting stuck on trying to make something perfect. When I was back studying, our school motto was ‘reach for the stars’. I feel like this motto is so ingrained in me, that I can sometimes take this idea to the extreme and become counterproductive, when I start fussing over the smallest of details. It’s something I’m working on!
What advice would you give self at the very beginning of your training and professional career?
Not to expect things will come immediately, or for things to be exactly how you imagine them to be. When I was studying a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree, I was so fixed on a career as just an orchestral musician (playing the French Horn). Little did I know, that life would have more exciting plans! Navigating from one project to the next throughout my twenties, it took a while until I trusted the path that I was on and could appreciate, understand and combine my strengths and abilities. I feel like now I’m just getting warmed up!
Are there any strategies/rituals you've created to help self in times when working feels difficult or when you feel stuck?
I have a regular yoga and meditation practice, which plays a vital role in my life. I also cycle and swim, and find that being around water often sparks a new idea off for me, particularly when I’m stuck on something. I then usually find myself racing back home or to the office to write it down!
Describe a productive day at work.
I find I’m most productive in the mornings and in the evenings. So, after an early morning yoga session and swim, I like to start the day by finishing off projects [to feel productive], then I might move onto writing scripts or planning a story/project pitch. I’ll get into emails and phone calls over lunchtime, then start production work in the afternoon. This may include going into the broadcast studio to record voice-overs or do a radio interview. I’ll spend the rest of the day working with colleagues on post production or having production meetings. Evenings are for performances (if I’m playing in a show or a musical), I might have on-air commitments [if I’m hosting a radio show] – or if I have a night off, I’m either whipping up a storm in the kitchen or seeing a friend’s theatre show. Because my work airs all over the world, I need to keep an eye on different time zones, so there is rarely a ‘normal’ day for me!
How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
I think it’s important to celebrate your successes because for every successful project or idea, there are many that never make it into fruition. But for the ones that do, it’s good to just stop, celebrate and reflect on your hard work, and to fill yourself with determination and courage for whatever comes next.
In 2016, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project. What CREATED TO CREATE INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2016. When Beginning, January, 1st, 2016 Who ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order. Goal Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.