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Rising Stars: Meet Crystal Abernethy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Abernethy.

Hi Crystal, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
It all started when I took a job at KUWS FM at the University of Wisconsin – Superior. I was a part-time disc-jockey and on-air personality; a coworker of mine hosted a similar show however, he had guests on now and again.

I wanted to showcase artists, but the ones that weren’t established or established well.

I launched my first showcase/interview in Dec 2011.

From there, I hosted a weekly show from Dec 2011 until my departure from KUWS FM in May 2017.

At first, my reach was only in Duluth MN; and even more specifically the people I encountered when running sound at local coffee shops.

In 2013, I extended my reach across the pond, and beyond.

In February of 2016; I started doing interviews in a Podcasting platform.

In May of 2017, I left KUWS FM. It was bittersweet but a good move.

I now strictly do Podcasts; under The 9 O’clock Meltdown. Where I interview people from around the world, and have an international audience.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Smooth sailing, it hasn’t been. Lots of hurdles, struggles; self-doubt, with some haters to throw into the mix. I had to basically argue for my stance in the scene. Any scene I wanted to be involved in. Whether it was people telling me I was no good because I am a woman; when I was running sound. Or getting into turf wars with other radio hosts over whom could talk and interview whom. Trying my hand at the most vain world of them all; theatre.

I went in and out of therapy for many years. Working out my past experiences with an abusive ex-boyfriend and toxic friendships. But what it really came down to was myself; and not believing in my abilities or my own power.

Over the last six years, I’ve had a very eye-opening experience; you get what you give. The energy or belief that you put into the world comes back to you.

I’ve also taken on the challenge of learning from others; whether that is from a professional photographer (Jeff Fifield). The people and actors at The Duluth Playhouse (and more recently County Seat Theatre (where I am currently a board member)).

I’ve found that it is about finding people you gel with, that you can be authentic with. And being authentic and genuine with yourself.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I started out as a photographer; throughout my time doing so, I found my niche. Theatre Photography.

I love capturing moments in theatre. And I am glad I can bring two of my passions together.

I am most known for my radio/Podcast show; 9 O’clock Meltdown. Where I’ve spoken to people and other creatives around the world and showcased their work.

I think my long-running show is the most I’ve been proud of. It’s the one I had to fight for the most, and prove myself over and over again.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Ask. Ask questions, ask for advice. Ask for honest feedback.

In a line of creative work; whether it be painting, photography, music, stage, or screen.

People will have options. And in this industry your skin gets thick. You can learn how to take criticism, warranted or not with grace.

For me, this has been one of the toughest lessons to learn. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to please everyone (often at the cost of myself)

I’ve learned through the years of doing, theatre, music, interviews, etc. That you can’t please everyone. Nor will everyone ‘love’ you. Best to do what you like and what you want. And go with the flow!


Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jess Morgan
Hat Juggler – Wedding Photographer
Meghan Marie Photography – Outdoor Photographer

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