From NYC to MIA, On-Air Personality Georgette Starr Talks Career Moves and "Georgette After Dark"
After being in New York for nearly eight years at the same production company, on-air host, producer and writer Georgette Starr felt like her career should have been going in a different direction and wanted a change. So she took a leap of faith and left NYC and her job in TV production to accept an offer as an on-air personality in Miami. Now that she’s seen that decision through, Georgette is gearing up to release her latest interview series titled “Georgette After Dark”, where she sits down with Queen Bey’s lead dancers, Universal Music Group artist and producer Bunx Dadda, correspondent Taylor Ferber, to name a few. We spoke with Georgette to find out what motivated her to make the move from NYC to MIA, what we can expect from her new series, and the advice she would give to fellow queens about “the process”.
When did you first know that you wanted to be in the entertainment business?
When I was younger, I gravitated towards music videos and wanting to be the one with a microphone without really understanding why. I started writing rhymes and poems in high school but when I went to undergrad at Norfolk State University (NSU), the knack for entertainment took on a life of its own. The defining moment was when I was walking past NSU’s radio station holding auditions. Someone told me to try out and so I did. I used to be insecure about my deep, raspy voice when I was younger but at this point I had nothing to lose, so I went for it. The rest was history.
If you weren’t in the entertainment business, what would you be doing instead?
I really couldn’t see myself doing anything outside of entertainment, but at one point I thought about entering the fashion industry. I thought I wanted to design clothes. Life would’ve been a lot different! I could see myself writing or pursuing a writing career.
You’ve written for various media outlets, executive produced your own show on iHeartRadio, created a web series on YouTube, and are currently an on-air radio personality in Miami. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud of them all, but the most challenging and the one I’m growing to appreciate the most is leaving my beloved New York to become a radio personality in Miami. I’m still in awe that the opportunity presented itself, especially at the time of my life where I was questioning a lot of things career wise. This opportunity was closer to home, goal wise.
What was the move from New York to Miami like?
It was emotional, hectic, and partially terrible – more so because I had a trash moving company. I had to move to Miami from New York within a week and a half. I was doing my best to fight back tears as I commuted home to the DC area first. I bought my one way ticket out of New York to go home on a Thursday, caught the auto train from Northern VA to Florida on a Friday, got to Miami on a Saturday, started my new job on a Monday.
And what made you take the leap?
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I was making good money but I knew there was more to my life than working in TV production. Halfway through 2018 [I] started considering life outside of New York.
Was it a culture shock at all for you?
Culture shock in the sense of it being the complete opposite of New York with [Florida’s] loosey-goosey gun laws, but not so big of a shock since it was still a major city. Of course things move a lot slower than what I’m used to, but adjusting physically wasn’t hard. I’ve had the biggest struggles adjusting mentally and emotionally.
With all of the projects that you’re involved in, how to you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I’m still looking for balance. My body is on a whole different schedule now, work wise. I go to work at 5 am and then get off when most people are going in to work. The things I tap into, besides naps when I need them, are my church services online through Agape International Spiritual Center’s live-streams, Tara Brach’s meditation podcast and podcasts in general, and a regimented bedtime schedule when I can follow it. But most importantly prayer and convos with my tribe of people that I trust and who constantly uplift me.
Give us a brief overview of your latest project, interview series “Georgette After Dark”.
So I shot three pilot episodes back in LA sometime ago for an idea I had of wanting to create my own late night talk show. I basically asked friends in the entertainment industry if they didn’t mind being interviewed while also revealing a more intimate side of themselves beyond the surface level. That’s where the “after dark” concept came from.
What would you say is the newest, freshest approach you’re bringing to the series?
I would say the personal relationships I have with the people interviewed. I went to high school with one guest who has produced for some of your favorite artists, went to college with one of Beyoncé’s dancers who is my second guest, and then I started off at VH1 with another guest who’s taking the red carpet world by storm in LA.
What was the most fun about creating the series? Were there any surprises?
Minor surprises, but the conversations were candid and bad ass, just like my guests. I also loved my crew and my friend who let me use his house as my set. Couldn’t have asked for a better team to create this series with. Shoutout to J. Lufair who produced and edited the hell out of my videos.
What were the professional relationships that mattered the most?
The relationships that stood out were people who opened themselves up to me as well as their networks. My previous boss in New York, who I still call to this day for advisement, is one example but she’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m so grateful for the people who guided me along the way from Norfolk, VA to Boston to New York to Miami.
Did you encounter any resistance?
I was the main source of my resistance. I kept standing in the way because I wanted things to happen the way I saw it versus trusting the process.
Without giving too much away, which one of your guests did you learn the most from while you were interviewing them?
I learned a few things from my guest that’s a professional dancer and was tapped several times to be one of Beyonce’s dancers. Just hearing how a bug was planted in her ear to move to LA to become a professional dancer was interesting. It’s something she did for fun but was really good at it. Look at her now. She’s danced for some of your favorite artists on tour, in music videos, and at award shows.
As you look back on your career, what was the most painful lesson you had to learn on your own?
Humility and patience.
What would you say motivates you to do what you do?
A few things motivate me. Life not being promised and knowing people close to me that passed away young, including my sister. Understanding how blessed I am to be in my position, especially since I asked for it, and my stubbornness not allowing me to do anything that’s not within the realm of my goals.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out, looking to make a name for themselves in your field?
Just start. Don’t wait for someone or even yourself to say it’s the right time. There’s no time like the present. Also, don’t discredit your skill sets learned from content or projects you or someone else created. For example, if your first experience with radio is podcasting and not a traditional radio station, don’t discount that experience. You’re further along than someone who hasn’t started yet.
What’s your personal philosophy on life?
Mind over matter and see it through. Trust yourself and the process, don’t compare your journey, keep a tight circle around, and have a happy reserve - a place where you can go to laugh or feel uplifted when things get emotionally and/or spiritually challenging. Be it music, TV shows, books, podcasts, meditation, bible verses, prayer warriors, whatever you need to stay elevated.
What do you see on the horizon for Georgette Starr?
A lot of dope things that I don’t want to speak on yet. I’m looking forward to the growth and evolution God is guiding me through so I can be in a better space to receive all the blessings on their way to me.