Have you ever sat and wondered, whilst sipping your coffee and watching The Today Show, how a live breakfast show is put together? Have you ever thought about who is behind the camera, ensuring a smooth and seamless broadcast? Have you ever been envious of the sophisticated, tailored outfits that the likes of Sylvia Jeffries and Lisa Wilkinson wear (Umm.. YES!)
If you answered Yes to any of the above, you are going to LOVE my next guest.
Given that Corporate style is a little out of my scope of practice, I ‘outsourced’ and found the perfect inspiration! Someone who is in a very professional position on a national level, but is a Rockstar at heart!
Erin Bouda, is the Senior Producer/Assistant Chief of Staff, for Australia’s number one Breaky Show; The Today Show! Erin plays an integral role in the planning and preparation of each morning’s broadcast, but also gets in front of the camera, for tough gigs like interviewing all the GQ Men of the Year on the red carpet!! She has a modern spin on Corporate attire, and oozes sophisticated style! I love seeing Erin’s workplace shenanigans play out on her Instagram account, and admiring all her outfits of the day! I really enjoyed this chat, I hope you do too!
Welcome Backstage, Erin Bouda!
Being a Senior Producer for The Today Show, is a very prestigious title! Have you always wanted to pursue a career in the Media?
My philosophy through school and university was always to keep studying what I enjoyed, hoping it would lead me to a career I enjoyed even more. Luckily it did, but the plan wasn’t always to get a job in the media. My Dad’s a journalist on the crime beat, and growing up I was very aware of the goings on in the world – both good and bad. I used to watch him get called out to crime scenes at 2 o’clock in the morning and I found myself thinking ‘that isn’t for me’…
But look at me now! Something must have rubbed off.
Luckily my work at the Today show isn’t all crime and grime (though there’s plenty of that). I always say one of the best things about working at the today show is the chance to get stuck into news and a current affairs, but also big feature yarns, stunts and celebrity guests.
During my studies I always loved English and drama, but it wasn’t until I was working on a short film at university when I first realised I might enjoy a career as a producer. It was a role in which I could capitalise on my organisational and people skills. My professor pulled me aside and asked if I had considered it (I hadn’t), so I sought out some work experience at Channel 9. They offered my 4 days with the production team, and I still haven’t left. It’s now been 4 years.
Erin and her father, 9 News Journalist Simon Bouda
What does a typical day at the Studio entail for you?
We’re a 24 hour office so there’s plenty of variety among the shifts! But most days I spend on the chief of staff desk, fielding story pitches and making decisions about what news we’ll follow the next day.
The first thing I do when my day starts at about 1pm is call the different Nine news bureaus across the country, and have a chat about their lead stories. I check our various dairies, and look out for any big sporting games, or high profile court appearances that we might want to cover.
I have a meeting around 2pm with the executive producer, supervising producer, and segment producers and chat about content we should be prepping that afternoon – and that’s exactly what we do for the remainder of the night.
I’ve got to stay one step ahead, to make sure we’re not missing a trick, and continue the rest of my shift on the lookout for yarns we need to put to air the next morning.
It looks as though you and your team have a lot of fun on set! What is the vibe like at Channel 9 Studio’s?
I consider myself extremely lucky to have a job that is so fun. We all know how to work hard, but also play hard. Some days the content we’re dealing with is fun (for example today my colleague Kate is sitting across the office putting together a segment with a chocolate sculpter!), but other days we have to put our heads down and work 12+ hours straight. It really depends on what the ‘news gods’ have dealt us that day.
An important lesson I learnt while working at the Today show is how to ‘get on with it’ very quickly. We all screw up, but if you’re in the middle of a 3.5 hour broadcast, you can’t dwell on it. Luckily all my colleagues – the production team, and the hosts – are extremely supportive. We work in a high pressure environment and one of the most important things you need to do is not take yourself so seriously!
Which guest/s that have featured on your show, have inspired and motivated you?
I’m constantly inspired by the hosts, guests and talent of the today show.
Lisa and Sylvia are two of the best role models a girl could have. They genuinely care so much about the product and all the people behind it. We’re typically quite a young office (and majority female too!) and Lisa and Sylvia make such an effort with each of us to help better us as producers.
The today show reporting team, and more broadly the nine network journalists, are also like sisters to me. The likes of Christine Ahern, Aislin Kriukelis, Lara Vella, Erin Molan, Jayne Azzopardi and Lauren Gianoli to name a few.
Some of the women we have on regularly for commentary segments such as the grill, like Shelly Horton, Sarrah Le Marquand, Miranda Devine and Jesinta Campbell are also such inspirations. They are strong and smart women who I feel honoured to work alongside. I don’t think they have an easy job; airing their opinion in the public forum and opening themselves up for judgement or ridicule. But they do it so eloquently and always with dignity.
You might not believe me, but there hasn’t been a guest we’ve had in studio that I found to be offensive. When I was a junior meet and greet producer, or a ‘runner’, I met Bob Geldof, and he was so quirky… he asked for a bowl of porridge, and told me I should be eating porridge every morning for breakfast. When he finished his porridge he signed the bottom of the bowl.
I love your corporate style! What is your go-to outfit, for a professional Studio look?
I am all about comfort! And I’m very much a pants girl. My go-to outfit is usually an oversized shirt and skinny leg pants with boots. Oh – and my leather jacket. I probably wear too much black – but you just can’t go wrong with neutral colours. I don’t wear a lot of colour, but if I do it’s either orange or blue (my favourites!)
I think if you’re confident in what you’re wearing, you’re likely to exude more confidence. And confidence is everything in the workplace.
All that said, sometimes when I get to the end of my 2am shift, and it’s time to go home I look down at myself and wonder ‘what am I wearing?!’ – I shouldn’t be trusted making fashion choices whilst half asleep!
Who is your fashion inspiration?
I don’t think I have any one “fashion inspiration” per se (though I would love Jesinta Campbell’s wardrobe), but I tend to have certain brands that inspire my wardrobe. Ellery is right at the top of that list, and so is Manning Cartell.
Do you have any tips, on how to make an amazing first impression, for ladies entering the corporate world?
Without sounding naf - smiling and practising basic kindness is the best thing you can do to make a good first impression, both in the cooperate world, and in everyday life… and like I mentioned earlier, carry yourself with confidence.
Be ballsy, ask questions, ask for what you want, and be prepared to do some of the hard yards before you get to where you want to go.
What a riveting workplace The Today Show sounds like!! It seems 'what you see is what you get'! If you want to see some behind-the-scenes antics, and also be inspired by Erin's style, head to her Instagram: @erin_bouda