It only took one day! Yup, one full day of fun and work in sunny LA at the Baggage Claim junket when I met 5 beautiful and talented women who work in the media. I will be honest and say these women are the reason for this Radio Chicks Rock crusade.
One young lady in particular that I had the pleasure of meeting was Felicia Haney.( known on twitter as @BeechStreet). She’s cool, intelligent, fun and inspiring. Remember, I’ve only known her for 24 hours, but in that short time, I noticed and respected her demeanor, her focus, her personality, love for true hip hop, a good story, and it was the very reason why I wanted to add her to the RadioChicksRock roster. Thing is she’s not a radio chick! She’s a writer chick! A DOPE WRITER CHICK too!
Meet Felicia Haney aka BEECHSTREET:
What is your occupation?
I am a newspaper reporter by day and superhero by night ;c) switching the letters on my chest to represent a plethora of jobs in my field. Most commonly, I refer to myself as:
Journalist |Publicist | Fashionista | Muslimah
How did you get started in your career?
If you want to break it all the way down… I was born with the gift of gab. From a young age I sprouted into a social butterfly. But, writing was always my strongest suit. It wasn’t until my years as a Brooklynite in my early twenties that I decided to leak all the absorbed culture of New York City through an online music-based site in an effort to help a friend. Unbeknownst to me, my affinity for not just music, but entertainment as a whole, would grow. This prompted me to expand it on another level, therefore becoming “queen pin of the ink pen,” an untapped talent I had really possessed all along. I moved back home and my NYC credentials landed me a job at a local newspaper.
What do you like/love most about your career?
The freedom. Freedom of expression, the freedom of a flexible schedule, the freedom to travel. It’s the anti-corporate world, which translates into… My dream job!
What did you do before you started this particular art and why was it necessary to switch gears?
So many things! I was a career student, pharmacy technician and live-in nanny all at the same time! I always had an affinity for writing, but never thought of it as a career. It wasn’t until one day out of the blue my cousin told me I had a name like a newscaster that sparked me to switch gears, and my major, from psychology to journalism. I hated Psych 101 anyway, so it was a simple fix.
What’s the biggest misconception about what you do and how do you respond to it?
Media doesn’t always get a fair wrap. In fact, it’s oftentimes looked at as the anti-Christ of our society as if it is to blame for all of our pitfalls. But, what I love about media is essentially the same thing I hate about it – its ability to get into people’s minds, shape public opinion and formulate thoughts through words, pictures and videos. If it’s done responsibly, it can be a wonderful thing. If not, it can be catastrophic. Being a good journalist is about ethics, which helps me keep the middle course – reporting the facts, while staying in touch with the people. So many believe language is a lost art, but when someone speaks yours, it’s the most imaginative form of expression felt with the highest level of appreciation. No matter how evil the machine is we’re so eager to rage against, we still love to see our face on the TV screen, pictures or name in print, or hear our voices on the radio. Media is our gift and our curse; let it work for you and not against you.
Every person has a story that’s “one for the books”. That could mean it was a good experience or a bad one. What is a “one for the books” story for you?
There’s so many! I’m sure if you asked every one of my friends and family members they can tell you of a “one for the books” story involving me that’s totally different from the next person you ask. I’ve been dubbed as the queen of adventure. One I can remember vividly is having a fall out with my college roommates at Norfolk State in VA. I was so angry and ready to move out that night, that I packed up my things, rented a car and hit the highway headed home to Cleveland with one of my good friends from NY. Against all better judgment, the torrential downpour, his argument with me to pull over and wait it out and my sheer determination to leave it all behind quick fast and in a hurry… We hydroplaned, went off the road, flipped the car over and landed on the opposite side of the highway with only one wheel remaining on the car. With God’s grace we were unharmed, not even a scratch. But all of my belongings and National’s rental car were gone! I ended up at a Motel 6 stranded for two weeks until I ran into a random guy at Denny’s who could tell the world was on my shoulders. For some reason I decided to tell him my story. He gave me a ride to National, I was able to retrieve most of my things left in the car. Then he introduced me to his cousin who “just so happened” to be on the way back to Toledo, Ohio. So… I hitched a ride! Yes! With a complete stranger, 800+ miles! I’m just glad I lived to tell about it!
What industry do you admire the most and why?
As a single black female addicted to retail, my arm is all but twisted to answer with… fashion. I’m Muslim so that restricts me from wearing certain types of clothing. What started as a goal to dress appropriately, yet still maintain fashionista status at times has turned into utter obsession. “[eh-hem] My name is Felicia Haney and I’m a clothes whore.”
If there was something you’ve never done before but you were given the opportunity to do it today, what would it be?
Well, I do have a bucket list that includes things like jumping out of an airplane – I’ve flown a plane before and sat inside as a spectator watching while air show participants jumped out, I’ve just not actually had my chance to do so. I missed my opportunity to be on Oprah, so I guess that leaves me with running the nation. Never thought of myself as the political type, but I would sure like to input some checks and balances that involve more than just checks that balance out public political figures’ accounts.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself?
Better off – spiritually, financially, health-wise, career-wise, in my dealings with my family and friends and how I serve others. I don’t see myself in the same place. That means, in the next five years I will see growth. Greatness should be on the agenda as something to strive for daily. So, in 365 days, times five… I should be almost perfect at it.
If Felicia of today could speak to Felicia of 15 years ago, what would she say and how would she respond?
With an extraverted personality at times it’s easy to acquire “friends.” I would tell the Felicia of 15 years ago that to get from point A to point B sometimes you have to make pit stops and let some of those “hangers-on” out at the stop sign, don’t plow through the caution signs and when you’re the only one moving the vehicle, switch gears for one that carries less passengers. Everyone is not your friend, and when people show you who they really are… believe them. Some people will never see your value until your presence is removed from their life. The hard-headed Felicia of 15 years ago would politely thank me for the advice, but still have to figure it out on her own when she’s ready to use it… 15 years later.
(silly question) If you could pick anything, what would you want to be seen picking and would you want NOT to be seen picking?
My fun answer would be: A multi-million dollar check! My real answer would be: I would love to be seen picking some of the students I mentor to receive full ride college scholarships.
Fun answer: I would not want to be seen picking ANYTHING out of a publicly used toilet (keys, cell phone, first born, you catch my drift) – I have a lightweight phobia for public BR’s. My real answer: Cotton, because it would mean we – as African Americans in this country – will have done a complete 360 and ended up right back where we started.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”
I can rely on this quote to put things in perspective. It’s a reality check to cash in on self worth and erase self doubt.
How can people reach out to you?
I’m pretty easily accessible (when I want to be, lol).
Twitter and Instagram @beechstreet
Email is Felicia@beechstreetpublicity.com.
Also, feel free to read my stories online at http://www.callandpost.com and leave comments.
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