“People can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world.”
– Joe Strummer
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush talked about immigration and the US/Mexico border in 1980 — during a presidential debate.
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
– Leonard Cohen
There is a torn-up bed in there, too. Use your imagination as to why there was a bed up there in the first place.
“I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is just to drop Nintendo consoles from the air.”
– Salman Rushdie
After Salman Rushdie went into hiding because the Supreme Leader of Iran placed a fatwah on him for publishing The Satanic Verses, he spent much of his time playing Super Mario World. The full story is at Eurogamer.
Cassie Young is the Web & Social Media Director for The Bert Show, a nationally syndicated radio morning program. TSIBV connected with her to learn more about her role on the show, the evolution of social media, and what else is going on with her.
Photographic evidence that Cassie is indeed with The Bert Show
Who are you?!?!
Depends who you ask. To some people, I’m the social media chief. To some, I’m Cassie from The Bert Show. For most, I’m probably just Casshole.
What do you do?
Honestly, I hope no one figures it out because there’s no way I actually get to do what I do for a living. Like, that’s not a thing that actually happens. But it did.
I *guess* to sum it up, you could say I handle all social media – most digital, really – and some on-air antics for a nationally syndicated radio show called The Bert Show (thebertshow.com) and its nonprofit arm, Bert’s Big Adventure (bertsbigadventure.org), that takes children with chronic and terminal illnesses to Walt Disney World on a five-day, all-expenses-paid trip.
How did you get your job at The Bert Show?
Honestly, it all boiled down to skills matching with timing. I heard they were hiring a social/web person at the right time, applied, interviewed and a week later, voila. Now it’s six years down the road, and I still can’t believe it panned out.
What’s the average Bert Show day look like for you?
I usually get into the studio around 5:30AM. We crack the mics at 5:50AM, and then from there it’s replying to our listeners, crafting social media content relative to the show in real-time, blogging for our website, managing our intern team, and handling our online content distribution through our app and via our affiliate stations across the country.
Sometimes my day requires me to be on location to film a bit. Sometimes I’ll be photographing an artist interview. Sometimes it’s updating digital billboards. Sometimes I’ll be working on branding an upcoming promotion we have, and sometimes I’m just insulting people or being ridiculed on and off the air. Honestly, every day is so different from the previous one – that’s one of the reasons why I love it.
How do you think social media has changed since you’ve been professionally involved with that?
It’s what I imagine watching a baby that you’re invested in but isn’t yours grow up. Maybe your sister’s kid or something.
When I first got on Facebook in 2004, there was no wall for messages. There were no photos besides your profile pic. When I started using these tools for my job, Instagram was only available for iPhone. Snapchat didn’t exist. I remember having a huge argument with a former producer over Pinterest – I wanted to invest resources in it, and he thought it was a waste of time. I’ve seen social media networks be born and then die. I’ve seen ones thrive, only to have a bigger giant – or a handful of celebrity users on an up-and-coming network – render them null and void.
I love that social is now not something a few people do. It’s a massive, integrated part of our everyday lives. It’s brought the world together, and it’s torn it apart. It delivers news in real time. It delivers experiences. It delivers the innermost thoughts of people – good and bad – they wouldn’t dare say aloud. It’s a journal of the human experience, of our individual existences.
People might argue that social media removes us from our daily lives and takes us OUT of the experience, but I’d argue it brings us INTO experiences we would NEVER see with our own eyes — some we’d never even hear about.
Where do you think social media is going next?
Once we get past every network doing it’s on LIVE STREAM thing (oh, wait, we’re there already?). Holograms. And VR. We’re kind of already there on the VR front – there are some sick videos on YouTube that let you experience a video 360 style. Just a matter of time until it gets adapted for phones.
A few years ago, you were on Headline News to talk about the #SuitYourself campaign. What was the story behind that campaign? How’d you end up on TV? What was the reaction to all that?
#SuitYourself is a body positivity campaign about accepting how you look. All these magazine worthy Instagram models are everywhere – they’re adored, we worship them. But what about the other body types that aren’t represented?
This campaign is about swallowing the fear, or guilt or hate you have for your body because it doesn’t look like you *think* it should. Only one body type – fit, skinny, slim, whatever you want to categorize it as – is overwhelmingly represented in the media, and a lot of those are photoshopped. This movement gets women of ALL shapes and sizes to take a picture of themselves in a bathing suit – NO photoshopping, no editing, no filter – and post it on the internet for the world to see. The idea is to flood social media with pictures that represent all women (and men), to banish the shame people have over their bodies, and to really start owning your body and loving how you look without always admonishing yourself for not looking like an airbrushed magazine model.
I got a call out of the blue from HLN, who picked it up, and went in to talk about it with Lynn Smith. The reaction was amazing – you’d expect trolls to come out of the woodworks to hate on people (social media isn’t always the kindest), but instead, everyone just really lifted one another up. Strangers were commenting on other strangers’ #SuitYourself photos with encouragement, kind words, and love.
Cassie for #SuitYourself
Recently, you started a podcast, Broadly Speaking. What’s it about? How did that get started?
Broadly Speaking is basically an amalgamation of everything my cohost, Davi Crimmins, and I didn’t get to on-air on the main show (because we have time restrictions, content restrictions, and FCC restrictions like any other broadcast show). Broadly Speaking is unfiltered, raw, and covers everything from random musings to personal drama to things that are firing up the interwebs. We drink, we’re inappropriate, and it’s a ton of fun. At least to us and maybe like 3 other people.
You’ve attended a number of music industry awards ceremonies. Any good stories come out of those?
LOTS. Most of them I can’t tell. Let’s just say rooftop of the JW Marriot, stack of plates, kicked out via the private residences. Oh, and hover board, penthouse-style suite at the Wynn, Fifth Harmony.
Hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. My hands are tied.
Chainsmokers at American Music Awards
Ludacris at the Billboard Music Awards
Is Britney Spears past her peak?
NEVER HOW DARE YOU SIR
What do you think Kevin Federline is up to?
Hopefully being done reproducing. Actually, in all honesty, I hope he found his passion and is winning at life, yada yada. His ex-wife sure is, so I feel kinda bad for him.
A while back I recommended The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho to you and told you to write a 700-word report on it as well. How is that going?
I’ve got the first line! Wanna hear it? “The Alchemist is a book by Paul Coelho.” Solid start, right? I’m feeling pretty good about it.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I talk about a lot of controversial topics on our show, and I’m not always the popular opinion. My proudest accomplishment is when I found out that I made someone who doesn’t agree with me – and usually is vehemently against me – stop and think. It doesn’t matter what conclusion they came to – whether or not they agree – the fact that someone now considers other opinions rather than buckling down on their one opinion without thinking…that. That’s amazing to me.
What’s next for you?
I want to reinvest in my photography (I currently shoot for Bert’s Big Adventure), and continue growing the podcast and explore those options. I just started trying my hand at modeling and would love to keep doing that. But we’ll see!
Avalon Fashion Show For Bert’s Big Adventure
Final question. Who would win in a fight — a Roomba with a running chainsaw taped on top of it, or Helen Keller with a gun?
Option 3: a surprise attack from a BB-8 with a BB Gun.
You can occasionally hear Cassie on The Bert Show and can definitely hear a lot more of her on Broadly Speaking. You can also follow her on Twitter (@CassandraYoung) because 12.5k followers are never enough.
I got these for Christmas in 1998 and just found them in my old bedroom.