DJ Spotlight: Abby Armato ’17

by Julia Waldow ’17

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Name: Abby Armato ’17

Show: “This Kenyon Life” on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. (Editor’s note: “This Kenyon Life” is modeled off NPR’s “This American Life” and features students’ stories about a given topic.)

Hometown: Downers Grove, Illinois

How did you come up with the idea for your show?                                               
Over the summer, I worked at a really boring job and literally stood in front of a scanner for eight hours and scanned documents. It was the most miserable job. I’ve never cleaned up poop or had to raise terribly tormenting children, but scanning—just scanning—is terrible. And so podcasts were God’s gift to me for having this boring job. I began listening to “Welcome to Nightvale” and “Snap Judgement” and “This American Life” and “Thrilling Adventure Hour.” And I loved it. I’ve always loved storytelling … [but] I never thought about radio storytelling before I started listening to “This Kenyon Life.” I was going on a walk with my mom in the late summer, and I was like, “When I get to Kenyon, I want to have a radio show and it’s going to be really cool.” Because I’m a transfer student, I was aware that I was going to be behind socially … so I tried to pinpoint what I wanted to do from the get-go so I could go into school having a sense of where I was trying to get to.

Could you discuss the process of putting your show together?
It’s very haphazard. I try to send out an email the Sunday before and say, “Hey, this is the theme. Send us a story or an idea for a story.” My little plug is, “You’ve lived 18 to 22 years. We’re sure you’ve got a couple good five-minute stories in there.” I love listening to stories and hearing people tell stories, and especially in the beginning of the year, when you’re trying to get to know people and people are telling stories for free, I would try to keep tabs on who told what stories. Spencer Huffman [’17] told a story in the beginning of the year about how when he was younger, he couldn’t sleep with pants on. And I was like, “What a great story!” So when I had the theme “My Childhood Exposed,” I remembered him telling that story and I said, “Spencer, come tell that story on my show.” Sometimes [stories] are prerecorded but … sometimes I’ll have people come to the studio and tell their stories on air. My exact process is still in the early stages. It’s constantly evolving, but next semester, I’m hoping to find a process that sticks.

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Post Grad Radio: Frances Sutton

Weird Brag Hotline

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Once upon a time, I went to Kenyon College…It was last year, so everyone except the newbies knows who I am. After all, I was famous. I was a Radio Queen…nay, Radio Empress…nope, Radio Goddess. On Friday afternoons, my best friend Sarah and I gave Kenyon the best pre-weekend soundtrack it could ask for. From 11 pm- 1 am on Tuesday nights, I graced the airwaves solo with my show, The Weird-Brag Hotline, where I’d play a weird array of music (Paul Simon followed by R. Kelly followed by The Kinks) and talk about weird-brags. What’s a weird-brag? It’s something you can brag about but it’s kinda weird or lame so usually you don’t. Except I always did and I encouraged others to do the same. These days, I’m living the post-grad dream of living in Seattle, WA, drinking coffee and wearing flannel. I miss the radio times a lot, so I started up this podcast where I resumed my weird-bragging and music nerding. The podcast has gotten pretty famous…amongst people who are boredly scrolling through their facebook feeds and find it. It’s a fun way to connect with some of my friends back in Gambier who miss my dulcet Tuesday night voice.
Enjoy.

Frances Sutton ’13

To listen, click the link posted above the photo of Frances (post-fetus, pre-Kenyon) or, alternatively, posted below five times: 
Weird Brag Hotline
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