Monday, August 4, 2014

A True Minnesota North Starr!

Starr prepares to reveal the identity of baby number two. 
     Being a mom is said to be the “most difficult job in the world.” Some women do it as their sole responsibility while others must perform the task of raising children and working outside of the home at the same time. This is the case for Danielle “Danni” Starr of The Kane Show.

     Every weekday morning between 6 AM and 10 AM, Starr can be heard doing a variety of things on the show. If it is a Thursday, chances are that Starr is playing one of her many roles on the show’s hit segment “War of The Roses.” Here, Starr along with Kane (the show’s host) and Intern John look to catch people who may be cheating on their partners. Other times, Starr is either giving listeners advice with her trademark saying 
“Girl, boo!,” or informing the masses with her daily “Reality Check.”

     When asked about how she got into the world of radio, Starr said, “Radio honestly happened by chance. I was at the right place at the right time. I had my heartbroken right before the summer of my sophomore year in college, during summer vacation.” It was at this point that Starr was introduced to what would become her career. “I ran into a local radio personality who told me I should do radio. I interned at the station that summer and realized I never wanted to do anything else. I changed colleges so I didn't have to go back to the heartbreak, and started my career in radio.”

     While Starr has gained the adoration of thousands in the D.C. area, she is not a local. She is originally from the Midwest, Minnesota to be specific. When Starr first moved to the area from her native Minnesota, it was not the simplest of times. “I was terrified! I had never lived anywhere besides Minnesota, I honestly thought I would never leave. I was a little homesick, and constantly lost.”

     Though those feelings lasted for a bit, things have changed for the better.  “The homesickness has subsided. I have made this my home, met some amazing people, cultivated some great friendships and have fallen in love the DMV.” While she loves the area, some problems navigating her way through it remain. “I pretty much am always still lost. Thank God for GPS!”

     Luckily, for the loyal listeners, Starr is able to find her way to the studio in Rockville each morning to do the show. For Starr, the listeners are the most fun part of what she does. “I am always so humbled and overwhelmed when I get emails from listeners. I'm not trying to impress people, I just speak my mind, and hold strong to my beliefs, it's very cool that some people find that inspiring. It's even cooler that they take the time out of their day to reach out to me.”

    Not all of the feedback Starr gets for what she says and does are of the positive nature.  This is was one of the tough parts of working in radio for her starting out. “In the beginning it was the criticism. It's a job that you really have to put yourself out there for. I share so much of my life and people can be amazing, but some people can be very mean. When I first started I didn't think I would be able to do this forever, it was too difficult dealing with negativity. I've grown up a lot though and I no longer seek approval, now I just stay true to myself and hope that even if people don't like me or what I have to say, they keep their negativity to themselves. If they don't, I try my best to shake it off.”

    Another part of the job that can be tough for Starr is the 3:30 AM wakeup. “That is something that I think my body will never get used to. Even after almost a decade of early morning wakeup calls, it's still a little tough. I take a lot of naps though to help balance it out.”

     If Starr’s name sounds familiar, but not because she’s on the radio, it may be because of her time on WE TV’s Bridezillas and Marriage Bootcamp. According to Starr, people recognize her from these shows “more than I ever could have imagined.” She said of her time spent in this realm of reality TV “I had no idea what I was getting myself into. By now I feel like most people get that Bridezillas was satirical, but there's still a few that always tell me how cool it is that I've changed.”

    When it came to her actual wedding she said “I was never really a Bridezilla, I had a private wedding in St. Lucia with zero stress, drama, or video cameras. Not everything on TV is real.”

     Despite this, Starr still appreciates her time spent on “Marriage Bootcamp” and what it did for her. “Marriage Bootcamp was an awesome experience, it really helped me grow as a person. Even though I knew Bridezillas wasn't real, it helped me redeem myself to the people who were not aware of that. I don't mind being recognized for either, sometimes it leads to really cool conversations with strangers.”

     In her spare time, Starr can most certainly be found working out somewhere. “I am a gym rat for sure! I love working out, it keeps me sane and healthy and I try to stay as active as possible.” Being active is not something that just started when she hit adult life though. Before she chose to lend her voice to the airways, Starr was very much an athlete. “I played basketball and softball growing up, but competitive cheerleading was my life for a very long time.”

     There are some who debate whether competitive cheerleading is a sport, but to Starr, this is not a question. “For the record I would just like to state that competitive cheerleading IS a sport!” she said. As many athletes who grow to love their sports do, Starr decided to pass on her knowledge and experience in competitive cheerleading to others who enjoyed her passion. “After I didn't compete anymore, I became a coach. It will probably always be a part of who I am.”

     With one daughter, named MJ, another on the way and a husband, Starr has to do her best to make sure that she is taking care of business at home and on the job. These circumstances make each week a bit different for Starr. “There really isn't a typical week. When you're a mom something always pops up. Work, and working out stay pretty consistent, but parenting is the ultimate curve ball. There never really is a schedule when it comes to dealing with my family.”

      Some would say that she has balance these areas of her life, but not Starr. Laughing, she stated “I don't.” She continued, “Balance is still something that I am trying to master. I work hard. I am the best mom and wife that I can possibly be, but sometimes I feel like I don't have it all together.”

      It is during those times that she leans on her husband Slim for support. “My husband is an excellent teammate. He is a phenomenal father, which allows me to focus on my job when I need to and he keeps me balanced. I love my job and family so I try my best not to neglect either. Ultimately though, it's family first and I am blessed enough to work for people who understand that.”

      In addition to her family, Starr also has friends that have supported here through her journey. In fact, one of her friends, Claire, is actually her biggest influence in life. “My best friend Claire is a phenomenal human being. She's one of those people who people just feel good being around. She cares about society, kids, social change and awareness and she's always been way ahead of her time. We met when I was 12 and she was 13. Even though we are close in age, she's always been someone I looked to for advice and guidance. She doesn't have a self-centered bone in her body and that's commendable."

      The road to success usually comes with great advice. While Starr has had plenty of advice and direction leading up to and during her career, the best piece of advice came from her mother. “My mom once told me that if I was going to be my biggest critic, I also needed to be my own biggest fan. That has helped me through many situations.” This reminds Starr to look at positives in addition to things she needs to work on. “I used to focus on everything I was doing wrong, hadn't accomplished yet, just negative. Now I take the time to realize how far I've come. Even if there is a ways to go, it's important to recognize the hard work it took to get here.”

      For the many women and men who want to be doing what Starr does one day, she recommended the following, “Work hard! Putting in the work is imperative. If it was easy, it for sure wouldn't be as rewarding.” When things go awry, Starr advised against panicking or quitting. “Setbacks are normal, giving up is a choice. Work hard!”

     If you do not already, be sure to follow Starr on Twitter at @iamdannistarr. Also, be sure to Like her page on Facebook and listen to her weekday mornings from 6-10 on The Kane Show !

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