Local Tie to ‘The Voice’

19 Oct

I am a curious person. I love people watching and am always curious about their stories. I think my curiousness, borderline nosiness, is an important trait to have as a journalist. With the position I have now every story idea I come across has to have a military tie to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. It’s important to stay informed on current events, because you never know when national news has a local tie.

There are not many TV shows my husband and I watch “live.” We only have the basic cable channels and watch most shows via streaming on Netflix. But there is one show we do stay up on when we can and that’s the reality singing competition, ‘The Voice.’ When season three debuted last month we were watching the blind auditions when one contestant, Mycle Wastman’s segment came on. In his introduction interview he talked about being raised by his grandparents and how his grandmother was his musical inspiration at a very young age. Sidenote, Wastman’s grandmother sang background for Frank Sinatra! How cool is that?

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Performing “Let’s Stay Together” at the blind audition. NBCUniversal.

Wastman also said he served in the Army before pursuing a career in music. I instantly wondered aloud if he served at Fort Lewis since he grew up in this area?

The next day at work I did some online research and contacted his agent. Sure enough Wastman served active duty in Germany and Kansas, but served in the Army Reserves at Madigan on Fort Lewis in 1995-1996. I put in an interview request with ‘The Voice’ and the NWG photographer went out to Wastman’s Seattle show last week to shoot photos.

Our interview was this past Wednesday, which is deadline day for our weekly newspaper. I wrote the story in about 45 minutes (I’ve missed deadline writing!) and the story went online that afternoon. It’s out in print today and you can read it online here. The story is also up on Wastman’s website. And check out the photo gallery by Scott Hansen here.

Working at a weekly newspaper can be frustrating at times because you feel like you’re always writing about old news, but in this case I felt like I was “breaking” news, as no other local news outlets had reported his local military ties. I’m sure my coworkers are glad the story is done as it was all I was talking about all week!

Good luck to Mycle!

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