Behind the Mic: Bri Marquez and Julianna Ress

Bri and Julianna in front of Student Services West.

The entertainment industry is made up of a variety of productions and artists that viewers eagerly enjoy. For fans, the fun also comes with breaking down the most recent episode of their favorite show, or last night’s concert. Bri Marquez and Julianna Ress host the show “Lights, Camera, Aztecs” every Monday night. And, it is all about what’s on TV. I met with both Bri and Julianna to see what kind of dynamic they bring to the air for another edition of Behind the Mic.

Bri, a communications major, told me their show opens up with a discussion about the most recent episodes of TV shows that they follow. The two cover reality TV heavily, with shows such as “The Bachelor” and “Survivor” making their way on air for opinions, break downs and predictions. Julianna added that the duo’s show is not so much a recap of what happened, but a thought-based conversation about what is to come in each show, as well as criticism. With shows such as “Survivor,” who is going to be eliminated next and why are consistent talking points on “Lights, Camera, Aztecs.” “We know its ridiculous, but we still indulge in it,” said Bri.

Julianna expanded, saying reality TV is culturally significant and because of that, says something about society.

“It’s almost more of a podcast,” said Julianna when talking about how opinionated the conversations can be on the show. The two had the band “Wussy” on their show a few weeks back and hope to bring more artists onto KCR. Bri mentioned that there is an appropriate amount of disagreement between her and Julianna, which makes for interesting debates on air.

Despite it being a show focused on television and other entertainment, politics can make its way into the conversations on Monday nights. “We’re not afraid to bring that into our show,” Julianna said. She said that, for example, they discussed the Academy Awards and how  politics affected what movie won best picture, “Moonlight” or “La La Land.”

“Its fun to think about why these things [reality television] are so important to us,” Julianna stated when talking about her favorite aspect of the show. The two hosts mentioned they both have revelations during their conversations that lead to new ways of thinking about characters and other aspects of shows.

Julianna, a journalism and media studies major, is a Senior Staff Writer at The Daily Aztec, SDSU’s campus newspaper. You can find her writing under the “Art & Culture” section, where she has covered student musicians and concerts, and conducted a Sage The Gemini interview.

Bri, minoring in counseling and social change, works with Best Buddies, an organization which is aimed at helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Bri is paired up with a girl who she visits a few times every month. Bri told me that currently, she has been working on reading and writing with her partner.

You can tune into “Lights, Camera, Aztecs” every Monday night at 8 p.m. on KCR College Radio.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Bri and Julianna’s friendship outside of the show complements their on air conversations. Photo by Sumner Shorey. 

Behind The Mic: Brett Michel and Mackee Dimick

Brett and Mackee pose in the KCR Studio in front of their banner.

Morning talk shows can be the pinnacle of a radio station, as they coincide with commutes to work and school. KCR’s Brett Michel and Mackee Dimick have a morning show of their own, “Brett & Mackee In the Morning,” every Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. To see what the program brings to the air, I conducted a live, on air interview of the hosts for another edition of Behind The Mic.

Since its premiere this spring semester, Brett and Mackee’s show has been different every week. Mackee mentioned that the two start with a couple ideas for the show, but branch out into other topics throughout the two hours.

When talking about the design of the program, Brett said, “Both of us want it to be as honest as possible — if you prepare too much, it just sounds scripted.” I then asked if he had any inspirations for the show or based the program on anything. Brett mentioned that he is an avid listener of “The Jason Ellis Show” on Sirius XM, and he finds some inspiration through it.

Brett also mentioned that Mackee and a guest recently played the Newlywed Game with an NBA trivia twist on air. In the Newlywed Game, two people are asked a question and write down their answers on separate papers. Both players lift their answers up at the same time to see if they match.

In a previous week, Brett, Mackee and a guest did a segment titled “Lakeside Lowdown.” Country music fans beware, this segment, though similar to a top 40 country playlist, was essentially a roast of the country genre.

Although primarily a talk show, music is still an element of “Brett & Mackee In The Morning.” At the top of the second hour, the two hosts each play a song. Mackee may pick something along the lines of hip-hop or electronic, while Brett usually sticks with punk rock. Additionally, the two compile a 10-song playlist every week, titled “Bangers.” The weekly playlist is shared on the hosts’ social media.

Brett, a television, film, and new media production major, uses his production insight to make the most of the morning show. If you haven’t set foot in the studio during the program, you may not realize the scope of production behind it. Every show is broadcast on Facebook Live using two cameras: one that focuses on Brett operating the board, and the other that shows Mackee and a guest. The second camera also captures the background of the studio, which features a banner of the show’s logo that Brett hopes to fill with guests’ signatures. Brett also has a soundboard on his laptop with individual intros, outros and sweepers: elements that are featured on many professional radio shows. According to Brett, the two have “the best intro on KCR.” I heard it, and it’s pretty darn good. Listen to Brett and Mackee’s intros from Feb. 16th and March 9th, respectively, below. 


I then asked the two if they had any big plans for the show in the future. Brett expressed his desire for a third voice to be featured on the morning program. The two also talked of doing a Family Feud segment, and possibly incorporating it into Music on the Mesa (KCR’s weekly event during the farmer’s market). On top of that, Brett mentioned hosting a dog race, similar to the “weiner” dog races seen on TV, and covering that through KCR. Interesting ambitions to say the least, but I (and many others, I’m sure) would like to see them happen.

Brett, the KCR Graphics Director, also mentioned his new video series, “Overdressed.” The comedic videos are featured on KCR’s YouTube page and the video page of this blog. Brett is a second year junior at San Diego State University. He said that his favorite aspect of hosting the show is “taking something and making it professional to say, ‘Hey look at what we did.’”

Mackee, an international business major, told me that his favorite part about the show is the creative freedom he has when talking on air for two hours. He said that during the show, he is able to have a good time.

If you’re up early enough, you can catch “Brett & Mackee In The Morning” every Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. on KCR College Radio. If you’re not, you can listen to full shows and show highlights on their YouTube page. Check them out on Twitter and Facebook, too. 

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Brett and Mackee focus on production value for their weekly talk show. Photo by Sumner Shorey.

Behind The Mic: Alejandro Villasenor and Brandon Ofiana

Brandon Ofiana standing in the Aztec Prebys Student Union.

Brandon Ofiana finds a medium to express his passion for soccer through KCR. Photo by Sumner Shorey.

Soccer fans rejoice! KCR’s very own Alejandro Villasenor and Brandon Ofiana have a show dedicated to what you love. “Footy Aztec” is the soccer focused radio show hosted by Alejandro and Brandon every Sunday at 6 p.m.

According to Alejandro, the two focus on Aztec soccer during its season: the fall. Brandon added that European soccer is extensively covered on air as well, more so in the spring when the Aztecs aren’t playing. Last semester, the show featured an on-air interview with SDSU men’s soccer captain Sergio Enriquez.

Alejandro, a communications major, has covered soccer on his show since he joined KCR at the beginning of his freshman year, three semesters ago. He said that from a young age, he had his sights set on a sports broadcasting career. He dreams of one day covering a World Cup. “KCR is a good stepping stone,” said Alejandro when discussing sportscasting opportunities. 

Alejandro Villasenor behind the mic in the KCR studio.

Alejandro Villasenor has been an active member of KCR for four semesters now. Photo by Alejandro Villasenor.

Brandon, a journalism major, expressed a similar interest in sports broadcasting. Having played soccer all his life, his passion drove him to the potential career route. While co-hosting the show, Brandon plays soccer through SDSU’s on-campus intramural league.

Brandon told me that the UEFA Champions League is a major focus of “Footy Aztec.” Alejandro added that it takes up over half of the hour. The two discuss their predictions, analyze teams, cover past matches, report injuries and give the low-down on team news during the show.

I asked the hosts if they had any plans or goals for their program and I got some ambitious answers. Alejandro hopes to get in contact with Aztec soccer to set up broadcasts for home games, similar to KCR’s coverage of Aztec baseball games. Expanding KCR’s sports broadcasting lineup would likely be welcomed by many. Adding to their goals, Brandon and Alejandro expressed interest in airing “Footy Aztec” on another medium: either Facebook Live or YouTube. A weekly edition of the show uploaded to a YouTube channel also seems like an option.

Brandon noted that he enjoys being able to talk soccer for an hour every week with a friend. Alejandro added that he gets a similar kick out of hosting the show and being able to share and hear opinions.

If you want to listen to Brandon’s and Alejandro’s show, “Footy Aztec,” tune into KCR College Radio on Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Behind The Mic: Jack Sellas and Tessa LaMunyon

Jack and Tessa sitting in the KCR Studio.

The on-air personalities of show hosts can keep listeners tuned in week after week. Jack Sellas and Tessa LaMunyon bring their personalities to the masses with “Midweek Mashup,” every Wednesday from 8 to 9 p.m. Curious to see who the duo really was, I invited them to be interviewed for Behind The Mic.

Jack and Tessa, both second-year students at SDSU, come together for an “off the cusp” show that incorporates a wide variety of music. Jack told me, “we tap into our personal lives,” and Tessa mentioned, “if we have something to say, we’ll say it.” Their personalities are dynamic together, probably because they’ve known each other for 16 years; Jack told me that they went to kindergarten together.

Jack and Tessa improvise most of their show; nothing about it is planned. This only aids to the originality of their program.

In terms of ideas for their “hump day” hour, Jack and Tessa hope to incorporate more genres of music. Tessa mentioned that the show originally started off with a lot of punk and alternative rock. However, as recent as last semester, the two have begun playing EDM, indie rock and classic rock, and hope to continue blending genres. As a duo, Jack and Tessa bounce new finds off each other before adding the music to their playlists.

When I asked the hosts what their favorite part of having a show was, Jack brought up the experience he gains from the studio. He said he enjoys radio as a platform, and likes to analyze his previous on-air performances, including “the structure, time, the fluency.” Tessa told me that she enjoys having an hour to hangout, let loose and play music: all of which are elements of a good time.

Besides being a host, Tessa is involved with Aztec Music Group, the on-campus group bridging business and music. She told me that being a tour manager is one of her hopes for the future. Tessa is majoring in communications.

Jack, a marketing major, mentioned that he recently picked up an internship with KFM-BFM 100.7, where he is involved with the station’s promotions and events similar to KCR’s Music on the Mesa. Jack is also the Production Director for KCR, and helps members mix and edit audio clips.

Interested in seeing what the two bring to the airwaves? Tune into the “Midweek Mashup” every Wednesday night at 8 p.m.

In addition, you can find your favorite DJs on our KCR schedule.

Featured Image: Jack Sellas and Tessa LaMunyon combine their personalities on-air for an hour of originality. Photo by Sumner Shorey.