Meet Sheba Turk!

I am so excited to be bringing my new book, Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Deskto you guys! I hope to see you at one of my upcoming signings or events!

The book will be for sale for $20.

A huge thanks to Port Orleans Brewing Co. for hosting my book release party !

**If you would like me to speak at your event or sign books, please use the Contact page.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday, October 23- University of New Orleans Panel & Book Signing

UC Innsbruck

12-1:30pm

Thursday, November 15- Book Talk & Signing

Nora Navra Library 

1902 St Bernard Ave

6:30pm-7:30pm

Sheba Turk's First Book!

OFF AIR front cover.jpg

I am beyond excited to announce that my first book is coming out this week! It is titled, Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk. 

What is Off Air about?

I always knew that I would be successful, but I have encountered many obstacles on my path to success. I struggled to settle on a career path to pursue, never imagining that I would end up working in the news industry. I was forced to drop out of college temporarily for financial reasons, and I had to learn to work though the self-doubt that everyone experiences.

Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk takes readers through the highs and lows of my journey as I broke into the news industry and, in just two years, worked my way from behind the scenes to become a prominent news anchor in my hometown, New Orleans, La.

Off Air is perfect for anyone starting out on their own career path, particularly in media jour- nalism, or anyone encountering obstacles on their own journey to success. A foreword by my mentor, Soledad O’Brien, adds an extra level of inspiration. 

What inspired me to write Off Air ?

I was inspired to write this book by the overwhelming amount of aspiring journalists who reached out to me to look for advice about breaking into the industry. I want to help in any way I can.

What will readers get out of Off Air?

My first few years in the news industry have been a crash course not only working in media journal- ism, but in building a brand, forcing myself out of my comfort zone, and understanding some unspoken strategies for success. I am sharing all of my tips and tricks in Off Air.

Why am I sharing my story now?

I figured I would write a book after I retired, looking back on my career. Even though I have a lot more learning to do, I started writing about my journey and realized I couldn’t hold onto my newfound wisdom for decades. Someone else could use it right now! 

How can I buy the book?

The book is $22.95. It will be available on my website! Stay tuned.

Who wrote the foreword?

My amazing mentor Soledad O'Brien!

Off Air back cover.jpg

Other details:

Publisher: Pelican Publishing

Page Count: 192

ISBN: 9781455623914 

Check out my interview with one of my mentors, recently retired WWL-TV Anchor, Sally-Ann Roberts :

The Scoop: Interviewing Celebrities

 The Hosts of the Daytime Talk Show "The Real" (2016)

The Hosts of the Daytime Talk Show "The Real" (2016)

I speak to students about what I do pretty often and some of the most common questions I get revolve around celebrities.  “Have you ever interviewed someone famous?“  Who is the most famous person you have ever interviewed?”  So I figured I would spill the beans on my experiences with interviewing celebrities.

 Pelicans Star Anthony Davis (2014)

Pelicans Star Anthony Davis (2014)

 Actress Regina Hall (2015)

Actress Regina Hall (2015)

 Wrestler Hulk Hogan (2014)

Wrestler Hulk Hogan (2014)

 Actor Marlon Wayans & Comedian Gabriel Iglesias (2014)

Actor Marlon Wayans & Comedian Gabriel Iglesias (2014)

 Actor Morris Chestnut (2015)

Actor Morris Chestnut (2015)

HOW TO LAND A CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

 Option 1: I find contact info & use it

In local news, there aren’t always a lot of opportunities to interview celebrities in person.  And sorry to let you guys down, but there’s no formula for landing an interview with a celebrity.  For celebrities with local ties like the Queen of Bounce Big Freedia, I simply went to his website dug up some contact info and sent an email.  His people replied and we made it happen.

 Maroon 5 Keyboardist PJ Morton (2016)

Maroon 5 Keyboardist PJ Morton (2016)

 Pastor & Talk Show Host T.D. Jakes (2016)

Pastor & Talk Show Host T.D. Jakes (2016)

Option 2: It falls in my lap

 Stephen Colbert (2015)

Stephen Colbert (2015)

 When I interviewed Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show on CBS, WWL was told to fly one of their anchors to Dallas to interview him.  It was right before his show was going to start airing on CBS.  Management chose to send me.  My mentor, Soledad O'Brien, also hooks me up with great interview opportunities that have nothing to do with my news anchor job.

Option 3: A producer makes it happen

In many cases, the celebrity’s PR person sends an email saying the person will be available and a producer books them.  My producer for “The 504,” Caegan Moore, is great about keeping an eye out for who might be in town and trying to contact them to let them know we would like to interview them.  This is why it is important to have a great producer on your team.  They have a huge impact on the quality of interviews that you end up with.

 Singer Sevyn Streeter (2015)

Singer Sevyn Streeter (2015)

 Singer Normani Kordei of Fifth Harmony (2014)

Singer Normani Kordei of Fifth Harmony (2014)

 Rap Mogul Master P (2017)

Rap Mogul Master P (2017)

 FAMOUS PEOPLE COME WITH DO’S & DON’TS

 When I interviewed the ladies of daytime talk show “The Real,” it was a huge deal that Tamar Braxton had just left the show.  But their people communicated to my producer that we weren’t allowed to ask anything about that.  It is not uncommon for celebs to come with certain topics that are off limits.

 Singer Luke James (2015- Clearly before I discovered good edge control)

Singer Luke James (2015- Clearly before I discovered good edge control)

 THEY ARE USUALLY ON TIGHT SCHEDULES

When I interview someone, I like to talk to that person off camera even if it’s just for a few minutes, before we start the actual interview.  I like to hear from them about what they want to discuss and get a sense of their personality so that our conversation seems more genuine.  Famous people tend to have less time to hang around for an interview.  Sometimes they are whisked in the door, sit down for a five minute interview, snap a picture, and then they are out the door for their next appearance.  There isn’t always time to get a natural conversation going before the camera starts rolling.

 MY FAVORITE CELEBRITY INTERVIEW SO FAR…

 Bounce artist Big Freedia (2014)

Bounce artist Big Freedia (2014)

 Alright so back to the question all the kids have….Who has been my favorite interview so far? Picking my favorite interview subject is like picking a favorite child for me.  I appreciate everyone who sits down for a conversation with me, and I enjoy them all for different reasons.  Sometimes it’s because the person made me laugh, or I learn something, or it was so bad that it was memorable.  I had a blast interviewing the ladies of "The Real" and I had been a huge fan of them for different reasons before they had the show.  But if I have to pick one favorite, it’s Big Freedia for several reasons.  One- because he was so willing to come on and support a local show even though he is national and big time!  Two -because he has treated me like a friend from the first time we met.  He is a genuine soul, with tons of talent who remains humble and generous even as his success grows.

 TV Personality Iyanla Vanzant & Journalist Soledad O'Brien (2013)

TV Personality Iyanla Vanzant & Journalist Soledad O'Brien (2013)

 TV Judge Faith Jenkins

TV Judge Faith Jenkins

 The Hosts of the Daytime Talk Show "The Talk" (2013)

The Hosts of the Daytime Talk Show "The Talk" (2013)

FAMOUS PEOPLE ON MY LIST OF DREAM INTERVIEWS:

 When it comes to my list of dream interviews, the list is long. I’ll share my top 5:

1. Wendy Williams

I am slightly obsessed with her.  I have been to her show in New York and sat in the audience like a crazy fan.  She cracks me up, and I dream of having a national talk show like hers one day.

2. Malala Yousafzai

I am also a huge fan of Malala! She’s the Pakistini girl who was shot in the head at 15 years old by the Taliban because she was an activist for female education.  She survived and continues her mission.  As a bookworm who believes in the power of education, I admire her bravery in fighting for something that was just handed to me as an American.  That girl is everything.

3. Adele

In my head, when I get my big national talk show, Adele will be my guest and we will sing “Hometown Glory” together. She is my favorite singer and her music touches my soul.  I need to sit down and learn the story behind all of her tracks. Her lyrics are epically relatable.

 4. Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is the author of “The Five People You Meet in Heaven.”  It’s one of my favorite books.

5. Lil Bow Wow

Ok this one is just me being petty. Nothing makes me laugh like a tragic Lil Bow Wow video (Yes I still call him Lil Bow Wow)!  I am sure he would never agree to this interview because I would want to talk about all the things he wouldn’t lol. There’s the epic Grammy countdown fail and then there’s the time he was “hiding” from a group of students on a field trip.  His antics make some of the best topics for my show, so it would be fun to have him discuss some of them in person. 

 

 

How I Survive Waking up Before 3 A.M.

My first alarm goes off at 2:40ish every morning. I would like to say that I get up, but I am trying to break my addiction to the snooze button.  Being an adult is tiring and waking up in the middle of the night often leaves me feeling like a hamster on a wheel, always going and going.  Over the years, I have discovered some things that help me make it to the next day.

Set Multiple Alarms

Being late is not an option.  Our show starts at 4:30am and I HAVE TO be on air. There’s no such thing as running 5 minutes late. One alarm is just not enough.  I often turn them off.  Setting more than one assures that I will be too preoccupied turning off alarms to completely fall back asleep. 

Have a Backup for Sleep

Everyone says get enough sleep. Well I’m here to say, that’s just not always going to happen.  And I don’t drink coffee, but it’s crucial that I have a go to when I just CAN’T! For me, it’s green tea.

Say No

There are only so many hours in a day. I had to accept that I can’t do it all at one time. Learning to say no has helped me feel less overwhelmed and happier because I am only doing things that are really important to me.  It’s also easier to keep going when I am tired if everything I have to get done is something that I am really passionate about.

Nap

To get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, I would have to go to bed by 6:30pm. The world is still alive and buzzing. I have tried, but mentally, I just can’t check out that early in the day.  I am also much more productive at night, so I don’t want to give up that time.  I have become dependent on naps to get me through the day…everyday.  I have a vicious cycle where I go to bed somewhere between 9pm-11pm, wake up exhausted, get off work usually between 1pm-3pm, nap and then have a regular afternoon.  It’s not perfect, but it works for me.

Prioritize by Day

There’s no such thing as a normal day for me, and if I try to stick with a regular schedule it just doesn’t work.  One day I may use my afternoon to go to the gym, another day I may use it to hang out with friends or stay at work late.  I had to let go of the idea of a regular, daily schedule and take things day by day.  

ASK SHEBA: How Do I Leave Louisiana?

"My career will probably take me outside of Louisiana, but I am scared to leave.  How do I deal with this anxiety?"

This question came from a young lady I met while speaking to her class at my former high school, St. Mary’s Dominican high school. She is now a sophomore at Louisiana State University and thinking about a career in PR.

IT'S NORMAL TO BE ANXIOUS

The world is big and the idea that life will probably take you outside of Louisiana is a great thing. But I understand your anxiety! I grew up thinking I would stay I'm New Orleans, go to college in New Orleans, and I never really thought about leaving and then Katrina happened and I had to leave.  It opened my eyes to the fact that there is a lot of world outside of New Orleans. Traveling is now my favorite thing in the world. I always loved it, but now that I am older I can appreciate how it opens my eyes to new experiences and cultures that make me grow as a person.

REMEMBER- YOU CAN ALWAYS COME BACK

Remember -you ultimately decide what your life is looks like and where you live. You can ALWAYS come back to New Orleans or Louisiana.  You won't always have the freedom and opportunity to travel (financial reasons, maybe eventually kids...etc).  So when I get an opportunity now that sends me away, I jump on it, even when it’s a place I never even cared about going.  I went to Minnesota recently- I never even thought about going to Minnesota. I was asked to emcee a conference.  Turns out, the Mall of America is there and it was an amazing weekend. Will I ever make plans to go back? It’s not on my immediate list of goals, but now I can tell people how great the mall was and I know what Minnesota is like.  

JUST GO!

With all of that said, there is no way to get over the anxiety -instead push forward carrying that anxiety and I PROMISE eventually it will go away.  Before you know it, you’ll be traveling outside of Louisiana all the time and not even thinking about it.  And hey- maybe one day, you’ll find somewhere you love more than New Orleans.  There are many opportunities that simply are not in Louisiana. Don't cut them off because they are not in your area code.  Your family and loved ones are a phone call away. Talk to them the entire trip if you need to until you are comfortable branching out on your own. Eventually you will be!

5 Surprising Things That Helped My TV Career

1. BEING AN ENGLISH MAJOR

Journalism does not require a specific major.   Journalism and communications seem like natural choices for people who want to go into this field.  I majored in English because I loved to write and I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  Being an English major polished my writing skills which eventually helped me land my first paid gig in a newsroom writing for the morning show that I now anchor.

2. DOING THEATER

Being in front of a camera is not easy even if you’re outgoing like me.  I did theater in high school, and I think it really gave me an edge when it came to feeling comfortable delivering the news.  In a sense, we are performing.  Doing theater made me even more comfortable in front of an audience. 

3. NOT ALWAYS BEING INTERESTED IN NEWS

Yes, you read that right NOT being interested in news my entire life helped me succeed in news.  There are people who will watch the news religiously no matter what is happening.  There are others who only tune in when something grabs their attention or affects them.  I always think about ways to make a non-news lover care about the story I am writing, and it helps me tell my story in the most relatable way possible.

4. WORKING FOR FREE

You’ve got to give something to get something.  I gave up my time in exchange for experience.  I did my first internship at CNN in the summer before my senior year of college.  I wasn’t paid a dime, but I picked up skills that I still use today.

5. BEING LOW MAINTENANCE

I can roll with the punches, feel confident in a simple bun, and get over things easily.  In the TV world, it has helped me get past my own mistakes and others.  I get rained on during live shots, things go wrong behind the scenes in the studio, I stumble over my words…..there is so much that can go wrong during a live show.  It’s important to get over things quickly and keep it moving.