O’FALLON – It was a dream come true when Courtney Diamond, now known as Eight-Ball, was told that she was selected to be the newest intern for the Rizzuto Show.
“I told Rizz when he offered me the position that I wanted to cry,” said Courtney. “I’m a huge Rizz Show fan. I’ve listened to it religiously for the past three years and I listen to the podcast every day.”
Courtney, a 21 year-old mass communications major at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and 2013 OTHS graduate, needed to land an internship to fulfill a class requirement. However, she never dreamt she would get a position on 1057 The Point’s morning show. It is also a show she happened to be a very big fan of.
“When I heard them say they were needing a new intern, I emailed them right away. I sent them two resumes and a cover letter, which was beautifully written if I say so. They called and asked if I could come in for an interview, which was really laid back. They ended up asking when I could start and I was shocked,” she said.
One of the first things that needed to be done was to determine what Courtney’s on air name would be.
“I’m the eighth intern. They give all their interns nicknames. They were going back and forth between Ocho and Crazy Eight, but then someone in the chatroom suggested Eight-Ball and they liked that,” she explained.
Courtney said her first day went very quickly and the pace hasn’t slowed much since.
“My first day I got up at 3:30 a.m., and I used to get up around 9 a.m. It was super early but I was so pumped. I put on this great outfit and was so excited. By the end of the first day, I was in shock. Every day is super quick and a whirlwind,” said Courtney. “A lot of the behind the scenes stuff is what I do. I’m on the air with them for the first 30 to 45 minutes of the show, and then throughout the week I’m on a couple of segments. From there, I write the blog, edit the podcast, save their live advertisements and endorsements, I tweet things a lot. I have to listen to the show carefully and make sure everything they talk about each day is put up on the blog. I also screen calls for contests and if people want to talk to the guys on the show. It’s really fast paced.”
When asked how Courtney is doing, Jeff Burton, a cast member on the show, initially replied by asking who Courtney was.
“The best comment I can give you is that if she were being given a grade, it would be a C. A high C. No, honestly, the easiest way to judge how an intern is doing is to see if Rizz has shot her and he hasn’t. The chat room seems to like her. She’s natural and not shy on the air,” Burton said once he realized Eight-Ball was Courtney.
Burton said there are a few things the show looks for when selecting an intern.
“The first thing we look for is somebody with some personality. Then we want someone who is a fan of the show, or at least knows the show. And also someone who is looking to be in radio or at least the entertainment world, which she already is. Those three things really helped a lot,” he said.
For Courtney, getting a behind the scenes look at her favorite show has been a great experience.
“I like the morning show atmosphere. The thing I like most about the show is that they’re just guys talking. Its very conversational. That’s what I like about this show. There’s not the big gimmicks and over the top radio personalities. Those guys are the exact same in person as they are on the show. I like that listeners can listen to the show and meet me as I am,” she said.
Courtney said listeners would be surprised to learn just how much goes into one four hour broadcast each morning.
“I already appreciated the show a lot but seeing what each of those guys puts into the show is astounding. They don’t just jump on the air and start talking. There is a lot of preparation that people don’t see and appreciate. They may not think their job is hard. It’s hard but in a different way,” said Courtney. “It’s so fast paced you don’t even have time to think about everything you have to do. There’s so many things that have to go up before the show even starts. Those guys get there insanely early. I think Rizz turns the lights on at 3:30 a.m. He and the guys are prepping for two and a half hours before the show even starts.”
Her passion for radio and broadcast has only fully blossomed lately though. During her time at O’Fallon Township High School, Courtney didn’t take part in the Panther Beat or broadcast club.
“I was into the idea of broadcast, but I was very involved in choir, show choir, madrigals, plays, musicals. I didn’t have time for anything else. My main goal at that time was to be a performer so I was doing musical theater,” she said.
Once she went to SIUE, Courtney began to think about her future and decided her initial idea of becoming a professional singer or performer may not be the path she wanted to pursue after all.
“My aunt is a radio personality in Southern California and I would go to work with her when wed go out to visit. I found it really fascinating, all of the things she gets to do and the people she gets to interact with all of the time. I don’t feel like performing is a practical career, because you either make it or you don’t. Radio is a good way to have a huge personality and be a performer. It felt like something I’d want to do and after my first day of the internship I went home and told my mom that there is no way I want to do anything else but this,” Courtney explained.
Aside from her work on the Rizzuto Show, Courtney hasn’t left behind her musical roots. Along with signing with the St. Louis Symphony choir, she is performing in SIUE’s upcoming musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” playing April 19-23.