I use my Mac for...

Show­biz! p18

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Q Tell us about yourself and your ca­reer.

Heather Hen­der­son: I’ve been an en­ter­tainer since I was seven. My fa­ther was a folk and blues mu­si­cian, and he used to take me to his gigs. I joined him as a vo­cal­ist and we toured the el­e­men­tary school sys­tems and sang to the kids. I started modelling in my teens and per­formed on the na­tion­wide dance show Dance Party USA. I was dis­cov­ered by a man­ager and landed roles in Se­same Street and the Man­nequin 2 and Annapolis.

In 1998 I dis­cov­ered bur­lesque, and I per­form with dif­fer­ent troupes and pro­duce my own shows. I also be­came in­ter­ested in film­mak­ing and taught my­self how to edit in i-Movie and Fi­nal Cut Pro. My short films have won awards in a few film fes­ti­vals.

I also work with Penn Jil­lette as the lead back­ground singer in his band, The No God Band, and pro­duce the Ar­dent Athe­ist pod­cast with my part­ner, Emery Emery. We’re on our sec­ond year of pod­cast­ing now.

Q How do you use your Mac in these roles? HH: To record our pod­casts, we use a 2.4GHz Quad-Core In­tel Xeon Mac Pro with 28GB of RAM. We use Garage Band, Saf­fire Mix Con­trol [an ap­pli­ca­tion for con­trol­ling mul­ti­chan­nel mix­ers] and for run­ning the video side of things, ATEM Soft­ware Con­trol with a Blackmagic video card. My lap­top is used mainly for surf­ing the web, check­ing email and, when mak­ing pod­casts, to read from my script and mon­i­tor the cha­t­room dur­ing the live show.

My iPhone goes with me every­where. I use it for Face­book, Twit­ter, map­ping, check­ing im­por­tant mes­sages and re­hears­ing mu­sic from my iTunes playlists for a per­for­mance.

Also, at home we use a domed i-Mac that runs on a Power-PC G4 pro­ces­sor to run our light­ing sys­tem. It’s con­nected to an X-10 con­troller, so we can pro­gram when our lights will go on and off, and how light or dim we want them to be.

Q Your act­ing roles range from an ap­pear­ance on Se­same Street to bur­lesque per­for­mances. That’s quite a dif­fer­ence. HH: When I was younger, my man­ager sent me out to au­di­tion for young roles. I au­di­tioned for sev­eral soap op­eras, TV shows and plays in Philadel­phia and New York. When I got older, my man­ager and I parted ways, but I was still per­form­ing here and there, and I also had my own band. A friend of mine asked me to sing for her while she danced in a sort of ‘va­ri­ety show’. I did the per­for­mance and learned about bur­lesque and I be­came hooked. It was a place where I could per­form any kind of act I wanted from the silly to the sexy, and I made a whole new group of friends. Even­tu­ally I started di­rect­ing and pro­duc­ing my own shows, and I’ve never stopped. Q How im­por­tant is new me­dia for groups to get their mes­sage across? HH: The in­ter­net has made it pos­si­ble for the aver­age per­son to learn just about any­thing. YouTube is a won­der­ful tool for people to post videos about topics im­por­tant to them and add a face to the in­for­ma­tion. Videos are a great medium be­cause they show off the host’s per­son­al­ity and help to quickly spread valu­able knowl­edge all over the world.

And with the pod­cast medium, of course, lis­ten­ers can catch up on them in their own time – also aiding in pass­ing the time while work­ing and do­ing dif­fer­ent tasks. Q Why a Mac and not a PC? HH: I was one of those PC users who thought that they would never make the change over to Mac. Boy, was I wrong! I had a boyfriend who talked me into try­ing one, and I never looked back. I love the look of them, the ef­fi­ciency and the power they have. They’re so easy to use, and now I'm hooked.

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