It’s a Monday night in Cookeville, TN and I just wrapped up an interview with Canadian Rodeo Announcer Dustin Edwards. I had a blast getting to know Dustin and talking about his opinions on the rodeo announcing history. Read on, to see my full interview with Dustin:
11 Questions with Professional Rodeo Announcer, Dustin Edwards
Question 1 – How did you get started as a Rodeo Announcer and how did you get noticed in the Canadian Scene?
Dustin Edwards – I started announcing high school rodeos in Central Alberta. 8 hour days off announcing helped me learn the skill before long I was getting bigger shows and my name was getting out there as the new guy and people took a chance on me.
Question 2 – So, did rodeo announcing run in your family or were you the first one to take it a run with it?
Dustin Edwards – My family roped, so I figured I could do that when I’m old. My mom was a rodeo queen in 93′, and that wasn’t for me either. I was 1st to announce in the family. 4 yrs old announcing “no time” at my grandpa’s jackpots on every run.
Question 3 – Earlier you mentioned you announced at high school rodoes. Do you think starting at the bottom a working your way Up kept you fresher in the rodeo announcing field? Also, Isn’t it kind of like an eye opener seeing the hard work you did?
Dustin Edwards – Starting there was the best place to learn the tools I needed to succeed. I also got to follow the same path as contestants Who were making their way through the ranks to a CFR or NFR goal. Totally worth the work and miles.
Question 4 – What’s been the most grueling thing about being a Rodeo Announcer?
Dustin Edwards – Finishing an event and waiting to see if they will hire you back. It’s the knowing if people liked what you’ve done. But nothing compares to the hours of homework on stock and contestants before every performance. Can be a lot of work!
Question 5 – What do you do during the week or maybe weekends when you’re not announcing? Do you look for sponsors/study announcers?
Dustin Edwards – I’m always studying video and other announcers. I’m a student of the craft. You have to be for success in the business. I let the sponsors come my way! Besides that I’m avid hockey player, golfer, hunter, and a big lake/beach bum on off days.
Question 6 – A lot of Rodeo Contestants are making promo video’s to get there name out there/to pick up sponsors. As a Rodeo Announcer do you think that’s a great way to market and maybe learn even more about that rider you didn’t know about before?
Dustin Edwards – Video and social media can be a great tool for rodeo athletes. It’s a great marketing option for sponsors and to keep Fans along for what can be long seasons of a tough life. Helps me learn about contestants on different levels.
Question 7 – You’re a young guy in the rodeo announcing industry. On your part what can you do to help keep the Bull riding and rodeo industry alive?
Dustin Edwards – Growing the sport isn’t easy. But maintaining a true desire to improve myself and what I do will help grow on a personal level. Outside of that it’s helping committees and supporting events and sponsors. Using social media to positively promote rodeo.
Question 8 – How do you go about booking new Rodeos/Bull ridings to announce at? Do you attend conventions? Mail out press kits?
Dustin Edwards – It’s mainly word of mouth. Committees and producers call me now. I use Facebook/twitter a bit. Once people know that your available and like what you do the phone rings, and that makes it easy. Always excited to book shows!
Question 9 – When you get these bull riding/rodeos to announce at set in stone.. Do they give you the option to announce horse back?
Dustin Edwards – Never announced off horse back. It’s been a dying tradition in Canadian rodeo. Would like to some day!
Question 10 – For a young rodeo announcer that doesn’t have equipment/budget for a rodeo announcing career. What do you recommend that they should do?
Dustin Edwards – It can be costly to get into the sound aspect. It’s nice to focus on announcing only, but it’s part of starting out. I would learn about speakers & mixers. Grab a iPad and some good tunes and learn by doing. Lots of trial and error in my day!
Question 11 – Last Question, What’s one rodeo/bull riding you’re looking forward to announce at this year and What’s one event You would like to announce at that you haven’t done yet?
Dustin Edwards – Enjoy going back to my 1st Pro Rodeo Canada event Coronation Pro Rodeo in Coronation, AB. It’s a special place as my 1st pro show. Dream of working the Calgary Stampede someday. Greatest show on earth. Working the CFR and Ponoka Stampede in there to.