I didn't get where I am today: Fiona Kennedy, singer and producer

Making a song and dance

What does your organisation do?

We produce vibrant, dynamic music stage and television productions and perform all over the world. We also find and mentor outstanding young talent from Scotland - but not in a Simon Cowell way.

What does your average working day involve?

I have a few different kinds of working days as I have a number of work roles, from producing, ie getting things together in the background to make productions happen, to performing in the production alongside the cast. Today we're rehearsing in Glasgow for The Kist, our new production for The Edinburgh Fringe festival. So awake and up early at 6, a quick yoga stretch and make another list of the things I need to do before rehearsals start this morning. Quick e-mail catch up, doing this, vocal warm up, call my husband who is on his way to play golf in Ireland for a week (alright for some). Meet with Liz Carruthers and writer Chris Dolan prior to rehearsals to discuss the show and then full on day until six-ish with the cast. I love rehearsing though as it means it's really happening and it's a brilliant time.

First senior job?

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Never had one as I've always been freelance as a singer or TV and radio presenter.

Do you work for love or money?

Definitely love.

Did you have a mentor?

Thankfully several. Colin Liddell in Glasgow of Liddell Thomson. He and I sat on the board of the RSNO together and I hugely value his sage advice and business expertise. Greg Rogers, an American gentleman based in London, who is CEO of Fashion Rocks and formerly of Universal Records. He has tremendous knowledge of the industry and continues to be a great mentor. In Aberdeen, Jeanette Forbes of PCL who is a former Businesswoman of the Year and has a very successful IT company.

Any major turning points along the way?

Many, especially when you are trying to break into new international markets.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

I suppose there are just not enough hours in the day and when you're growing a business you have to walk before you can run and I'm impatient.

Was your first job for pocket money or was it the first rung on the ladder?

Producing shows in our music room at home and charging my parents to come and watch my sisters and me sing. What a cheek.

What's the weirdest job you've had?

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When I presented Record Breakers with the late and great Roy Castle and Norris McWhirter, editor of The Guinness Book of Records, we interviewed interesting and often strange people. Like the man who wanted to stop two aircraft taking off with his pinkie fingers. The planes were to try to take off in opposite directions and he wore only a leather harness thing.What did you want to do when you were growing up?

Sing, act, and produce. I did occasionally want to be an ace courtroom lawyer, but my father said I'd be letting the family down if I did law.

What do you like least about your job?

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Filling in what I know are necessary forms and applications.

How do you get to work, how long does it take?

My office is at home - so seconds.

Packed lunch, canteen or expense account?

Home-made soup mainly.

Long hours or work/life balance?

Long hours but I am trying to be better. I do have a great and understanding husband who fortunately plays a lot of golf. My children are equally understanding and as I have always worked that's the norm. We do have great family holidays though, which we mostly take in the winter.

Confrontation or anything for a quiet life?

I tend to think things through and try not having knee-jerk reactions to tricky situations. However I do make an effort to face up to the challenges.

Ever stepped on anyone's toes along the way?

I always try to find consensus.

Have you ever had to sack anyone?

Not so far, but have been close.

If you met your younger self, would you give him/her a job?


Essential tools for the job?

Talent, belief, persistence, can-do philosophy and energy. I'm exhausted just thinking that, but it's true.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully seeing The Kist being performed all over the world to international audiences.

You've won the lottery: what do you do?

After all the natural impulsive things like buying my kids bijoux residences, travelling first class to glorious holiday destinations, I'd up the ante with my productions and keep working like a Trojan.

Your dream job?

Doing it.

What do you like to do with your spare time?

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Walk on the beach at Cruden Bay with our four Jack Russell terriers, eat at home with my family and have friends round.

Have you ever had a career break?

Only when the children were born.

How do you let off steam after a hard day?

Long walk followed by a long bath. Bliss.spare page

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