Marcy Markusa: Behind the scenes at West St. Paul School

Who gets hurt making radio happen? Information Radio's Marcy Markusa did early Wednesday morning, when she cut her hand just moments before a live broadcast at West St. Paul School was to start.
West St. Paul student Talynne Bains, left, with Information Radio host Marcy Markusa at a special live broadcast from the school on Wednesday. (CBC)

Being the morning show host at CBC Manitoba is a lot of things. It's inspiring, it's challenging, it's heart-warming and it's fun.

But let's face it — it's not the most dangerous job in the world.

So I ask you, "Who gets hurt making radio?" 

Me. That's who.

Let me tell you the story of what happened behind the scenes at West St. Paul School this morning and how the wonderful people there and my CBC colleagues didn't miss a beat in coming to my rescue.

Marcy poses next to a promotional sign that ended up cutting her hand just before the live broadcast at West St. Paul School. (Ruth Shead/CBC)
It is a classic tale of "the show must go on." And it did. 

For our remote today, we were set up in the front hall of the school and some parents had gathered to watch their children sing and tell their stories.

The crowd, however, was spread out and I thought it would be great if they could squeeze together a bit.

In my effort to make that happen, I popped out of my seat to offer some direction. I asked the parents if they would do a loud group "good morning" for us to open the hour on the radio at 6 a.m.

And so we practised.

"One, two, three … good morning!" I prompted.

"Now louder," I suggested, standing in front of them like a choir director.

"One, two, three … good morning!" they chanted.

The problem came on the third attempt, with about 20 seconds to air.

As I was "directing" I was holding up my hands up until the appropriate moment and then dropping them hard for the cue to speak. Imagine how they start a NASCAR race.

On that third time, as my right hand came down swiftly, I realized that it had slammed into something that pierced my palm.

'Um, you're really bleeding there'

Embarrassed, I tried to pretend that it didn't happen. I felt like Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther. 

"Just don't look at it and no one will notice how clumsy you are," I thought.

"Is everyone ready?" I asked.

The parents looked back at me, a little uncomfortable.

The group was now shifting around and one of the fathers even pointed slightly at my hand as if to say, "Um, you're really bleeding there."

I thought I could wave it off, but then realized that I really was. 

My hand had come down onto a metal post that holds up a small sign that we had brought on location.  It was a photo of me that had done the damage.  

I looked. Just a little piercing, but quite a lot of blood.

Blood that was now dripping onto my scripts.

Five seconds to air. The parents were still waiting and likely now wondering what would happen next.

That's when my producers and the good old principal's office kicked in. You would think that my CBC colleagues had medical training the way they swooped into action:

  • Producer Bridget Forbes: Catching the blood with Kleenex.
  • Technician Terry King: Wiping the red smears from my scripts.
  • Director Ruth Shead: Cueing the parents without missing a beat.
  • School principal Cathy Horbas: Swinging in with office bandages.

And me? A little stunned but on the air live from West St. Paul School. 

"Good morning!" said the parents.

"Good morning!" I replied to Manitoba, as the show went live and somehow my hand went from dripping blood to pressure being applied, wound being cleaned and cut being rebandaged … all during my introduction to the hour!

So thank you, West St. Paul parents, for not missing your cue despite a dramatic start to the day. And thank you for having CBC in your school today.   

Next time, we'll try not to leave our mark behind quite so literally. :)

About the Author

Marcy Markusa

Host, Information Radio

Marcy Markusa hosts Information Radio on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM / 990 AM in Winnipeg. Born and raised in the Manitoba capital, Marcy is passionate about the future of our community and loves how it's growing in both confidence and prosperity. She thrives on getting honest and straight-forward answers for listeners and infuses the show with her energetic warmth and sense of humour.