The DentonRadio.com studio pulsed with energy like an electric current as I entered the Discover Denton Welcome Center. The girl at the soundboard adjusted some levels, and an upbeat tune seemingly matching her mood drifted into the center and onto the sidewalk outside. Smiling, she began to dance, singing the words by heart as the track played.
“This is a girl who loves her job!” I thought.
Once in the studio, it was easy to identify the source of that energy. Leslie Paige Fredrickson is another example of DentonRadio.com’s appeal visually as much as audibly. She is constant motion: cuing music, dancing, and laughing with abandon.
“I love to have fun!” she exclaimed when I remarked on her expressive spirit. Leslie is bright, outgoing, and believes fun is at its best when others join in. When she is on the air weekend afternoons and evenings, that is her goal: inspiring happiness and inviting people to laugh and feel good.
Leslie’s legs were crossed beneath her on the deejay throne. It’s just a chair, really, but reminded me of a throne as I watched her deftly work the soundboard, controlling the DentonRadio.com universe, all without missing a beat in her steady stream of conversation. “Deejaying works for me because I love to talk,” she confided with a smile. “Of course, I also love coffee. There isn’t a barista in Denton who doesn’t know me,” she said, breaking into that contagious laugh again. I wondered to myself if the coffee-secret might have something to do with her unusual vivacity.
Leslie grew up in Henderson, Texas. Her family moved to Denton when she was 10 years old, and she graduated from Guyer High School this past May. Leslie said that though she was born in East Texas, she considers Denton her hometown. “I fit here. It’s why I love Denton,” she said.
At 19, Leslie is the youngest in the DentonRadio.com deejay family. But, she already has an impressive resume. She’s acted on stage, playing the lead role more than once. In fact, she has a following on her own YouTube channel, Leslie Paige. Her love for acting actually inspired her brother to pursue theatre seriously enough that he’s performed on Broadway in front of audiences that once included none other than the famous Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of some of the world’s most beloved musicals.
Leslie is also an artist. Part of the “fitting in” she mentioned earlier may have alluded to her self-description as a polymath, which according to Dictionary.com is a person of great learning in several fields of study. To Leslie, the word refers to someone like herself who can “do a lot of things creatively and analytically.” I must agree with Leslie’s assessment, because it is a bit of an enigma to find a person equally accomplished in right and left-brain strengths. Leslie paints, acts, sings and dances (right brain) while excelling just as well at math, statistics, science and technology (left brain).
Leslie’s art demonstrates her ambidextrous gifting, too. Her paintings, usually nature-focused, are unstructured and organic. Watercolor is her favorite, but she delves easily into mixed media. For instance, she once employed nail polish and a sharpie to depict an astonishing image of a deer. Her expertise in block print reduction is a polar opposite art. In this genre, she relies heavily on structure. She carves an image using shapes, symbols and graphics on linoleum, dips the image in colored ink, and transfers the impression to paper. Then she carves the next layer using another color. Her works are usually six or more layers when complete.
In spite of the success she’s realized in these arenas, Leslie has known for a long time exactly what she wants to do with her life. “I want to be a radio personality,” she said with conviction. She’ll begin her formal training in the Radio/Television/Film school at UNT this fall. And while DentonRadio.com is her first foray into deejaying, she already is a radio personality well on her way to developing the fan base she’s envisioned all along, one who loves to laugh and have fun.
Today’s column marks the end of the Meet the Deejay series, profiles of these exceptional on-air personalities delivering Denton to the world.
I’m reminded of a line in country music artist Eric Church’s song “Springsteen.” It speaks to me about the impact DentonRadio.com and these deejays have on us, our visitors and people tuning in all around the world. “Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.” Music is the soundtrack of life. A soundtrack specific to life in Denton? Well, that is original and independent in the most powerful sort of way.