Sports Journalism, Gaining Confidence, and Asking Tough Questions with Danielle Trotta

Episode Transcript

Julia Landauer 0:04 Hello everybody and welcome back to another episode of if I'm honest with Julia Landauer. this episode is so intense and honest and heartwarming and absolutely lovely. And we have Danielle Trotta on the show with us so Danielle has over 15 years of broadcast experience. She's covered NASCAR, the NFL NBA MLB PGA collegiate athletic Supercross and Moto GP for some of the biggest broadcasting companies worldwide. She can be her daily as a co host of Sirius XM is on track alongside larry McReynolds on Sirius XM NASCAR radio. She also currently reports for Mecum the largest car auction in the world and they're held monthly around the country and broadcast on MotorTrend and are streaming on HBO Max. A native of Westchester, New York Danielle and her husband Robby Benton call Charlotte home and share a passion for motorsports. Danielle attended Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, where she was part of three consecutive state championships in swimming and diving. Danielle is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in mass communications. She joined Fox Sports in July of 2010 as a reporter for NASCAR race hub and progressed into a co hosting role in 2012. In 2014, as speed launched into what was now known as as FS1 Danielle added to her responsibilities hosting multiple shows. In 2015. She ventured into the NFL for the first time as a sideline reporter for the NFL on Fox in eighth 2018 Danielle added to her duties hosting a nightly sports talk show on NBC Sports Boston and in October of 2021, Danielle began filming my dream car, which premiered on Fox Business Channel in April 2022. And is still airing. This conversation was so incredible, because I've known Danielle since 2016 When I was in NASCAR next, and we got to go on set and record with them. And I've really, really admired her career, her dedication to her journalistic practices. I got to learn a lot about her as I was preparing for this episode. And we talked about everything from how to prepare for something that you're working on. We talked about how sports are used as a unifying factor and really helps bring people together especially during our otherwise divisive culture that we're living in right now. We talked about how she got into NASCAR and how she prepared for all of the incredible work that she did that was camera facing. We also talks about coming into your own as a woman and how how to really carve your own path and to make decisions for yourself that you are proud of and that you won't regret. We talked about how Comparison is the thief of joy. I mean, it was deep. It was honest, it was raw. I was just really, really pleased to have Danielle on our show. And so I hope you really enjoy this episode. Danielle, thank you so much for joining me on if I'm honest. Danielle Trotta 2:50 Well, if I'm honest, Julia, I am the one that's honored because I've always been a big fan of yours and followed your career. I love your podcast all the speaking engagements. You're doing your work at NASCAR. I'm like your number one fan. So when you asked it was an easy, yes. Julia Landauer 3:05 Oh my goodness, I'm honored. And I was trying to remember we met was it during my NASCAR neck stuff. And 2016 2017 I want to say, Danielle Trotta 3:13 yeah, you came by with that whole group of guys. And you stopped by race up? And do you remember that? Yeah, I Julia Landauer 3:21 do. I do. And they brought all of Danielle Trotta 3:24 you guys in and I think you were the only girl in the group I was. So you stood out and I naturally gravitated towards you. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I have to get to know this girl. And then like you talk about your Ivy League education, and like the reality stuff you've done. And you are so multifaceted. You are so interesting. You had such a cool story that I wanted to share with people and I just connected with you. And I've been a fan ever since. So that was how long ago is that? Julia? That was a while. I feel like eight years. I Julia Landauer 3:54 It's so sad to realize just how quickly time goes by. But I remember that like it was yesterday. Like it was so fun to be racing full time. It was quite an honor to get the recognition of NASCAR next. And you know, I think it was a lot of young people like my teammate at the time. Todd Gilliland, and then there were the older folks. I feel like it was Matt Tifft. Gary clued a long day, and I were like, the grandpas and grandmas of the group. Everyone else was like in their mid teenage years, but it was so fun. And we got to be on the TV sets and got to meet such cool people like you. So really, really special. And I also just learned that you're from Westchester, New York, which is just above New York City, for people who don't know, I'm from New York City. So I didn't realize we also have that close geographic origin story. Danielle Trotta 4:43 And that's why we connect we're a bunch of New York girls, and I feel like our girls, my family was like I was born in New Rochelle. Okay. Parents apartment was in Brooklyn, and that's where my great grandmother lived. And we had a lane city and yeah, A neighborhood in Brooklyn. My dad is from Morris Park. Okay. In the Bronx. Okay. I'll have to ask my parents like where our little apartment was, what part of the Bronx what part of the Bronx we were in, or Brooklyn. We had so much family like in around the area. We left there when I was like six months, then lived in our shell for a little bit and then moved to summers. I don't know if you ever that was kind of upper Westchester. Julia Landauer 5:26 Okay, I'm not as familiar. Yeah, Danielle Trotta 5:30 so it was such a great place to grow up. I mean, Julia Landauer 5:34 I love the Northeast. I love the Northeast so much. I miss it every day. I like Danielle Trotta 5:38 the weather in Charlotte. A lot better though, which I think. Yeah, fair. Julia Landauer 5:43 So tell me a little bit more about that. So you kind of moved around a little bit as a kid. Am I correct? Yeah, at around age 10. You guys left the Northeast. Is that accurate? Around Danielle Trotta 5:53 fifth grade. And then my dad's job took us to Indianapolis. So I spent fifth grade to freshman year of college in Indianapolis. So really your formative years in a suburb right outside Indy called Carmel. And it was such a great place again. I mean, I was very blessed a lot like Westchester and great school system and played a lot of sports. That's where I got into television and radio. They had eight, my high school had a fully functioning 24 hour cable access television and radio station. So cool. I know. And I knew that's what I wanted to do. So they had a program where if like you started freshman year, by the time you were a senior, you could intern at a TV station in Indy, which is a top 25 market. Julia Landauer 6:42 Oh my god. Yeah. So yeah, Danielle Trotta 6:44 I mean, there was just a lot of opportunities, the way it all kind of lined up at the time. I mean, to move around as a kid, it's scary. And I always, I still have an obsession with twins. And I think my obsession comes from the fact that like when I moved around as a kid, start over, and you don't always have a group of friends. And so you have to reintroduce yourself and meet new people and find girls who you connect with. That's hard, you know, especially through your adolescent years for two Yeah. And so I always would get jealous, and I'd see twins because I'm like, Oh, you just have like, a best friend. And it's always with you. A built in, buddy. Yeah, looking like now as an adult. I can acclimate to new environments quickly. And there's a lot of positives to it. But then I went off to college, I went to Emerson in Boston, while I was in school, my parents, my dad's jobs with them from India to Charlotte. So when I graduated, Charlotte and so that's how that happened. Julia Landauer 7:42 Okay, so backing up a little bit, you said that you knew that you always want to do broadcasting. And like, if you got into it, like when you were a freshman in high school, like how did you know that? That was what you wanted to dedicate your life to? Yeah, Danielle Trotta 7:55 I've never wanted to do anything else. I think there was like this aha moment. And maybe like sixth or seventh grade. I mean, I was pretty young. And we were watching my dad's a big stick and ball guy racing was not a part of my life. Funny enough. You know, this being a city girl. In New York. That's not really the thing. So like, my dad's first car was the New York City Subway, there just wasn't Karlova thing racing is not a thing. So he was like a big basketball guy, and he never had a son. And so he threw me in every sport. We've watched sports together. And I remember watching the NBA on NBC, on a Saturday on the couch with dad and like Hannah storm and Bob Costas are doing the pregame show. And I was like, there was a lightbulb moment when I was watching Hannah, post the pre raid or the pregame and I was like, Dad, that's what I want to do. And he's like, okay, and that was it. Literally have never wanted to do never done anything professionally. Like I waited tables and you know, had the odd kid job stuff through high school and college, but professionally, I've never wanted to or have done really anything else. Julia Landauer 9:05 That's amazing. And, and like when I think about my own career, like I also knew very early on like I think this by the time I was 12 and go karting I was like this is what I want to pursue. And for me it really having that singular goal really guided basically everything I did like, you know when it came to school thinking about subjects I want to learn it's like how can this help me in racing or after school hanging out with friends for a little bit, but then going home and exercising and making sure I was eating healthy and like not doing any experimental stuff in high school because I knew I wanted to be healthy and everything. Do you feel that each kind of step in most of the decisions you made also were kind of like how do we make this dream a reality? Danielle Trotta 9:49 Yeah, I would say so. I was also an athlete and high school I was on the swimming and diving team. So between swimming and diving and television production. I felt like I was As you know, I didn't always know I wanted to cover sports as a journalist, I thought I'd go into news or entertainment, I wasn't exactly sure where the career path would take me was, I thought can participate in competitive sports now helps me so much. And as a reporter and a host in covering the story, not that I ever became like you did, and reach this, like professional athletes status. But I think you do understand the dynamics of competing, and teamwork and discipline and taking care of yourself and being mentally focused. And, you know, getting along with others, being creative, working together for a common goal. All of those things like playing sports growing up, certainly helped me, I think, and then, you know, knowing that I wanted to pursue this so young, it made my college path much easier. Right, go like a big school undecided and then waste two years trying to figure it out, or change majors a bunch of times, it was a very singular focus path. So I only applied to colleges that had great journalistic programs. And yeah, I mean, I there was a little bit of tunnel vision. And sometimes I feel bad for my friends professionally, that are a bit of Drifters. And they're just trying to like find their niche and find their way. You know, mine was always even at a young age, there was a pretty clear path. I didn't know how I was gonna get there, quote, unquote, you know, , right. But I at least knew what I wanted to do, which was why the internship senior year at the ABC affiliate in India was so big, because now I'm actually around people at 18 years old, 17 years old. This is their career path. And they're like award winning journalist. I'm just learning like absorbing everything I can. I'm on set, I'm in the field. I'm on the news desk. I'm in an editing bay, I'm hanging out with photographers. So I really started to hone my skill set at 18, which I think gave me such an accelerated learning curve. Once I actually graduated college and got into the business. I was like, Yeah, I know how to edit I know how to shoot and how to do stand ups. Like, obviously, I had to finesse and perfect, right, I'm very, you know, because it's all about reps. I can't say it was on camera a lot. But in terms of like news, gathering and conducting myself and figuring out how to put a story together, I had been around professionals that were doing that. Yeah, Julia Landauer 12:21 no, that's a really good point, I liked what you said about kind of sometimes feeling bad for your friends who maybe we're looking for that direction, because I think it is quite a luxury in some ways to know and have such a clear vision of what you want to do. And it it gives some clarity and direction in what's otherwise a kind of chaotic world. Right. And so I totally agree with you. As I've gotten older, though, I have also kind of thought about how there were things that I missed out on because I was focused, and I wouldn't change it. But I think about like, you know, would I be a little more go with the flow or be able to unplug and relax a little better if if I spent more time experimenting or like thinking about, like, I don't even know what I don't know. So I do think it's I do think there's a balance. But yeah, I agree that, that I feel quite lucky that I had this direction. And to your point, even if you don't know how to get there. When you have that Northstar, you've got your eyes where you want to go right, like in the racing, saying like eyes up eyes where you want to go it you then figure out how to take the steps and figure it out. And if one thing doesn't work, you just try another thing. Yeah, Danielle Trotta 13:36 I think that's true. And I am, you know, pretty religious and just kind of spiritual. And I take zero credit for having that Northstar. It's such an early age, I think it was the Lord's gift. Like he was like, okay, and I, I feel strongly that it is our innate goal in life to find your gift. And then the next step is how do you use that gift to help others? Like two pretty big guiding principles, I think in my life. So once it was like knowing what it was then it was perfecting the skill set. And now it's taking that skill set 15 years into the business and saying, Okay, what impact Am I making to help others I don't want to look back one day and say, and people say this about NASCAR and racing all the time, I want to look back and say, Yes, this career provided me an amazing life and an amazing lifestyle for me and my family. But I also want to feel like I informed and entertained whether it's making you laugh on the radio in the car on your way to work or saying something stupid that you can relate to and or informing you if there's a really important or big news story and whatever it is, if it's to inform and entertain if I can, in some way, help enrich that for you. Then my career I feel like it's very meaningful. You know it, it fulfills me and so in some ways it's selfish because it's like a self fulfilling prophecy. See, this is what I want to do, and I ultimately achieved it. But there is and I'm not saying I'm a brain surgeon, we're not we always say in TV, we're not curing cancer, right? There is certainly a lot more noble work. But I do think that we serve a purpose, right for the public and for NASCAR fans, which is really rewarding. Julia Landauer 15:18 Totally. And I think, you know, storytelling in general is so powerful. And like, you know, you on TV, broadcasters in the booth, I mean, and you know, even just me onstage when I do keynotes, like, you know, that, that you're making that connection, if you're able to build that human connection with someone, especially right now, because I feel like especially post COVID And, you know, everything going on in the world, social media, and how that changes interpersonal dynamics, like, people are lonely. We are, we are the loneliest, we've been in recent history. And so to be able to tell those stories, and to let people know that they're seen, and that we all have a lot more similarities in how we think about things, what we're going through what we experience, what our mindsets are, than we have differences. I think there's something really powerful and really warming about that, to know that there are that we are kind of building these connections for people. Danielle Trotta 16:15 Well, I think two things. One, I would love to attend one of your keynote speeches, because I've seen clips that you post on your social and they're hugely inspiring, and I have that moment in person would be a really special and touching moment. I think there's power in that. And the second thing, I think, is I really do enjoy the path of sports journalism. And I dabbled a little bit in news I always said I wasn't smart enough to do whether that's a lot of math and but it is unifying. At a time in our life. Like you said, we're so many things are divisive. Yeah. So many things are polarizing. And I think news serves a very important platform. Don't get me wrong. But you know, a lot of cable news channels, it's like, well, you watch us because you're slanted politically this way or this channel, because you're slanted politically the other way. And sports is such a unifier. You might be a Democrat, I might be a Republican, or vice versa. But we both love NASCAR. You know, we're both a big fan of cars. The Red Sox, we both want to take in the Celtics game tonight. It's a time where it doesn't matter what your race is, your religion is your gender is your age is your political leaning. We just want to sit there and enjoy a game and relish in that in that moment and take it in together collectively as people. So that part of the job I really do enjoy. I talked to tons of fans on Sirius XM radio every week, from all different walks of life. And politically, they may live in very different ways. But I found something that we have in common, and we can share that. And I I've never been a full time political journalist. So I don't know. But I would imagine that it's a pretty exhausting job. I don't know. He said, There's joy, of course, and like the storytelling aspect and trying to provide, you know, insight and information, right. But I don't know how much joy there is, I would have to ask someone that does that full time. But I think there's a lot of joy in covering professional sports. Julia Landauer 18:24 Yeah, I agree. And I think, you know, to that point to go on a slight tangent. Like, I think also what's so interesting is that two things one, I hadn't realized that it's only more recently where news channels don't have to provide both kind of like, quote both sides of the story, or both sides of the aisle. And so I was not a conscious person watching the news, when you did have to actually have like, maybe the more conservative leaning side and the more liberal leaning side. And I think like that would be a much better way to go about the news, personally, I think. But I also think that like, you can firmly disagree with someone's political stance, religious stance, whatever it is, and like, firmly believe they're wrong, but still respect each other and still have things in common. It's not like a black and white zero sum game. And so to your point, I do I love when we can really lean into those areas or industries or activities to kind of push that other stuff aside and remind us all that we are all human we all are on this earth for a lifetime. And you know, like however else you go after that, but yeah, it's um, it's unifying, as sports sports are unifying. And so I I'm, I totally agree with that. Yeah, Danielle Trotta 19:38 it's a unified and shared experience. I mean, it's sad in this day and age that people say, Oh, don't don't talk about politics or religion, or the dinner party or around the dinner table or round, you know, mixed company of people use Isn't it sad that we can't collectively, you know, do that and appreciate each other's viewpoint like maybe you you're on the other side? Well, maybe you'll teach me something, and maybe I'll teach you something and we find some kind of unifying common ground. And I'm not blaming, like the iteration of, you know, the invention of cable news, right. But I think it plays a part into how we got to this point where we're so divisive. But if you think about it, you know, what is something common? If you go and walk, go and walk into a dinner party, there's usually a game on television or people have Super Bowl parties, you know, for the collectively all watch the Kentucky Derby or the Daytona 500. Or, you know, those are things like, Come on, let's all go watch the game. Let's go downtown, let's grab some tickets. Like it's just, it's something that unifies friends, families, bows, it's just it's a great, great equalizer. It's a great unifier. And I did not go in thinking I want I want to cover something that's that's very neutral. So I don't have to take aside in the early 90s. The landscape was in early 2000s. And the landscape was vastly different. You know, you could live next door to someone who leans pool completely different politically. And you still had a ton in common and it's like now, you know, those are fighting words. If you're, if you're, you know, gonna vote the opposite way. Yeah, scary. And things have gotten so violent . Yeah. That didn't exist when I got into the industry. But it certainly wasn't like something I, you know, it wasn't deliberate by any means. I just really gravitated to sports. Like when I first started, there was news, there was weather. There was news, weather and sports. And I was always like bugging the photographer's like, Hey, can I go out with you to colts practice? Or can I go out to pacers practice? Or can I go out to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and cover this? So I just naturally was like, interested in that thing? You know, looking back all these years later, that certainly is a blessing. Julia Landauer 21:53 Yeah, totally. And one other point to, you know, talking about how like, people can be different and still great friends or get along. Like, if I feel like with a lot of people and a lot of situations. If you don't know how someone labels themselves or what they identify with ahead of time, more likely than not, you're going to find something in common, you're going to enjoy them. And so people go in with preconceived notions and I just think that's a detriment to any kind of human connection. So it's a lot I hadn't, I hadn't really thought about choosing a career path and how those different areas that you focus in on kind of might have those different characteristics. So I want to get into more of that in a bit. But we're gonna take a quick break, and then we'll come back with Danielle on it. Julia Landauer. We are back on If I'm Honest with Julia Landauer with our guest, Danielle Trotta. So we were just talking about how sports are a huge equalizer and unifying force for people. And so I want to jump in a little bit to your process for learning about NASCAR. Because you had mentioned that you didn't grow up in a NASCAR watching family and so you graduated from UNC Charlotte, you worked on WCNC / WBTV and then in 2010, joined NASCAR race hub. Can you explain a little bit what NASCAR race hub is? Was all that and yeah, how you ramped up to learn and become knowledgeable about NASCAR. Yeah, Danielle Trotta 23:19 and earlier, my bio is correct. I did go to Emerson but then left in my senior year, I came down to Charlotte to be with my family. So graduated from UNC Charlotte. factually correct, correct. Yeah. So I'm not an Earnhardt I am not a petty. I do not come from a racing background or a family at all, which I found out later was highly unusual. But yeah, it did not. I mean, I didn't even know what auto racing was. I wasn't even introduced to it until, you know, senior year of high school. I mean, growing up in Indy dad would take us to the 500. That was like a very, no, sir. I remember going to races as a little bit younger than that. 1415. But when I joined the speed channel and NASCAR race up, I really felt my path was going to take me to ESPN. My agent was like crimson tapes everywhere. And I'm like, Yeah, ESPN, I'm gonna be covering baseball and football and basketball and speed called which is owned by Fox speed channels now Fs one. And they were like, hey, what does she think about NASCAR? And it was based right up the road in Charlotte. It was a national network and I never even thought when I was in local news all these years right? Never even made the connection like NASCAR was not on my radar at all. I thought it was cool. We covered it obviously at the Charlotte station, Newsday. Those were NASCAR's backyard like you're gonna hate in my life to the race and Tossa dale jr. Soundbite but that's not really covering the sport. 24/7 365 When nice channel which Speed was auto racing 24/7 and car culture, it'd be like working at the NFL Network, or MLB Network or NBA TV. That was speed. And I remember the second day on the job like crying in the bathroom and calling my agent and being like, I made a huge mistake. Can you get me out of this? And he was like, you're locked in girl for three years so bigger. Oh, my God. But and it's not that I didn't like it. I just didn't realize how vertical the mountain was in terms of knowledge. And Julia you know this, like if race fans are diehard. They know the terminology. They know the people they know the tracks, they know the culture, they know the cars, they know the pedigree of the teams. And I didn't really I mean, I knew enough just to barely keep my head above water, but certainly not at the level that we were covering it on NASCAR race sub. And that was very daunting. But I realized quickly like instead of looking at the top of the mountain and being so intimidated, just take one step a day, like literally just climb. Now learn your assignment, go to Michael Waltrip Racing and learn about that driver that team today. And then next week, you're at Hendrick learn about that. And then like just take your assignments. And the knowledge eventually compounds itself. And I would subscribe to Sirius XM NASCAR radio, and it's still 15 years later on in my car 24 hours a day. So you're absorbing it, even if you're driving, and you're half listening, but like they have all the industry insiders on we talked to all the drivers, team owners, crew chiefs, so I'm learning a little bit and then I'd go home, and not just watch my little report on the show. But I'd watch the entire show. At the time I wasn't hosting, I was just reporting Steve Burns was the solo host. They made me a co host like three years later. But for the first two years, it was just like, learn as much as you can each day, you're and then you track once it's like not so overwhelming and start to get to know people and learn, you know. So it was a very gradual process once I learned how to tackle it. And I also had people like Larry McReynolds, Steve burns, Jeff Hammond, Chad Knaus, people, my host co hosts and analysts at the time that said no questions, a dumb question. We know you're new, and we know you really are trying hard. So don't feel bad. Like, come into our office, there's always an open door policy and ask us anything and everything you want to know. And I think they actually like I was probably asking really dumb question. But I think they appreciated like this girl is actually interested in what we do. And I think she really does care and our hearts in the right place. And so they were really willing to help. And, you know, two, two and a half years in I started to get my legs under me. But it's you know, diving into the NASCAR world. It's a process. Yeah. Julia Landauer 27:54 And you know, I think what you said is so relevant, regardless of what you're working on what industry that you just have to take it step by step. And that's something that I talked about all the time, you know, like break down the big daunting project into digestible bite sized pieces, and tackle them. And you know, we talked earlier about how having this Northstar is so helpful and kind of a luxury, but it also can be scary can be overwhelming, because there's so much to take in. And so that balance of Northstar, but then also like, keep making sure you're looking like right where you're walking almost and like you know figuring out the little steps to take but that's really cool. Were there specific drivers that you really enjoyed interviewing or talking with or hearing from whether it was on air or off air. Danielle Trotta 28:45 We did a piece Jason Leffler died in a tragic racing accident several years after, but he was one of my first interviews, and it was just a walk and talk at his shop. We lost him so young, but such a kind soul. And I could tell guys that, you know, you show up you interview, they do the interview, and there's nothing wrong with it. Right? Like you can air it. It's good. Hopefully people learn a little something. But Jason really took time to make me feel welcome and show me around the shop, like what does the fab shop do? What does the paint shop do? Here's pitcrew practice, like giving me a peek behind the curtain and Hey, bring your cameras. And so we ended up just doing this very organic walk and talk piece. And my producers were like, we've never seen anyone that do that. Like that was great. And it was because of his kindness and his willingness to give me access. Normally you do your little sit down and you each have a chair and they light it and it looks pretty and you have a little conversation. But Jason was like willing to let me do something different just because I was naturally curious. We film that. Oh, can you show me this? And so it was like, hey, just mic us up and let the cameras catch what they catch, but I just want Jason to give me like A day in the life of what he does at the shop. And he was with a small team. So he was doing a little bit of everything right motorsports or Joe Gibbs racing or Team Penske gonna allow you to do that? Probably not. Julia Landauer 30:11 If I was a betting woman, I would say no. Yeah, Danielle Trotta 30:14 we'd usually have to film on like the catwalk or the gift shop or something or the beautiful marble lobbies at all these Demuth race teams, but it was the little things like I remember Justin Allgaier was really great to me from the XFINITY series early on, Kevin Harvick, and Delaney harvick invited me up. Kevin harvick is a future Hall of Famer, huge Cup Series driver, he owned his own team on the side and ran some of the lower series and I drive up to Kernersville. And this was maybe your three. But he and Elena were again, open their doors full access, he was wonderful. And they were both very welcoming to me. I thought Clint Boyer, who's now a play by play guy for NASCAR on fox, I'd never really met a character like that. He's kind of a driver on speed on the track. And off he lives. Fox backs moves fast, you got to keep up with him. Like he's firing out and he'll take you and all these different tangents. And you just have to try to like, make something out of it and follow where his brain is going. But he's a fan favorite. Julia Landauer 31:18 He's sassy, too. Very sassy. Danielle Trotta 31:21 They were all very different. But people ask me all the time, like who do you like there's been a jerk to you. And in 15 years, nobody and I sure people don't believe that. But it's true. I've, you know, the drivers, they're all great. Chill. They're all pretty kind. And you learn to navigate. Like, I'm not going to ask Bill Bella check for his playbook and like, even against the dolphins, that's proprietary information, right? So there's certain things I'm not going to ask you what your setup is for the race this weekend in Texas. But if I can ask you, your mindset, your approach, what part of your game are you working on? Who do you lean on for support system? What does it mean now to be a dad as you transition into, you know, being a father and a husband as well as a write, you know, you try to find things to humanize these guys, but also, each one takes a little bit different. It's like buying what it is that really makes Julia light up or really makes Clint Boyer excited to talk about like, but that that takes time. I just so much coming at me early, that I just tried to take it like one step at a time. But everybody was really fun and entertaining and cool in their own unique kind of way. That's Julia Landauer 32:37 cool. And I mean, you mentioned your own curiosity. I think you can't downplay the importance of the interviewer or journalist or whoever's asking the questions. Because if, you know, if you're just listening to someone ask random questions that aren't connected, and you're not genuinely curious, like the person you're talking with is going to feel that and then they're not going to be as engaged. So I think, you know, kudos to you, as well for being an engaging interviewer, you know, reporter whatever you were at any given time, but that's really cool to hear. That's cool to hear that. They've had such fun experiences with different drivers. I also heard I chatted with Elena's King on another episode. And she also talks about how gracious Kyle Busch was to her. And, you know, Kyle Busch has this kind of hard exterior persona stereotype. And so to hear that, it just, it was really cool. And so I think, to several different drivers points that I've heard them make this before. It's like, when they're the track they're on, they're in their job and like the way they are doing a job, it's gonna be a little different than how they are interpersonally. So to be able to kind of blend those lines I think as a really great reporter is super, super cool. Heil Danielle Trotta 33:46 will keep you on your toes. He, for people that don't know him, he's a little hot under the collar. He is polarizing. He's been kind of dubbed as NASCARs villain in the past, but also one of the greatest talents. And, you know, I think with that comes his own kind of unique persona. We've covered the good and the bad, and sometimes you don't know what you're gonna get. He's always been wonderful to me. I think Kyle actually also, even though he has a hard exterior, as you said, I think he and Tony Stewart are alike in this way that if you ask him a really smart question, he's gonna give you a very thoughtful answer. And he actually they both he and Tony actually respect the tough question. You know, they really do and take some time to be able to, in a nice way be like you've been running well lately. Why do you suck? Fans are calling in on Sirius XM on my show, and they're like, what's wrong? Like right now? Kyle's really struggling? And a lot of people called in like, what's wrong with Kyle? Why is he so bad? So, you know, it's my responsibility. The next time, Kyle Busch is on my show to find a way to ask him that. And does anyone want to talk about their troubles? Does anyone want to talk about their struggles? No. But I think Kyle knows that you are coming from a very respectful place. genuine concern and saying, Kyle, your fans want to know, obviously, we want to see you return to your old form. Yeah, no point in your career, what are you missing? That's going to give you a really great answer. But you also I think, as a reporter have to not have fear. And I see so many interviews, where the reporter is scared to ask the tough question. People are paying for Sirius XM, this is not free, not, you know, am radio for this service. So are you going to continue to pay for Sirius XM? If you're not getting what you're looking for, as a consumer, are you going to keep paying will television if I were not telling you the story that you want to hear? Like, I feel like I have a responsibility to ask the tough question, right. And so many people are scared to do that. Or I think if you come from a really honest place of like genuine care and concern, and just curiosity and ask it in a really respectful way. They're they're not going to Oh, screw you Julia I'm out of here. How dare you ask me that? That isn't mean. Right? Julia Landauer 36:25 So digging into that a little bit, because again, I think that's a relevant hurdle that people have to get over. Like, if you've talked about how to ask something respectfully come from a place of caring, but in terms of, you know, actually going through and asking when you're scared. Did you ever did you ever feel earlier in your career? Like you had to get over that fear? And if not, you know, did you? Do you do anything that that kind of helps you get through it? Or helps you just go for it, even though you might be scared? Danielle Trotta 36:57 Yeah, it took me a good decade. Dude, it Julia Landauer 37:01 must be so reassuring for people because like you have to work through fear. It's not something you can just neglect. So please continue. Sorry. Danielle Trotta 37:07 Yes, yes, yes, I'm entering my no fear phase. And I'm in my early 40s, I don't know if there's this, you know, people say like women's in their 40s. They start, you know, transitioning into this, like, I don't give an F phase. Like, I don't care what you think about me like, and I am starting to just feel as a woman more confident in who I am as a person, but also in my journalistic ability. So that comes with age. It comes with time, it comes with experience, life experience, work experience. But I have had this breakthrough in the last few years where and I think talk radio helped me get to this place. Yeah, like early on in covering the sport, especially with box. There was this reluctance because I didn't know if I hit on their respect yet. I wanted the drivers to really feel like they knew me, because there's a lot of gotcha journalists out there. Yeah. And I had to make sure I had enough of a rapport with them, where they were like, I can trust Danielle, you know, she's not trying to do get, you know, some gotcha moment. And it has to be a part of a larger conversation. I'm not going to when you walk in the door, it's the first question. You know, like, that's the other thing to like, kind of build up to that moment, you know, what the crux of the interview is going to be, but I think there's a huge kind of processing getting there. Like I kind of ease in build up to a crescendo and then I kind of bring you back down and try to keep it late at the end. Like there is really a true art, I think, to a really great interview. One of the tips is for anyone listening, don't do it early. Like I see people just run up to Kyle like, what the hell happened? You totally wrecked off turn to what were you thinking? It's like, ah, you know your form. Yeah, poor form, you're gonna catch them off guard. He's gonna be like, who are you? Screw you. So understanding the art form, but I think too, it's having them understand you. And as time went on, that became easier but when I started working for Sirius XM, because it's such a two way like television, I'm just, it's a one way. You know, radio is like, Hey, I give my opinion you call in and give me yours. And knowing that there was this responsibility that anytime I open up the phone lines, they be like, dude, y'all you didn't ask Julie about this? You know, this was the tone. Everyone wants to know why she did this. Yeah, too scared to ask. People just feel like they wasted 15 minutes of their day. They've been waiting all show to listen to this interview. Oh my god. She has Kyle Busch coming up. She will begin to ask him why they suck so bad right now. What is it? And if I don't I feel like I've let down the listener. I have a responsibility to ask those questions. So it's a really fun place to be I'm enjoying, like embracing this no fear phase. Julia Landauer 40:06 That is so great to hear, I can agree, I feel like even just in my 30s way fewer chips are giving to other people's opinion. And I've heard that, you know, I'm not a parent, but I've heard that, like, when you become a parent, you also it's a whole nother level of like, you are there to serve and protect your family and like your, your cares for other people's perspectives or opinions goes down quite a bit. But I think that's also just really great advice and awesome perspective. We're gonna take another quick break, but we'll be right back with Danielle. We are back on if I'm honest with Julia Landauer, with most incredible Danielle, who has been giving so much great perspective and advice. And you mentioned before the break that you feel like as a woman, you're you're coming into your own a little bit more and more recently, and that does come with age. I feel and I'll preface this by saying like, I'm a big advocate for women's empowerment, empowerment, as you know, and I think helping everyone thrive, but particularly those underrepresented and underserved communities is really important. One thing that I have not loved in like being out in the real world is recognizing that in general women more often than men tend to get labeled and put into boxes, right. And I had read somewhere that you left Fox Sports partially because you didn't want to be typecast as the NASCAR girl, quote, unquote. And I'm wondering if you can dive into that a little bit more? Sure. Danielle Trotta 41:44 Yeah. It again, was not something that I was necessarily looking to do. I think it found me, I didn't really go chase it. And my career progressed rapidly. I mean, I started reporting on the show, then I started hosting that show that grew into hosting the XFINITY pre show, which then led to hosting being the first female ever to host the Cup Pre Race Show on Fox and, you know, doing NFL sideline and my career was like, I was soaring. I mean, it was great. I was making more money than I ever thought I would more opportunity than I thought I would having more reach than I ever thought I would. So I think when I decided that I wanted to pivot people thought I was crazy. Why would you? Why would you ruin a good thing? Where are you going? This is this is working pretty well. And people told me that. But I don't know Julia, there was just something for like a year there was this innate voice in the back of my mind. I don't know where it came from. But I couldn't turn it off. And that whisper became louder and louder and louder. And I just didn't want to be the 80 year old woman sitting on the rocking chair and going What if you know what if i What if I tried the NFL? What if I tried the NBA? What if I tried to report on an Olympics? There were so many other things that I wanted to do, I think because I came from a stick and ball background. You know, I think that you know the NASCAR commercial Dale Jr's real little. And he's like, this is all I've ever known racing. You know, that was not me. I'm the antithesis of that. Anything but racing so journalistically. There were so many stories I wanted to tell there were so many people I wanted to interview, there were so many things. I wanted to experience a Super Bowl, a World Series and NBA Finals. And I kind of was I was just at the end of my contract. And I asked Fox like, Hey, can I get into some of these other lanes, and sometimes sponsor open. In some cases, they just didn't own those sports properties. But every channel has their own like they the NBA, NHL, every news network channel or sports network has their own professional sports property properties or collegiate. And so things they just weren't lining up. I mean, I of course, went to Fox first and said, hey, I'm interested in doing this. Can we make it happen? And when I realized that that was going to be difficult to do, and I kind of hit this crossroads again, I had had this thought and it was like, Are you really going to leave all this money? Like jump off the boat? No freaking lifejacket. But I did and I had no idea what I was going to do and was pretty much out of work. I did a small stint with ESPN in covered some collegiate swimming and diving which was amazing, but outside of that, and I was doing Sirius XM. I really had nothing for a year and then went to Boston or working for NBC Sports and got to cover the Boston Celtics and be an NBA sideline reporter, which is bucket list for me cover Tom Brady and the Patriots in his last Super Bowl with New England cover the breakup when he left which was messy and fascinating. Journalists like the break up with Bill and Brady covered a World Series with the Red Sox. So it was like I was doing every thing I wanted to do. And I was still covering NASCAR on Sirius XM. I wasn't on television, doing it with a national network. But I was able to keep my thumb on it while not being just the NASCAR girl. I didn't do it because I didn't want everyone else to think like cast, you know, you know, cast me as just a NASCAR girl, I just personally had so many other interests that I didn't want to make cast that way because I'm like, Hey, wait, I can do this, and this and this, and this, and this. And I got to check so many of those boxes. So it was a leap of faith. It was scary. I took a huge pay cuts. I'm not gonna say financially, it was the smartest decision because salutely was not. And I'm sure some people thought it was a step backwards. But I had never done a lot of that stuff. So you're not going to walk in getting the top seat, you walk in getting the seat that's open. And again, I started getting promotions and bigger shows and worked my way up, and more people called and things grew. But I know a lot of people didn't understand that. But again, it's that whole I don't really care. Like, yeah, I know. And it made sense for me at the time. Julia Landauer 46:09 Well, and at the end of the day, each one of us, I don't know what the proper phrase is, but like we have to lay with ourselves at night, like we are the ones who are going to sleep with our own consciousness and whether or unconscious sorry, and our own understanding on if we really lived up to our potential, do we challenge ourselves the way we want and just have that growth. And I think, you know, to your point that you got your big break in, in a NASCAR arena, but there is more out there. And you've hit done so much more beforehand, also. And I think of it as like, you know, I think about like the Beatles, for instance, I grew up listening to a lot of The Beatles, and I really liked the for a long time. I really liked their earlier music more than their later music. I was like, why would you change something that's so great. And like because artists need growth, and people have growth. And I've talked about this recently that like, regret is so agonizing, as a feeling emotion, sensation, whatever. And I think it's so great that you knew like you had the potential to regret it if you just kind of stayed in that comfortable place that was working so well. And I think that's really admirable, like so admirable. And I think everyone should be doing that. Because, yeah, at the end of the day, it will be terrible. If you're 7080 90 years old, you're like, Shit, I wish I had done other stuff. Yeah, Danielle Trotta 47:29 the word you use there too, was challenge yourself challenge. And I continue to challenge myself. You know, I moved to Boston, I leave my husband and Charlotte, we had a long distance marriage for two years. That's incredibly hard. Yeah. I didn't challenge myself to be independent, I did challenge myself to learn how to acclimate to a new city. I had to challenge myself to learn not that I hadn't watched baseball, basketball, football, but it's on a different level in Boston, like a know it. And if you don't know it on their level, they, that city, and sports will chew you up and spit you out. And so I had to eat, sleep, and breathe it and read all the books. And again, one step at a time learn my story to about this, what am I covering about the Celtics today? And like try to also I would read a lot of books written about the history of these legacies. So I wanted to have context. I mean, even in my 40s, I continue to challenge myself, move back to Charlotte and COVID. The opportunity with NBC kind of dried up just because you know, a lot of companies were going through that mass during the pandemic, and cuts were made, but I wanted to move back home I was ready to This is weird. See my husband again, and radical Julia Landauer 48:45 concept. Danielle Trotta 48:47 So I'm like, perfect. So I move home. And it was the most amazing two years. But anyways, flash forward to 2024. I just started with Meachum auctions. And they're on Motor Trend. I knew nothing about car auctions. There's like two major car auctions in the auction TV space. There's Barrett Jackson, and there's Meachum. And obviously, they were on in my office for years when I worked at speed like they were, you know, one of the two. And my agents like what do you think? And I said, I'll try one I was filling in for someone and thought I'll never do it again. It's a one off, but actually really liked it. I've had to learn a whole new I mean, I've never not covered sports. This isn't this is a live event, but it's not a live sporting event. Just a massive, like we were in the The Arizona Cardinals NFL stadium and Meachum takes over the whole stadium. And so the whole field basically just becomes a showroom floor and 1000s and 1000s of cars. And so I'll just walk around on TV like Hey, check this one out. It's a super rare Corvette. You know make an MOT and I start telling you about the car and you know it's it's totally different in new If you do have like, on your bad days, you're like, why am I starting over again? Why am I challenging myself to do something I know absolutely nothing about what were you thinking stick with what you know. And then I snap out of it. And I'm like, this is healthy for my brain. This is healthy. For me as a journalist, like, I just want to keep pushing myself, and trying new things. Like you said, being outside my comfort zone, I feel like that's where you really grow. It's where I grow as a person. It's where I grow professionally. And it's freaking hard, and it's freaking scary. And guess what, sometimes it doesn't always work out, you know, I'll get a gig and I'll, I'll love it. And it ends, you know, I filmed the show, it only lasted two seasons, and that network decided not to pick it up for another season. It's, you know, you're gonna go down a path, and sometimes it's not going to last as long as you'd like. But I believe if he got close to one door, he's going to open another and then I kind of feel like I'm starting the next new challenge again. Right? And it's not the easiest path. Sometimes that is the most tortured path. Yeah, I am enjoying myself. Julia Landauer 51:06 That's great. But I really liked that you mentioned like, on your hard days, you question like, why do you do this? Because that is something where like, even for me in the pivoting from Active Driving to this next chapter, it's like, I still have plenty of bad days where I like, wish it had worked out, maybe I should have, you know, kept pursuing it. And I'm interested in you in how you handle those bad days. You mentioned that like this is good for your growth. Do you give yourself mantras? Do you remind yourself of the big picture? What are the specific tactics you use to help yourself on those bad days? Danielle Trotta 51:45 Yeah, I mean, it's a really great question. I do lean on my face a lot. Because this business is so temperamental. And I think it's just hard to trust people. Because it's in this industry is very cutthroat. It's very competitive. And doors open and close deals get made deals Get lost, you don't really know who has your back and who doesn't sometimes, and it's tough, I'm sure you felt that way with trying to find sponsors, or does this team really want me or it's just the best fit, like, it's sort of hard to know when to zig and when does ag and who's really going to be there for you and when the chips are down. But I've leaned on my husband a lot, my family a lot, it took a toll on my mental health after I left box. For years, I suddenly had anxiety when I never think I didn't even know what mental health was right. And so I'd really learned to stay positive and take care of myself. And I really felt like God is going to do a new thing. And a mantra that sticks with me is, you know, if it's meant for you, nothing or no one's going to stop that. All you can do is present yourself in the best way be as mentally sharp as you can, I don't drink alcohol, I try to make really smart life choices for my mental health to stay positive, work out to be physically my best self. You know, be around people that love and support me, I keep a really small circle, it's very close by design, and I try not to focus on other people. In my same space. I think Comparison is the thief of joy. That's something that I fall back on a lot. And it's very hard. I'm sure for you as a racecar driver, like you can't focus on who is racing, where who got what seat who got one sponsor? How was that helping you I can't worry about what job she got or what role she's having. Even if I feel I'm more qualified, or I could do a better job, or I'm better with people or whatever. I can't focus on anyone else's race, I have to run my race, the way I run. And on the tough days, I just have to like center and find myself and be like, You're really good. And you work really hard. And I do think if you work hard, and you're kind of people, things will work out, just keep going. Like even on the tough days. It's like, don't quit, keep going that next big break could be right around the corner. But if you give up now, you'll never know. And this business is competitive. your line of work. It's tough. It's competitive. And you have those days where you just I talk to drivers all the time where money is driving up and drying up and they're just like they want to quit. Oh, yeah. That love that passion, that desire to do what you love to do. It's like it won't let you quit even on the days I want to quit. Like my soul. My gut is like, girl you are you know, you're not doing that. You're just having a bad day. Julia Landauer 54:46 I get through the bad day. Danielle Trotta 54:48 We're gonna keep grindin Julia Landauer 54:49 let's that's so true. Yeah, and I mean, the comparison is of excuse me, Comparison is the thief of joy, I think is just a mantra that I live by a lot as well. And it reminded me of I follow the influencer Tinx. And she made the comment that if you're feeling jealous, jealous of other people who got the gig or who got the ride? Like, think about it, are you jealous of their entire life of everything that you're aware of? Like, are you jealous of everything, because you can't just be jealous of one thing, you don't know what they're going through, you don't know what the backstory is, you don't know what their struggles are. Or even if you do, you can't just focus on one thing that you wish you had, because that's not how life works. And to me, I find that a really helpful perspective to have. And I think it also humbles you. Because if you like, I love my husband, I love my friends, my family, like I'm very happy in majority of my life, do I wish I was the cup level racer, you bet. But overall, my life is really good. And to get out of our own heads about what's not working what's what could be better, I think, is really important for our long term satisfaction, our long term joy, how we build relationships with the people that we really care about. And it's way easier said than done, obviously. But I think it's something if we practice every day, all the time in that appreciation for what we have pushing ourselves to work as hard as we can try to get what we want. But yeah, recognizing that, you know, we only have control over so much. Danielle Trotta 56:19 Yeah, don't let someone's outside affect your insides. I love that one, too. Because I on the outside, you may have all this fame and not which is not seeking fame, but I'm saying like, Julia Landauer 56:33 yeah, recognition and that, yeah, that platform. Right, that platform, Danielle Trotta 56:37 you know, and yeah, they may seem to be like the perfect mom and the perfect wife and have the perfect house and the perfect outfits and the perfect career and you have no idea behind the scenes what that girl is going through. Yeah. You know, I mean, so, again, that's like, the whole Comparison is the thief of joy. I'm not going to I really. And I will, like block that stuff out on social media. You know, I It's funny, if you mute somebody, they disappeared. Julia Landauer 57:08 The mute button is so powerful and underutilized by most people. I Danielle Trotta 57:12 think. It's not because I'm not wanting to support other women and like all your posts and share what you're doing. It's just, sometimes I have to look out for my own well being totally. And if you're gonna throw me off my piece, you know, I I should not subject myself to it. Not that I'm not happy and supporting you from afar. Yeah. Yeah, the other thing too, and I do this a lot is, when you do get down, do exactly what you said, remind myself of what I do have, and your glass becomes a lot more full. I have my health, I have my husband, I have my family, I have work that's very meaningful to me, I have a beautiful home that I enjoy living in. That's another way I think to fill your cup in a world that sometimes, you know, can suck all suck all up and make you feel like you have nothing compared to her. You know, but when you take stock and you take inventory of what you do have it changes your whole perspective. Yep. Julia Landauer 58:21 100%. That is such a good way to think about it. And I think a nice segue into the last question I have for you before we get to the if you're honest segment. But what is something that you want to challenge yourself with in the future? Whether that's short term or long term? Like what what is the next? Or what is a next endeavor for you? professionally? Danielle Trotta 58:46 I think at some point, when I'm like too old and wrinkled, for anyone that hired me to be on television, Julia Landauer 58:52 I don't see any wrinkles. So we have a long time until that happens. HD Danielle Trotta 58:56 is a bitch. When that comes I do think the next step for me would be like overseeing production or a managerial role. It's kind of like you think about an actor, who is you know, starring in movies for so long or you know, an actor or an actress in film. And then you will we see this right, like, now they're the writer now they now they're the producer, and now they're co directing like, it's kind of like this progression because when you've lived on this side for so long, you're like, Oh, well, now I want to transition to this side. I don't even need a speaking part. I can write and I can produce and I can direct and I do think there is this power in having somebody with all of this on camera experience. You know, I have an I love so many of my bosses and I work with so many amazing, wonderful people, but not many of them have my shared experience, right? They're managing a lot of on air talent. But that's never done. anything they've done now they have so many other great, you know, they have so much value. Because they're very business minded and they work with so many people in production and logistics, and they've accomplished so much in their roles. I'm not taking that away. But I think with the skill set that I bring, transferring that and leading a team and leading a group and coming up with content and putting on live events, like I know every facet of the industry, so why not pivot? And kind of impact the industry? Once I get into my, you know, 60s 70s 80s? It's kind of my second career path, like at some point, I think diving into like the production and managerial side of sports networks, and who knows where the heck our landscape is going Troezen televisions, you know, or is it going to be all streaming? Are we all going to be on an app. It's a very fascinating industry that is moving at lightspeed. So who knows where we're going to be in 20 years, but I think being a part of content creation and leading people and putting on a big show, like I know everything it takes to do it. So I think it'd be really fun to help young people, you know, as they kind of move up the ladder and lead a team whenever that day comes. Yeah, I haven't even explored it or thought anything about it yet. But I know that one day like I can see that being kind of the next step. That's so Julia Landauer 1:01:24 cool. Well, we have put it out there. We're manifesting it is out in the universe now. And so I'm so excited for that. We are going to dive into our if you're honest segment with this rapid fire for questions. So I lied five questions for you. What is a show that you recently watched and loved? Danielle Trotta 1:01:46 Right now I'm really into palm Royale on Apple TV. Plus, Julia Landauer 1:01:49 I just saw that I'm intrigued. Good. Danielle Trotta 1:01:52 I didn't think Kristin Wiig because it's a it's a different role for her. She's such like she has such a comedic background. Isn't that the theme of what you and I are talking about? Julia Landauer 1:02:02 Oh, my gosh, that's so aligned with what we were talking about. Yeah, we didn't plan this. Danielle Trotta 1:02:06 I didn't know what Julia was going to ask. But perfect example. She's co producer, co writer on the project. She's a star. And it's a totally like, it's a huge shift from what she we know her to do. Yeah. But it's like, you know, Palm Beach society, back in the 60s and 70s, and the costumes and just how simple life was. But of course, you know, it's made for TV drama. So there's a good dose of that as well. But it's, you know, you watch one episode and before you know it, you're just binging everything and asking your husband if he wants to watch it with you. Julia Landauer 1:02:40 I love that. Okay, yeah, I watched the trailer two days ago. So I will now officially add it to my list. All right. Number two, what is your go to weekend breakfast? Danielle Trotta 1:02:54 weekends were usually at the race track. Oh, that's true. For Andy the abstract caterer or chef has prepared but if I'm home, I'm going through like a big it's not a phase because I always really enjoy it. But I'm like a hard boiled egg avocado toast. Girls, you'll never see me getting pancakes and waffles and grits and sausage and gravy. That's not my I like to keep it light. Because yeah, Julia Landauer 1:03:27 I can't do a sweet breakfast. I used to I used to like and I love a pancake. I love a waffle but like I need I need protein to start the day. So I hear you. All right. What is your favorite city that you've done our work in? Oh, Danielle Trotta 1:03:44 event city that I've demoed again. I mean, Boston is right up there. Austin is a freakin cool city. Like you can go to the beach. You can go downtown, they have this section of Boston. That's like New York's version of Little Italy. Yeah, the North end they call it and oh my you just feel transported to somewhere like in Italy, and it's just bars of beautiful rows of beautiful bakeries and bars and the most amazing Italian food and I'm Italian so but then also like a huge sports town. They have theater they have I mean, it's just a city that has literally everything. That one was pretty cool. The first one I ever covered a NASCAR racing Sonoma, I figured out what I was was about. I don't even drink like I I'm not a wine drinker. When I did drink. There is something pretty special up there. And in Napa and Sonoma. I mean, just breathtaking. And then to see there's just a racetrack in the middle of it. The scenics are yeah, pretty incredible. Julia Landauer 1:04:53 I'm biased also, but I love Northern California and like the hills I think until you see those hills like they're like a goal. Lin color in that area like especially in the fall or in the summer at that point and then like in the wetter season like they turn this like lush green, yellow. I mean it's it's stunning and the hills are beautiful. So I approve that answer and I'm gonna follow up question for that is in Charlotte since you are Italian and you are our expert here. What is your favorite Italian restaurant in Charlotte if you have one? Danielle Trotta 1:05:28 Yeah, there's there's a few so there's like a little hole in the wall and a shopping center off Park Road like kind of between Dilworth and South Park area called Portofino. The Harris Teeter shopping center which is a local grocery chain down here in the south. You would never think but it is often amazing mazing goodness at a really affordable price and the portions are massive and so good. You just walk in and the smell of fresh bread. Uptown. There's another really special one it's more high end fine dining but Luce. Luce it's off Tryon St. Luce is really good. Those would be my probably my to go twos. I've heard a few people have said there's like some there's a new one opening up in South Park and I forget the name off the top of my head that I need to try. But Portofino and Luceif you're in Charlotte, and you love Italian, I promise you you cannot go wrong. Oh, that's great. Well, I Julia Landauer 1:06:32 have not tried to either. And so I'm excited to add those to the list. The last question I have for you is what is something you're grateful for right now. Danielle Trotta 1:06:40 My friendship with you. I'm glad that we got this, it Julia Landauer 1:06:43 makes me feel so warm and fuzzy. Danielle Trotta 1:06:45 For centuries willing, honest and authentic. I got so excited when I saw your text because my husband I are just huge fans of you. I admire you. I think you're just so talented. And I know pivoting is not easy. But girl you make a pivot look good, professional woman to do. I feel like you've lived many lives and you're still want in your 30s I have always followed you and just been a huge fan ever since I got to know you and I haven't seen you in forever. Julia Landauer 1:07:17 I know we have to change that. Danielle Trotta 1:07:19 I'm so glad that this all worked out. And we could come together today and just hang out and do girl talk. This has been so much fun. It's been Julia Landauer 1:07:27 so much fun. And I really appreciate you kind of diving into some of the kind of less obvious more nuanced elements of your career of you know, storytelling for people, bringing people together, your perspective is so helpful and honest. And that is the theme of the show. So I really appreciate that. Thank you. And last thing would be like Where can people find you on social media? And I'll link all this. Danielle Trotta 1:07:53 Yeah, some I am @DanielleTrotta on Twitter, that there is another Danielle Trotta. And last I checked she lived in Boston and she stole it on Instagram. So do you? Well initial, so on Twitter, it's at Danielle Trotta, but on Instagram. It's @DanielleKTrotta. Perfect. Well, Julia Landauer 1:08:12 everyone, check out Danielle Daniel, thank you so much. This was so wonderful, everyone. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend. Please let us know what you thought in the comments. Leave a review. As always, thank you for letting us be honest with you and I look forward to seeing you next week.