From Curlers to Coaching

TV host uplifts others with videos and new podcast

By Michelle Boudin | Photos courtesy of Colleen Odegaard

Posted on June 15, 2020

Colleen Odegaard is a talker. Over the years, she has anchored the local morning news on WCNC Charlotte, hosting the station’s lifestyle show, and just last month, she launched the “Wake Up To Your Life” podcast. The Ballantyne resident got the idea after her popular “Curler Confessions” social media posts got so much love.

“I got certified as a life coach last year, and the podcast was something I always wanted to do. What if I did a podcast like curler confessions, tapping into my broadcast background with some life coaching all rolled into one? It’s all the best things I’ve learned over 30 years to help people live their best and happiest lives.”

We have lightly edited Colleen’s responses for brevity and clarity.

“Curler Confessions” is just that: social media posts where Odegaard, curlers in her hair, talks about her day to day life—the stuff we don’t always want to talk about openly. It started after her bosses at the television station encouraged her to be more active on social media. Before the pandemic forced her to work from home, the 49-year old mother of two would drive to the station with her hair in curlers.

“I remember it clearly. It was a Monday morning when I pulled into the parking lot, and I realized I was wearing a dress that I’d worn the day before to church. And I had my Velcro rollers in my hair. So, I just recorded myself “confessing” those two things and came up with Curler Confessions at that moment.”

The Curler Confessions videos, from silly to serious, became so popular they led to speaking events, including a sold-out crowd at Rush Espresso (now Cafe Fior). “It seemed people were longing for real conversation,“ Odegaard says. “The point of the confessions is to share a personal story, then end it with something encouraging or a teachable moment.”

Odegaard says she’s had a lot of teachable moments since moving to Charlotte 22 years ago. She and her husband, Mariano, have lived that entire time in Ballantyne, raising their sons Anthony, a rising senior at Ardrey Kell High School, and Alden, a rising junior at the same school.

“Ballantyne just feels like home to me,” Odegaard says. “The whole time I’ve lived in Charlotte, I’ve lived in the Ballantyne area. I love the people.”

A California native, she moved to Charlotte to anchor the morning news. Eleven years ago, she transitioned to co-host “Charlotte Today,” a lifestyle show that teams her with former Panther Eugene Robinson. While she loves the gig, she decided to add life coach to her resume after realizing she wanted to help people more tangibly.

“I feel like for so long I was sleepwalking, living on autopilot. (Many of us are) afraid to face our pain. Once I learned how to do that and get out of the prison of feeling so bad about myself, it was so freeing, and I want to help other people have that too. That’s the goal of the podcast.”

One of the biggest things Odegaard had to come to terms with is the fact that she has Tourette syndrome.

“I felt for so long that I wasn’t good enough—that started as a kid. My ticks always made me feel weird, and I hustled for my worthiness. That’s why I got into TV because I wanted people to like me.”

It’s that kind of uncompromising honesty that has already endeared the new podcaster to her listeners. Right now, she’s doing one every other week, but eventually, she hopes to do them every Wednesday.

“It’s just me by myself, telling stories and teaching. The idea of the ‘Wake Up To Your Life’ podcast is to teach you something. I always want people to have something actionable they can do. I don’t want to waste people’s time. The whole reason I’m doing this is to be of service. I feel like this is my life’s work.”

Keep up with Colleen at colleenodegaard.com.