How I Landed Myself on TV at 16
I honestly couldn't tell you how I even came up with the idea for this post, but sometimes I get bored and decide to start looking through all of my old blog posts. My first TV appearance was when I was 16 (ish?) and I remember being so scared and intimidated. I remember the moment perfectly, too: I randomly found the producer from FOX on LinkedIn and his email was listed, so I sent him an email and immediately got a call back. I ran upstairs to my mom and started screaming: TV back in the day was like the coolest thing EVER! I didn't know how to work with brands or get anything for free, so I boxed all of my shoes and clothing up and threw it in my moms car to drive to the studio with. Doing a TV segment now when I don't have to use my own clothing is much more fun.
I went to Gap and convinced my mom to buy me this blazer (she literally said no so many times because it was too expensive) and eventually she bought me the blazer and a pair of denim shorts. She was probably so annoyed with how many times I asked her to buy me that blazer that she eventually gave up. I flat-ironed my hair, put some simple makeup on, and my new white Aldo sneakers! I even skipped school for the day because going on TV is sooo much cooler.
After my first Fox appearance, I went from small town girl to big city girl in a period of minutes. That next week, I got a call from Rachael Ray and booked a segment on their show on teen style. If you've never been in front of a LIVE studio audience before, I suggest never putting yourself in that position because it's FREAKING SCARY. I was shaking so much. Gretta, who I have appeared on a few Rachael shows with now and is one of my closest friends, gave me the best piece of advice: keep your bra tight! I was wearing such a tight dress and my bra was totally not giving the girls a good lift- I never forgot that tip.
I was shaking even more than the first segment, and I didn't exactly get a chance to meet Rachael before we went on so I was pretty much a lost dog. Just shake your head and speak words, I kept saying to myself!
After Rachael came Access Hollywood (I found the producer info on LinkedIn too, and simply pitched her via email) and from there, I've done about 15 segments + over the past few years. It's a lot different to do national segments than it is regional, and I honestly like both segments equally, but there's a lot more work required with national segments because you're appearing on TV with a super famous host- AKA don't screw up. When you do a smaller TV segment, you have more control over what goes into it.
I watched a new video Michelle Phan put up over the weekend, and it really got my thinking. If you're not familiar with her; she is a famous vlogger/beauty guru who randomly took a year off of social media, and has just come back into the spotlight. Immediately when I heard she vanished, I had somewhat of an idea what happened, just from my personal experience in this industry. After watching the video, I couldn't have related to it more. When you get more publicity, and your success rises, so does the pressure. In front of the camera; everything looks great. Your hair, your body, your makeup, your clothes...but the pressure behind the scenes is immense. For Michelle, a few lawsuits and the stress of her brand turning her into a selling figure was enough for her to break. Once the pressure and expectation on you rises, so does the desire to succeed. It's stressful, and it's tiring, and it can be such an overwhelming feeling. Thank you, Michelle, for bringing light to some of the downsides of the industry that never takes a break.
All I know is that I learn something new everyday. Whenever I do a big TV segment, I learn something new about myself: like I can't handle more than 7 people in one dressing room at once, and I can't deal with working with rude people. It's so easy to be nice. Why be rude?
Thanks to the Internet; it's possible for you to follow your dreams just like I did. Never be afraid to email some, regardless of how old you are. Producers and executives respect people jumping the gun and emailing them: you never know what may come out of it.