1) How did you get started? Both interviewing and YouTube?
I didn’t know anything about video production at all, and I was very nervous about it. I have never had a problem speaking in front of people, but video was a whole new ball game. So I seriously thought about it for like a year. Then I met the owner Mary Anne Been of JetsetTV and JetsetExtra.com (I call her MB) and it was seriously a case of the right place, at the right time. She has since become one of my best friends.
For gals just starting out, you may want to check out your local film schools, Craig’s List, etc. In LA, we have something called LA Casting that has gigs and InfoList.com. And seriously, in this YouTube age, I shoot a lot of things right on my iPhone (Vanity Cam) and upload them raw onto YouTube directly.
2) How to meet and interview celebrities?
JetsetTV gets approached all the time to do Red Carpets (especially now that we have livestream capabilities!) Also, just getting to know the publicists in your city (via events, and writing. Do the work! Start your channel and or blog, and just start getting some content together so they have a clear idea of your skills, personality and interview style).
3) what skills do I need to learn to run my own interviewing business?
I’d say 1) connecting to your audience. Marki Costello (my teacher from BecomeAHost.com) will tell you this over and over 2) Social Media, social media, social Media 3)Understanding and respecting your production crew. Like I said, you can learn how to do this yourself, but it IS timeconsuming. If you do learn how to do it then — seriously, sky’s the limit for you! Producers LOVE a woman/host who can do it all: write, produce, host her own segments. Budgets are lean, so the more you bring to the table the more marketable you are!
4) who is my competion?
Depends on your target market. But since you came to me through the Vanity Girl TV/celebrity angle, I am assuming beauty and Red Carpet. I have to be honest, that is a VERY compeitive field. Lots of people want to do it (especially in LA!) But since you are in the Bay Area, it may be different. I’d say check and see if there are any reputable hosting schools in your area, and network.
5) is this business expensive?
Yes!! It can be. Again, you can do it lean and mean with a Flip Cam and self editing (and some outlets LIKE raw looking content). But time is money, so there is the front end prep. And if you are going to be on camera, there is hair, makeup and wardrobe to contend with. But of course, resourceful girls always win. So the more you can scrap and figure things out, the more content you can produce. And in my early years, I bartered a lot. You may have a skill that other people need and vice versa, so look for those type of people and create a barter, but get the terms clear. You don’t have to do a full blown contract (although always a good idea) but at the very least, a written and signed Memo of Understanding with clear deliverables is a good idea. A good shooter/editor here in LA will run a minimum of $250 – 500 for a piece, but it can go from anywhere from free (again, film schools, etc to tens of thousands of dollars for HD Broadcast quality).
6) what questions to ask when interviewing?
It’s always a good idea to do your homework. With celebrities, IMDb is a good source as is People.com (a tip given to me by Jason Kennedy from E!) Also, I recently got called out by Joel McHale at the Paleyfest Red Carpet for not having watched an episode of “Community” and it was an event specifically for that show, so if it’s movie or show specific – watch it first lol.
If it’s a beauty brand or personallity, do a quick google search. I like to be organic, so overpreparing is NOT good for me or I get too stiff. So I’ll spend 15-30 minutes or so right before I get on camera and do some research, but that’s also because I have a GREAT short term memory (and a NOT SO GREAT long term memory). You will find your groove. And I have found, “What are some of your latest projects?” is always a good go-to question for me. And seriously LISTEN! Think of interviewing as a conversation, not an interrogatoin.
7) I live in the bay area, will you be in San Francisco soon for a meet and greet?
I go to the Bay Area a lot – my family is there. I would love to do that. So I’m pulling a Micheline Pitt (one of my favorite Makeup Artists, Models, Designers) and asking if anybody in the Bay Area would like to host me for a meet and greet? (She put out a similar ask, and ended up going to Australia! Talk about resourceful and beautiful!) A salon, boutique, makeup studio, women’s enterpreneur group, etc. makes the most sense, but I’m open! Reach out to us at support(at)vanitygirlhollywood.com if you want to host us.
8) Do you take interns?
Yes. I take interns to events with me to help with Social Media etc. Depending on the event, we can also sometimes take them to Red Carpets with us and I’m always looking for talented young women who want to get their foot in the door. My first internship was with a PR agency called The Blaze Company out of Venice, CA and it seriously laid the foundation to so much of what I do now. I will always be grateful to my first mentor, Marci Blaze, for showing me the PR ropes.
Theresa- I hope this helped and thanks for the questions! If any of you have questions, please reach out to me @VanityGirl or support(at) vanitygirlhollywood.com
Design by Rececca Ludlum of PixelPop
Check out the Journey:
Vanity Girl TV:
My very first Video:
Launch of Vanity Girl TV:
My very first Red Carpet:
My Interview with Micheline Pitt:
Become a Host school: http://becomeahost.com/content.php?pgID=41