A Look At The TV Industry And Becoming a TV Presenter
The following is a guest post by Ayala. Her bio follows.
I am a TV Presenter on a live music TV show called The Ayala Show that showcases live music and new music. I also co-produce the show, and co-own and manage the TV Production Company, Mind Motion Media that makes it. Before any of that happened I was and still am a songwriter and recording artist myself. I write, perform and release music and I am passionate about the music industry, and about supporting new music and promoting live music on Television. This is the angle by which I became a presenter myself.
I am about to give you my thoughts / advice on getting into the industry and becoming a TV Presenter. I will also say though, that as far as I can figure out, there is no strict formula in the same way as there can be in other industries (ie if you want to be a doctor, you simply study, pass your exams and you will become one). Personally, I came into TV presenting through my love of my subject (music) as I said, and I think this is not an uncommon tale, so read the below but also keep an open mind and an eye out for the unexpected on your own journey to your dream job!
Firstly, we should all be passionate about what we do.
I think it’s so important to be your true self in whatever job you do, the things you love doing are nearly always the things you are the best at. If you are sure that you are passionate about Presenting, ask yourself what it is that you love about the idea of the job, and what are the other things in life that you care about on a wider scale in life because these are also important to inform what kind of presenting/TV you should look for. You need to really love people and find them fascinating if you want to be a presenter, but it’s also good to be informed and to know what you care about in the bigger picture.
David Attenborough, one of the most famous & successful wildlife presenters of all time, studied Biological Sciences at university and became a Zoologist before he was qualified and able (and perhaps before he even thought) to present Nature programs. His passion and knowledge combined with that voice and charisma is what makes the magic of his programs last. If he was not passionate and knowledgeable about his subject, you can guarantee he would not have had the same success as a presenter. Can you imagine Top Gear’s if Jeremy Clarkson hadn’t cared for or had a deep knowledge of cars as well as that persona! In my case, as a musician, it makes sense that I’m presenting a music show. Do you love politics, current affairs, working with children or adults etc. etc..
Think about what your ‘USP’s (unique selling points) are.
Combine your character strengths with the things you care about and your natural style of communicating and you should find some ‘USP’s in there. We all have something to offer this world. Think about who your target audience would be. Think about what kind of a show would you like to see on TV that is currently not there?
Do your research and find out what other programmes & presenters there are about that would be comparable to where you see yourself fitting, take inspiration and write down specific things you like about presenters, styles of presenting, subjects and ideas for shows etc. Always feed your inspiration regularly to stay passionate and informed.
If you definitely want to go into Television, learn how the industry works.
I’ve had a very steep learning curve, and I wish I’d had a chance to study the ins and outs of making television from every perspective the way I studied the music industry before I went into it. If this means university (even a second course or degree!), and if you have the time and funds then go for it! You could find yourself meeting great future contacts on good media courses.
Be prepared to ‘pay your dues’
and work your way up. This is an important point. Don’t be afraid to work as a runner or any other more basic jobs for any TV Production companies, even if you need to work for free. This way you can get into the TV world, and learn by seeing first hand how TV shows work in real life. You can build relationships this way too. You might actually find it easier to find out about opportunities from the inside too if you take a job on a lower rung of the ladder but in the right area to begin with.
Put together a show reel
that demonstrates how you see your strong points, your particular unique selling points, charisma and your passion/s. This will probably mean either roping some talented camera operator friends in to help / using equipment available at university if that’s where you are, or saving up and hiring these things/ people to help you. This process can be very inexpensive with modern technology at our fingertips with editing software readily available on our laptops etc.- depending on your vision of course.
Never let lack of funds stand in the way of achieving your dreams. Where there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way. If all else fails, even phones these days can make good movies! Then you can start showing this around or sending it around if you hear of job opportunities. I do believe that if you are a nice person to work with, you are prepared, dedicated, hard working, passionate and confident and you put yourself out there; then one way or another your dream job will eventually come to you!
Lastly, Never. Give. Up. J