There is no better way to discover the steps to becoming a host than to talk with hosts who have made it themselves. Brian Corsetti, Jeannie Mai, and Lance Smith break down the in’s and out’s of having representation, branding, and how they market themselves.
How important are your agent & manager?
Breaking into hosting can be extremely difficult and for a beginner it might seem the only way to become successful is to hire someone else to do the groundwork for them. However, Lance and Jeannie both explain that there never comes a time when you do not represent yourself even if you do have representation. Lance describes your relationship with your agent and manager as a team and you are “the quarterback.” Lance never finds himself sitting back and waiting on a phone call from his reps. In fact, he is the one calling his agent to pitch ideas and auditions! Jeannie even goes as far to say that when you are starting out that representation is not necessary. Her advice: “Promote and pitch the hell out of yourself!”
How much time do YOU personally commit to your career?
It is not surprising that host extraordinaire Jeannie Mai dedicates one hundred percent of her time to her career. However, Jeannie doesn’t think twice about the sacrifices she makes to have an amazing hosting career because she’s doing what she loves. Whether she is promoting designers on the red carpet, speaking at galas or dishing out fashion advice, Jeannie sees work as an ability to serve people and getting paid to do it is just a bonus.
What do you do when you felt things were slow in your career?
There will almost always be a time in your career when things are in a slump. However, when work is slow it shouldn’t give you an excuse to stop working out your “hosting muscles.” Brian believes that these slumps are necessary to reach your highest potential. He tells us these healthy pauses break us down and remind us what we need to do to get to the next level. But, he does admit that he usually has a ‘full on melt down’ before he begins to use this time to his advantage. The last time Brian was in between shows, he obtained his Real Estate license in order to be 110% at the next audition he walked into – it happened to be a show about homes. Lance, on the other hand, takes these slow times and makes himself the best host he can be by becoming more well-rounded and relatable by expanding his social circle. He tells hosts to go out and do something worthwhile; don’t get caught up in the mistake of only thinking “career, career, career.”
Brand VS. No Brand
Whether or not to have a brand is one of the largest debates in the hosting world and these three hosts are a testament to the differing opinions you can find when it comes to the idea of branding. Jeannie thinks that having a brand is absolutely, positively, essential! On the other hand, Lance and Brian are fairly opposed to the idea of branding yourself, especially when it comes to hosts that are just starting out. Despite these differing opinions, the three hosts do agree that you have to be yourself. When it comes down to it, they all emphasize that YOU are the brand, so don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Jeannie reminds hosts to “rock what’s unique about you” and Brian gives hosts a tip to remember “Don’t say you’re an expert when you’re not.” All summed up: Be YOU, do what you love and the brand will follow.
Hope you found this information helpful. Be sure to check back next month with the last installment of “Hosts Tell All.”