Welcome, as always this column is a benefit for The Actors Fund Covid 19 relief effort and I urged viewers to donate if it is feasible.
In today’s column I have invited my client Kristie Kaleshian to give some tips and career advice to those who are interested in becoming an on-air reporter, TV anchor or host.
After a brief bio on Kristie which included her current jobs as a reporter on WCBS 880 radio and a weekend reporter on TV station NJ12 in New Jersey, I asked her for tips for actors who want to go into TV and Radio journalism as a reporter, anchor person or host.
Kristie responded by establishing that you should have confidence and a solid background in:
– public speaking (the most important)
– performing arts background, focusing on acting where you are the only one performing or doing long monologues
– reading poetry
These will allow you to have a solid foundation in public speaking. You need to know “don’t smile when you are doing a serious story” and `don’t have a serious face when doing a comedic piece.”
In reporting, hosting or anchoring – it will really show if you do not have confidence in public speaking!
I then asked Kristie what type of courses did you take in college to prepare yourself to be a reporter, anchor person or host?
She responded that she went to Montclair State University where they had a lot of TV production and digital media courses with an electronic journalism concentration.
She took a lot of TV and general writing courses, editing and radio & TV performance on camera courses.
In today’s journalism, you need to be able to do everything, shoot, edit and write because you need to do more for less money.
Kristie met Lester Holt (NBC News Star) whose advise was “you must be a Swiss-Army Knife” of the newsroom as do everything.
I took a lot of public speaking courses in addition to the requirement class which really helpeme d prepare for on-air speech.
Writing courses prepared me for writing for television, TV news, etc.
In college, I did a play and some acting courses to work on storytelling which is what reporters and anchors actually do.
Internships are where you actually get to see what and how people do what they do. I did my internship at NJTV news.
College did not provide the internship so I knocked on doors until I landed one.
An aggressive personality, is needed to be on-air and comes in handy to go knocking on doors, etc. to land those quality internships.
I was actually surprised to be a SAG-AFTRA member just a few years out of college, but required union’s mentorship program.
From the mentorship program and my internships, I met so many people that I still see to this day. These contacts have helped tremendously in my career and in pursuing an acting career.
Side note not discussed on video was she met me via Valerie Smaldone who is a Step Forward client.
My final question was about creating a character. When you are on camera or on radio reporting a story are you yourself or a character.
Great question, I only use my acting experience to keep comfortable while on camera and when speaking publicly. My body language, posture and attitude all come from acting. I am completely myself and real when reporting a story.
It is important not to be acting but to be real when you are interviewing. At the end of the day, it is about storytelling to other people.
Thanking Kristie, I signed off wishing my listeners a great day!
Kristie Keleshian WCBS 880 / Twitter
Bob Blume’s company site is www.StepForwardEntertainment.com
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