Please excuse my tardiness in not posting any blogs in recent months, but I’ve been incredibly busy with a new venture. At the end of June this year, I launched The Red Carpet Academy. The UK’s first and only TV Presenter training led by current, mainstream and celebrity TV Presenters.
I’ve been holding on to this vision for the past 7 years and I feel that now is the perfect time to see it come into fruition.
You may be wondering “well after 7 years, why now?”. Well, to be honest with you, at the time of dreaming this dream I felt as though my career was in Intensive Care and thus limiting my right to advise others on how to create or sustain one for themselves. However, I’ve learned this is far from the truth. Whether it ended yesterday or in another 50 years, my many career achievements and the experience which comes with it speaks volumes and it’s definitely worth sharing with others, warts and all.
Although I felt as if I’d faded into oblivion, despite only being out a work a mere few months, it was heartwarming to still get consistent requests from wannabe presenters asking my advice on how to get into the business. I was struggling financially, faced with the reality that I potentially couldn’t pay my bills. The last thing I wanted to do, was put on a brave face and encourage people to start a career in something I felt incredibly disillusioned with. My self-esteem was at a low point yet other’s view of me as a multi-faceted individual hadn’t wained. I hadn’t considered the value in still being respected by my peers and also by people who had taken a keen interest in me over the years. I felt my past achievements meant nowt when my life and career was in the hands of people in a cut-throat industry. Which is becoming more about celebrity without any reason to be celebrated.
Fast forward several years and as we can see I’m still here! This wasn’t the first and I doubt the last past dry spell of my career. It’s the “showbiz beast” I’ve simply become accustomed to over my 30 year career thus far. Most people in film, TV, music and the Arts all experience the same as I have at some point, whether they’re behind the scenes or at the forefront. One minute you’re “begging bread” to no avail, and the next you receive a phone call which can change your life for the better overnight. This is exactly what happened to me!
An unexpected phone call, landed me on a flight to New York to conduct a series of interviews for a well known music channel. If you had asked me just 24 hours previously if I’d believe I’d be presenting again within 7 days, and doing it in America?! You would’ve heard my cackle whilst throwing you out the door. My life quickly turned around for the better. Suddenly, all of my hard work over the years no longer seemed a waste. In fact, I began to view it as a valuable life lesson.
I’ve gone on to become a showbiz reporter on Hollywood red carpets to hosting more live TV and award shows, as well as covering behind the scenes moments at major events. Everyday, I continue to strive and never take my career in TV for granted, as I vowed to be grateful for each opportunity. Although I pride myself in being incredibly personable, I still consider what happened all those years ago to be extremely humbling.
Its unfortunate we live in a time of “reality TV” where Presenters are seen as irrelevant if not on some of the biggest TV shows in the country. My peers and I have compared stories with laughter, of times when we’ve witnessed the changes in people’s faces from excitement to learning they’re “in the presence of a TV Presenter”, to the sheer disappointment upon finding out they’ve never heard of or seen some of the shows we present. Despite if that show or TV network may be the biggest in another country to their own. Because some may never have heard of us, suddenly our years of achievements quickly become dismissed. But lest we forget, the UK is just a tiny island in a world full of millions. This means there are tons more TV presenting territories to capture worldwide, and this doesn’t even include the online and social media platforms.
Many may say I’ve broken ground as the first black female CITV continuity presenter in it’s it 33 year history. I’ve gone on to have an amazing career of 15 years in television alone. But unfortunately the TV industry is fickle. Therefore my new ambition is not solely based upon my own career aspirations but to empower others too. My aim is to give a new generation of budding TV Presenters and public speakers the tools of confidence, knowledge, technical and life skills, to continue to break down barriers and establish longevity within their careers.
And that’s where The Red Carpet Academy is here to offer you a chance to shine in the spotlight. I’ve carefully considered the best team and resources I currently have on offer, to create a professional environment where you can learn from what I consider to be some of the best in the business. They are all extremely knowledgeable, heavily talented, and many-a-time not given enough kudos for their hard work and professional contributions to date.
Some say “it’s not about what you know, but who you know”. And most of the time when I hear this phrase I’m inclined to agree. However in this instance I actually believe, “it’s not about who you know, but what you know“! In other words, if you have a dream of becoming a TV Presenter, a more confident public speaker or a greater sales person, I have a team of very switched on people with a ton of experience, who for the first time are willing to share their tips of the trade with you. Very few places provide an opportunity to learn up close and personal from professionals in the public eye . So I extend a personal invite to The Red Carpet Academy. Check out our website, have a little look around or consider one of our Taster Day training workshops.
My hope for The Red Carpet Academy to have even a small part of impacting your budding career to even greater success.
Onwards n’ upwards,