I’ve appeared on a ton of television shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, ABC Nightline, 20/20, TLC’s Cake Boss, Pix11, Anderson Cooper and even did a hosting gig for Pier 1 and a pilot for the Bravo Network. Some of these segments went wonderfully, others were just shy of a crash-and-burn (at least in my perfectionist mindset). Here are a few of the things that I have learned along the way that I wish someone had told me before I did my first tv appearance.
1. What to Wear: Part 1. Wear solid colors. Patterns, especially small ones, are tough to look at on camera and lines (like pinstripes) become wavy lines. Stick with a solid color. Ladies, make your style statement with a necklace or earrings.
2. Makeup. Wear it! If you can’t have it done professionally, then wear evening-level makeup at the very least. You will feel like a drag queen but if you don’t, you risk looking like a psycho on screen. Gents, this goes for you too. Side Note: never assume that the news outlet will be providing you with hair and makeup, always arrive camera-ready.
3. What to Wear: Part 2. You can’t wear jangly things. They’ll hit your mic and/or cause trouble for the sound guys…ultimately you’ll probably be asked to remove them so just skip them in the first place.
4. Practice. Imagine the types of questions that the reporter will ask you and practice answering with concise sound-bites. Pretend it’s like Miss America and rehearse the perfect 15 second answer. The reporter will never ask you the questions you think they will, but at least you will know what you want to say. Since I’m naturally long-winded, I often need to practice for at least an hour or two the night before.
5. What to Wear: Part 3. Don’t wear white. There’s a thing called white balance (learn more here) that cameras need to do. If you wear white, you make the cameraperson’s job more difficult.
6. Memory Failure. Occasionally you might be given lines to read on camera. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “I’ve got a good memory, I’ll just skim them ahead of time!”because will remember absolutely nothing once the camera turns on (and probably end up crying to your husband in a car on the way home after the shoot.) Practice those lines until you know them cold – with different intonations, different speeds, frontwards and backwards. I usually have to spend at least a few hours memorizing just a paragraph or two of lines before a shoot.
7. What to Wear: Part 4. Wear something that your mic pack can easily hook to. Avoid having the clammy hands of a well-meaning sound guy down the back of your dress. Instead, wear a cute belt or separates.
8. Smiling. You will feel like a fool, but you need to smile or have a vague smile on your face at all times. Remember that hilarious viral video about a b*tchy resting face? Trust me – when it comes to tv, you will have a nervous resting face which translates to b*tchy for all the viewers. When practicing your answers (see #4 and #6), be sure to keep a smile or generally pleasant look on your face at all times. For references, study videos of your favorite newscasters.
9. Speak in sound bites. Start your answers with repeating the interviewer’s question (see example below)…it makes the tape easier to edit. Be concise with your responses and have a defined start and end. No ums, ahs or trailing off. Practice eliminating common words and phrases that we say in normal conversation like “you know?” and “like.”
Example Reporter Question: “What is a new trend in weddings today?”
Example Response: “A new trend in weddings today is bridal mohawks because…”
10. Other Details. Live TV is just what it sounds like – no messing up. Live to tape is the same thing – they won’t let you re-do anything. For taped (aka pre-recorded) segments, they can re-do things but it’s generally frowned upon. If you’re doing a remote interview where the reporter is in a different city, you will be locked into a small, windowless room with a camera, desk and an earpiece so you can hear their audio. They will give you a warning of when they’re about to start and you’ll hear the intro for your segment. Stare directly down the barrel of the camera and blink at a regular pace so you don’t look like a serial killer.
11. Bonus Tip! Have an opinion. Whatever you are being asked, take a side. Chances are you’re not running for office, so you won’t be taken to task over your opinion. If you are wishy-washy it makes for boring television. Take a stand and stick to it.
Did I miss any good television tips? Let me know in the comments.
It was a beautiful and traditional wedding at the NY Palace. Diane and Seb who are big traveler’s, decided to stay local and tie the knot in New York City. The couple exchanged vows during their elegant church ceremony, followed by a classic New York portrait session in Central Park. Later, the couple pulled up to their reception in a vintage car! They shared their first dance to Shania Twain’s, From this Moment, and from there on it was pure celebration. There were glow sticks for the dance floor, and flip-flops of all sizes so that guests never had to stop dancing. Diane and Seb cut into one of Ron-Ben Israel’s scrumptious cake creations, and even had a Macaron Tower cake that everyone wanted a piece of! It was a perfect day for these lovebirds! Congratulations Diane and Seb!
Thanks to JoVon Photography for the beautiful photos!
Georgia and Chris said their “I do’s” on a lovely Saturday last September. Following a touching ceremony at a local church, their gorgeous reception took place at the Tribeca 360, aptly named for the stunning panoramic views of Manhattan that wedding guests were able to enjoy! In addition to the incredible view, my favorite part of their wedding was the bridesmaids’ bouquets from Blossom & Branch. To celebrate their individuality, Georgia had each bridesmaid carry a bouquet whose floral design was personalized to their taste. I love this idea as - stay tuned over the next few weeks for a post on this new trend! Later, guests danced to oldies music that was played on records, a retro detail which perfectly suited this fun-loving couple. Congratulations Georgia and Chris!
Photos by Joshua Brown.
Keyhold backs on wedding dresses have been a hot style for brides this wedding season! These dresses are all about elegance. While the trend started with simple keyhole backs, we are now seeing sheer backs and cutouts in various shapes. This timeless feature can range from girl-next-door to ultra sexy, depending on the cut and material you choose. Will you try a keyhole back dress?
The 1980s were the times of banana clips, mini skirts and classic Madonna, when most brides were of the mindset that bigger was better – especially when it came to wedding hair! Giant mall bangs, huge tendrils and perms were what every bride dreamed of. One of the hottest wedding hairstyle trends of the past few years is the side bun, a modern twist on the classic bun.
Will the side bun prove to be timeless or will it be an indication of the decade, like big eighties hair? What do you think?
Every girl knows that no matter how comfortable, after ten to twelve hours in heels, your feet will be in pain! Your wedding day is no exception. If you plan to change into some foot-friendly kicks, a great option is thick soled flip flops. With the high platform replacing your heels, you don’t have to worry about tripping over your dress and the hem of your gown will stay clean.
Photo courtesy of Wedding Splendor.
Julie & Gary got married on a chilly day in early November at the chapel at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Their dream wedding had an autumnal feel with a flair for the colors of cranberry and burnt orange. With that in mind, we designed an elegant yet approachable day for them to share with their loved ones. They both got ready at the Wall Street Inn in downtown Manhattan and I have to say that Julie was one of the most beautiful brides I’ve ever seen! She rocked her Louboutins all evening and together they made a perfect Mr. and Mrs. Stay tuned for more photos from their spectacular day!
Before you pick up the phone to call your makeup artist and hair stylist for your wedding day, there are a few things you should have on-hand:
Your wake up time and get-dressed time affects whether you’ll need one artist (may require getting up at the crack of dawn) or multiple artists who can get things done in half the time. And, be sure to find beauty vendors who will come to your location – adding a stopover at a salon creates more opportunity for forgotten items, traffic problems and running late.
Photo courtesy of Karin vonVoigtlander.