Billy Kemp’s Shocking Advice To Me….

Well Monday night was my first on-going class with Marki Costello’s ‘Become A Host’ program and I loved it.  Billy Kemp who is the V.P of Casting for Fremantle Media which is responsible for shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘America’s Got Talent’ was our teacher that night.

Billy Kemp is amazing as a teacher.  He has a friendly and approachable way about him, but at the same time he is bluntly honest.  This is good though, because that’s the only way we’ll get better and his honesty is constructive, not destructive, if that makes any sense.

Billy did manage to shock me though with my first copy read of the night.  In my first read he said that he felt I was holding back a bit.  I told him I was holding back because I had noticed, and this is kinda funny, but I told him that I had noticed in the past that my eyebrows have a tendency of moving up and down a lot on camera. Therefore this was on my mind during the read.

He said everyone has “ticks” like this and he asked me to not sensor myself because it was causing me to not connect with the audience and was coming off as me not being warm, but instead too serious.  This is not what shocked me though, of course.

Billy asked me to do the read again, but this time to just be myself and to not worry about anything else, like my eyebrows for instance, so that’s what I did.

I read the copy again, and when I was finished Billy said it was much better, but he did have a piece of advice for me and this is what he said, “When you do a read be careful not to f**k the camera.”

I think my face said it all when he said this to me. How could this good Catholic girl be F-ing the camera?  What in the world does this mean? I wasn’t offended at all though, just mostly perplexed, after the brief shock subsided.

He then further explained in different words.  He went on to say that women could get away with flirting with the camera, but that men can never do this, however, he said women have to be careful about how much they flirt with the camera, so there has to be a balance.  Apparently something in my read must have been too flirtatious, which is hysterical to me because the copy was about the product AT&T U-Verse!

Now I trust Billy’s opinion because he casts major shows for a living, but I’m not sure what in the world I did that was so flirtatious?  What was it about my read that came off that way? Was it my facial expressions, my voice, I don’t know?  The worse part about it though is that I didn’t ask and I should have. How dumb of me!

Now my second read of the night was a co-host copy.  Overall Billy said I did good and that my co-host and I were having fun with it.  However, he thought we were too rehearsed and he said he could tell that we have a lot more personality that we could be putting out there, but weren’t….all great critiques in my opinion.

By the way, Billy said he never saw my eyebrows move.

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