Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My First Presenting gig in LA - DJ Locator

On Friday I had my first presenting gig here in Los Angeles. I have been looking forward to this moment for a long long time, something that I have been striving for since moving out here. On Thursday night I had the script sent through for the project and found out what exactly I would be doing and presenting. I had 2 scripts to prepare through as the DJ Locator. Simply enough telling people where big DJ's will be playing during each week. I started to panic slightly as the script was pretty long, but fortunately it would be on a TelePrompter.

Recently I brought myself an IPAD 2, one of the main reasons was that a friend of mine told me about some teleprompter applications. Perfect for practicing the script. It's also perfect for preparing for future auditions and to be able to practice my presenting skills. This is something that is absolutely vital in order for myself to improve as a presenter. So, the script was loaded into the app and I spent the evening practicing it and trying very hard to feel natural in front of the teleprompter. The key to it is simply looking like your not reading anything, and when you are unfamiliar with the script that is very tricky. I had to make sure I was suitably prepared, but not over prepared.

So, there I woke, 7am in the morning, barely slept at all, partly because of nerves and excitement, and partly due to my 3 lbs dog literally pushing me off the bed all night! Ready quickly changed and then time to look over the script once more. I was actually feeling a lot more confident and ready to go in the morning, which is very different to many others. I arrived at the studios, a smaller studio in Burbank, which is just north of Hollywood, and walked straight in and met the director and producer of the channel, who I saw when I first cast with them a couple of weeks back (see an older post). They were so nice and friendly at the casting and were extremely welcoming when I met them here.

I sat down straight away and had to go over the script with them as there were changes they were making to it. Bare in mind this was my first job where I have had to prepare an actual script to read fluently, word by word too. My previous presenting experience has always been unscripted, which many say is harder, but for me chatting s**t I guess comes naturally ha. We worked our way through the 2 scripts and made it a lot more fluent, so I was comfortable reading it. Hair, Make-up and styling time next, yes I said make-up! Fortunately it didn't take too long this time, its always a personal worry when you are sat in a make-up artists chair for longer than 5 minutes! Hair was messed around, but eventually looked exactly the same way as when I turned up to the studio ha. And clothes wise I was in a white shirt, black tie to start with, but very casually worn.

On set, the crew were ready and waiting and were all very friendly indeed, that's when you know its going to be a good day. I met the client on set too, an interesting guy to say the least, but someone that I knew when I got on his good sign he would be great. And that's exactly what i did. Now those of you who know me, will know I like to have fun, laugh and joke around a lot, especially when I am working. I always want that mix of fun and serious during shoots or whilst I'm presenting, as it makes time go by better and helps create a great atmosphere to work in.

It took a lot of time to get going, as the production team were sorting out the correct camera angles and lighting for the shoot. For me, there was an added awkwardness to the script and that was graphics! Doing 2 things at once has never been my strong point, ha ha. I had to fake that I was pointing to a location on a 3D map and twisting a cog to move to another location. It was tricky at first, as we had to ensure the timing was spot on, but finally got the hang of it after "TAKE 10" ha. That was the part that I had to get used to, the number of takes we were going through, and to make sure I didn't get myself down if I slipped up at all, though it wasn't always down to me I might add! ha. We got there in the end then a change of outfits to a t-shirt, jeans and jacket look and script 2 was flown through, much more efficiently than the first one and that was my lot! First job ticked!!!

After I had finished, which was just before lunch, I wanted to find out more about the channel ad simply enough find out what my prospects were for more work. Fortunately, I didn't have to bridge the subject, as the client straight away spoke to me about my plans to stay in LA and the fact that he wants me for a weekly installment and also the opportunity to travel on location! I was so excited, but played it cool of course when he told me that! The locations I was talking about in my script were, Santiago Chile, for the Lollapalooza festival, England, Germany and Montreal to name a few! How amazing if I got to experience some of these places as well! So, the future looks bright, i just need to ensure I keep looking at other opportunities because you never know whats round the corner.

The One Beat Channel launches on March 1st and will have the link up and running as soon as I know it. I'm sorry the pictures have no relevance to the job, as waiting for them to be sent through, it just helps break up the post! ha - ENJOY

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