VIDEO | My Travel Channel Host Audition | Vlog #1
.Recently, I was flown to New York for a Travel Channel Travel Host screen test.
I know a lot of you are curious how it went. Hours before my trip to Greece, I threw this video together to give you a quick inside peek of my experience!
Unfortunately, I won’t know the results, until I know. With the way the casting and production process goes, this could be for an indefinite period of time. And when I know, I’ll definitely let you know!
Either way, it’s been a thrilling opportunity and a free flight to New York doesn’t hurt either!
Am I travel host material?
It depends on what you define as a travel host and who’s casting. Perky and bubbly are not naturally me. That’s not the type of travel shows I’m into and that type of host personality annoys the living s*** out of me.
The travel hosts that I love watching– Anthony Bourdain, Ian Wright and Mike Rowe — are not perky or bubbly, either. I like Bourdain’s wry wit and New Yorker scoff, Wright’s comic silliness and Rowe’s ability to grit his teeth and bear the dirtiness of his job. I like these hosts, because they’re not trying to be anything they’re not, they feel credible and I can relate. That’s good hosting.
What I do in YouTube hosting is different too. With GRRRLTRAVELER YouTube channel being a full selfie video production, I usually have a tons of responsibilities running through my head cloud as I host my videos:
• Background noise
• Is my camera is in or out of focus ?
• Will my backpack will be stolen if I put it down (a reason you’ll often see me hosting my shows with my backpack on in public places)?
• Why do passerbys have to stare at me as I talk to my camera?
• My train and bus (and recently ferry boat) being on the borderline of leaving, as I shoot video spots about things like bus station toilets (yup, one of those videos are right here)
• Do I need more shots for this piece?
And what do I need to say to the camera right now?
My head is actually quite cluttered and my “acting ability” comes in as I quickly compose myself , to mask all that so I can speak to the camera unfettered. But much of the time I’m fettered. Especially, when my bus is boarding while I’m filming.
As a host, you don’t have to worry about these things when you have a fellow traveler to hold the camera or a producer producing you and keeping you on a schedule.
The ugly truth behind reality
Interestingly, when I got home from New York, I immediately got a call to be Travel Channel ‘local guide’ host for a show that was shooting in Hawaii.
The ‘local guide host’ position is where you guide the Travel Channel’s main host around the city. This had absolutely nothing to do with my audition in New York. It was a production that TC casting was not aware of, but something that came through a Hawaii TV industry referral. But the timing was ironic.
Nearing the day of the shoot, I was texted and told that the show’s producer decided to go with someone else. The gig ultimately fell through, as a good handful of productions and castings can. This is something my freelance life of over ten years is conditioned to (which is another solid reason why I tend to book my travels at the last-minute). You learn how to want things, without want them.
The girl they cast was a news weather girl, who doesn’t look anything like a Hawaii local, but had more on-camera experience and social media followers than me. She was probably perky and bubbly too. How could I have lost to a news weather girl?
Sometimes, it’s best not to know who you’ve lost your roles to.
Does size matter?
…And what’s up with my followers being less than a Hawaii news weather girl, when most of her photos come from a mobile phone! We travel bloggers look at these things.
Bitchy isn’t me. Okay, sometimes it can be. The point is, I try not be, but I’m only human.
The size of a travel blogger’s social media following is what we’re often measured by, when companies decide if they want to work with us. This is how some travel bloggers afford their travel and if you don’t watch out, some companies will try to get you to advertise for them for free (cough)(… voting contests). It’s not quality of posts, photographs, videos or the fact we labor over technical goop, design issues or love our jobs with die-hard passion. It’s not about talent or skill. In the end, everyone gauges a travel blogger’s worth their fan size and overall performance, in likes, views and all those numbers, which equate potential advertising cha-ching.
Whether or not size had anything to do with it, it was an eye-opening Cinderella moment.
I was relegated to doing sherpa-assistant work and schlepping camera equipment through a jungle trek on one of their other Travel Channel shows.
And I realized I probably put way too much time and effort into making my social content look good for my blog, when others get away with pig-in-a-lipstick posts! An actual pig-in-a-lipstick photo would be cool, but this isn’t what I’m talking about!
Still, I can’t really complain. I feel very fortunate. Every opportunity is still an opportunity and some don’t get the even the opportunities I do.
I got work in an industry I’m passionate about (it’s up there with travel blogging) and it was a tiny step to affording my trip to Greece, where I got to attend TBEX, a travel blogging conference for my blogsite!
For now, I’m happy.
…While still wanting more. That’s me. Travel host position or not.
With my life and schedule still finding itself, there are other “surprise” positions I’m juggling at the moment (and another big one is coming up very soon, so keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook status).
We’ll see which opportunities make it in my life this year!
Please help me have more followers than a news weather girl!
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