From Stage to Red Carpet!

Here is a little backstory on me! I grew up a theater nerd. I loved performing in church, on stage, and in front of the camera. However, the whole pageant scene couldn’t have been more foreign to me. When I was eighteen, I entered into and won the Miss NC preliminary title of Miss Fayetteville because of a dare I accepted while eating ice cream with my best friend. I had no idea that that decision would end up propelling me towards my future career.

 

As Miss Fayetteville, I was blessed to have a huge committee of people who were all pro’s in this whole pageant world (pro’s just like Tara and Christina…shameless plug!), and they all put me through a super intense pageant prep boot camp. Little did I know that it was that boot camp that gave me all the tools I needed to pursue my career as an entertainment host and producer!

So what did I learn that was so valuable? Well, I am so glad you asked because I am going to break down 5 things that I learned from pageantry that also helped to me launch my career as a host.

Know Your Brand: During my pageant prep I learned that while you do have to show up looking your best, pageant titles are more often won in the interview than in any other area of competition. This meant that in order for me to be successful, I really needed to know who I was and what I stood for. The eighteen-year-old “me” had to work extremely hard to cultivate my personality, all the while searching for things in life that made me happy and that inspired me. These same exact rules apply to hosting. Long gone are the days of networks casting a generic entertainment host. You need to have a special and unique personality that showcases your own perspective on life. In order to have a strong brand yourself you have to find a niche that you’re passionate about. You need to hone in on a specific area that you are an expert in or something that can set you apart from every other host that is out there.

Cultivate Your Brand: Once you decide who you are and what makes you unique, it’s time to get to work! Erin “the pageant girl” immediately signed up for public speaking lessons and interview coaching sessions, which was one of the best things I could have ever done for myself. Erin “the host” invested in some really great hosting classes and private lessons with some serious hosting pros. Once you know what you want (either the crown or the hosting job), you’ll need to jump in head first to get the training that can take you from good to great.

Make Smart Investment Choices: I just talked about getting into lessons, but there are a lot of other “investments” that you’ll need to make along the way. When I was preparing for Miss NC, there were a lot of times where I spent way too much money on things that so freaking unnecessary things and hindsight still kicks me in the booty about it. I remember buying a suit for a ribbon cutting appearance that cost around $400 that I bought with my scholarship money. How dumb was that move, right?! So, when I started prepping for my hosting career, I made sure that I made smart financial investments in areas that really mattered. For instance, your headshots are definitely important, but they don’t need to cost $500+. Mine cost me around $250 and I loved them and more importantly they got me work! Contrary to what many people will tell you, you also don’t need to spend $1500 on a hosting reel. I found a producer/editor who would shoot and edit my very first reel for $400 and it was good enough to land me my first hosting audition which led to me being offered my first full time hosting job. Shop around, and don’t feel the need to spend thousands with a vendor or teacher just because they call themselves the “best of the best.”

Market Yourself – If you don’t promote yourself, no one else will…unless of course your mom is really savvy at social media! Marketing can help you out in two very important ways. One way is that you can grow your personal audience, which is a crucial part of having a hosting career today. Networks or “buyers” want to see how many people in the world are already coming to you as the “expert” in your area of expertise. The second, and most important way that I have found, is that it helps open doors for other people to see you and reach out to you for potential job opportunities! I remember when I was Miss Fayetteville and was contacted by a guy who saw me in the local newspaper doing something connected with my pageant title. He called me up and offered me a hosting job on a local community television show. I spent about four years on that show, and learned invaluable lessons that I still use today, and that would have never happened if my boss didn’t know I was out there! Network, get to know people, and get your name out there as much as you can.

Research – It’s really hard to master anything until you know what else is already out there. I was as green as grass when I was prepping for Miss NC, but I spent a ton of time online researching current events, present and past titleholder’s legacies, and my platform. I also sought advice from other pageant girls who had achieved success.  I went from being the new kid on the pageant stage to placing third runner up at Miss NC, and then went on to make top 10 at Miss California USA alongside three future Miss USA’s. I took a similar approach when I started looking into a full-time hosting career. I probably spent thousands of hours watching television shows and videos online of other hosts. I kept a journal with a running list of hosting quirks that I liked and hosting styles that I didn’t quite like, and I would use that as a tool for myself as I worked on my own hosting technique. When I could, I also asked other working hosts questions about how they got their agent, where they studied, and who their favorite hosts were. I committed to submerging myself in the industry, and not only was it valuable to my own growth as a host, but a lot of it didn’t even cost me a penny! Shout out to Coffee Bean for their free wifi!

So, there are 5 ways that the world of pageantry has helped me land my dream job. I am beyond blessed to wake up every day and do what I do. God has been crazy good to me.

Right now, I produce and co-host a daily entertainment news show called The Daily Hollywood Rundown on Clevver News online, and I am also the company’s movie expert over on Clevver Movies, and right now I have over 100 million people who have seen news stories that I have written and produced. It seems so crazy to me sometimes. I also make sure to pinch myself every time I get to hang out with a celebrity to talk movies with them!! If you want to check me out or have any other questions, feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @heyerinrobinson.

Also, if you’re looking for a great team of mentors, I hope you will seriously consider working with Sashes and Crowns. Tara and Christina took me under their wing and worked to help me land in the top 10 at Miss California USA, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. They are pretty much rockstars.

Much Love – Erin Robinson – Entertainment Host and Movie Expert at Clevver Media

 

 

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