3 Tips to Becoming a TV Host
From digital series and streaming game shows to traditional daytime talk shows - host castings are booming. So - how does someone become a host?
The Casting Depot platform helps media professionals find talented, undiscovered hosts for digital and broadcast content all of the time. Below are 3 insider tips to help you begin your journey to hosting your own show.
- Where do I start?
Before applying to audition for work, discover what your niche is. Do you have a resume that boasts high-end food and hospitality? Do you have a love for exploring creepy homes and uncovering their secret past? Take a pen and paper and begin to jot these things down. What can you claim to have expertise in?
Once there is a clear road as to what you can market yourself as, begin to build your online clout. Having an online presence - especially as a host - is an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise. If this is out of your skillset, hire a professional to build and run the accounts. It’s important to have active, updated content online. When considering their next great host, casting directors will often go online to search for your work. If there’s not much more than a personal Facebook page and a private Instagram account, they’ll most likely gloss over your application.
Even the most seasoned hosts have media trainers. What’s that, you ask? A trainer is a coach that helps prepare talent for auditions or segments. Their biggest job is helping you train to speak effectively through tone, pauses and pace. A trainer generally somebody who has casting or on-set experience working with talent.
- What Traits Do I Need?
Confidence: A good host must be comfortable in their own skin. Branding yourself as a host within a specific niche will help boost confidence, which emulates on-camera. It’s transparent to the audience if you (or don’t) know what you’re talking about.
Genuine Curiosity: The more authentic, real, and invested a host is into their guests and material, the more engaged the audience will be. The host is our window into the show, and your enthusiasm is contagious. It’ll inspire others to share your passion.
Improvisation: Much of being a good host is improvisation. Because hosted shows are typically unscripted, the ability to think and talk on the fly is a crucial skill for prospective hosts. In an audition, a casting director will most likely test your ability to go “off-script” and make the prompts your own.
Conversational Skills: The best way to prepare to be a host is simply to talk with others. Conversational abilities - such as bantering - are your greatest asset. Show off your natural charm and charisma throughout the process, and you’ll be in great shape.
How Do I Audition? Auditioning as a host is different than auditioning for acting gigs. There is much less of a set structure for getting the job. Often, the potential host will undergo on-camera interviews, then go through a “run-through” This usually consists of putting a host in a mock scenario with guest talent to talk about general topics together.
When you begin to apply to hosting gigs, don’t forget to include a host reel. A well executed reel highlights expertise, speech and style. Think of it as your “promo tape” that’s about a minute and a half long. While demo reels are meant to be one's audition (sans script), reels aren't just for actors - they're for anyone looking to be on camera.