Monday, September 13, 2010

Dreams + Work = Success

One of my favorite parts of my job is media coaching.  I think a lot of people don't realize that media coaching is part of my job as an image consultant (they assume I only do wardrobe styling), but how one presents themselves in an interview, whether it's a media interview, a job interview or what have you, has a lot to do with their image.  To me, it's not about creating an image, it's about polishing the one you have and being genuine with your image.  Some people may think, well, if all you have to be is genuine in an interview, then why would you need to be coached?

Media and interview coaching is not about teaching you how to give canned answers to commonly asked questions (and if that's what your current coach is doing, then you need to start looking for another one).  It's about helping you see yourself from a different perspective and to see all the wonderful things you have to offer the world.  It's about drawing out your personal experiences that you may think have no significance at all but in contrast actually inspire and encourage others.  A lot of what I do is I delve into the client's life to find out about their experiences, show them how that makes them unique and how it can help others, and then teach them how to articulate that uniqueness so it can be inspiring to others.  I love this part of my job because it's the part that really helps me to connect with my client and get to know who he or she really is.  Knowing that also helps me in creating a look and style for my client that is consistent with who that client truly is deep down.

One of my media coaching clients, the talented Jordyn Mallory, was just cast in If I Can Dream, an interactive show created by Simon Fuller that follows aspiring performers (singers, actors, models, athletes, etc.) as they attempt to succeed in their chosen field.  Previous cast members have included Justin Gaston (Nashville Star contestant, co-star of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" video, and the former boyfriend of Miley Cyrus) and Alex Lambert (American Idol season 9 semifinalist). I think the premise of the show is best described by another previous cast member, Kara Kilmer.  Kara says, "This isn’t reality TV.  There are no judges or voting off.  There’s not a pot of money sitting at the end ... the goal is to get a job that will allow us to get out of the [If I Can Dream] house and to move on to a bigger career.  This is just the first step."  Actually, for Jordyn this isn't the first step.  This is just one of several steps she's already taken.  One of the first steps she took right before moving to Nashville from Mississippi was to start preparing for media interviews.  She also spent that time honing her songwriting skills and beginning the recording process.  Shortly after Jordyn and I started working together, she was booked to do a few radio interviews and began recording some of her original songs out in L.A.  Since then, she had to go through what she described as an intense interview process for a spot as a cast member in If I Can Dream.  Even though our work together did not involve preparing her specifically for the If I Can Dream interview process, Jordyn shared with me how much our overall work together helped her in the interview process for the show.

My job is to provide my clients the skills necessary to be prepared for any type of situation that arises, whether it's a meeting with a label interested in signing them, an interview that is part of an audition or talent  competition, a radio promotions tour, a job interview (for my non-artist clients), etc.  These are skills that will be put to use time and time again and always need honing.  In fact, just in the past couple of weeks, I have been working with a former client from several years ago.  In our first two sessions, I was able to see both what she had learned from our sessions several years ago and also where she was rusty.  You know, media/interview coaching is not much different from vocal coaching.  Many successful artists continue to work with a vocal coach long after they've achieved notoriety in order to maintain and improve their vocal skills and performances.  It's the same thing with media/interview coaching.  There's always room for improvement in learning how to present yourself in the best possible light and to better connect with your audience.

In the next couple of weeks, my blog will include tips for media/interview coaching to help my readers begin this important and necessary step in their careers.  There is also an entire chapter in my book Advance Your Image (soon to be available in hard copy, currently available electronically on the Amazon Kindle and at dedicated to presenting yourself in interviews, whether it's a media interview, a label interview, or a job interview.  You'll find this information very useful, but it just scratches the surface compared to the actual work AND results involved in the media/interview coaching process.

Congrats again to Jordyn on making it on If I Can Dream.  Making your dreams come true involves a lot of hard work and a serious attitude toward the things you have to do to achieve success.  Are you serious enough to do the work and to dream big?

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