I have given birth again, but this time it didn’t hurt! As many of you know I have been growing a little brand of mine called, ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood.’ Many of you have come out to support me by following me on Twitter, joining me on the ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ Facebook page, by visiting this blog, or by simply checking out my official website. For doing those things, which take precious time out of your day, I really do thank every single one of you.
Several of you don’t really understand what I am doing too, but even with that I am still being supported by you. That is so kind, so I want to explain to everyone my personal quest with ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood,’ what exactly it is that I am doing, and share my hopes and dreams for it with all of you.
For several years in my life I spent time as a singer/songwriter and performer. I loved this passionately….you know the way a 23 year old loves their boyfriend or girlfriend passionately…it’s usually a clueless and blinding love, but yet you throw yourself into it wholeheartedly anyway. Well that was me. However, after years of performing, almost getting signed to major record labels, and then being absolutely disappointed by the biz, just like you get disappointed by that relationship in your 20’s, I decided to move on with my life. So I broke up with the music business. Now I still love music and singing, but I am just not as interested in being in the business of it anymore, that’s all.
Anyhow, I have always been interested in television, in reporting and TV Hosting specifically, and so although I already had a BA degree in English Education, I decided to go back to school to get another degree in Film and Television with my option being in Broadcast Journalism. After I graduated, I got my first job in Denver as a Production Assistant at a sports network. I hate sports. Ha! Ha! But I tried my best to like it while I was there. However, I did manage to find the one entertainment/lifestyle TV show this network had and I assisted on it for awhile and then eventually got the opportunity to report on the show. This was a great first reporting experience for me and it became even more great when I won an Emmy Award for it! WAIT! REWIND…
Before I won the Emmy two major things happened to me in my life: First the network canceled the show I won the Emmy for, and second, I found out I was pregnant. OK! FAST-FORWARD….
At the Emmy Awards I was almost 5 months pregnant and I had won the Emmy for ‘On-Air Talent Rookie of the Year.’ It was awesome. My mom said that if I had a girl I should name her Emmy because she was my good luck charm during the Emmy Awards. So I did end up having a girl, and yes she is my good luck charm, and no I did not name her Emmy.
When I had my baby girl I fell absolutely in love with her of course, and I really enjoy being a mom. Yes being a mommy does have its challenges like anything else worthwhile doing in life, but you quickly learn how to deal with those challenges and for me it made me start looking at a lot of things in my life in a different perspective.
First off, I hated my job, especially since I was no longer getting the opportunity to do on-air work there, second I missed my family and friends in California, and third I missed California too. I missed the entertainment world and to me that world was specifically in Southern California. I knew I had to get back there as soon as I could, so when my daughter was 8 months old we moved back.
Since I’ve been back in Cali I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. It seemed to make the most sense for our family, but it was always meant to be a temporary situation. It’s been a blessing to be at home with my little one, but just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean my passion for entertainment or my dream of continuing a career on television has died. Therefore, I was itching to get back into it again. I also had this nagging feeling to write again, to be creative. I used to always keep a journal and write songs, so I was racking my brain about possibly writing a book or creating a blog, but about what?
In March of 2010, I decided to take Marki Costello’s ‘Become A Host’ bootcamp. I had no idea of what to expect from it, but I was ready for it though…..or so I thought. For those of you who don’t know who Marki Costello is, she is the granddaughter to the comedy legend Lou Costello of Abbott & Costello. However, besides that interesting fact, Marki is also one of the leading casting directors in the television industry, as well as considered to be one of the top talent managers for TV Hosts as well. In addition she runs this TV Host Academy, ‘Become A Host.’ The weekend bootcamp that I participated in was jam packed with TV Hosting exercises and I was so out of practice that in my opinion I sucked, BIG TIME!
Also, Marki pushed the importance of finding your brand and I was unsure of what my brand was. I knew I loved entertainment/lifestyle television, but that was too broad and too common, so basically I was clueless. Then at the end of the weekend I kept thinking, “I’m a mommy who loves entertainment and celebrity/pop culture” and then the phrase ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ kept running through my mind.
Finally, the last day of bootcamp, Marki said she wanted us to write a 30 second show open that demonstrated our brand and then she wanted us to perform it in front of her. This would be the audition to see if we would be invited by Marki to join her host academy.
Since I felt that I had sucked so bad during that weekend, all I wanted was just to do well in front of Marki and trust me when I say that she can seem quite intimidating when you first get to know her. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with, but in a good way. So I went in and performed my brand “Style Trial.” Uh……WTF? Yes, that’s what I came up with, I fully dropped my ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ idea and did something that was so NOT ME! Okay, I went in and did my show open and I did pretty well and I was happy with my performance and yes I got invited into the program, but I was invited into the beginners class. I didn’t care though, I was just relieved that I had gotten in, however, I knew ‘Style Trial’ was not my brand and you know what, I’m sure Marki knew that wasn’t my brand either.
During my first month of class ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ was still nagging me in my mind. I talked about it with my husband Mark, but at first he didn’t seem to understand the concept. He had a concern that I was at the risk of becoming an annoying TV Host who always talked about her kids. He referenced the early days of Kathy Lee Gifford on Regis and Kathy Lee. I didn’t really agree with him about his concern or about Kathy Lee!
Anyhow about 2 weeks passed after the conversation with the hubs and I attended my first industry night. This is a night where students have the opportunity to perform and leave their press kits with a big industry professional. Then that industry professional stays and chats with us afterwards about the business. That night a casting director Tara Flanagan was our guest. She said that one of the performers that stood out most to her that evening was a mom (I did not perform, I just went to watch that night). She then went on to say that there was a huge demographic in television for moms. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head. Ding! Ding! Ding! Yes I heard a bell too. I thought to myself, “Why in the world have I been denying my ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ idea?” The importance of a brand is that it is true to who you are. A brand must be the authentic “You.” I am a mommy! ….And not only am I a mommy, but I’m a mommy who has been a part of the entertainment industry for many years and is passionate about entertainment and celebrity/pop culture. Thus, ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ made total sense for me. So then it was on this night that ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ was born.
I wish Tara Flanagan knew how she changed my life that night. I hope one day I’ll be able to tell her.
That night when I was driving home from industry night my blood was pumping with excitement and I could not wait to get home and talk to my hubby. I had all these ideas running through my head of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to dish about celebrities, but then I also knew that I wanted to get inside the lives of celebrity moms and their babies.
Then eventually the idea grew even bigger. Look I am not a celebrity mom or anything, but I always want to try and give my daughter the best of everything the best way I can, like most moms do. Therefore, the idea of giving your child the A-List life without paying those A-List prices seem to become a wonderful and practical philosophy I wanted to share with all moms, especially in today’s challenging economy.
Before I knew it I was blogging, tweeting, and developing my ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ website…..And it keeps growing! I’m in the process of developing a ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ webisode and I’m developing a mommy resource page too! It’s become such an exciting thing!
My hope someday is to have a TV show called, ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ so that I can reach moms by the millions!
As a quick side note, I have to say that Marki Costello knows her shit! I have grown in so many ways as a host and as a business woman since joining ‘Become A Host.’
I also have to give my hubby Mark props too. He has ended up loving the idea of ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ and has been in full support of it. He even did the website for me. I gave him all my ideas and he helped me bring them into fruition.
Some wonderful friends have helped me also, like my pal Craig K., thanks Craig! I know all of you out there don’t know Craig, but trust me when I say he’s a great person to know.
Okay, done with the shout outs…..So there you have it my new baby ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ in a big nutshell. Now my hope is that you will all join me on this new journey that I am on and continue to watch my baby business grow.
Recently I auditioned to be in an industry showcase and I made it in. So now in about 2 weeks I will have the chance to present myself as a TV Host and also to present my brand to a bunch of television agents, casting directors and TV network executives. It’s a very exciting and scary event all at once. Maybe something great will come out of it or maybe nothing at all. No matter what happens I will continue to nourish my baby ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood’ and I hope you will all continue along with me through this interesting, unknown road that I am running and sometimes tripping on.
So with all this I will leave you with some shameless plugs so that you can join me on ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood.’ The first one is to please subscribe to this blog, it’s free or I wouldn’t ask-lol! The next is to follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MichelleRivera5. The last thing is to please join my ‘Mommyhood to Hollywood Facebook page at http://bit.ly/ckxelb.
Thank you so much again everyone. I send you all love and positivity always!
Marki Costelli Audition Tips: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nST6aaE6C6I]
Michelle Rivera’s TV Hosting Reel: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywh6tWlnQ8I]