I was saving up for the weekend 'Presenting Diploma and Showreel' course at the London School of Media, Film and TV, for months. The first day of my course finally arrived on 2nd March and on my way in, I imagined my next two days being filled with wannabe eccentrics in the form of Russell Brands or Keith Lemons. I'm not exactly a shy or quiet person, but inevitably I would be eaten up alive I thought. Without question.
So imagine my genuine pleasure when I arrived to find a small group of equally nervous people. Right from the beginning I bonded with other course mates Elizabeth Pumer (Beth) and Pamela Toyin (Mama T) and felt like I wasn't on any course at all! Mama T was a freelance journalist like myself, but had a book published in Ireland in regards to her Nigerian heritage. Her style of presenting was evident to that of a community show and she had us in fits of giggles throughout the course!
Beth on the other hand was there to build her confidence for a spot of public speaking she was going to be involved in, whilst on a 3 month bikram yoga course in Los Angeles. (Jealous much?) Within minutes of knowing each other, me and Beth connected. Jokes were shared, nerves were calmed down and support was given to each over the course of the next two days.
Our tutor Steve Blacknell, a presenting showbiz veteran put us further at ease. We were fully engaged in his quirky stories about his 'terrible' acting career and his time in down-town ghetto Hollywood. He made an extreme effort to get to know us individually aswell and what we hoped to get out of the course. He felt more like a friend than a tutor by the time the course was done.
For the actual content of the course, we wrote our own scripts on the first day which were niche to our intended markets. Two short scripts were for our autocue segments infront of the green screen, and the third script was intended on being filmed outside. We then practised them in-front of the autocue screen, where we were then given pointers and tips as to how to make ourselves sound better. We were also given advice on how to make ourselves appear more approachable and warm on camera. The second day, we put all our hard work to good use! Coming in bare faced to a professional make-up artist made the horrific Sunday-cancelled-trains-commute worth it. She got us all dolled up and we shot our indoor autocue takes first. They were done relatively quick and we then proceeded to film our outdoor take. This was a great experience for us to consider natural elements that may affect our performances in future presenting jobs. The adrenaline of having many Londoners stop and watching me put me at complete ease and I got my take done in about 2 minutes. I knew right there and then that saving up for this course was worth the money! My showreel will be available soon to view :)