Casting Call: Could You Be The Next Rachael Ray?

Insider Barbara Barna Abel on what it takes to be a Reality TV Expert.

Casting Call: Could You Be The Next Rachael Ray?

Insider Barbara Barna Abel on what it takes to be a Reality TV Expert.

-Barbara Barna Abel

Rachael Ray Guy Fieri

I’m typing my post today in the uber swank lobby of an Upper East Side hotel decorated with more camellias than a botanical garden, waiting to meet with a coaching client. I’m sharing this not because I thought you’d be happy to know I got out the casting cave but because media training and personal branding are an important part of Talent Development. BettyConfidential reader Eileen asked last week in her comment on my “How to Be a Housewife” article if experts on television – chefs, designers, doctors, lawyers, realtors, stylist etc – must have the same PERSONALITY, PERSONALITY, PERSONALITY required to be a reality star.

In a word, yes.

TV and the web are a cluttered landscape competing for eyeballs and ad dollars. To stand out you have to POP.

But let me clarify. This does not mean that to become a household name you have to be outrageous or over the top or — god forbid — unprofessional. It means you have to possess the essential C’s: Charisma, Credibility, the ability to be a great Communicator by Connecting with the camera, and Charm.

Oh, and a sense of humor.

Like the Brits at Sunday night’s Oscars and their best acceptance speeches as always: Easy, relaxed, witty, self-effacing, fun, totally credible and at the top of their game. This is what we want in a Host/Expert.

If you have a modicum of talent a lot can be trained through solid effort. Dale Carnegie tapped into this decades ago with How To Win Friends and Influence People. It’s basic social skills – how to be the most delightful person at the party, not the one with the lampshade (leave that to Snooki).

Rachael Ray is a Hall of Famer as are Super Nanny Jo Frost and Dr. Oz. And Joe Scarborough for making politics fun and sexy. I’m also a big fan of Candace Olsen on HGTV for making super high-end design relevant and accessible to the rest of us.

Every Smart Betty should know the two staggeringly smart and charming men who top my fantasy dinner party guest list: David Pogue, the witty New York Times tech guru and host of Nova on PBS, and Neil Degrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist head of NYC’s Hayden Planetarium and regular on The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.

Follow me on Twitter @barbarabarna and let me know which Hosts & Experts you feel top the Charisma-meter.

And now, news from the Reality TV world…

CASTING: Style Network’s Clean House is looking for messy families in LA and NYC. More info here!

Also — have you checked out the new Dancing With The Stars lineup?

About Barbara Barna Abel:

Barbara Barna AbelBarbara Barna Abel is the President of ABEL INTERMEDIA LLC, a Casting and Talent Development firm specializing in non-fiction, alternative and reality programming, private coaching and personal branding across the media spectrum. Visit her at Tweet her: @barbarabarna

Barbara has a track record for recognizing new and emerging talent, casting a wide net in her searches to include genres such as television, online media, print, comedy, animation, off-Broadway, food, fashion, interior design, sports, music and film. Among her finds: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Fab Five, Clinton Kelly of What Not To Wear, Adam Richman of Man vs Food and comedian Beth Melewski in the upcoming Cash Cab Chicago.

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