So You Wanna Be… A TV Host?

Hey there! I'm Terrence Das. So, you want to be a TV Host? I have a Law Degree so I would assume
that's one of the qualifications that you might want to consider.
I think today at RTM, they're making it mandatory that
Degree qualification is the bare minimum so it's kind of moving up the ladder. It is something that a lot of people would
see as unnecessary because as long as you can talk you can be on TV right, but
what comes out of your mouth is equally as important and that filter
in your head I think comes with some years of education so if you
have a Degree, it would indicate that you have had at least four years of formal
training in a certain discipline so it provides you a filter. It's not so
much the paper, it's more of what you get out of that
education. So that's why it is still something that TV stations look at. We have IT
graduates who are now producing news. We have Finance graduates
who are now actually working in strictly production not even on camera
they're working strictly production so it is something you can pick up it's not
something you have to be trained for but of course if you happen
to be trained for this purpose and this is what you want to do,
then I know that Mass Comm(unication) Degrees are of course more than welcome.

The thing about TV is, it is a package thing. So if you look presentable on TV, you don't have to
be you know model material but as long as you pick
up well on camera that's one of the most important things
I think it's across the board any TV station. My day because I host morning shows starts
pretty early. I'm up by five-thirty (a.m) (or) six (a.m). I try to get a quick workout in this
is of course you know best case scenario I will get a
few push-ups in worst case scenario or just be lazy
so it's uh in between that after that you know you hit the shower, you
have to be in the studio by seven.

If you're a female presenter it's a lot
earlier because your makeup is a lot, you know more work
needs to go into your makeup than mine which takes under five minutes.
So that's how it works. We get in there early for the makeup
there's not much prep work because it's live and so we're on air at eight a.m which is the earliest show I host now. It takes about two hours sometimes two and a half
give or take maybe it might extend to eleven and
after that your day on TV is basically done.

For the full-time
presenters who are basically anchored to the station,
they would be required to put in more hours but for people like us which are
on contract we come in, we do our thing and then we
can pretty much leave. Research is ongoing because you never
know what you're going to get. It's like tomorrow something can happen
somewhere in the world and your Producer decides to cover that
topic keeping yourself abreast with current issues keeping yourself engaged
on Social Media is all part of the research and if
you're not listening to at least one good podcast as a Host,
I think you're not going to be able to deliver the kind of content that you
should be for today's audience. So basically that
is what I do I mean when I am off-air I would listen to a couple of good
podcasts. The most important thing you need to know
would basically be a bit of Politics, a bit of Education, a bit of Sport, a bit
of everything. You're just a TV Host, at the end of the
day, you don't have to have a Master's Degree in each topic
so your job is to go and interview or you know
pick apart people who have Master's Degree in those topics
and get the most out of them.

Well if you want to come on board as a
Host today I can say it's a lot more challenging
than what it was when I first started out. Today I've
heard of some stations and even some programs
in RTM hiring based on your popularity on Instagram, which is very difficult to kind of gauge. If you're a new Host and you have no
traction online or clout I guess you are pretty disadvantaged there
which i think is a symptom of the times. The last audition we had for some
Selamat Pagi Malaysia still had about 100 candidates so that's about the same
amount of people that walked into that room 15 years ago
for that audition I went.

So by and large I think competition although it is
significantly higher there's also a lot of opportunity. So please, you know
don't be discouraged. People don't watch TV in the traditional sense
but what we do on RTM especially is to give credibility to certain topics and people and of course news. Basically
you don't get your news from RTM but you get it verified
on RTM so you might get a news piece of information from somewhere but
when it comes to credibility then you look for it on
our station. So that's what we're all about. We're also about telling people what's real and what's not and
it cuts across the board politically so even if
news about the opposition is something that's been skewed or been taken out of context, we will present that in, you know all its truth.

So, I can't speak about other media outlets again
but on RTM, I think the entry-level is really good
it's around 120 to 200 ringgit per appearance, for hosting. So for news reading it could be lower
because news reading is per read and also there are things that you get to do
outside of hosting like voice overs, script writing, and all these are also then added on to your salary basket. Monetary wise I
think it's quite alright still and this only
progresses into you know bigger paychecks as you
stay loyal and we're also given a lot of time. So you can figure out
other things so I think the biggest benefit of being
a contract host at RTM is you have that time on your hands
to basically mold other aspects of your life that you may be interested in.

I own
another business, it's a small little bread shop but it's
a business and it's a viable source of income. And there's also of course emceeing, presenting on the side which you can do
and RTM opens those doors for you. You might just discover
that you are more suited for other things. Like when I started off hosting
yeah, that was it was pretty alright but I realized I'm better at live hosting, like on a stage and that's really a passion that that I kind of discovered along the way.

pexels photo 4348401

So, TV Hosting on a terrestrial station
if you don't join it because of the passion, you might join it because of the
opportunities of it. Oh challenges! Okay, the biggest challenge
I faced in my job was when I started to realize that I was genetically predisposition to lose my hair
so that was a challenge. I mean I had hair, all right I had like really thick

If you go back on Instagram and check out my post I
think it's there somewhere, my hairy posts. They're still there
so you can check out the different hairstyles I had and I don't know was it the coloring that accelerated
the entire process but genetically I'm pretty predisposition
to you know going shiny. So when that happened that was a challenge for me
naturally because there were no bald Host on RTM at that time.

I think having overcome that challenge now and
embracing my chrome dome and RTM doing the right thing by keeping
a chrome dome on air has now opened the doors to our second
chrome dome Host. We have another one so I think I've broken barriers.
And everyone at that point in time on TV had hair and I didn't know how I would look
without my hair so you can imagine, if you're someone
going through the same circumstance then only you will understand,
it is a confidence thing, you know do I look good bald?
You go back and look at pictures of your Dad and then you turn
sideways and say okay that looks good sideways and that looks good in the
front okay maybe I can pull this off and once you finally do it you realize
hey that's it's not too bad. Then you go back to your TV station and
say you know look this is not something I'm doing for
glamour purposes. This is something I cannot reverse.
Would you still hire me and then they look at you and say all right we'll
try and till this very day, I'm the only Host on Selamat Pagi Malaysia that gets his head made up like literally they will put powder on
my head Are you kidding me what's to hate? It's a
great job! You show up, you talk to people, you entertain to a certain extend, and you know you get paid at the end
of the day so you're doing something that you actually
love, engaging with people asking them questions about
their passion, asking them questions about their business.
Talking to them about political nuances, education.

Every given topic and you
really are enlightened. You're also enriched by the
answers that they give you and you might be surprised some of the
guests you meet will actually change your life because
you might be set on a position going into an interview and this guest
could have that power and potential to change your position.
It is truly an experience that you can cannot get anywhere else doing any other

I get to meet people from so many different disciplines, so many different
backgrounds. (For example) Billionaires. I get to meet, I have a picture with Richard Branson. I mean get out of town
Richard Branson right? I have two pictures with Richard
Branson so that's amazing. I got to stand 42 Secret Service Agents
away from Barack Obama, which is pretty cool and I don't think
any other job would have opened up those kind of opportunities so
these are things that can happen for you if you're in
hosting, if you're a Host, all you have to do is to please be open to embracing those opportunities.

If you just go in there for a paycheck then you're in the wrong job. If you head into your first audition and
you don't make it, go ahead you know do something else first and then come
back to it. If you want to be a Host, I think now you can just go ahead and do
it, because nothing is stopping you. You have YouTube,
you have Instagram, you have Instagram TV, there's so many outlets that you can use
and you can use your skills if you feel you have the skills to host or the gift
of the gap or whatever you want to call it, you can now project it out to the world without having to go through a process
of audition. You can have this little frame, you can use it and it can be your audition tape. So I
think if you want to be a host go ahead.

Nothing is
stopping you technology has just democratized hosting.

As found on YouTube

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