She started as an intern in London but now former Pozitiv trainee, Louise Roe, is one of the hottest TV presenters in the USA and she recently passed on her advice to others wanting to get to the top in Look Magazine.
Louise - who had one-to-one TV presenter training with us in 2007 - is one of the nicest people you could meet and we're over the moon to see her continued success. The text of the article is reproduced below.
I Made It In America And So Can YouShe started as an intern in London, but now Louise Roe, 29, is one of the hottest TV presenters in the USA. Here's how she got to the top
Look Magazine Feature
'I was boarding a flight from LA to London last week when it suddenly hit me how far I'd come. Just seven years ago, I was an intern on a British fashion magazine and now I had my fantasy job. I've got my own show on MTV and I host red-carpet coverage from the most glamorous award ceremonies. But it wasn't easy getting here. I worked my backside off doing work experience during school and university holidays. I barely had two pennies to scrape together and I sofa-surfed for months before I found a flatshare I could afford. I was a long way from where I wanted to be.
It all started in 2006 when i was working as a writer at Wedding magazine. We had a call from BBC Breakfast asking for someone to go on the show to talk about a new £60 wedding dress from Asda. My editor passed the opportunity to me and I jumped at the chance. When I took my seat on the BBC sofa, I couldn't believe I wasw on the news being asked for my opinion. I was 24 and didn't believe anyone cared what I had to say.
But the interview went well and another BBC producer called me that afternoon, asking if I'd like to audition to be the new presenter of What Not To Wear. I couldn't believe it - I'd never considered presenting before. I auditioned but I was beaten to the role. It was disappointing but I'd glimpsed the possibility of a career in TV and decided to pursue it.
My First Break
The producer put me in touch with other people in the industry, so I set about arranging meetings. I managed to get some work as a stylist on The Clothes Show, and when I saw Vogue was launching web channel Vogue.com, I sent away my CV and begged for an interview. I worked so hard - I'd go into the office early and write news stories for the website, then at night I'd hit the red carpets in London and interview celebrities for exclusive video footage. I worked 16-hour days and I hardly slept, but I didn't care - adrenalin was getting me through. I was still in a flatshare in London and although I didn't earn a fortune, I was getting by.
But my hard work paid off and in February 2007, I couldn't believe my luck when Vogue.com asked me to go to LA to do their online Oscar coverage. I was thrilled and it was an amazing experience. When I got back, I didn't want to settle back into my old life - I knew then that I really wanted to try and make it out there as a presenter.
Perhaps I was ambitious but I thought it would help to set a deadline - to be at least living out in LA by the following Oscar season. Of course, everyone wants to be the next Cat Deeley and I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I persuaded an LA agent to take me on and started getting auditions.
At first, she asked if I'd be willing to put on an American accent as it might help me get more work but I refused. I wanted people to accept me for who I was and eventually she agreed that my British accent and sarcastic sense of humour might help me stand out from the crowd. Even my mum insisted I had nothing to lose. Encouraged by their support, I set about getting my visa. It was really tough - I had to get 60 letters of recommendation from industry contacts. I spent months saving up - I think I only ate baked beans in the run-up and I took on odd jobs to bring in cash.
Finally, with a visa in hand, I flew out to LA and started networking, auditioning and generally getting my face out there. I found an apartment and luckily met two great friends who became my sort-of LA family. Although there are loads of people dishing out their business cards and staying in touch for work, it was hard to find genuine friends Like I had back home.
One of my first meetings was at E! - I remember walking into the huge glass offices in LA and being in total awe. I had a meeting with a producer and underneath my calm exterior I was terrified as he talked to me about a potential job as a red-carpet reporter. I couldn't believe it when I was booked.
After such a good start, it wasn't easy getting my next job. I auditioned for a few things that never aired and went for plenty of jobs that I didn't get, which was disheartening. There were times when I wouldn't get any work for a few weeks and I'd start to panic. I remember I was on the treadmill one morning thinking, "What am I doing? This is as ridiculous as trying to be a popstar - go home!" But every time I got to that point, I'd ring my friend who also lived in LA and she'd pep me up.
Right Place, Right Shoes!
Then, one evening, I was having dinner in Soho House in LA when I met Adam DiVello, the creator of reality TV shows The Hills and The City. I was wearing grey skinny jeans from Topshop with a printed blazer by Diane Von Furstenberg, teamed with a Panama hat and red open-toe shoes.
Adam took one look at me and said, "Wow - I want you in my show!" He loved my eccentric outfit and now I think those red shoes changed my life. They got me noticed by Adam and two weeks later I was guest starring on The City with Olivia Palermo and getting recognised on the streets of LA!
Everyone I met on set was amazing, fun and loyal. The US can be tough, as Cheryl Cole found out. Producers either like you or they don't. Fortunately people got my accent and understood what I was about which was a huge relief!
Working With The Stars
Since appearing on The City I've met amazing people like George Clooney, who reduced me to a giggling mess. I've had strange experiences too - meeting Mickey Rourke was scary. He smacked my bum so hard at the GQ Awards that I actually tripped forward!
But the best thing about my new life is being able to work on a variety of projects. Back in the UK I've taken on a new role as a style consultant for WeightWatchers - it's been brilliant helping women update their wardrobes to reflect their newly svelte shapes. I've also filmed Plain Jane, which sees real women discover their true style - as it's allowed me to use fashion to make a difference to people's lives.
These days, I live by the beach in LA, guest star on TV shows and if a red-carpet party is happening in LA, I'll be there. But I work hard and I rarely have time off. When I do, I love nothing more than to hit the beach or go for a drink in a dive bar - the closest thing LA has to British pubs. I do get homesick sometimes. If I'm feeling a bit low, I can't look at pictures of my family - I'd end up in tears!
But I've lived in LA for two and a half years now and, at the moment, I can't see myself coming back to the UK. I'm aware that Hollywood can chew you up and spit you out, so I'm working hard to build relationships and have a range of projects on the go.
At the same time, I'm appreciating all the opportunities and not stressing too much about what's next. I took a huge risk chasing my American dream - I was just a normal girl from London trying her luck. Thankfully it's better than I ever dreamed of!"
How To Get a Job Stateside Too
- For information on the visas available, visit www.uscis.gov
- Generally you'll need to have work lined up to get a working visa and be able to prove an American couldn't do your job as well. There are favoured professions like IT, marketing and healthcare
- You'll need medical insurance - try www.nriol.net
- Make the most of opportunities by networking. The work ethic in the USA involves less holiday than the UK and working overtime
© Look Magazine