A Self-help Guide to Guesting

PART_1Readers, I put a pause on reviewing movie reviews this week to bring you a special treat: you will be privy to a major turning point in my career–

As you may know, I am a children’s book author. What you might not know is that I am also a self-help book author….of the future. I am going to publish a book for new and rising Hollywood stars who are going on their first guesting tours. (No, you didn’t spot a typo. “Guesting” is an original term that I am first unleashing here to stir up buzz before my book is published.)  Guesting means being a guest on the talk shows, late night or otherwise, to promote your movie. It’s a skill that is just as important as acting.

I am submitting this to every publisher I know, as well as to Ben Affleck, whom I am going to ask for a back-cover testimonial. I have been watching him all over the media this week, guesting around for October’s IT movie, Gone Girl. I saw him on Jon Stewart, and man, was he a pro– comfortable, funny and charming. He convinced me to see any movie he is in!

I figured that Ben had to have started afresh on the guesting circuit and I bet he didn’t have any help. Just think: it has taken him 20 years to get where he is! No one wants to wait that long. Thankfully, help is here! Read my book and you will tackle the guesting circuit in no time, getting you the one thing that will put you on your way–the attention of producers.

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Mel, a friend and coffee

Let me know what you think of my draft (unless you don’t like it)–

STEP ONE: The Coddle Stage–a framework to impress.

Here are three scenarios for you to use as spring-boards for lively banter with your host. (Choose one or rotate all three among your appearances.):

pigs and cat cute
Mel, a friend and Whiskers

1. You took Mel, your pet pig with you to the set every day. Let the host ask you a question or make a joke, then skip a beat and whip out of your purse a miniature pig. (In the index you can find stores nationwide that rent miniature  pigs out.) After the audience fawns over Mel, talk about how your co-star gave him to you to cheer you up. (You can name anyone in your movie. They won’t be watching.) Talk about how well Mel gets along with your cat, or how your dog playfully grabbed him by his neck only to spit him out when you lured him away with beef jerky. If you don’t want to rent a pig, you can find the most adorable photos on the web, just like I did.

2. Meeting Bobby DeNiro was a dream come true. (This is an example. I am not guaranteeing that you will be in a movie with Robert DeNiro. He is really busy and it is hard to predict his availability.) Tell your host how Bobby was your hero when you were growing up–he was brilliant in Meet the  Fockers. Wistfully talk about him being the nicest guy. In fact he became your mentor on set—add that you just saw him at his house for a barbecue (But try not to use the term “I.” Instead use “we,” as in “the other day we went to Bobby’s house.” It provides an aura of mystery.) Note: ALWAYS use an endearing nickname for all celebrities. Never full names like Robert DeNiro, Bob DeNiro or even Bobby DeNiro. Be as colloquial as you can.

Mel is wiped out

3. If you have a kid or baby who is the same age as one of the host’s kids, express a platitude about parenting that your host can’t do anything but agree with. Look one up on the web.

4. Of course, don’t forget why you’re there: talk about how great your movie is. Be sincere. Say it’s a movie for everyone. The cast is amazing. Ask the host, “Who doesn’t love a good romantic comedy (or the appropriate genre)?” Turn to the audience and ask, “Am I right?” (If you receive no response, don’t worry, they’ll edit it out.)

IMPORTANT TIPS:

1. Greet your host as if he were hosting a dinner party. You wouldn’t believe how many celebs forget to do this.

2. Be effervescent: chuckle as you tell a story. Frequently pause for audience reaction or for the host to make a joke.

***3. Before and after commercial breaks, lean in and talk to your host. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. No one is going to hear you! This is a MUST. If you do not show that your host and you have a private rapport, you will lose the fans you have worked so hard to win over. If need be, talk about the weather.

4.  If you have a spot on The Tonight Show, ask your manager to arrange for you to have dinner at Jimmy Fallon’s home prior to your appearance. Jimmy will treat you like a personal friend when you go on his show. When you are on the show, mention how adorable his baby is.

jimmy fallon baby
Baby Fallon

BOTTOM LINE: An instant connection with your hosts is the key to your success.

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