The reality is that if your television is not programmed to remind you to watch an episode of a current or past reality TV series, your culture card has been revoked. Seriously, girl, where have you been if you haven’t been glued to the TV following every single plot of the extraordinary entrepreneurs and the media pundits themselves, Mona Scott-Young, Yandy Smith and the newcomer of reality TV, Cristy Kimbrough.
With over a decade in both reality TV on and off camera as career women, Mona, Yandy and Cristyl had a lot of wisdom to share as they talked during the ESSENCE E-Suite experience al ESSENCE Festival of Culture 2022 shared the real of reality television and how the “show” business expands from behind the screen and collaborating with major brands and building businesses, all by taking characters and turning them into budding stars.
“As a producer, it’s always important to me when I’m talking about talent that comes into play [Love & Hip Hop] show me tell them, know what you want from this, because it’s an exchange, ”Mona said. “There are the positives and negatives of doing reality TV, as we all know, but I believe with all my heart that if you are clear about what you want from it and you are clear about what you are willing to trade with the public for that ability to connect. with them, there is no platform like reality television to build your brand, for exposure to an audience, and for connecting with an audience. “
Cristyl, who is a real estate attorney with his own firm and currently acts at OWN’s Women Listing: Atlantashe says she quickly learned that being authentic by focusing on her professional goals while navigating the space of reality is the only way for her.
“I certainly wasn’t looking for anything in the entertainment industry. Reality TV found me, “he said.” And, when you focus on yourself and feed and nourish yourself, your light will shine. So, that’s what happened to me and my castmates. “There I walked in knowing that this was supposed to fuel my business, because my dream is not to become an actress. My dream is to still be the best real estate lawyer employing people who look like you and me. So, I had to be careful about what I have interpreted and what I have not done ”.
Likewise, Yandy says he has been keeping an eye on the biggest prize since the beginning. Rather than joining the reality TV circuit with the goal of fame as many, she was determined to use the platform to do three things: show hardworking young women that they could be successful in the hip hop industry without needing a man to validate. their qualifications, grow his then-newly coined EGL lifestyle brand, and generate additional streams of income.
“I think in the beginning the goal was to show a woman who made her own bones in the hip hop and music space. Not because she is connected to a man, not because her man did this or because it’s part of a group led by men, “he said.” I understand business, I was a business major and grew up in projects, so I always wanted to get some money because I didn’t want to go back to projects. So, that which I thought was, coming on this show, this was an advertisement. So whatever I have to sell besides who I am and the brand I am going to create, I need a product. The first week I was like, ‘Do you want to shoot me? Ok, great, I have a jewelry line. ‘ My first scene was showing my jewelry line. I was very clear that if I’m going to come on this show, it’s not because I want to be a famous star. My trajectory in the beginning was that I want to use it to catapult my career and make money.
Watch the video above to hear the conversation in full. To find out more about everything you missed at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture 2022, visit our official video content hub HERE.