What's Good in Hollywood’ with CNikky!
Cherise Nicole has made a name for herself in Hollywood! Her site, CNikky.com, is known for its positive content on celebrities and entertainers. The LA based blogger/host, originally from Florida, discusses how studying improv led her to a hosting career, the future of journalism, as well as advice for those venturing into the media industry.
Itsawritestyle: Your site, CNikky.com, is known for positive interviews with celebrities. What inspired you to create this?
CNikky: I wanted to speak for myself. I didn’t want anyone to try to force their negative spin on entertainment news on me, just because I was trying to make a name for myself. I understood that doing it myself would be 100 times harder than just working for a big established site, but there’s more integrity in doing something you believe in. And I believe that in a society that is obsessed with celebrities, people need to know that they have the same issues and pitfalls we do and if they can overcome them, so can you.
Itsawritestyle: You started off your career with dance and improv. What drew you to the media industry?
CNikky: I was studying improv comedy at The Groundlings (LA based improv company), and my teacher suggested I take a hosting class at a school where she taught. She believed my personality was right for hosting , so I took a shot at it. After one day of class, I had an “aha” moment and realized it was what I wanted to do with my life. I never looked back.
Itsawritestyle: Explain how you got your internship within the radio industry after college. How was the transition from that to television/blogging?
CNikky: I went to an event in Orlando, FL, that the local hip hop station was hosting. I walked up to the dj for the morning show and told her that I was interested in radio and wanted to learn. She liked my ambition, so she took me under her wing. It was several years before I got into blogging, however, hosting a radio show and doing celebrity interviews on television are one in the same, so it definitely prepared me for it.
Itsawritestyle: There is creative freedom when starting one’s own website. What were your triumphs, as well as difficulties with your website startup?
CNikky: My website is currently on its 3rd design and it’s time to redo it again. The first two times I did it completely on my own and for a person who knew nothing about code, design, etc., it was beyond challenging. But, the great thing about learning to do everything yourself is that it’s much harder for people to screw you because now you know what you’re dealing with. If there’s a problem, you know how to fix it and if someone is trying to overcharge you for changes, you can call them on the carpet!
Itsawritestyle: Your work is featured on various media outlets. Describe your daily responsibilities working with these companies, as well as balancing your own site.
CNikky: The only consistent company I work with is CocoaFab. I’m still freelancing, so I contribute video content to their site a few times a month. Otherwise, I have great relationships with several big sites, through past business dealings, industry events and word of mouth. I share my interviews with them when I think their readers will enjoy them and if they are interested, they post them to their platforms.
Itsawritestyle: What skills or qualities do you think are important for this career?
CNikky: If you are in college, you should study broadcast journalism. If you’re not, find out if there is a hosting school in your area. You should try to be proficient in teleprompter, improvisation, writing and speech. You should know how to produce your own content meaning researching your interview subjects, preparing several pages of questions, knowing what kind of package you want to shoot before you do the interview, knowing how to edit your own video content and your personality should be on fleek!
Itsawritestyle: What platforms do you think are essential for a journalist’s career?
CNikky: Right now, Facebook produces more numbers than Instagram or Twitter. But, anything that your audience is obsessed with should be important to you.
Itsawritestyle: What city should one live in for maximum exposure to media opportunities?
CNikky: Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta have great media opportunities.
Itsawritestyle: Do you believe social media has an effect on branding? Why or why not?
CNikky: Unfortunately it does. I say unfortunately because how big a following a person has doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with skill or talent levels. It can just be based on how sexy a person is in many cases and when it’s showtime, the way you look may not equate to much when the teleprompter goes out and you have to think on your feet and entertain!
Itsawritestyle: Do you receive negative responses even though you represent a positive outlet? If so, how do you deal with them?
CNikky: I receive negative responses all the time. Not everyone is going to agree with the content of my interviews, so I’ve learned to let it roll off my back. I do notice that when I interview celebrities that are more on the controversial reality shows, their fans can be a bit meaner. But, I try to ignore pure ignorance. Some people have nothing better to do than tear other people down because they’re unhappy with themselves. You can’t let that get to you. It hurt my feelings in the early years because I’m the least negative person on the planet! But now, I laugh about it or just delete the comment altogether.
Itsawritestyle: Is there anything you’d wish you’d known or done differently since starting out in the media industry?
CNikky: No, because every mistake I’ve made I’ve learned from it and became a better person and stronger host.
Itsawritestyle: How do you see the state of journalism evolving in the next five years?
CNikky: I hope that journalism is moving in a more positive direction. I’m tired of all the nasty gossip. I also believe celeb news blogs may become more obsolete unless they are reporting exclusive news. Now that people are posting stories on Instagram, Twitter and the like, fans can get celeb news almost immediately after it happens. They don’t have to wait until the next day to read it on a blog.
Itsawritestyle: You mentioned in an earlier interview that you wanted a talk show! What are the plans in making that a reality?
CNikky: I’m working on building my brand first. I plan on starting with guest spots on other talk shows and possibly hosting a few shows before I venture out and try to secure my own talk show. I still have alot to learn before I can take that step. But it’s coming!
Itsawritestyle: You have an amazing platform of “Learning to Love Yourself.” What are three things you’ve come to love about yourself?
CNikky: I struggle with loving myself everyday. As I’ve come to find, most people do. I’ve learned to love my infectious spirit, my smile and my belief in my dreams.
Itsawritestyle: What advice can you offer to those who follow your advice of “speaking up”, but continue to receive rejection in their prospective field?
CNikky: Rejection is God’s protection in many instances. There have been many times that I was sure something was so right for me and I didn’t get it and it turned out to be so wrong for me! So, don’t let rejection get you down for more than five minutes. But, if it’s an interview you want or a job, don’t be afraid to fight for it. I’ve been told not 1,000 times before I got a yes. Just make sure when you get that yes, you’re so amazing that they will never forget you.
Itsawritestyle: Where can people contact/follow you?
CNikky: Website- CNikky.com
Facebook Fan Page- CNikky.com