I moved back to NYC in September 2022. And just like the song says, I got a pocketful of dreams. The biggest one? Going back to being a Radio and TV Host. Is it new? Not really. So, when did it all start?

Interview of SĂ©bastien Squillaci, former French National soccer player

I always liked to entertain people. When I was a kid, I would come back from school to my parents, asking me about my day. It was showtime! I would tell them what happened, making jokes, impersonating my teachers and fellow students. I looooooooved the attention. I was only 8 at the time.

Fast forward to my teenage years. I’m consuming TV and Radio like there’s no tomorrow. I know all the songs that play on the radio and watch all the TV shows (game shows, talk shows
). College is coming up fast and everyone is asking what I want to do with my life. To my parents or my teachers, I answer that I’m thinking about maybe being an engineer, a lawyer, or an English teacher. I’m not sure yet. To my friends I say that I’d love to be a TV Host.  

Come College, I embark for studies around this “new thing” called Multimedia and the Internet. I seize every opportunity I get to be in front of the camera, when working on assignments involving video. I tell myself that my future job must involve music, TV or cinema. I apply to a school that will teach me about the technical aspects of the audio and video but I don’t get in. Another option of mine was to apply to a cinema school but unfortunately, that’s not something my family and I could afford at that time. So I pursue my studies in Multimedia, Audiovisual and Internet.

Years later, after spending 3 months in NYC and feeling that anything is possible, I go back to France and decide to give my TV and Radio dream a real shot. In the span of a year, I get into a new school that teaches you how to be a TV host (L’AcadĂ©mie Audiovisuelle Richard Joffo), I intern at multiple TV channels (France TV, TF1)and production companies (Air Production), I co-host a bi-weekly talk show at Radio Campus Paris, a student community radio station and make 3 appearances as a host or co-host on a live TV show (Animateur Studio) on a cable TV network (Direct 8). I’m not making any money yet, but my life revolves around what I love the most. My conversations are about tv and radio programs, the entertainment industry… That’s what I want to do with my life. Now I need to find a fulltime (and paying) job in the industry so I can “be discovered” as a TV or a Radio host. And I get some leads.

Radio Presenter Demo in French from 2006

Because of my degree in Audiovisual and Internet as well as my personal interest, I’m short listed for a job at a radio station. A job that will involve creating podcasts. I’m ecstatic. But after I mention to the recruiter that the salary offered is less than what I was earning when I moved to Paris a few years ago, I don’t hear from him anymore.

Another time, a friend of mine is showing his reel to Claude Lacaze, a well-known TV personality. Because my friend and I co-hosted a TV show together, you could see me in his reel too. The recruiter starts asking my friend questions about me. Who am I, what’s my name, do I already have an appointment scheduled with him? When done with the interview, my friend calls me to tell me the story. I get super excited about that. Comes the time to my appointment with him. I show him my TV reel and he seems to be interested. Even more so that he’d been hired to find new talents and develop new concepts. And at the time I was interning at a famous TV production company (Air Production) where I was assisting the person in charge of developing new concepts, Jean-Louis Blot (now CEO of Endemol France, former President of Warner Bros International Television Production). He asks me if I would be interested in maybe joining his team. Of course, I would. But unfortunately, it didn’t go further than that.

TV Presenter Demo in French from 2006

A couple months later, Richard Joffo, my TV teacher, calls me to let me know that he got me an audition to be the weatherman on France 2, the French Public TV channel. I’m over the moon. But I soon realize that this audition is on the same day I’m traveling to Malta, accompanying teenagers on a “study abroad” program. There’s no way I can postpone this trip or job. Too many people are counting on me. So, I have no choice but to decline the offer to audition.

March 2020. I now live in London and work as a self-employed digital marketing consultant. COVID happens and I lose my two clients. I’ve got nothing but time. I use this time to reflect on what I want to do. When was the last time I was really happy with my work? The answer: when I was interning in all those TV channels and learning how to be a TV and Radio host. So, I decide that I will make another attempt at it. The technology has evolved in the past 15 years.  You can basically have your own audio and video streaming studio at home for a few hundred dollars. So, I do just that. I buy my Digital Audio Workstation, a mic, and start a podcast about French expats.

Paroles d’Expats: a podcast in French where I interview French Expats

A year later, after moving back to France, I went back to radio, co-hosting on a radio show about Cinema: Cinéma mon amour on Radio Active Toulon. I also got the opportunity to interview Sébastien Squillaci, a former French National soccer player.

Cinéma mon amour: a radio show in French about Cinema

Back to the present time. I’m now in NYC. I’ve just got my podcast studio back and plan on using it to make more interviews. I’m reaching out to media companies to see if they would allow me to volunteer at their radio stations, TV shows
 I have a very long to do list. But as my therapist would say. Forget about the list part, just do.

Wish me luck.

Mourad Zeggari

Serial French Expat currently living in NYC, I was fortunate to live in Sydney, Boston, Santa Monica, London...
While I like my job as a Digital Marketing Consultant , my passion has always been around radio and TV. So I've decided it was time for me to give it a try and start blogging and podcasting again.

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