MTV Talent Executive Turned Media Advisor with Vinnie Potestivo | #86
Vinnie Potestivo started off in the casting department at MTV in New York City, and he went on to be a talent executive at the network working with the biggest names in music to develop their personal brands through original content. I am talking about Mandy Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Simpson, TJ Lavin, and Lauren Conrad, just to name a few. Vinnie is now an Emmy Award-winning media brand advisor and personal brand strategist running his own company Vinnie Potestivo Entertainment and hosting the I Have A Podcast podcast.
Host Shannon Russell and Vinnie began their careers in television production together at this iconic network in Times Square, and they share stories from back in the day and how the media industry has evolved over the past few decades. Shannon and Vinnie discuss how friendships in show business really do exist, and it’s because of these relationships that careers are launched, entertainment is created, and brands are built to create unimaginable success.
Take a listen to Episode #86 of the Second Act Success Career Podcast!
Connect with Vinnie Potestivo:
Website – https://vpetalent.com/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vinniepotestivo/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vinniepotestivo/
Podcast – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/i-have-a-podcast-by-vinnie-potestivo/id1498882091
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/VPEtalent
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/vpetv
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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - MTV Talent Exec Turned Media Brand Strategist with Vinnie Potestivo
Episode - #86
Host: Shannon Russell
Guest: Vinnie Potestivo
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)
[00:00:00] Vinnie Potestivo: The Tom Green Show, Osborne's, Newlyweds, all of those shows were produced and owned by MTV. It's a big reason why I do what I do now, those people, Nick Cannon would still own Wild N Out now, if he sold it this year, you know, Ashton would, would still own Punked,
that power that we have now as creatives shifted when I realized that I didn't have to be hired by the networks to cast awesome people, to get them on TV to help them be successful, but I could just find awesome people that need that help and that TV is just part of the journey, right?
Because for you and I, we were always looking for people who never really wanted to be on tv. You wanna use mtv, you wanna use the platform to launch an album, to launch your show, to launch your signature collection. Or, or to reestablish like we did with Jessica Simpson, right?
It was a stop
[00:00:47] Shannon Russell: on their media journey. A stop on their media. Exactly. Everyone had to stop there though.
Welcome back to second X success. I'm your host career transition coach Shannon Russell. This episode is extra special for me. I'm bringing on a dear old friend who I began my career with right out of college at MTV. His name is Vinnie Potestivo. Vinnie started off in the casting department at MTV. And went on to be a talent executive at the network, helping some of the biggest names in music develop their personal brands through original content. I'm talking. Mandy Moore, Ashton Kutcher, [00:02:00] Jessica Simpson, Lauren Conrad, and Rob Lowe. Just to name a few. Vinnie is now an Emmy award winning media brand advisor, and a personal brand strategist running his own company. Vinnie Potestivo. Entertainment and he hosted the, I Have A Podcast podcast. Let me introduce you to this creative content genius. My friend Vinnie Potestivo.
[00:02:24] Shannon Russell: All right. Vinnie Potestivo, my old friend, my former boss, I guess when I was interning at M T V.
Let's get back into it. This is so exciting. Welcome to Second Act Success.
[00:02:36] Vinnie Potestivo: Congratulations on, on this masterpiece, by the way. And how cool, right? I remember being a kid thinking the entertainment industry so far away. I didn't know a single person in the industry.
But how lucky that literally like in our first year, late late nineties, we got to experience TV together. And, and just the testament of relationships that we can build, I know as creatives in a tumultuous,[00:03:00] industry that's known for show business, not show friends, show enough.
[00:03:07] Shannon Russell: And so many years later, and we both have podcasts and we're both in the industry in a different way than we were kids. Let's talk about that.
[00:03:14] Vinnie Potestivo: It's so fun. It's so
[00:03:15] Shannon Russell: true. I know. Did you know you wanted to be in entertainment from when you
[00:03:20] Vinnie Potestivo: were little?
So I didn't know entertainment and television were the same thing. Right? Like, I grew up before the internet, so you gotta take it easy on me. I grew up wanting to be on TV and I knew that v h s tapes could get me there. We would go with our family stuff, blockbusters or our local, you know, video.
That was an experience. We got to select something, bring something home. We picked it, we put it into a box, and it was suddenly on our television. I was thrilled to think of a career where I could just be in VHS's. I didn't even know that meant movies or TV shows. I was really interested in getting on tv.
I learned how to wire two VCRs together in high [00:04:00] school so I can start editing home movies at home. So I would record a lot and then I would sit at home and pause, record, pause record, and then my senior year in, in high school, an internship opened up at the Staten Island Basic Access Channel, and that's, that's where I got to learn everything, the foundation of television.
I was a control room pa. I learned how to digitize content, how to handle data, to via tape to digital. That time in media, we saw floppy discs, hard discs, no discs, U sb discs. We saw the file size go. We saw Napster come and go.
We saw file trading come and go. The idea of moving media was really exciting to me.
It was that skillset of knowing how to wire two VCRs together, that I truly, honestly think was one of the reasons why I got picked to help my boss in, in 98 launch the M T V Talent Development Department.
I wasn't hired because of my [00:05:00] brilliance in casting or talent development. I was really good at tracking databases and information.
In college I took out an ad. On Backstage, which is a, a platform for non-union actors and talent. And I said, I'm looking to build my files. If you're looking for future work, send me your headshot and resumes.
One Campus Road student Box 5 77. Attention VInnie Potestivo. You know, I didn't even think like I should have a company. I'm like, it's just me at school. Who's gonna respond to this? And I got 700 responses back then. Wow. So then I felt culpable and accountable for them.
So I felt called. I was like, I'm getting paid. $16 an hour, which is a lot of money back in 95 at the computer center. I'm helping people fix their term papers, but what I could be doing is looking through backstage, finding opportunities for the people who submitted to my database, and then I can be emailing them, uh, a scan of the opportunity.
And then one day I saw this ad and it said, MTV [00:06:00] Spankin New Music Week November 3rd, 1998, you know, come to Times Square at one o'clock, uh, record with Whitney Houston. And I was like, I looked at my class schedule that day. I I grabbed two friends and we went to Times Square and Ananda picked me out of the street to ask Whitney Houston a question. So I was very excited. Liz Patrick Deidra Connolly I can remember every single person. That I met in that, that moment.
They all helped me get confident on the microphone. My question was, Whitney, what is it like recording with Mariah Carey on the Prince of Egypt soundtrack? Like, that was my big question. And when Whitney comes out I saw, uh, Nika, the stage manager, uh, point me out and then tell, I saw her say these words to Whitney.
He's gonna ask the question. He's gonna say, what was like recording with Mariah? And I saw Whitney go, I'm not answering that question. No. And I was like, no, you don't live tv and how this is my moment. And I turned to the people and I said, I had a blast. So thank you. First [00:07:00] and foremost.
If you ever need more people, cuz this was a quick turnaround. I'm from Staten Island. I know actors and dancers and, and musicians and models and people who wanna be in this industry. I have a database of 700 people. So however I can be of service, let me know.
I knew what I could do and I knew what I wanted to do. Sure enough they said, you know what? Okay, tomorrow. We're shooting A Very Busta Christmas Special and Busta Rhymes is gonna come into Times Square and read Christmas nurseries.
Do you think you can get 15 people to come in for that? And I go, huh? Yeah. You kidding me? Like I get to go back to school and be the guy who says Busta Rhymes MTV We're we're actors. We want tape. There was no way for us to get any tape or, or see ourselves on film to send it out to agencies.
I thought that was like a brilliant idea. And then by the way, the second call I got was, um, Blink 182 is gonna have a naked bike race in the studio. Do you think you can get I was there. Were you
[00:07:58] Shannon Russell: there? Yes, I was there.
I was [00:08:00] interning and I remember going, oh my God, did I just see Mark Hoppas?
With no pants on.
[00:08:05] Vinnie Potestivo: Riding a bike through the Yeah. By the way, I always thought that like in TV they blurted out, but in real life they were wearing bikinis or something. No. Is this how business is done at MTV? Good day. Oh my God.
It was me. What am I doing here? And you know, cable in New York in the late nineties. You know, Disney came to Times Square, beautification started happening. Fox News launched in 95 or 96. Hannity and Combs was the first show I worked on where I used my database traveling the country, meeting audience members, getting them to fill out releases. And it was that experience in sort of political programming that allowed me to get hired in 98 by Dave Sernik and the team at M T V to cast the M T V Choose or Lose.
Mm-hmm. And then in 99 it was a, a good set of skills that helped us get to the talent development piece.
But in 99, 2000, this is before Osbornes and Newlyweds and Punked were [00:09:00] developed from our department. We were working on shows like Say What Karaoke, which is silly to think of, but I was able to get so many friends on that stage singing in their own voice, singing songs that they were able to take and then get representation and management and get on Broadway and get additional shows on.
So I love that this cable boom happened at a point in time where we were able to really tap into it. And I, I'm such a New Yorker, I'm like, No, I love that. I didn't have to leave and go to the west coast. I know. Oh, Vinny. Hey. Hey. How'd you, I would've never thought,
[00:10:02] Shannon Russell: It was such a time, 99, 2 thousands when I was there too, and it just was a time where TRL was huge. Yeah. All of these celebrities, these bands, like we got to work with celebrity talent and rock stars and bands it was such a mesh between our spring breaks and New Year's and just all of the things that we got to do.
It was such an incredible time. And then things started changing a little bit later when the outside production companies were coming in and then M T V started changing, but we were there at the best time.
[00:10:33] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh yeah. It's funny you bring up outside production companies cuz I say to people, I worked at M T V for 10 years MTV Networks, like we launched 50 networks internationally. I can't tell you how much we launched without ever working with production companies to produce our shows cuz we were peral answers back then.
And MTV had a production company. So the, the Tom Green Show, Osborne's, Newlyweds, all of those shows were produced and owned by MTV. It's a [00:11:00] big reason why I do what I do now, cuz those, those people, Nick Cannon would still own Wild N Out now, if he sold it this year, you know, Ashton would, would still own Punked,
that power that we have now as creatives shifted mostly because of the audience and technology. So when I, when I realized that I didn't have to be hired by the networks to cast awesome people, to get them on TV to help them be successful, but I could just find awesome people that need that help and that TV is just part of the journey, right?
Because for you and I, we were always looking for people who never really wanted to be on tv. You wanna use mtv, you wanna use the platform to launch an album, to launch your show, to launch your signature collection. Or, or to reestablish like we did with Jessica Simpson, right?
It was a stop
[00:11:45] Shannon Russell: on their media journey. Exactly. Everyone had to stop there though. Like this was the spot. And you being a talent executive at the time,
we were just talking off camera about Mandy Moore when she was 15 coming in like, I'm a singer. And [00:12:00] now look at her. And you befriended her then and have known her since.
[00:12:04] Vinnie Potestivo: Because of the Spice Girls and, and N'SYNC, there was a tremendous boom of artists very close in age to us too.
Yeah. Ranging from Mandy Moore to Jennifer Lopez. Let's like say that's the window. We started at M T V when pop culture really became elevated. I was aware that, I had access to executives that would listen to my creative input. So, to work with Mandy Moore, when she was 15, I got to, you know, bring her into her first acting role on television, on, uh, Together mm-hmm. That fake boy band, movie turn TV show. I loved it. Beyonce when she was 17 on, on Carmen A Hip Opera
That audition changed my life. I'll never, ever forget being in her audition and the, just the magic that is beyond the focus, that is Beyonce.
It felt special to work with that caliber of talent. That class of talent like nsync, [00:13:00] Backstreet, just as the Spice Girls opened up this opportunity for pop and group culture and for me in casting, I was tasked with finding, as you mentioned, finding these big stars. And it wasn't just me and I was part of a department, but, I didn't go out looking for Mandy Moore, Beyonce. Are you kidding me? But what I did do was look for the people, the mavericks, the connectors who did know those people, the people who weren't aware of the opportunities that I was aware of.
And all I needed to do was get those opportunities out from inside M T V into the communities and cultures that I knew would lead me to those stars. I was building an inclusive path, an open door policy to my network, and my department, so I didn't have to go out.
Casting and scouting.
[00:13:44] Shannon Russell: You weren't just finding talent for different shows. You were finding the VJs, you were really in charge of anyone who showed their face on camera at M T V at that time, and then you were looking to find. Who would be great for other projects outside
[00:13:58] Vinnie Potestivo: of the network.
Yeah, What I thought I was [00:14:00] hired to do in talent development was find new ways to work with new and existing talent. The network loved breaking stars. Mm-hmm. That's where I was fed that addiction of needing to be first.
Wanting to be the first casting director you ever met, the first producer who ever said you're hired, the first network executive that ever smiled and laughed with you and loved you and gave you empathy and creativity when you didn't ask aspir it and supported you in between your greatness.
Super cool and powerful. When you look back at the decisions that were made. And again, just the conversations that we were a part of in the room were so high above Maya pay grade. Mm-hmm. Or even understanding of business that, that, because we were young and because our platform was creating youth culture as opposed to publishing youth culture like Where're M t V now is a little bit like, you tell us what you want and we're gonna give it to you and it's gonna be great and we're here for you versus us where we were like, [00:15:00] y'all ain't making enough noise about this topic.
So like, let's talk about, let's talk about it, let's talk about this. Let's get this in a format. Let's make this made, let's make this wannabe. Let's call it what it is and, and start the conversations. That's the piece that I took with me. And, um, yeah.
And continue to inspire.
[00:15:15] Shannon Russell: We had a lot of responsibility being in our twenties. I remember being handed a camera in Cancun. Follow this band. Um, I think I was with Ludicrous on a yacht. I don't even know, but it was like, oh God,
[00:15:27] Vinnie Potestivo: I remember, I think maybe as if like we don't, as if like those moments aren't etched into I know.
Our therapy sessions and the best moments of our life as well. Yes.
[00:15:36] Shannon Russell: And I remember, this is really funny, is going onto the yacht with Ludicrous in Cancun and he said, you have to take a shot before you go upstairs on the boat. Any other network, it would be like, oh, you can't do that.
But here it was like, I looked at my producer, who was one of my best friends, and he was like, gotta do it. And I took that shot and I went up with my camera and I shot every, you know, him and all the girls on the boat. And it, I mean, [00:16:00] that is a memory that is so cool. And I was probably 24 and it was just the responsibility we got to really turn out that content was, was so cool.
Then things started changing and I moved to Los Angeles, I went to other networks at that time, but always stayed at M T V. I mean, I was there until the very end of my TV career working on both coasts. I would get hired to go back and produce in New York and that was wonderful cuz I think the relationships we made, yeah, we were all so close.
It's not like that anywhere else in the industry that I've seen.
[00:16:33] Vinnie Potestivo: With talent too. And they let us, right. Like the, yeah, like the network wanted us to have relationships with talent. But, but, What I always got from that platform was if it wasn't for the staff, if it wasn't for the crew and our relationships with each other Yeah. And with talent that no, no part of this would work.
That's a measurement of you doing well, right? Like Rob, Rob ick doing amazing on the network. He's been here for a long time. That's proof. Nick Cannon's [00:17:00] still on the network cuz he does well the numbers proof. TJ Lavin. Oh my god. I'm, I'm just nickname dropping all of my legacy castings here, by the way.
[00:17:07] Shannon Russell: I was so in love with on and on 11.
[00:17:09] Vinnie Potestivo: At Where are you Meet too? Sports.
[00:17:11] Shannon Russell: Sports and music festival. Las Vegas. That was
[00:17:14] Vinnie Potestivo: it. Whatever. Yeah. I think it was you and I. Uh, we met, it was sports and music. We were together. Did you shoot at his house? Why did you not invite me to his house, VInny.
Oh. Like I could have like guy was in charge of that doc then.
[00:17:24] Shannon Russell: No, we shot, it was old downtown Vegas.
[00:17:27] Vinnie Potestivo: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember. I know exactly what that was. Back then it was The Gauntlet before it became The Challenge, uh, when we were looking for a host and after Johnny Mosley and Dave Mira God rest his soul, you know, I worked with two athletes who were seasonally active.
Mm-hmm. And then The Challenge became, 24 7, 365, that show kicked off. So we needed someone who could travel with it. And there was no one better than TJ? I have to be really honest. T what an ally that guy is I do not need to be in the room with him to know that he's got my back, he's got the words and [00:18:00] he's gonna make a difference and he's gonna make a change.
And it doesn't, it's not just me. Um, it's all those cast members on that get kind of emotional when I talk about. Mm-hmm. He's just such, it was like, Like Carson Daly too. An awesome, awesome guy who went above and beyond to take care of us. Yeah. Like he saw us as family and I saw that in TJ. So Nick Cannon, the same.
It was a mutual
[00:18:22] Shannon Russell: relationship though, so give yourself credit. Yeah. Because they have the career that they have because of the relationship with you too at M T V and that you saw that in them. So it really is the relationship you had with each other, and then you continued it.
I guess we should shift cuz we could just talk all day, about all the good times, but. You left M T V, and you went out and did a lot in production and working with different networks as well. Do you wanna talk a little bit about what happened when you left the network officially and branched out kind of
[00:18:55] Vinnie Potestivo: on your own?
Yeah. Well, in oh seven, it wasn't just networks. YouTube was around [00:19:00] there. There were apps, there were dot coms that around that had, that had programming needs.
We did a show where we took the ax Body spray sense, and we gave them personalities and it was like a comedic, scripted thing. And I got to bring that brand to life through a so brand and content technology and content. Talent and technology, there were a lot more opportunities. So the first thing I did, worked at Bravo Discovery, a e Lifetime helped them create their talent development departments.
I got to work with, you know, YouTube on their first live event and, and MySpace, linkedIn was, um, something that I was really excited about.
Now, fast forward even now where my podcast is on the LinkedIn podcast network and, and this one little silly social network LinkedIn that I've used. For 20 years of my life, making sure I stay connected to the people I meet along the way are now all right where I need them to be. Mm-hmm. Um, [00:20:00] connected with me on LinkedIn where I can play with audio and video and podcasting and blogs and newsletters.
There's just a lot of opportunity out there. And, and up until about 2015, I was creating shows and selling them, or I was casting shows and, providing that service. I sold a show to A&E called, save It or Sell It, which was about like boomers who had a business and we didn't know if they wanted to save it and reinvest in it.
And I had to go find these awesome business experts. And in that process, I realized there were a lot of people now who are qualified to do what I was doing, which was getting small business owners and large business owners and celebrities and leaders on television.
And ultimately when I look at what I did, Beyonce, Sharon Osborne, Mandy Moore, Ashton could, they're all business owners, right? They were all solopreneurs when I met them. They, their companies have grown for sure since then. I helped them figure out how to productize and how to monetize that brand and helped [00:21:00] them share their story on television.
So I figured, I figured if I can help people stand out in social and those platforms that I talked about, MySpace, Facebook that empowered people who didn't have access to 15, 15 Broadway.
Mm-hmm. To now be in casting to have access to thousands of people, not just 700 actors that sent you a headshot. Thousands of people now, just because you're on social media, it gives you access to, so yeah. So I look for a slightly different way to like, leverage my skillset to make some room in the TV industry for other people who could be doing, what I had done already and, and, and maybe could, could help support and, as I was doing that, I would get phone calls from celebrities and housewives and people saying, you know, you cast me in the show, but can you help me with my brand?
Those conversations that was like almost a side hustle for me. Right. Fast forward as a complete flip. I'm either one-on-one with my clients now, meaning with the c e o or the celebrity one-on-one, or, I have a [00:22:00] couple of groups that I, I'm, I'm, I'm a part of in, in Inner Circle, in a mastermind where I'm helping professionals or advanced professionals, you know, excel in, in authority and grow, reach and grow audience and grow affinity through the content that they own.
And I can use my experience as a talent booker to help procure placements on podcasts so that I can make impactful meetings happen that, that don't just create great episodes, but are the types of episodes that are then mentioned in the speeches when the podcaster goes off to talk at conventions. And they're mentioned in the decks as high value.
I paid attention on LinkedIn to the indie podcasters who I thought were creating a majority of the podcast content. The U G C podcast content that's on LinkedIn now that I believe establishes authority, that I believe helps elevate [00:23:00] consciousness and expertise without needing seniority.
If I can connect people to that system and show them how, how, like what you and I how to do together 25 years ago is work together, different outcomes, different shows, different departments, I like to take that experience with me and show people, you know, over a year how to take your personal brand, knowing where you want to go, knowing what you're capable of. Putting out a one year strategy. Mm-hmm. Looking at that as a, as maybe a four quarterly smaller activations with, you know, each month supporting a step along the way.
And as podcasters creating content that the rest of the globe is talking about, having an uh, uh, conversation about the environment on Earth Week, for example, will help us with our reach because the press might pick us up. Uh, social media is talking about Earth Week and [00:24:00] the environment already.
So we, so being conscious of that external calendar for me is, is just as important as I. What those internal networks are looking for those mandates, you know, what they want versus what I'm capable of making what I can make. So I make as much as I can and if I can sell it, that's great.
If I should post it, I'm ready. I've also realized there's more platforms to come. So like you might, y'all, someone listening to this might think, I don't know if I have a podcast or a show or a book. Maybe it's not a story. Maybe it's something that we haven't seen yet, cuz that.
Media form hasn't been created. I believe in that. I've seen it. Mm-hmm. Over 25 years, we've seen change in our industry larger than anybody else.
[00:24:42] Shannon Russell: Oh yeah. I mean, going from producing TV in-house at a network to produce at individual production companies, at digital companies, and then now doing podcasting.
I mean, it's just all evolved. So you're right. There's so much more to come and everyone has a [00:25:00] story and a brand that can help in different ways, and you just have to figure out what that is. And I love that you're helping people do that now.
[00:25:08] Vinnie Potestivo: I agree with you, everyone has a story.
What, what I wish people would focus on is being the source of the story instead of being the story. But if you're seen as the source, i e a book of many stories.
If you were in maybe in college and you were looking for monologues, there was a couple of monologue books that were the source and, and there's authority that comes with being the source. So what I tried to do, for example, at M T V my story was not, I'm in casting.
No, my story was I'm a source of casting. I'm connected to opportunities. There's more than one opportunity at any given time with me, and there always has been. I'm waiting for the right moment and the right person and the right opportunity to make that magic happen. But it's figuring that out that's, that's empowered business owners like us, [00:26:00] creatives like us, or maybe people who don't even identify as creatives.
Mm-hmm. Who now can, you know? And we own it. Big difference. Oh yeah. We talked about some big names here. They don't own those shows. And you want to know the power of owning your content. Look on your Apple TV count, how many pluses and pros and maxes and all the other types of digital platforms that magically just appeared.
Yeah. And look at what's on the shelves content. Right? So media is a platform. Content is what's in media. So content is what I would watch. Media is how I'm watching it. Mm-hmm. Content is valuable. When M T V invested in the Friends catalog and started airing friends, I think eight years ago Yeah.
It literally saved that network. Mm-hmm. Because the generation of people who've never seen that show before, they didn't even know 20 somethings could live in an apartment together in New York City and, that's the power of content. And if you look at what's happening on all these platforms, [00:27:00] it's bundling content.
Joe Rogan and so-and-so, Brene Brown, and so-and-so Oprah. There's bundling of content there. We know where Yellowstone is available on one app and how that deal works. That's where we're going. With independent creators. That's why I think owning your content is so important now. Mm-hmm. It doesn't mean that it's not gonna see the light of day on tv.
It absolutely will. Right. But it doesn't mean that you need to give up those rights. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. We can bundle our segments together to create original episodes, not even just original series. That's power. I mean, think about, think about the segments that we can create there and that's, that's what TV is doing now. And we, we do well when we learn from TV and Oh yeah. And move
[00:27:47] Shannon Russell: quicker.
You know what's cool though, VIN, is that like all of this that you're talking about, the bundling, segmenting things together, whatever it might be, it's all comes back to relationships. And I think it comes back to your relationships. You decided that [00:28:00] you were a source of talent that was part of your brand that you built 25 years ago.
I think is such a testament to you and the relationships that, Really, you've threaded through all the different parts of your
[00:28:11] Vinnie Potestivo: career.
Oh, thanks. I appreciate that. That was my goal. I would always get so mad when people would say it's show business, not show friends. I'm like, that's not true. And when I launched my, you know, when I launched my podcast, it was, I almost didn't ask Sugen and, and Dian and Mandy Moore, I almost didn't go that direction cause I was like, let me work to get them so I'm prepared. And then just as I was about to record, I was like, oh shit, I, I gotta call Mandy Moore because she's so media trained and her answers are gonna be so much better than my questions.
I'm gonna learn to ask better questions by her giving me better answers. Oh my gosh. She's like out there still. I still am number one source of inspiration just on how to make decisions in my life. How to, how to manage my creative energy,
she talked about the [00:29:00] input, dictates the output, that it's okay to watch TV as long as you're creating tv. It's okay to read books when you're writing books. It's okay to listen to songs when you're writing songs. You want to know what the rest of the world knows. This is, it's right here for you to look at.
So was she the first call you made then? She was, yeah. Yeah. SuChin Pak was the first, um, uh, uh. Yeah, SuChin Pak was the first, and then, and then Mandy Moore was the second. I wanted to show people how to have a relationship and what we do, cuz so many people think that real relationships don't exist in the entertainment industry.
It's all based on performance and success. I'm trying to show people how to detach from external successes.
[00:29:43] Shannon Russell: I wanna ask you two more questions before I let you go. So pop culture is such a part of everything I feel like throughout your career what is your piece of advice to someone who wants to be the next host of a show or the next big, talent, what is [00:30:00] their starting point?
[00:30:01] Vinnie Potestivo: First and foremost is don't wait. You don't have to wait. You no longer have to wait for M T V to create a new show to start casting for a new host to go out there and find you, right? So that's the number one thing is, is don't wait.
And while you're not waiting, create, create that vision, that opportunity that you're looking for. People like us are looking, producers are looking network, executives are looking, they're paid to look,
if you can give me these little pieces that I can then take and show my executives, it's gonna make my job easier of discovering you and supporting you by you giving me these little pieces. And the little pieces are gonna be practice. Some of them are gonna be great and some of them are not. The ones that are not, you don't gotta air them.
The ones that are maybe you can circulate them , I just don't want you to wait, start creating. And, and one other thing, um, what I'm not saying is create a talk show or game show that you have to go out and pitch where you can be the host. [00:31:00] Because in television what that looks like is a four to $5 million sell to a network that they have to spend on to get the game show 5 million for 10 episodes of a game show.
So create those segments that are in that show. If you have an awesome show, there's going to be segments, there's going to be commercial breaks, and there's going to be branded moments that come back, start having fun with that.
That show that's looking for you is probably looking for those pieces as well. Yeah. Um, so create, create with that in mind. Create with your future in mind. Not, not just like what you're capable of making, but what you can make and look around your peers and support them as well.
Involve them in your content. The more people you have involved in your project on camera or off camera, the more people you have who, who will be rooting for, for their success. So be. Collaborative, be creative, but just don't, don't sit back and wait for that opportunity to come back.
That being said, you have a lot of freedom and a lot of choice. And how and when you get discovered, you don't need [00:32:00] me tapping your shoulder in 2001 at an NSYNC concert to be like, you got a great look. Come to M T V Times Square. You could do that now. All on your own, on Instagram, on Lemonade, on TikTok, on wherever.
Wherever you are. There's opportunities and we're looking, I promise you, casting people are looking if you want y'all, uh oh. Ooh, that's a good tip. Anyone who's looking to get into the industry and you want to be a host like that, Producers are usually not hired to find talent.
Executive producers are usually not hired to find talent, camera people, audio people. They're not hired to do it. So a referral from one of those people, from one of those crews will go a long way. But if you're gonna go out there and look for a relationship, look for casting people. And I gotta be honest, look for manager, director level casting people
If you're listening to this and you want to know how to break into the hosting spot, when you send the person the message, when you send the casting director to the message, my voice just dropped. Cuz I'm like, this is some good shit.
Say thank you. And, and to be honest, [00:33:00] you could be the person who changes my career and I will always have your back. That type of messaging for me has always stood out. Like I told you, I was looking for friends, casting those VJs. I ended up being very close friends with them. But also I was looking for attributes.
That I would feel included in. Cause I didn't necessarily feel included in high school. I wanted someone who was gonna me not, not be anything similar to me, but not even be worried about not understanding me, but just appreciate me and let me be and support me. That's, that's some wonderful stuff. So, so as you're out there asking people to give you opportunities, be mindful that you are an opportunity.
And as casting directors, like, I just, I've namedrop a bunch of people in this episode. Producers Talent. Every single one of those people has had an impact on me. And those are names that you don't forget. And it comes
[00:33:50] Shannon Russell: back to the relationships. And for anyone who's starting out too, keep those relationships.
Know who you're contacting and you never know when you'll meet up with them down the road. And because
[00:33:59] Vinnie Potestivo: they move, man. [00:34:00] Woo. Mm-hmm. Talk about movement in this industry. Peer to peer up and down. If you're not learning from Gen Z and you're not still learning from the boomers and you're not learning from the people who are excelling in decent, you know, that are constantly doing this race ahead of you and behind, if you're not learning from them, then you're doing yourself a disservice because the audience
it's no longer linear. No like that. I like the mindfulness of that approach that that's gonna guarantee inclusivity in the alchemy of the project. That's gonna guarantee grace. That's gonna guarantee levity. Cuz we can laugh at some stuff.
If we can cry together, we can laugh together and that's a powerful, you know, oh yeah, that's a powerful relationship. So, um, Yeah, I'm excited about that. So where
[00:34:41] Shannon Russell: can my listeners connect with you? Vinny? Just tell us all the places, your podcast, your business, everything. I
[00:34:46] Vinnie Potestivo: love it.
Thank you so much. Well, first off, if y'all are listening to this, then you know how to play podcasts. So here's a little strategy session.
Y'all first and foremost, go back to the podcast platform that you push play on, cuz you're gonna have to hit stop, [00:35:00] leave Shannon a five star rating. Thank you. And then take a photocopy of it or a screenshot of it and save it and post it, because sharing is the biggest action we can take.
So I appreciate y'all leaving her a five star. I'll leave her a five star. I'll see you in the five star reviews, but share it because sharing it is gonna actually help Shannon out more than just leaving that five star review. And then at, ooh, I'm very, I'm very pushy with this answer by the way.
And then go to, I Have A Podcast and then hit play and listen. And what this will do is it will tell Apple that people who listen to Shannon's podcast might also listen to mine. And if I can get enough people to do that, then, then my podcast gets visibility on Shannon's page, on Apple Podcast and her podcast gets visibility on mine.
And I'm all about that visibility, you know, for us.
Yep. That's one of the benefits of being an indie creator.
Okay. And your website. Oh, my website. ihaveapodcast.com
And if anyone knows any awesome podcasters that should get like a featured [00:36:00] podcaster, article. I love discovering indie artists and indie podcasters. I am constantly, every single week profiling new episodes, new podcasts, new podcasters, and it's not just a place for podcasting but more so how podcasting can support the many industries that are out there. From dentists to doctors. Yes. To creatives like us. Yeah. To talent and, and SMB owners, b2b, ddc, whatever it is. You know, that's, there's opportunities are there. ihaveapodcast.Com is an awesome place if you, anyone's looking to grow or share that with someone they're looking for. Otherwise, I hang out on LinkedIn a whole bunch. My podcast is on LinkedIn Podcast network, uh, where LinkedIn Presents: I Have A Podcast I have a podcast newsletter. Um, lots of action that I do on LinkedIn.
So I invite you to connect with me there in our newsletter and stay in touch. And Shannon, I'm so excited that I don't even wanna say the amount of years, but many years later that, that we would find ourselves, you know, in the same [00:37:00] exact space, in this giant universe. You know, just because we started together doesn't often mean we'll, we'll sync up along the journey, but it's been an awesome journey and I love seeing you and like seeing you.
It's so rehashing this, but, and by the way, I'm sorry for all y'all listening to this who are like, these two need to get our room. Like we just got a podcast instead.
[00:37:21] Shannon Russell: Oh my God. We didn't even, we spared you guys from Yes. So many more stories that, cuz we really could have talked for 10 more hours. But Vin I am just so lucky to call you a friend and to have started my career with you and to be in this space with you.
So thank you for taking the time. This has been so much fun for me and I know my listeners are gonna get so much out of it. I'm gonna link to everything so everyone can connect with you. So thank
[00:37:44] Vinnie Potestivo: you. Thank you so much and hi to all your listeners.
It's awesome for y'all to hear us, but I can't wait to hear from you in the five star reviews. Don't forget and you gotta take a snapshot and you gotta share it on Insta. You have to share it because when people see you sharing it, [00:38:00] it will make them not only wanna leave her a five star review, but it will make them want to share it with you as well. And that's a big action. That's a big action. Oh, I appreciate you so much. Love you.
[00:38:09] Shannon Russell: Love you too