Alicia Atout gives us some key journalism tips for young people, and stresses the importance of networking to get work!
What is a typical day for Alicia like: “If it’s a travel situation – which is like 60 per cent of what I do now – it’s waking up, getting in make-up, whether that’s interviews, or Worsties stuff or photoshoots – it’s crazy and I love it. If I am at home, I start working, I’ll do Worsties stuff, so editing, creating content or meetings. I’ll try to snack in-between there somewhere. It’s a lot of work, a lot of the time. I’m just trying to hustle. It seems like 24/7 work, but it’s more like 20/7 work!”
On definitions of success: “Success for me when I started was getting an interview confirmation, and that was the pinnacle of happiness back then. Now, success is getting off a meeting with a big company, and just making time for myself. It’s finding that balance. Success now is happiness – feeling good all the time. I’m in a really good spot.”
Success and tips for others: “If you give up, you’re not going to get anywhere, because you literally can’t. You are going to have so many doors slammed in your face, and rejections. People would say to me then, they don’t have the time, but once my channel grew, I had a lot of those people on my show! I have built a community of people who care, and that means so much to me. So, if you’re looking at me the way I was looking at other people, and you think that it’s unattainable, I was there! Working my ass off paid off. You have to be dedicated. Keep grinding.”
What has Alicia learned about herself: “Trust the process. I am doing whatever I can. Make sure you put so much hard work in, and don’t slack. I would always feel really guilty before, like, ‘Oh, I should be growing this brand’, but I have come to realise now that you need to take a break, otherwise you are going to spread yourself really thin.”
Getting comments online: “Whether you have a fanbase of five people, or five million, every single person is going to have an opinion about you, whether it is good or bad. At first, when I was 17, I would read all the comments, because I didn’t understand why people would love or hate what I did, or why they were being rude. When I got to my early 20s, I just had this weird epiphany, when some guy wrote something really rude, and I just looked at him and his profile and thought, ‘Who are you?’. I was like, ‘This guy isn’t doing anything. At least I am out here trying to hustle, and do something that I love’.
“I remember when I was younger, getting interviews and bands would look at me thinking, ‘Oh, she’s not going to know what she’s talking about, and then I would know everything! Then they would say that was a really good interview, I am really sorry I judged you!’ I love proving people wrong. If you are dealing with terrible comments, just ignore it. You don’t have to read every comment. You’re going to have people that love what you are doing, and they are the ones that matter. So long as you are happy, it does not matter if anyone else is when it comes to your work.”
Key tips for young people: “You have to put yourself out there, and if you are going to be in the public eye, you have to get over that awkwardness. If you are going to be awkward, then it’s not going to work. I don’t swoon over any wrestlers or bands. If you don’t have that confidence, you can fake it! It’s not being disingenuous, because you will start to be confident. It’s weird, but it works. You have to network to get work, and that goes back to putting yourself out there. If you aren’t networking nobody is going to know who you are.”
Interview tips: “Make sure you add details – the moment that I interviewed Metallica – and most bands before that were like, mid-level – the moment I got them, Motorhead, Yoko Ono, I started introducing all of my reach-outs with that, I would say, ‘I am Alica Atout, I interview bands, and wrestlers, I would only need 15 minutes of your time…’ Specify what you need, whether it’s virtual, or a phone call. Lead with your successes, and with all the facts, and put your socials at the bottom of the e-mail.
“If you want to be a journalist, do your research and make sure you know who’s sitting across from you. The band can tell [if you have done your research], then you will get along with them, you will see them as they start to grow, then you start to grow, and it’s just this really magical thing. Be passionate if you are going to do this. Don’t be afraid to unapologetically be yourself, because that’s what people are buying into.”
On developing a character for MLW: “I love it so much. I really do enjoy interviewing. At first I thought [in MLW], ‘I am just a mouthpiece, I am just there to give the Qs, and get the As’, but then I realised, no I am as bigger star as the people that I am sitting down with. I started to see myself as not just an interviewer, but as a personality, and when that clicked, I was like, ‘I can deliver, I can act. Why wouldn’t I try something else?’ I said to MLW that interviewing has been great, but I know that I can bring something else to the brand. It’s been so much fun! Everyone has that inner douchebag, and with this, I can turn it up to 11, and let out all of those daily frustrations, but in my character work. I have a blast with it!”
For more on Alicia, visit: https://linktr.ee/AliciaAtout
For more industry tips from AA, watch the full chat below: