March 19, 2009
Zara Martin is a television presenter living in London, who fronts a show on the satellite channel Current TV – owned by former American vice-president Al Gore. She tells AIM magazine how she got into the industry.
Which came first? Presenting or modelling? And how?
The modeling I guess. I was doing my degree in Economics and Business studies at UCL in London, and did a few bits of modeling and some commercials on the side. Found it all a bit embarrassing to be honest!
But I always new that I wanted to get into acting and presenting (I did a load of plays and drama classes from a young age) and thought it was a good way to start. So when I finished university I decided to go for it, and off I went to LA!
Why did you make the move from London to LA?
I think itâ€™s the fact that most of the time I follow my gut instincts rather than listening to what my head is saying. I live in London now, but still travel to LA regularly.
When I finished university I wanted to go back to the acting background I had so I went to Los Angeles and enrolled in full-time acting school.
It was an amazing experience, and I still keep up with my acting classes. This summer I was in Paris working with a legendary acting coach called Jack Garfein, he was responsible for the careers people like Steve MuQeen and James Dean.
What happened when you got to LA? How difficult was it?
Luckily my best friend was in LA at the time setting up her production company, so we moved in together into a one bedroom apartment!
It was an amazing time in my life but it was also a huge reality check. Everywhere you look is another person wanting to break in to the industry and at some point you question yourself and your abilities – that’s the bit that was difficult. I love performing so that was the easy part!
What is the gig with Current TV about?
Well Current TV is a news and entertainment channel available on SKY (channel 183) and Virgin Media (channel 155) that was founded by Al Gore. I have been presenting for Current since they launched in the UK, itâ€™s a lot of fun, and I now have my own daily show where I basically get to decide what goes into each show!
What’s the funniest and worst user-submitted content you’ve featured?
About a third of the content on Current TV is made by the viewers, there have been some pretty weird ones, but generally they are all quite high quality, interesting pieces made by budding filmmakers. So no crappy cat videos to speak of, sorry!
But the funniest â€˜podâ€™ (Current speak for short videos) Iâ€™ve seen has to be ‘I Hate the Seaside‘.
What else are you working on/would you like to work on?
I am working on a new nightly live show for Current TV called Lovelife, launching in May. It’s a fashion/lifestyle entertainment show for girls and it’s going to be great!
Other than that I can’t really say, but I would absolutely love to present the Xtra Factor this year. It’s my favourite show on TV and I think getting a face with some ethnic diversity in there would be a good thing.
So fingers crossed!
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