It’s not always as simple as lights, camera action – there’s a whole lot more involved when it comes to live TV. Yes, we know it’s stressful but I’m not just talking about on set.
In-between shooting and researching, I managed to sit down with Avashnee to get to know her a bit better – off camera.
Live TV leaves very little room for error. Any memorable moments you'd like to share with us in terms of live TV and things going wrong?
The biggest fear is having yourself be featured on TV with technical glitches that are beyond your control. The worst that has happened to me is that the autocue stopped working and I was live on air and had the directors speaking in my ear and you are able to hear all the frenzy going on but you have to stay composed and ad-lib and not let the viewer know that there is anything wrong. It was a cringe-worthy experience but getting through it successfully had my adrenaline on overdrive. I did get through it because I knew my story, which is so important.
With her call time ranging from anything between 5am to 8am, a little laughter is needed to get your day going. First stop, make up!
Hey, is that ZAlebs? Yes, Avashnee is a huge fan of the site so it was quite impressive to see that the ZAlebs site is one of her go-to spaces for local news and trends.
With your role you need to always be knowledgeable with current trends across the board with the music, TV, entertainment and lifestyle - how do you keep up with the trends?
Read, read and read! Online content, magazines, the newspapers, watch other channels especially shows you are using as a benchmark for your own. You really have to constantly speak to the right people, have great sources in the industry, and you cannot afford to let a day go by without researching and staying knowledgeable about what's going on.
Preparation before going live, Avashnee takes the hands on approach before going on air. Everything is in the details!
What does 2014 hold for you in terms of your onscreen career and brand?
Hopefully increase my brand awareness. I have grown within my channel and occupy the best platform in terms of the areas of interest for me which is the prime show on weekdays, a prime breakfast show on weekends, being the entertainment reporter for the channel and co-hosting my own eastern show. I intend to hone my skills, and grow in the industry. I have projects that I intend to take to the next level before the end of the year which are my own entrepreneurial initiatives; I have a movie that releases in theatres as well. I have penetrated the market but I am certainly ready to move onto the next level.
Both on radio and TV, you've interviewed many personalities. Do you have any in particular that stand out?
I have to admit, I have learnt that it’s the older established artists who are really so inspiring to chat to, perhaps it’s their wisdom and experience that keeps them grounded and humble and their answers genuine and leave you with a sense of enlightenment. I interviewed Johnny Clegg whom I am a huge fan of. It wasn't for very long but he had the most incredible energy; Tamia, Marlon Wayans and Robin Sharma were also a pleasure to speak to.
From the make up chair to the hot seat, Avashnee is constantly on her phone keeping up with mails, social media and jotting down notes. Talk about multi tasking!
It's a tough industry. How was the journey from when you started to where you are now?
It has been a long one for me and I haven't even arrived yet! I am a girl from Merebank * a small town in Durban. Many people who went to school with me didn't think we could have these dreams but I did and I worked for every position I ever occupied. I did the hundreds of auditions...I took the criticism. Broadcast media has been a dream, a passion and I love every minute of it.
Often Avashnee will manage to fit in practise shoots for two different shows all before midday.
Post production is a passion for Avashnee. After shooting she sits with the technical team to see what needs fixing and also helps her spark ideas for upcoming shows.
Any tips for guys and girls wanting to join the TV industry?
Invest in yourself, invest in your passion. Study the industry, people who are successful in it. Go for auditions. Learn from every situation, every opportunity, every setback. Always empower yourself, upskill yourself. But most importantly, have great work ethics, stay humble, do not trample anyone to get ahead.
Running in heels – you best believe it. With a potential story coming up Avashnee is back on the road again.