Media Blazing Phenom
By Phenomgirl / May 30, 2019
What are you known for? "My authenticity, charisma and professionalism in the broadcasting industry. This has led me to be a host, producer and guest correspondent for Entertainment Tonight – the number 1 source for entertainment news internationally. As an ET Online host, I have anchored the daily morning news show, interviewed hundreds of celebrities, served as a TV and film expert for ET Live and reported in the field for the Emmy-award winning broadcast".
Social media obsession?
"As a curly girl on air, I’m obsessed with all things natural hair on social media. I can watch hair tutorials; before
and after growth transformations all day. I need all the hair secrets sis".
One thing Ms. Tezeno isn't lacking and that is--tenacity. Her ambition, drive and determination to achieve her dreams has led her down an interesting and unforgettable path. A short, but scary tenure being homeless could have thrown Courtney off balance, but she kept her focus and stomped forward.
Her infectious smile and inviting personality put celebrities at ease as they pause on the red carpet at special events to converse with the charming Entertainment Tonight Online host. Quickly becoming a favorite entertainment interviewer among celebrities, Courtney's simply doing what she was born to do. With style, elegance and an unruffled manner her interviews are a must see. It's obvious Tezeno loves her job and that's a key element in pursuing your passion in life.
Here's Courtney Tezeno...
Where were you born and raised?
Growing up, what was your
personality like as a child?
My parents would say I was a very ‘active’ child, which means I was very chatty. I asked a lot of questions even if it wasn’t age appropriate. But in grade school, I was extremely shy, had stage fright and would literally cover my face in the presence of any cameras until my senior year in high school. In pre-K, I had the nickname ‘little old lady’ because I’ve always had an old soul. Not much has changed there.
Why did you leave your job in Missouri
and moved to Los Angeles?
I learned so much from local news but I left Missouri because my heart was pulling me to entertainment news. My news director at NBC-affiliate KOMU-TV encouraged me to move to L.A. because I literally begged for any opportunity to talk about pop culture. During my time at the station, they even started an entertainment news segment during the noon show where I could reporting on just that.
Why did your living situation changed
which resulted in you living
in your car for a month?
I was babysitting for a family friend who had child actors when they had to temporarily leave Los Angeles. I found myself looking for another temporary living arrangement but I didn’t know many people in the city. I ended up living out of my car for a month while I looked for a room for rent I could afford.
How did you prepare to go to work
everyday while living in your car?
I worked part-time as a sales associate at DSW on Hollywood Blvd. I had a gym membership at LA Fitness next door to my job and would shower there before going into work everyday.
Were you scared sleeping
in your car at nights?
Of course, there were nights that were scarier than others because I wasn’t familiar with the area. Looking back I wasn’t in the safest area now that I have a sense of Los Angeles. I had an incident where I woke up out of my sleep because a homeless man was trying to get into my car. I was terrified and drove off as fast as possible.
Did you park in the
same spot every night?
I did for the most part until that scary incident. I woke up to countless parking tickets while sleeping in my car but thankfully I wasn’t in that situation too long.
Your family knew
you were homeless?
Yes, they knew I was living in my car toward the end. My parents weren’t thrilled but by that time I was heading into a room for rent I found during my search. I was ashamed to speak up but I also didn’t think it would last as long as it did.
What's the biggest lesson
learned about homelessness?
The biggest lesson I learned was to never be afraid to ask for help. As cliché as it sounds, closed mouths don’t get fed. As a young adult who was very self-sufficient, I struggled with being vulnerable enough to ask strangers or associates for help because I don’t like feeling like a burden. I now understand that kind of thinking gets you nowhere. But there’s nothing to be embarrassed about not having it all together. Perfection is the theft of progress.
What’s your ultimate
My dream job is to be a TV Host for a national entertainment news network where I get to interview stars in TV, film and music. I’d love to be the creator of my own talk show series for a digital platform focused on uplifting chats with your favorite stars in pop culture.
Your top 3 interviews so far?
Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, and Jordan Peele.
Your dream interview?
I would love to interview Will Smith. He was my only celebrity crush after years of watching the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Obviously, my dream interview would be Beyonce if she ever does press again. My goal is to interview every member of Destiny’s Child and/or family member. So far, she’s one of the last ones on my list.
How did it come about you
managing Beyonce’s beyhive?
Before Destiny’s Child became mainstream, I was a diehard Beyonce fan as a little girl listening to and dancing off beat to ‘Say My Name’ in Houston. It was only right that I take charge to make sure the Beyhive doesn’t get too out of hand as Queen Bey shot to superstardom. She’s my hometown hero.
What’s the motivation behind
I wanted to create a space where I could share the lessons I’ve learned in both my career and personal life, answer questions for aspiring journalists and give an inside look into my life. One day you can see a hair tutorial, like how I style my natural hair to be on-camera. Eventually I’d love to expand and allow others to share their own testimonies.
Tell us about your contribution
as a volunteer for the
Young Storytellers Foundation?
We mentored and assisted a group of elementary school kids to create their own screenplays. At the end of the program, we have a ‘big show’ where real actors come in and perform the scripts we helped the kids put together. As a creative, it’s a beautiful experience to watch kids with a gift of writing make their scripts come to life from the page to the stage. They have larger than life imaginations.
What makes you so determine
to go after your dreams?
I’m nothing without God. I always say Jesus is agent but seriously He is. I stay determined because I know TV hosting and storytelling are my purpose. I can’t give up because I don’t want to waste a gift God has given me to help others.
Name three important
ingredients needed to
conduct great interviews?
Being a good listener makes for a good follow up question. Go in with confidence. Always do your research.
What are the 3 don’ts when
conducting an interview.
Don’t read your questions verbatim. Try not to talk over the person you’re interviewing. Don’t start with your heavy hitting questions, throw a softball question to loosen your guest up.
What advice would you give folks
who would love to follow in your path?
Giving up is not an option. If one job says no, there’s another door waiting for you to get there. If one job no longer fits, another one will. If there isn’t a job, create your own lane. Failure is a stepping stone to your breakthrough. Fear is the enemy of success. It’s ok to be scared because God doesn’t give us small dreams.
For any aspiring journalists, I would encourage them to not get discouraged in an oversaturated industry. Put in the work and be more than an on-camera personality. Learn to be a producer, copy editor, writer and/or expert in at least one topic. It will make you more valuable in the long run.