17 Feb On-Camera Tips from Tracy O’Connor
What prompted you to write the book with Molly Sims?
Molly and I have been close friends for years. I adore her. She is brimming with great advice and… was always telling me what to do! I said to her – you have got to write a book – and I’ll write it with you. Together, with our combined experience, we have so much to share with other women. We have access to the best of the best in the beauty, fashion, and health industries.
What is the book about?
Encouraging women to be the very best versions of ourselves that we can be. And everyday that might be different. One of my favorite quotes in the book is from a costume designer, Dayna Pink. She speaks about the tremendous impact how we dress has on how we actually feel about ourselves – good, bad, or otherwise. The book is a great resource that gives tricks, tips, strategies and motivators to being our best selves. It’s serious, but also down-to-earth and lighthearted. In a supermodel-next-door way, we educate women and give advice on fitness, fashion, beauty, and wellness that is accessible to everyone. There are a ton of great takeaways. I even find myself re-reading the book, forgetting what we wrote, thinking – oh yeah – I should do that. That’s a great idea!
How long did it take you to write it?
Writing a book can be a very long process. From the day of inception to the day of publication it was over 3 years. The actual writing part, fingers to keyboard, probably took me about 9 months. I did a lot of interviews and research with high-profile people and experts. My two favorite interviews were Cindy Crawford and Leigh Kilton, Molly’s acting coach. Cindy was so open and honest, and was incredibly generous with her time and spirit. Leigh Kilton is passionate and after a few minutes with her, you learn a lot about life, acceptance and joy.
Do you like being on-camera?
I have so much fun being on-camera. I did theater when I was younger, so being on camera feels more relaxed – there aren’t as many people in the seats. I do a lot of live lifestyle segments for morning television, and often those can seem a bit rushed, which isn’t always comfortable. But I do always enjoy sharing my expertise in a way, that isn’t boring and overly studied. The best part is the collaborative effort involved in every production. I love being a part of a creative team.
Do you have some tips for people when they are called to be on-camera as a host?
Prepare. If you are working with people on-camera, do research on them. Find out about their experience, what they like, ask about their family – that way when you are on set with that person, you have a familiarity, a comfort and natural rapport. Genuinely get interested in the subject about which you are speaking – find ways to connect with your on-camera colleagues and the material you are presenting. When you are speaking to the camera, don’t just speak to the camera, but pick someone specific to speak to, someone who makes you smile. That is a great tip I learned from a director.
What are some of your greatest on-camera moments?
Usually, they are the out-takes because I’ve done or said something silly or outrageous. I took my dog surfing in San Diego; it was ridiculous and so much fun! I also had Capuchin monkeys crawl all over me in Bali – and one even had a little nibble on my wrist. I used to do travel segments with Steve Edwards from Good Day LA and always loved working with him. He’s smart. He prepares and is genuinely interested in almost everything. He’s a great interviewer. In general, most of my work is not with a teleprompter, it’s all just studied and improvised –so most often I am proud of being able to remember a lot.
What are you most passionate about currently?
I’m currently working on a proposal for another book, and that’s always exciting. In addition, I’m looking at partnering with a friend and colleague to do something original in the beauty industry… very early stages. I used to have really problem skin – so I’m very passionate about skincare! And continuing to take on fun hosting projects, like I have with Fox Good Day LA and Joyus. There are definitely plenty of engaging opportunities coming down the pipeline to keep me busy.
What do you love most about living in Southern California?
Oh my goodness… I am born and raised a Southern California girl. My dad has always been in the surfwear industry, and I am a huge fan of flip-flops, beachy hair and year-round BBQs. I enjoy very much the connection to nature we have, with the ocean and the mountains being so close, the year-round access to healthy food, farmers’ markets, fruits and vegetables at affordable prices. We are so fortunate to live here. There is a tremendous amount of culture, a thriving arts community, great music scene and so much creativity everywhere. And… our sunshine. You can’t beat it.