Never be afraid to make a mistake or try something and fail, and this is almost a cliché these days, but entertainment is way more about learning how to fail than it is about handling success. You will fail a lot, and the ones that make it are the ones that get back up.
As part of my series about “Exceptional Female Leaders” and “Rising Star,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Patricia Kara. Patricia has been working in the entertainment business for over thirty years as an actress, model, spokesperson, and television personality. This year she has returned to primetime television on the new Deal or No Deal airing on CNBC. Her career has included NBC’s Deal or No Deal (Primetime and Daytime editions), America’s Got Talent, Extra, Fox Movie Channel, and People Magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People”. Patricia has been a guest host on HSN. She released a workout video entitled “Fast Fitness,” cohosted The Time Life Pop Goes The ’70s with Donny Osmond. She also featured in the Trace Adkins’ music video “Marry for Money,” launched an online food and culture production titled “Dish with Trish.” She has worked with and represented AT&T, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Disney, Princess Cruise Lines, and Toyota. Patricia had her instructional series “Secrets to a Successful You” and yet to be released – “Dream on Now Deliver.” Patricia has worked as a mentor for young models and actresses, helping to educate them on the entertainment industry and setting the stage for the future of the business.
What is your “backstory”?
I started out modeling at 16 in my hometown of Chicago. The Chicago market was very different at that time. I worked occasionally, but not nearly as much as I was going out for auditions, and I kept hearing the same thing repeatedly; I just was not the right “type” they were looking to book. Nonetheless, I persisted, and eventually, one job led to the next. I built upon those jobs and relationships and started working internationally before moving to Florida and New York. The move to New York was the best thing I ever did personally and professionally. I learned so much about myself and the business. I grew up a great deal as a young woman and in my profession. The New York market was open to everyone willing to work hard and get out into the audition network. I was working consistently, and it opened the door to more acting and hosting. After several years of success in New York, I decided to move to Los Angeles. I still travel worldwide for work with over 30 years in the business, but Los Angeles is where I feel the most at home.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your performing career?
I was guest hosting on Extra, interviewing Tommy Lee before the debut of one of his shows, and he spontaneously licked my face. It caught the rest of the crew and me on set off guard, but the show must go on! I played it off, and we continued the interview. I found out after the interview that this is something he has a habit of doing. But it certainly was the first time it had ever happened to me! Good luck to the rest of the hosting professionals out there, and watch out for Tommy Lee!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am back on Deal Or No Deal as Model #9, currently airing Wednesday nights on CNBC. I am the only model that has worked on all three versions of the show alongside Howie Mandel. I am also working on my book “Dream On Now Deliver” while auditioning and working on other jobs…the entertainment industry sleeps for no one!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I have had great opportunities to interview talented actors, producers, writers, studio heads, etc. Here are some of my favorites…Helen Mirren, Tim McGraw, George Clooney, Hank Azaria, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Hugh Jackman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Brian Grazer, Ryan Murphy. Tim McGraw and Helen Mirren were the most fun interviews that always come to mind for me. They made me laugh the most and were a pleasure to spend time with. They are such big stars, as they were very good people and genuine in how they carried themselves. Everyone always says Hugh Jackman is one of the nicest people, but he lives up to the hype! I loved having him sing during our interview!
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I am always very inspired by successful entertainers. Actors, hosts, or models become a business moguls and create their path and ability to control their careers. They all start by working on a camera, but they know they have to be bigger than just a face on the screen if they want to make it long-term. They create companies and eventually influence the entire industry by more opportunities for others and themselves. Some great examples are Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Heid Klum, Michael Strahan, Ryan Seacrest, Byron Allen, to name a few.
What do you do to “sharpen your craft”? Can you share any stories?
Working with others, and guiding them on their path, in turn, helps me. I find inspiration in the way others work through the industry, and sometimes it is just tiny suggestions and the proper introduction that can change a career. Whenever I get the opportunity to work with another artist or entertainment professional, I find myself learning, which is endless about entertainment. There is always something new to learn.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I pass on my knowledge and experience to help those looking to get started in the entertainment field. I also have called to work with kids a lot over the years. I do not just mean professionally, but away from the camera, many influential organizations are trying to make a difference with kids. Toy drives with the Salvation Army during the holidays or Reading Across America in elementary schools. There are just many wonderful ways out there to impact our youth and make a difference.
What are your “5 Secrets or Tips I wish someone told me when I first started,” and why? Would you please share a story or example for each?
1. How to get started, stumbling through all the mistakes along the way would have been much easier if I had a better guide to get me rolling at the beginning of my career. There is enough to worry about as a 15-year-old without me trying to figure out how to make it in the entertainment business!
2. Trust in yourself and be confident, as there is no doubt that I learned over the years that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to and more. The only difference between now and then is that I have experienced it, and I trust myself.
3. Never be afraid to make a mistake or try something and fail, and this is almost a cliché these days, but entertainment is way more about learning how to fail than it is about handling success. You will fail, a lot and the ones that make it are the ones that get back up.
4. Your network will be gold! This is some of the best advice that I have ever gotten, and I am still learning how to best collaborate with all the talented people I could build relationships with over the years.
5. Have fun. It is the simplest thing to do and the most significant thing most people forget in every aspect of life. If we are not having fun or trying to have fun, what are we doing, people?!?
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world or the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this.
There are so many fascinating and successful people worldwide, but family is everything to me. I will always want to have lunch or dinner with my mother. She is vastly more important to spend time with than anyone else.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you for joining us. That was indeed inspiring!