Movers and Shakers | Linda E | Media personality
We catch up with Linda E, a presenter, host and personality from London, who started her career at eight years old as a presenter on the CITV awards.
Tell us what you do…
I am a freelance presenter, I work for various brands and organisations, I do radio, live events, training videos, interviews, press, podcasts, voiceovers etc. I also work as a commercial model/actor, which includes TV commercials and print campaigns for various companies and brands.
I recently began doing sponsored content on my IG too. So, one day I might be hosting YouTube show, the next on set for a print campaign or the next doing self-tapes for a TV commercial.
What inspired you to pursue your current career path?
Ever since I could talk, I have always loved entertaining people. At first, I wanted to be a singer, but funnily enough my very first job was at the age of eight as a presenter for the CITV kids awards. So, years later when I realised singing just was not working, presenting made a lot of sense. My confidence also made it natural for me to put myself out there, and not mind being the centre of attention.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I have always been a people person, so interacting with people and entertaining people, I just love. When I’m on a job, I always have a chat with people on set, or make people laugh. The fact that what I do can entertain and have a positive effect on people is just incredible. I also really love being in front of a camera ha-ha.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work? What strategies have you developed for tackling that challenge?
The most challenging aspect is rejection. It can be exhausting going up for role after role and hearing no. It often made me wonder if I am on the wrong path. I have learnt to remind myself constantly, that if I am doing my best in each audition, casting, interview, then that is really all I can do. And, just because I think I’m perfect for the role, doesn’t mean I was what they were looking for and that can’t derail me.
I also pray a lot, and my relationship with God really keeps me going when times are tough, and I am hearing more no’s than yes’s.
What has been the most defining moment in your career to date?
There have been some amazing moments in my career, interviewing artists like Kano, Burna Boy, Davido, Tinashe!! But the most defining has to be when I appeared on BBC1’s This Is MY House. I will never forget the process. I had applied via a site called Star Now for the pilot but wasn’t able to make it due to other commitments. When they were shooting the actual series, they got back in touch and asked if I still wanted to audition. I jumped at the chance. Bear in mind that at this point I did not even know it was a show for the BBC, I was just super happy to get the role, because I thought the concept was fun.
As the process went on and I found out more about the part and production, I could not believe it. I was going to be on prime-time TV, this is what dreams are made of. And the fact it was during the pandemic too, a year that had been so difficult for so many people, was when I was being given the biggest opportunity of my life so far, I could not be prouder!
I was super nervous watching it with my family, with one eye on Twitter to see what the feedback was, ( it was really good!) I will never, ever forget that experience, it made me a lot more credible as Linda E.
Best piece of career advice you have ever received? And who was it from?
It was from my sister, who reminded me how important networking is. And that I should not be ashamed to reach out to people who don’t know me.
She told me to make a list of all the companies I would love to work with and connect with their employees via LinkedIn and just drop them messages. And given, most people didn’t respond, but one did. This exercise reminded me about the importance of courage, and also, her main point was- there is no point being the most talented person in the world, if no one knows who you are. I will never forget that piece of advice.
Away from your work role what are your passions?
I love living life to the fullest, I love doing fun stuff, and experiencing new things. I am that friend that you can invite anywhere- theme park, dinner, rave, skating, skegwaying, go karting, to a concert. I will usually always say yes.
I even love doing things by myself! I love movies (anything with superheroes, vampires, witches, the supernatural), music, fashion (completely obsessed with heels, I passed my driving test in heels!), and food lol.
What are the 3 (professional or personal) books/websites/ or resources that you would recommend to others?
Star Now is a great site for creative roles, specifically acting, presenting, modelling etc. There are jobs for all experience levels too.
I am part of a WhatsApp group called Presenter Friends. They have an Instagram page where you can contact them to join. In the group, people share advice and opportunities too.
What do you know now that you wish you had known as you started your career?
I wish I had known earlier that I wanted to take this seriously. I wish I had known that it was truly an option, because I would have pushed and done more research and taken things like YouTube and IG more seriously. But I know that every story is different and just because you start something later in your life doesn’t mean you won’t ‘make it’!
Do you have any advice for women entering your industry?
Stay resilient, pray, and go where you are celebrated. For a while, I was trying to cater to a particular ‘audience’ that really didn’t care about me, and then I opened up my options and have found more success. Also, don’t be afraid to stop doing things, or leave projects that aren’t serving you and that goes for friends too. All ventures require support, so if your friends aren’t supporting you, you gotta distance yourself from them, honey!
If you were not in this role what would be your alternative career?
That is such a tough question, because I absolutely love what I do. But in an alternative world, I would probably be an athlete. I am very competitive lol.
Who in your industry do you admire and why?
I love Remel London – she is incredible. Whether she is on your radio, on your TV or in real life, she is an amazing presenter, with such great energy and just so lovely.
Catch up with Linda on:
@imlindae on Instagram and Twitter
@iamlindae on TikTok