Kenicia Cross is the newest broadcast talent agent with OTA Talent, bringing her 15 year background in journalism and news producing to the powerhouse agency. A graduate of Howard University and accomplished producer, Cross says her passion is coaching and mentoring rising producers and talent.
Learn more about Kenicia Cross in her own words:
THE TOUGH QUESTIONS
Where are you from?
San Diego, California.
What’s been your favorite job or the most memorable moment in your career thus far?
I’ve worked in news my entire career, specifically as a news producer. The most memorable moment in my career was when I created a football pregame show called “Redskins Gametime”. The show was a one-of-a-kind lifestyle sports show that had everything from tailgate party menu ideas to a live marching band closing out the show each week. But it wasn’t the production of the show that was the pivotal moment for me…it was one morning when I was working on the rundown and suddenly it hit me – I was living my dream! At that moment I thought back on the days when I was an intern, a writer, an associate producer, and how I always dreamed of one day producing ‘my own show’. At that moment I realized I was living in the center of my dream!
This moment was so defining for me because oftentimes we rarely take inventory on how far we’ve come from where we started. We rarely acknowledge that where we are today, is where we were dreaming and praying about getting to last year. As budding journalists, it is so, so, so important that we take time to celebrate our successes and growth, at every stage in our careers. It doesn’t take away from where we still want to go, but gratitude and self-reflection builds your character and confidence along the way.
This is what true success is all about. I learned this at that moment, sitting at my desk producing “Redskins Gametime”. That very memorable moment in my career is one that shaped who I am today.
Why did you decide to become an agent? What are you most excited about in this new role?
Becoming an agent was a natural progression to my career that I honestly didn’t see coming! But it has been the most exciting and fulfilling experience I could have ever imagined.
For me, working as an agent isn’t just a job – it’s more of an opportunity for me to live my purpose and passion all at once! Throughout my career I have always taken a special interest in working with interns, mentoring and teaching them what it takes to thrive in this industry. As my career progressed I began holding seminars and workshops, teaching other producers my modern producing style that had become highly successful. Basically, coaching and helping others excel is my thing! This is one of my favorite parts of being an agent. Many people think that an agent’s job is solely to help you get your next job and negotiate your salary – but it’s so much more than that.
A good agent helps to advance your career and helps you to continuously grow and get better as a journalist. It’s rare that reporters, anchors and producers get feedback and constructive criticism from managers and News Directors, but it is essential for growth. So that’s where I come in…I do everything from proofreading scripts, brainstorming with clients to come up with creative ideas for live shots, and I even stay up until 3am to watch my client anchor a morning show on the east coast. Whatever it takes to help my clients go to the next level is what I do. If you work with me – I’ll upgrade you.
What would you tell someone on the fence about hiring an agent? Why should they hire you?
If someone is on the fence about hiring an agent – I never take the position of trying to convince them that it’s the right decision for them. Everyone has to come to this decision on their own, so that when they do hire an agent, they go into the partnership with confidence, trust and positivity. It is important that you do your research on the agency and also the specific agent that you will be working with. It is important to understand where you are in your career and what you’d like an agent to do for you.
Some clients come in with a very clear vision for what they want out of their career, whereas others come in knowing that they don’t have a clue of what’s next and are in need of guidance. Both make great clients.
Hiring an agent is for people who are ready to go to that next level and they understand that working with an agent will maximize your potential and access to opportunities. If you have ANY apprehension about hiring an agent – you shouldn’t do it. Working with an agent is for motivated optimists who are ready to go to the level up, with no fear.
Hiring me as your agent will be one of the best decisions you will make in your career. I have worked in the business for several years and I know what it feels like to have a dream and a vision for your career and simultaneously have anxiety about how you’re actually going to get there. I can relate, which is an asset because I work for my clients with the same intensity and aggressiveness that I would have wanted an agent to work for me.
I am always accessible and I have a great perspective which is valuable when it comes to helping clients get through work issues, etc. Honest and trustworthy are also 2 character traits that I maintain. You can rest assured that I will always have your best interest at heart and always tailor your agent experience to your specific needs, wants and desires.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a young journalist with big dreams?
GO FOR IT! When you are a person with BIG dreams, there is undoubtedly going to be a process, an adventure – if you will – to get to where you ultimately want to be. And here’s a BIG secret I learned along the way… As you move from each stage in your career, pay attention to the character lessons that life wants to teach you along the way, on each level.
We oftentimes, think it’s just about the actual “work” that we must master as we move through these stages. But the truth is that you must build up your character, stamina, persistence, and self-awareness at every stage, because you will need that new personal knowledge to succeed in the next level. It’s important to understand that when you get to a high level of success, the pressure, the expectations, everything on that level is BIG also.
So you have to build up the character needed to succeed in a BIG arena, little by little. So in a nutshell, at every stage, make sure you are growing as a person. Master self-awareness and overcoming fear. Build up your character simultaneously to building your resume – this is a HUGE secret to success.
THE TOUGHER QUESTIONS
What are some of your hobbies?
Sewing, Spending time at the Beach, Roller Blading
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
If I didn’t have a career in news, I would be a gospel singer!
What is one item on your bucket list?
Does owning a Birken Bag count? LOL.
When you start to believe in what you can’t see, then what you do see, you won’t see and what you can’t see, you will see.
Favorite sports team?
THIS OR THAT
Dog or cat
Burgers or tacos
Coffee or tea
Cake or ice cream
Book or movie
Rain or snow
Twitter or Instagram
Sunrise or sunset
Ability to fly or ability to read minds
Pumpkin pie or apple pie
Drive or fly
Amusement park or museum
Online shopping or in store shopping
CONNECT WITH KENICIA