WATCH: Mona Scott-Young, Yandy Smith and Christelle Kimbrough analyze the business of reality TV

The reality is that if your TV isn’t programmed to remind you to watch any episode of a reality TV series, current or past – your culture card has already been revoked. Seriously, girl, where have you been if you weren’t glued to the TV, following every single story from the extraordinary entrepreneurs and media professionals themselves, Mona Scott-Young, Yandy Smith and newcomer to reality television, Christelle Kimbrough.

With more than a decade in the reality TV game on and off camera as career women, Mona, Yandy and Krystle had plenty of wisdom to share as they spoke during ESSENCE E-Suite experience in 2022 ESSENCE Culture Festival shared the reality of reality TV and how “show” business is expanding behind the screen and turning into partnering with big brands and building businesses while taking personas and turning them into budding stars.

“As a producer, it’s always important to me when I talk to talent coming into the game [Love & Hip Hop] show I tell them know what you want out of it because it’s an exchange,” Mona said. “There’s good and bad to doing reality TV, as we all know, but I believe with all my heart that if you are, you’re clear about what you want out of it and you’re clear about what you’re willing to exchange with the audience, that ability to connect with them , there’s no platform like reality TV to build your brand, get exposure and connect with an audience.”

Kristyl, who is a real estate attorney with her own firm and is currently featured on OWN’s Ladies Who List: Atlantasays she quickly learned that being authentic by focusing on her professional goals while navigating the space of reality was the only way for her.

“I definitely wasn’t looking for anything in the entertainment industry. Reality television found me,” she said. “And when you focus on yourself and feed and nourish yourself, your light will shine. So this happened to me and my colleagues. “I went into it knowing that it had to feed into my business because my dream is not to be an actress. My dream is to still be the best real estate attorney that hires people who look like you and me. So I had to be careful about what I portrayed and what I didn’t portray.”

Similarly, Yandy says she had her eye on the bigger prize from the start. Instead of joining the reality TV circuit for fame like many, she was determined to use the platform to do three things: show young hard-working women that they can make it in the hip-hop industry without needing a man , to confirm their qualifications, grow her then-newly minted lifestyle brand EGL and generate additional revenue streams.

“I think the goal in the beginning was for us to showcase a woman who has made her own mark in the space of hip-hop and music. Not because she’s involved with a man, not because her man did this or because she’s part of a male-led group,” she said. “I understand business, I was a business major and I grew up in the projects, so I always wanted to get some money because I didn’t want to go back to the projects. So what I thought was, coming into this show, this is a commercial. So whatever I have to sell, besides who I am and the brand I’m going to create, I need a product. The first week I was like, “You all want to shoot me? Okay, great, I have a jewelry line. My first scene was showing my jewelry line. I was very clear that if I’m going to come on this show, it’s not because I want to be a famous star. My trajectory early on was that I wanted to use this to catapult my career and make money.

Watch the video above to hear the entire conversation. For more of everything you missed at ESSENCE Culture Festival 2022, visit our official video content hub HERE.

TOPICS: #BlackJoy2022 #ES_2 #SS

Leave a Comment