By Diane Howard, Ph.D.
Kathy Leigh Carter packages reality TV shows with integrity. As an executive producer with more than 17 years experience in representing nationally and internationally known clients in the entertainment industry, Kathy Carter has been an unstoppable force in finding, packaging and pitching the right talent with the right production companies for networks that produce the best of reality and unscripted television shows. What’s more, she is also a licensed attorney in Texas and California. She has owned her own company, The Carter Creative, for 17+ years and travels nationwide, packaging international experts and unknown personalities in a wide-range of areas. She is also active in the Nashville community, being a voting member Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Awards. In her work, she is in direct contact with all the TV networks and with additional areas of entertainment to expand the talent’s brands if needed.
Here’s my exclusive interview with Kathy Carter:
DH: What do you most value in reality TV?
KC: I value authenticity. I look for extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. The people I work with, market, and promote are real people, not actors, with something of value and significance to say and show. They really do the work in their real world of expertise. They are unique, fascinating people, known and unknown, who are doing something interesting in their fields.
DH: How is your work talent-heavy?
KC: I start with an individual or group of people who have an expertise (in any field). Other people start out with creating formats first. I start with the person, because no one can duplicate a person, but someone can steal a format.
DH: Can you give us an example of how you start with the talent to develop a show?
KC: After finding the talent (and I meet them everywhere, which will also be discussed at my seminar) or experts that are referred to me, I have to find out exactly what they do, how they do it, and what is different than what has been seen on TV. Because each person is unique, it depends on how I start with that individual. It’s all about them, what they have accomplished, how they can show their expertise through an entertaining TV show and utilize their personality doing it. I use the same process creating and developing the materials but use a slightly different pitch, depending on the expertise.
DH: Do you help the talent move into different types of entertainment besides a TV reality show?
KC: Yes, I can, if it makes sense. I have helped the talent create their own product, put them on a home shopping network, hosting positions, commercials and video games to provide multiple revenue streams.
DH: What are some of the topics, areas, or fields of the Talent or Reality shows you have packaged?
KC: I have worked with a broad range of personalities in a broad number of fields:
Food, Interior Design, Real Estate, Automotive, Music, Law (Lawyers, District Attorneys) Crime (Homicide Detectives, police, CIA, death penalty), Street Art, Graffiti Art, Alligator Hunters, Trail Guides, Exotic Animals, Vets, House Moms, Entrepreneurs, Hair, Beauty, Organization, Landscape, Comedy, Clean-up, Suicide Prevention, Hospitality, Restaurant Owners, Actors, Wrestlers, Breakers, Hosts, Pet Owners, Mechanics, Archeologists, Welders, Toy Makers, Philatelists, Restoration, Beauty Pageant Contestants, Green Berets and more. If there is a person with an expertise, no matter how typical or atypical, I would love to talk!
DH: How have you been involved with the Nashville Music Community?
KC: Since 2001, I have developed strong relationships with the Nashville music community and have been instrumental in obtaining television and film opportunities for a select number of country stars. I am a voting member of the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Awards.
DH: What kind of training do you provide in your workshops?
KC: I typically give in-depth training on how to create effective bios, resumes, videos and photos. The attendees learn how to create and market their materials at a minimal expense. My goal is to take anyone, known or unknown in their expertise, and give them a shot at success. It’s also about timing, demographic and the right representation.
DH: Will you be looking for any talent or experts to package?
KC: I am ALWAYS looking. I just pitched shows at Real Screen (http://west.realscreen.com/2017/#) and know the Network mandates. This seminar is a great opportunity for me to share my knowledge and for the person in the audience to be seen.
For more information see https://youtu.be/RKOZvJORctc