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Second City Chicago

Hosting for Television

Hosting for Television Friday, February 27

This Introduction to Hosting class is all about learning to think on your feet and soar under pressure. Lesley Surdi is here to throw you curve balls and challenge you in different hosting situations. Everything from entertainment stand-ups (think E! News), how to be red carpet savvy, game show hosting, co-hosting tricks, and man-on-the-street interviewing.

Lesley will be teaching some key ways to memorize and break down host copy. Hosting isn't all about reading a teleprompter and having your lines right in front of you. It's about having a conversation with your audience and realizing what you bring to the table. The word "brand" gets thrown around a lot in the hosting business and it does hold importance. Knowing what your strengths are and where you fit in in this world is crucial. If time allows she will go over branding and play back some of the exercises done in class. Seeing how you come across on camera is a great way to learn. Come prepared to work hard, learn a lot, and ask questions. She can also offer great recommendations on headshots, websites, reels, and agent mailings.

$99, 4 hours

Prerequisites: Open to all students

About the instructor: Lesley Surdi has been called "Giuliana Rancic meets Tina Fey, but 10x better" and her former mentors have said "Lesley is fun and spunky and brings life to anything she's Hosting. She has great confidence, no matter what the topic and she has an even better delivery." Upon graduating from Indiana University, Lesley set her sights on Los Angeles. Initially she wanted to be an actress but quickly found her personality was better suited for TV hosting.

After doing the red carpet circuit in LA she landed a gig in 2009 hosting the web series DIGITS in New York City. The following Spring she went to Austin, TX to interview up and coming singer/songwriters at South by Southwest. She then spent that summer in LA hosting for Alan Mruvka's fashion & beauty website, where she spotted celebrity trends.
In 2011 she landed a dream job with mobile channel True Country. Lesley delivered the latest in country music news through both green screen work and live backstage interviews, with artists such as Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, Zac Brown, Emmylou Harris, and Thomson Square. In early 2012 Lesley fulfilled another lifelong dream with entertainment news site, Velvetv, hosting the pre-show red carpet and celebrity arrivals at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

After spending 7 years in Los Angeles she made a leap of faith and moved to Nashville, TN in the Fall of 2012. In just one year there she's signed with several agencies; auditioned for hit TV shows such as ABC's Nashville, Lifetime Network's Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva; and the CW's Vampire Diaries; hosted a fashion segment for Playtex and Forever 21; and was the head of Extras Casting for the feature film, Anyone's Ghost starring Tim Meadows.
After coaching Lacey Owen (country star Jake Owen's wife) for an upcoming project it clicked that she had a lot of wisdom to impart on those going down the same path as her. Lesley was fortunate to have several mentors in this business who made her the host she is today. Whether in the trenches or behind the scenes Lesley is taking the entertainment business by storm.  She thanks Second City for this opportunity and is thrilled to come from Nashville to teach the talent of Chicago!
To find out more about Lesley Surdi, visit her website at