If you have not heard of Harry Howard, you will soon enough. Harry is the infectious and standout online talk show host of HarryHowardTalks from Focus TV Network (www.focustv.com), America’s First Streaming Video Talk Show Network. Howard knows how to make others laugh and motivate his audience while making it look so easy. His talk show airs every Wednesday, and we love watching him! Harry hosts creative and eclectic guests and he’s so natural with a great energy. Howard is also focusing on his main passion — becoming an actor. Harry is focused, positive, and professional and it shows in everything he takes on. Harry also has the gift of taking the knowledge he learns from each experience to his next challenge. Not to mention, he’s already young but looks even younger than he is. This is a plus in the entertainment industry.
So, how did Harry get started in the entertainment industry? While working with actors and comedians as an assistant to a manager, he realized that he wanted to be a client rather than become a representative. Growing up in LA, Harry always wanted to be an actor but thought it would have been too competitive and risky. He eventually left the business side and started taking classes at UCB and Ivana Chubbuck Studios. Since then, Howard has been in a couple of videos for Buzzfeed as well as booking various tv and film roles in addition to hosting Harry HowardTalks. He realized that being on camera as opposed to being behind it was always his real passion. He has an incredibly busy schedule but took the time to speak with Gemma Magazine.
Where did you get your drive? Or, would you consider yourself self-motivated?
My parents always told to follow my passion and never to fear rejection as long as I tried my best. My grandfather has an incredible rag to riches story, which has inspired me to work hard. Ever since I saw Empire Strikes Back when I was, 8 years old, I knew instantly that I wanted to work in the film industry. I originally was obsessed with running a studio, but my strongest passions were to be on camera. I love the creative process and am a gifted editor as well, which I have been doing since high school. I eventually landed a job in the mailroom at CAA when I graduated due to a lot of luck and ferocious hard work. I am self-motivated but am blessed to have parents and friends who support and root for me to succeed.
You mentioned that you highly enjoyed your time at UCSB, where you studied Film and Media Studies. Also, you completed 6 internships your senior year. How is that possible?
I would do 3 to 4 internships a week during my summers in college. My first internship ever was at Warner Bros. Pictures in the creative development department. After that, I wanted to get experience working for as many production companies possible during my summers in college. I was aggressive when I was in college about getting internships over the summer to the point where I would l leave class every 20 minutes to make a phone call. I made a tremendous amount of relationships doing this. They were the best summers of my life, partying at my Fraternity on the weekends at UC Santa Barbara to interning in Hollywood on weekdays.
Was there a point when you considered managing talent? What made you know that you wanted to be in front of the camera?
I always wanted to be in front of the camera, but growing up in Los Angeles and seeing all the rejection, definitely made me fear going down that path. It is so hyper-competitive to become a working actor, not to mention, just getting major auditions and then going up against 50 people for the same role. However, at 28, I realized I didn’t want to run away from pursuing my dream before it was too late. One thing I have learned is that it is never too late. So I left the film business to become an artist. Since becoming an actor, I have learned that this whole business is difficult on all sides and it’s the people who work the hardest who survive.
To expand on this, you mentioned that you would not be where you are now without your CAA experience. I’m sure you learned invaluable tools from your experience there. Can you share some of those life lessons?
Working at CAA taught me how to set meetings, deal with talent, and put on the best face regardless of the emotions that are running through my head. Working at an agency has taught me how to be super confident when communicating with others and remain persistent in the classiest way possible. I learned to always to be professional when I worked at CAA and to act the same way when dealing with my guests. Every great agent is super proactive and keeps going without stopping to close the deal. I’m very grateful for CAA because I now apply it to my talk show hosting. I learned you have to be persistent and nonstop booking guests as well as interviews. I wear a suit like an agent and act professional like an agent, but use my quirky, artistic personality to become a talk show host. Combining everything I learned at CAA with my acting lessons and creativity, I was able to evolve in to being a talk show host. Since confidence is a crucial characteristic at CAA, it all comes down to being the consummate professional. The combination of valuable traits has transferred to being a comedic and confident artist as an actor. I am beyond thankful for that experience at CAA.
You are a natural at hosting and it shows. How long does it take you to prepare for each show for HarryHowardTalks?
It takes me 20 minutes of research before I interview a guest. I read vital points that are going on in their careers and improvise the rest. The audience enjoys listening to the interviews that are the most natural.
Do you feel like that you learn (or are empowered) from particular guests?
Yes, a lot of my guests are very insightful, positive people who are successful. They have incredible mindsets, which have allowed them to achieve endless success as artists. I always find this fascinating.
What has made your show so successful?
It is amusing and informative. The key to my talk show hosting is making my interviews funny but also inspiring others at the same time. Motivating people is significant to me, but of course, my favorite thing to do is to make them laugh.
You are very passionate about acting. What does it bring to you versus hosting?
Acting allows me to go deep into my soul and explore my creative energy and become someone else. Hosting is sort of like an actor and a talent agent combined. At least for me, it is, because of my experience at CAA. With acting, I can be on set and be part of the filmmaking process. I have always loved movies, so acting has become an enormous passion of mine.
You like to make others laugh. Where does this originate? Were you continually cracking your family up as a kid?
I have always enjoyed watching people’s reactions and to see how far I can go to affect someone else’s emotions positively. I was the kid in school who always tried to entertain everyone. It stems back to my childhood I guess where I felt the need to have to get the attention of my peers. There was always something about making people laugh that gave me the biggest adrenaline rush. Making other people smile makes me smile the most.
Any upcoming projects in acting/hosting that we should look for?
As of now, tune in to HarryHowardTalks!
For fun, tell me when your interest in Beatboxing began and why you are a natural at it?
I started listening to people do it when I was in 5th grade and immediately got hooked and began to imitate them. My brain has always been more creative than logical. Therefore, when it comes to listening to sounds and imitating people, it has been natural for me. I can use my mouth to emulate this music, and I can’t explain how it works. I do it. It is something that one has almost to be born with. Beatboxing is pure creativity without overthinking things. I was able to naturally pick up on it without having to learn how to do it. I have gotten better and better the past 20 years through practice.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? You have a lot to offer.
In five years, I see myself hosting talk shows on multiple platforms and being on a sitcom on a TV Network or some skit show. My dream is to act in TV and film and host on every media outlet that exists. The biggest goal of all is to star in an action comedy summer blockbuster. I have to stay positive and am prepared to face a lot of rejection as an artist until all my dreams come true. We would like to thank Harry Howard for chatting with Gemma Magazine.
You can follow Harry on the following social media links! https://www.instagram.com/harryh0ward/