FOX Toledo begins search for new ‘Face’Written by Vanessa Olson | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As the search begins for the fourth Face of FOX Toledo, Julia Johnston’s nearly two-year term as the Face is coming to an end.
FOX Toledo, a Toledo Free Press media partner, will begin the search in August with two open auditions, one Aug. 15 and one to be announced. Home videos can be sent in to www.foxtoledo.com by Aug. 9.
“We are looking for the perfect blend of personality and on-camera talent,” Betsey Russell, creative services director for FOX Toledo, said.
The idea for the Face originated when FOX Toledo wanted to become more active in the community. Russell was hired to implement the program and now at least four other LIN TV stations are doing the competition.
“Being paid to have a good time is part of the job,” Johnston said of her time as the Face. “I’ve had very nice comments from the community. I’ve impacted Toledo to some degree in a positive way.”
Russel said the Face is responsible for covering a wide variety of events that news professionals can’t go to because of the time constraints of their job. The Face can mingle with the crowd at events and promote programming. They attend everything from charity events to biker events to fundraisers.
“You have to be prepared for anything,” Johnston said. “You can’t be reserved. One time I was asked to go in a dunk tank, and it was my willingness to participate that made it fun for everyone.”
The Face is asked to do more than just mingle at events; they also shoot commercials every week. “Writing is a big part of the job. I blog once a week, and if the situation permits, I come up with something for a commercial or promo,” Johnston said.
She said she bought a laptop on faith that she would be the Face.
“This job is great for computer experience,” she said.
“Julia has been talented and creative,” Russell said. “She digs up all the good gossip and writes the daily TMZ report herself. Most of the time, we just tell her to come in with some ideas.”
One of Johnston’s favorite parts of her job was using a flip video camera given to her by FOX.
“I wish I had it sooner. I take it to every event and film the crowd. Then I use Movie Maker to make a video and post it to the blog and Facebook.”
Johnston is a lifelong Toledo resident who owns a business painting murals and faux finishes. She ran her business full time before she became the Face. She was one of the top three finalists for the Face competition in 2006. In 2007, she came back to win the competition.
“It was more a mental readiness; I knew I had to take it to the next level,” Johnston said of what was different on her second try for Face.
As for advice to those auditioning to be the next Face, Johnston said, “Over the top on TV doesn’t come across that way.”
Russell said she is excited about finding the new Face.
“There’s an amazing talent pool out there. I’m also very nervous,” she said. “How can we top what we have?”
“I’m so sad,” Johnston said about her time as the Face being over. “I wish I could say it’s bittersweet, but it’s mostly bitter. I’ve become very comfortable in my position.”
Johnston, who recently celebrated her second wedding anniversary, said she plans to focus on trying out for movies or commercials, and pursue having a family. She doesn’t want an eight-to-five job. “It would kill my vitality; I have an artistic brain,” Johnston said.
Johnston, who has a background in acting and completed modeling school, said she is sure her time as the Face will be invaluable in the future.
“I’m grateful for learning so many different things doing this job,” she said. “If being the Face is the best thing that ever happens, it’s been amazing,” Johnston said. “But I don’t think it is.
Where are they now?
D’Emilio relocated to New York City in the past week, where she will be working as a producer for a Rocketboom.com Web show.
In addition to producing, she said she will direct, write and research daily news.
“Being the Face of FOX gave me a good foundation to springboard off of,” D’Emilio said. “It was my first real full-time television gig, and I was able to learn aspects of production, how to be on camera and how to direct talent.”
After being the Face of FOX, Bollenbacher moved to Los Angeles, where she has lived for about a year. She is doing small theater projects and auditioning for TV, film and commercial work. She is currently working as a tour guide on the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour.
“In L.A. you never know what to expect and that’s what being the Face of FOX prepared me for,” she said. “Flexibility and poise are skills I honed while being the Face.”
Tags: FOX Toledo