INTRODUCING: FENN O'MEALLY
Presenter, model, filmmaker, journalist and podcast host, meet Fenn O'Meally, the girl hustling her way into the media industry.
We caught up with Fenn in her East London home on mastering the freelance gig and why you should get creative with the subject lines of your emails...
You seem to be able to do it all - Presenter, model, filmmaker... How easy do you find the freelance game and managing multiple projects at once?
I think I’ve become immune to it all and it’s just become a way of life now. I don't really know what it’s like to not have a lot going on. If my diary isn't full I will make sure it is!
What's your favourite topic to cover when filming or presenting?
The one thing I want to be a master of is interviewing. I love being nosey. I’m fascinated by people, what they get up to and the nostalgia they can bring to you. Old people, young people, creative people. The best people to interview are the closed off ones, the ones that don't tell you anything and make you feel really awkward and like you’re really interrupting their busy day. When you finally start to make them smile, or they reel off a little anecdote that’s when you know you’re getting somewhere.
Are there any topics you’d really love to cover that you haven’t yet had the chance?
I guess it all comes down to the people I’d like to interview that I haven’t yet. And that list is endless. I think top of the list is journalist Lynn Barber. I’m currently reading her book A Curious Career. The woman is a legend. I’d also like to be put in front of Judy Dench, I’d ask her to teach me how to act. Jane Birkin, I’d ask her to teach me how to dress. Drake, I don't think I’d him ask much, I’d rather just follow him round for a week. And obviously Henry, we haven't had our interview yet but I’ve emailed him about coffee.
"My brother has had my back from day one and supported every decision I've made"
Who would you say inspires your career?
My brother inspires me. We grew up in a very sport focused home and my dad was convinced I was going to be an Olympic athlete so when I decided I wanted to work in TV and fashion it didn't go down well, he’s such an incredible man and extremely supportive but we knew absolutely no one in the media industry so he thought I was throwing away my life.
My mum is incredible too. Last year she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she didn't say a word to me or my brother because she didn't want to put the focus on herself. I found out when I finally went home three months later post operation. She’s a head teacher, a total boss and nothing knocks her down.
Who do you look to for advice?
I am extremely lucky to say I have some incredible mentors in the industry, Davina McCall, Reggie Yates and Dermot O’Leary all play a part in my development. Reg and I catch up on a weekly basis just to work out the next strategy for world domination. Davina texts me with love heart emojis and sneakily puts my name forward to brands. Dermot shoves my name under the noses of some of TV’s key players. And then obviously my agents are always there for advice. I have some pretty amazing agents.
"I have some incredible mentors in the industry, Davina McCall, Reggie Yates and Dermot O’Leary all play a part in my development"
You got your first project with House of Holland by titling your email ‘twerking tips from me and ‘yoncé’. What would be your top piece of advice to anyone looking to break into the fashion or media industry?
Make friends, keep them and treat people how you’d like to be treated. Be honest with yourself and, as cliché as it sounds, embrace your imperfections - people warm to human qualities. Also it’s important to find your niche, your talent. What drives you? What inspires you? What could you do for hours on end without being paid? You might not find this at first but the industry is hard and not everyone will love you, accept you and welcome you so you'll need something that makes you stand out. Finally bare in mind that “Twerking tips from me and ‘yoncé’” wont be everyones cup of tea.
What does it mean to be a part of #HOHLife?
Well since I'll be seeing a lot more of Henry, I should probably do something about those absent twerking tips. They may not include Yonce but i'll figure something out.
Fenn filmed, directed and edited a set of videos created for House of Holland's London Fashion Week show.