We had the good fortune of connecting with Kerry Feirman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kerry, how do you think about risk?
One of my biggest fears in life is mediocracy, or becoming complacent in a life that is subpar to that of which I aspire to without at least giving it my best shot. As a result, risk has been a major player in my life, particularly in my career. While I was in college at UCSB I would commute back and forth to LA for auditions, or skip school every now and again if I booked something. Between my sophomore and Junior year summer I booked a movie that required me to take a quarter off school. My parents were less than thrilled, but I decided to do so and take the part. After college I moved to Los Angeles with the intention of continuing to pursue a career in entertainment. I had some good momentum going and was receiving a bit of positive buzz from a few reviews of the small independent films I had previously done. Moral of the story, things were going well, and the ball was rolling in the right direction. My parents, again, were far from delighted about my decisions and wanted me to get a “real job”, to which pressure I ultimately succumbed to. A decision that to this day I am not confident was the right one, and a pivotal decision that would play a big part in my future career moves. I took the “safe” road, or at least what felt like the safer option at the time, versus staying the course that was progressing and that made me happy. Fast forward 7ish years, I had built a great career in the corporate hospitality world and was making a solid income. Unfortunately, I still really missed the entertainment space, and was starting to feel quite unfulfilled in my current role. Long story short, in a sense I had to make that previous decision all over again – stay in my comfortable job or walk away in order to pursue what I really craved all along. It was an immensely scary decision, which I held off making until I simply could not balance both anymore. At the end of the day, I decided to take the more uncertain road, and I’m grateful I was brave enough to do so. This round however, my direction veered more towards working in the hosting and media domain. I entered through the sport of tennis because I had previously been a competitive tennis player, so I knew that world decently well, had some player and coach connections, and could talk tennis with the best of them. I also intentionally took this route of entry because unlike other sports such as football or basketball, tennis wasn’t already inundated with women in my demographic. The women hosts and broadcasters in tennis were primarily older, ex professional players, who really stayed in line with the conservative, straightlaced, buttoned-up climate the sport was generally known for. Being well aware of the fact that I am outspoken, don’t always stick to the script, certainly had a different look than the women already established in this field, and wanted to introduce an entirely new, more entertainment/lifestyle theme to a sport that was typically uncomfortable with anything other than play by plays, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy feat. I thought/hoped that throwing a spin serve into the mix could potentially be effective. Truly, I knew that while yes, this could be a dynamic way to achieve success, I also knew I could very effectively fall flat. I went ahead with the challenge and after some time was able to break down walls. While surely seeing success, this risk certainly had some backlash as well though. However, in this particular case, the backlash came in the form of my creative content and ideas being copied by a network I had worked with, running with it on their own, all the while removing me from the equation. So, while that was massively gut wrenching, and in that moment felt like a negative consequence of the risk I had taken, ironically it still was a positive because it was validation that I was doing something right. So all in all, taking the risk of trying to be a diamond in a rhinestone world (Thanks Dolly) paid off. Moving forward I’ve been able to branch out into other sports, and lifestyle hosting jobs, and also work a great deal behind the lens on the digital production side. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing some of the most famous athletes in the world, traveling to many amazing states, cities and countries, and even hit milestones like having my name next to Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal on a billboard for an event I was emcee’ing with them. None of which would have come to fruition had I been too fearful of taking risks.
The pandemic slowed things down for me since travel was a substantial part of my job, so summer of 2020 I decided to really up the ante and take an especially large risk in an entirely different arena while I had the extra time on my hands. I’ve always loved design, and it had been a bucket list item of mine to flip a home/s. It came down to a couple of homes, one of which was out of the budget that I had set for this project but had more potential for a greater return. And in true form, instead of making the more cautious home choice that would be an easy renovation and still probably a substantial profit, I went for the out of budget home that, on top of that, was a full gut reconstruction and remodel. Between the insane labor shortage, in particular in the construction industry, and the astronomical material cost increases as a result of covid, my bank account reached a new low during this project that was highly uncomfortable. This particular risk was one that I definitely questioned countless times throughout this last year as it was a risk that would come with severe consequences should it fail, a thought I never lost sight of. To help the situation along I bit the bullet and turned myself into a handyman. Not exactly what I had in mind when I embarked on this journey, but now these days a grinder and a rotary hammer are my new favorite toys haha. On many occasions I thought this risk was going to tank, and I was overwhelmingly stressed about how I was going to find my way out of the hole. Fortunately, the market worked in my favor and rewarded me for the gamble in the end. It was a hell of a ride, an education in construction from the school of hard knocks, and one of the scariest risks I’ve ever taken. On top of turning into a handyman, I also ended up handling the construction design, interior design, and staging of the home, all on my own out of pure necessity, (It’s incredible the things you can learn on YouTube). The home was recently featured on realtor.com’s list of most viewed homes in Scottsdale, and with this great risk did come great reward after all.
I suppose I sort of live by the phrase, “with great risk comes great reward.” This quote is constantly circling my psyche. I tend to make a lot of bold movements which fortunately have seen a good ratio of successes, accompanied by some failures (aka learning experiences), and a solid avoidance of coasting amid the middle ground LOL. It’s a blessing and a curse because while it’s great to always strive for more, which inherently will come with risk, there’s also something to be said about getting to a point and just being at peace with what you have and where you are in life. Maybe I’ll get there one day, after I’ve at least made a solid run for the various targets I have set for myself. For now though, I’m sure there are still a boatload of “risks” ahead of me 🙂
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Now what I am most excited about now that the house flip is wrapping up, is getting back in front of the lens. I’m shifting gears a bit though and am working towards keeping things primarily close-ish to home. I’ve gotten to a certain point in my life where I’d prefer not to live out of a suitcase going forward. Don’t get me wrong, especially now that the world is semi-normalizing again, I am most definitely looking forward to picking travel back up, just maybe not every single month. My future focus is primarily on local events and assignments – oh hey FOX Sports AZ! 😉
I’d say what sets me apart from others, and what’s gotten me to where I am today is my personality. I had a physical internal shift somewhere in my mid to late twenties where I just stopped feeling the need for everyone’s approval. I’m not exactly sure why or how this shift happened one day, but I just seemed to grow into my skin and get comfortable in it. When I was younger I used to want everyone to like me, and every job interview or meeting to go perfectly, so I would often try and adapt to what I thought was right in any particular circumstance. When things would not go as planned it would eat me up internally and consume my thoughts and focus. When this mind f**k started to dissipate, it was the best day ever. Also the day that I really started getting those things that I wanted in life at a significantly expedited speed. Being authentically who you are is not necessarily as easy as people make it out to be. Quite frankly, most people are putting on some sort of a facade at some point to present the way they think they’re supposed to. While I certainly can do that when appropriate, for the most part career and life-wise I am who I am, and you get what you get, and I tend not to deviate from that.
I think people can sense when others are being authentic or not, and I believe that has greatly helped me in my career as far as networking and making genuine connections. I for certain know that it has helped particularly when interviewing, because naturally if you’re able to connect with someone on a human level versus just firing off questions and answers, the final product is going to be exponentially more impactful. I have had many compliments from interviewees in regard to really enjoying our “conversation” – I often prefer to call it this versus an “interview.” I’ve also been compared to Joan Rivers on a few occasions when I was working red carpets because of my “big personality”, out of the ordinary questions, and tendency to stir in some light-hearted wit and banter. To this day I take that comparison as one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received – Joan was an icon. So, all in all, I do believe that it is my personality that has been the front runner regarding my accomplishments. Of course, constantly working towards goals, making an immense number of sacrifices to do so, being persistent, and always continuing to learn and educate myself about my field, didn’t hurt getting me to where I am either.
“Nothing worth having comes easy” – challenges and hurdles are inevitable, but if we didn’t have them then everyone would be living their dream lives…which would be fantastic, but of course isn’t realistic. Challenges are what weed people out from certain scenarios or redirect their narratives. Plenty of challenges I didn’t necessarily overcome, but rather caused me to rechannel my course. The “overcome” part comes into play because I haven’t allowed them to collapse my mission, just occasionally change its direction. And honestly some challenges I’ve endured in the past I can’t completely rid from my subconscious, as much as I’d like to, but the moral of the story is that they have not stopped me. No matter what, you have to keep on trucking, and at the end of the day I believe that’s the golden ticket.
Pre-Covid my good friend from childhood, who I reference earlier, and I collaborated on designing and producing a tennis racquet bag. Of course, as for many especially in the retail world, that had to take a pause for a while. But that also is something that we will be re-launching, and I am super excited about this! So, for anyone who loves tennis, check out the bag! It is like no other design on the market – Fashionable and Functional for the competitive player. We’re in the reboot process at the moment, but in the meantime the bag can be purchased via the link I provide on the next page, or if someone, prefers they can shoot us an email and we can coordinate that way.
Email – INFO@Jolt-Media.com
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To be fair, I’m a bit of a creature of habit and tend to stick around my hood in South Scottsdale. There are still so many places and things that I myself would like to do and check out.
With that said, first and foremost I would tell them to head out here for the Phoenix Open and Spring Training! Both events are unique to AZ that are SO much fun! Both are also coming up soon and I absolutely cannot wait! And if you can get into hole 16 at the Phoenix Open, that’s definitely where the party’s at. I’ve also had some of my most fun times at the Bird’s Nest concerts which go on after days of golf at the Open. I’m literally giddy that Sam Hunt will be performing this year! I’m definitely a country music kinda gal. Spring Training is a blast as well. The energy in town around these events is just incredible. Not to mention, the weather is also absolutely perfect these months!
Antelope Canyon is a must, and AZ has such amazing lakes. There’s nothing like grabbing some friends, jumping on a boat and either just coasting around enjoying the water, and/or adding in some water sport action.
As for more everyday activities and places – I love keeping things active and sporty, so heading to The Village Clubs for some tennis, or hitting one of the many golf courses is always a good call. I’m a big fan of games as well, so I love Top Golf. Across the street from Top Golf they also have an iFLY facility, indoor skydiving, which I haven’t actually tried, but am dying to.
Some other place I really like are: Little Woodies, The Porch, Montauk, The Bevvy, O.H.S.O, and Old Town Tavern when they have live music.
Sedona is gorgeous and definitely an AZ staple to check out. I personally am not much of a hiker, but I am obsessed with the restaurant at the L’Auberge Sedona Hotel. The outdoor portion of the restaurant is entirely engulfed by these massive trees, as if you’re dining right in the middle of the forest. There also is a creek that runs through the restaurant which adds to the immersive experience of dining in the middle of nature. On certain days they add live music which is a personal favorite of mine, and just takes this overall experience here over the top. The L’Auberge Sedona is definitely at the top of my list of must do’s!
Something unique and fun about Scottsdale as well is all of the golf cart taxi’s. In particular when the weather is nice, what a fun way to get around town!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m big on supporting other women. Through my life and career this has always been something of utmost importance to me. Women constantly struggle with the “catty” stereotype, and even still must battle against those who unfortunately help reinforce it. I consider myself a strong, ambitious woman, and I have a lot of respect for other women who are the same. I’ve had some amazing ladies play some critical roles in my life and successes that I will forever be appreciative for.
Even though it’s been a while since we have been in touch, my first boss in the corporate hospitality world, when I worked for a company called SBE in Los Angeles, is someone that I will always harbor a great deal of gratitude towards. This woman was one of those first people, early on, to really believe in me, fight for me, and pass on a wealth of knowledge and skills in regards work ethic, drive, confidence, and so much more. Without her support I would not have attained certain positions in my career, developed many crucial skills, and cultivated many relationships that continued, and continue, to prove instrumental in helping facilitate my transition and growth in the sports hosting & Media sphere.
My Videographer, and good friend who worked alongside of me for a good majority of the time I was breaking into and building my sports hosting resume. The journey was not easy, and I was met with a degree of adversity and opposition to my entry on many occasions. There were several moments where I felt discouraged, and as if a chunk had been beaten out of my confidence and sense of self. Without this woman’s encouragement and constant motivating words and pep-talks urging me to continue, I’m not sure I would have made it through some of those speed-bumps. And, I most certainly would not have generated some of the greatest sound bites and moments that her inspirational words, persistence, and creative genius produced. Not to mention, it’s infrequent that you see a woman videographer because it’s a TON of very heavy equipment to carry around. Absolutely one of the most profound talents in the business.
The above also goes for my incredible editor who has been with me since day 1, and she is still with me today. Not only has she taught me a tremendous amount along the way, but her patience, creativity, and beyond impressive talent and skills are bar none some of the most exceptional in the industry. Not to mention her unparalleled loyalty that unfortunately is so uncommon among people these days. This woman is a gem! I am constantly afraid that some big network is going to swoop her up and take her away from me, because truly I don’t know what I would do without her!
My best friend from childhood – everyone should be so lucky as to have a person like this in their life. Unfortunately, a fact of life is that along with having big goals, comes people and even friends, who aren’t supportive and may in fact even make you question yourself. Sadly, not everyone will be optimistic and encouraging along the way. These critics can be quite damaging, no matter how hard you try and tune them out. I’ve dealt with this, still do, and most certainly will in the future. Through absolutely everything this friend has been a strong source of comfort, more like the sister that I never had, as she’s always been my biggest cheerleader. No matter what I’m doing, what moves I’m making, what goals I am trying to reach, this wonderful woman has always been positive and genuinely happy for my achievements. Words cannot even express how fortunate I am to have someone like this in my life.
A mother/daughter team who founded AYS Sports Marketing and put on the most prominent pre tennis tournament events called, Citi Taste of Tennis. These women are the reason I was given many opportunities, but notably the opportunity to host the live event that got my name on a billboard next to Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal that I referenced earlier. I remember being in the media room prepping before the event, next to FOX, ESPN, and massive TV hosts like AJ Calloway. I was not experienced, or well-known enough, at the time to be worthy of such a huge position. But without my knowledge, behind the scenes these two women were talking me up, and pushing me for the job, as if I were Erin Andrews! This was a big moment for me both in life and in career, and without these 2 wonderful women putting their names on the line because they believed in me, I never would have even been in the mix of hosts being considered to fill this role.
Through a friend’s brother I met a woman who was a producer for many shows on the Tennis Channel Network amongst several other networks as well. If I had just looked at her resume before meeting her, I would have been massively intimidated. She’s a young woman but she’s as accomplished as they come, with Emmy’s to show for it. She’s someone that will give you so much more faith in people, because after meeting so many people who wouldn’t give me the time of day, this woman gave me a lot of time, actually listened and paid attention, expressed genuine interest, and was one of the single most influential people to directly assist in helping me get to places I previously couldn’t even get the door open to. She became a good friend, and no matter how long we go without talking, she will always remain a prominent figure in my life.
To this day I do my best to help bolster and empower other women, just as these ladies above did for me.
I really could go on, which is a wonderful thing, but I think I’ve been long-winded enough LOL.
Other: JOLT MEDIA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joltmedia/ JOLT Properties Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joltproperties/ To purchase the tennis racquet bag: https://www.talktenniswithkerry.com/shop OR email: INFO@Jolt-Media.com