Keltie Knight is one Hollywood personality who doesn’t necessarily play by the rules, and it has served her well! That’s not to say she doesn’t ooze professionalism, dedication, hard work, and talent in her line of work as a TV host on CBS’ ‘The Insider’ but her route to stardom is far different than what most people would expect.
The 32 year old Canadian native started her career as a professional dancer before making the move to New York at the tender age of 17 to dance for the famous Rockettes. During her tenure with the dance troupe she appeared on stage with the likes of Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Kanye West.
After making a guest appearance on CMT in Nashville with the Rockettes, she was bitten by the TV bug and started auditioning for hosting roles. But she didn’t get her foot in the door to one of TV’s biggest daily entertainment news shows that way you would think: through an audition.
Nope, this millennial made her own way there. The self-confessed “girly-girl” started filming her own webshow called ‘fangirl’ which got the attention of the people at Insider.com. Eventually they asked her to be a contributor for the show, which led to the position she holds today. Two seasons and counting, it seems creating her own opportunity and way into the biz was a smart move, and is something she is still passionate about today.
We got a chance to chat with the bubbly beauty about her new book ‘The Imperfections of James and Kate’ a romance novel which bears a striking resemblance to messages of female empowerment and self confidence.
Written with her friend Christopher Gutierrez, ‘The Imperfections of James and Kate’ was released (fittingly) on Valentines Day and chronicles the relationship between the two main characters. What is unique about the book is that Kate’s voice was written by Keltie, and James was written by Chris, giving each character an authentic male/female perspective. Kate’s dilemma is that she is the type of girl who can never be happy unless she is in a relationship, which is very true of so many women in the world today.
So not only is it a cool love story to immerse yourself in, but it brings home and important message: that confidence cannot be found in another person.
“We’re all imperfect on the inside and trying to find love.” It is about the journey to find fulfillment in ourselves that is the most satisfying, says Keltie.
Speaking of imperfections, this is a theme that is very close to Keltie’s heart and she chooses to embrace and dissect it, rather than get caught up in the fakeness of Hollywood that so easily entangles many young women. In this regard she is the perfect role model, and perfectly situated to spread a positive message.
“It’s hard to be a girl!” she says emphatically. “There is so much pressure to look a certain way, especially on the red carpet.” Ah yes, her ‘home away from home’. The red carpet is something she regularly appears on next to pretty much every A-lister in the biz. But she is OK with that, because her confidence doesn’t come from other people’s approval.
Does she ever feel the pressure to be sexy all the time? Not anymore, as she had already ‘been there done that’ during her dance career.
“Oversexualization is in every music video today, I did all that racy stuff while I was dancing, but decided to go the complete opposite for my TV career. I just wanted to be different.” She said.
While it was a noble decision to make, it didn’t come without its own criticisms. “I’ve had people say I’m flat chested and tell me I shouldn’t have cut my hair short.” Yet she is determined to stay true to herself.
“I would say I am happy with myself 4 out of 7 days in a week, and that’s a good start for me.”
Keltie uses the example of Miley Cyrus who she recently interviewed, saying although she is a very polarizing figure in pop culture right now, she admires her.
“Miley knows how to make fun of herself. She feels confident enough to do what she wants, as opposed to just doing things because she feels like she has to fit in.” Fun Fact: Miley gets her costume inspiration from watching WWE wrestling.
That is definitely a unique perspective on the whole Miley-twerking saga. While you may have absolutely zero respect for Miley’s particular choices, she really is marching to her own drum and still figuring things out.
Other female celebs Keltie likes to ‘fan-girl’ over are Jennifer Lawrence Demi Lovato, Tamar Braxton, and Paramore’s Hayley Williams all for different reasons.
“J-law is not afraid to say what she wants, Demi is a great example of someone who admits her mistakes, Tamar is so raw and real, and Hayley marches to her own beat which I love.”
You can easily see how these attributes are reflected in Keltie’s own character also. She has some pretty solid advice to young women out there who make up a good chunk of her hefty fan base on social media.
“My message to girls is that you ARE enough.” She says. Because social media is something that dominates almost every aspect of our lives, it can be easy to cultivate insecurities and zero in on our imperfections. It gives girls a false sense of what people are really doing because we only want to post the “good” times.
“Social media is a filtered version of ourselves. It’s hard not to feel inferior.” So how do girls compete with all the messages that they are bombarded with every day to succeed, be beautiful, popular etc? Keltie says it’s not about trying to keep up with the Jones’ but marching to your own beat. Conformity is not Keltie Knight’s thing and this is the advice she gives to anyone else dreaming of a career in Hollywood.
“Create your dream job on your own, eventually someone will eventually see it. Don’t wait around hoping someone will notice you. The industry expects you to already be ‘created’ these days. Most overnight successes are decades in the making.
These days Keltie may be a far cry from the 17 year old dancer from Canada, but the essence of who she is remains the same. She is a self-described geek who loves punk rock, sparkly dresses and is unashamed of being different. She is no stranger to hard work. All that preparation, experience and talent today makes her part of a rare breed of millennial women in Hollywood: a successful role model who has a heart to inspire her female fans and help them gain confidence, rather than breed insecurities.
“If you don’t feel like it’s your time to shine yet, your time will come.”