Cory Almeida is the host of the TV series “Pictureka”. He has worked with shows like “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Cory about “Pictureka” and what else he is currently working on.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you initially get into the entertainment business?
Cory Almeida: I went to school in Boston and came out to Los Angeles to become an actor. I ended up being a Hip/Hop dancer for a few years. Anyone who knows or studies the business knows that all big actors got their break doing the same thing. Pitt, DeNiro they were all Hip/Hop dancers. (Laughs) Music has always been a big part of my life. I was an on air DJ at a station in Boston. I was doing a little bit of acting here and there and, one day went to my agent and said I didn’t want to do it anymore. All I wanted to do was host. I started out hosting a show about ten years ago called “The Hi-Fi Room”. We got to shoot with a ton of really great artists. The production team for that show split up and some of them ended up going to work on “American Idol”. About two season in they were putting together a holiday special and they needed someone to keep the crowd going between acts. One of the guys on the production team mentioned my name. I went in for the holiday show and everyone had a blast! After that they asked me if I would be interested in doing the same thing for season 3. I have been there ever since. Once I did “American Idol” all the other shows saw me and wanted me for their shows. It’s been great! For the past 8 years I have been super steady doing the warm up thing. Now I am making the transition back to hosting.
MG: How did the show “Pictureka” come about?
CA: “Pictureka” came about by one of the producers of the show seeing me at a “Dancing with the Stars” taping. They told me that the chances of anything happening with the show were pretty slim but, would I be willing to jump on board. I was happy to help them out. On April fool’s day they called and told me the show got picked up for 65 episodes and they wanted me to host it. We both thought it was either the best or worst April fool’s joke however the show was really good to go. The show actually got nominated for a day time Emmy. Things are going really great. It’s a hustle but I am really enjoying it.
MG: What has been one of your biggest challenges on “Pictureka”?
CA: There are a lot. That show is like being the ring leader of a six ring circus. You have to balance all these different aspects. Everything is done live and on the fly. It is literally the craziest boot camp for television hosts. I have no problem jumping on a show like “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” where I am just prompting artists. I have a lot of fun being at the helm of that show.
MG: What has been the best/hardest part of being the host of the show?
CA: The hardest part for me is that I really route for these guys! I love giving away the networks money. You want the players to win. The best reaction is when you flip that card and the contestants get the right answer and win a prize. It’s just an awesome moment. I love working with the kids and their families.
MG: What other upcoming projects do you have going on?
CA: Right now we are on hold with “Pictureka” as the response for the show has been so overwhelming that the show is being aired twice a day. The producers are trying to figure out what will be the best move for the show. It’s been great though because while we are on hold I have been able to take off and go do some cool things. I shot a pilot in Hong Kong with the producers of “The Bizarre Food Show”. This show is a twist on that as it will be based around comfort food from around the world. In Hong Kong they eat things like pig intestines as comfort food. The stinky tofu was probably the worst. I seriously thought I was going to throw up.