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Meet entertainment reporter Kristen Aldridge, a positive force in the industry

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Every day when I log onto Yahoo! to check my email, I am greeted with a familiar face on the homepage - entertainment reporter Kristen Aldridge. A seasoned television personality and entertainment journalist awarded five Telly Awards and a Regional Emmy, Aldridge reaches millions through her short, pop culture video series 'omg! NOW' on Yahoo!.

And oh the things I've learned about pop culture. But I like her spin on the entertainment industry. It's positive, informative and encouraging.

'So many people in the entertainment industry have inspired me,' Aldridge said, 'and I wanted to spread that positive energy to other pop culture junkies, too.'

Junkies like me, who were probably voted 'most likely to become a pop star' in the high school. I was, no joke.

My chat with Aldridge confirmed that we are pretty much the same person - glass-half-full personalities, TV hosts and writers and bargain shoppers. Aldridge recently launched her own online pop culture magazine, iPhone app and clothing line called 'Positively Celebrity,' which features celebrity-inspired pieces without the glamorous price tag because, she said, 'You don't have to be a celebrity to feel like one.'

From the suburbs of Minnesota to the red carpet, Aldridge impresses me each day with her dedication to positive celebrity news, charitable work - supporting the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence - and quick wit. She proves that those in the spotlight can use their influence to make a positive difference.

As I continue to earn more TV hosting and emcee opportunities on the weekends and ramp up my website (www.nicolede

costa.com), I thought it was key to reach out to one of the pros. My chat with Aldridge was fun, informative and filled with celebrities; well one - Aldridge:

n Nicole DeCosta: Who are your favorite celebrities you've ever interviewed?

Kristen Aldridge: The very first celebrities I interviewed were Oliver Stone and Liza Minnelli. I will always remember those interviews, not only because they were my first, but because they are both such Hollywood legends. It was truly an honor just to be in their presence.

n ND: You've branded yourself as an entertainment expert, not just a TV host. How did you come up with the idea for Positively Celebrity.

KA: I've always been obsessed with pop culture and entertainment news, but as a really positive person, I didn't like how celebrities were often negatively portrayed in the tabloids. I decided to create my own portal where I could network with other passionate entertainment journalists to write about all the great things Hollywood stars are doing to be inspirations to all. Hence, on Positively Celebrity, you won't find any celeb-bashing, negative stories like in the tabloids.

n ND: What is it about pop culture that fascinates you?

KA: The biggest thing that inspires me about pop culture is because it represents going after your dreams - going after what you're passionate about and not stopping until you get there. I think everyone has somewhat of a fascination with celebrities. It can be a guilty pleasure or just a break from the daily grind. From our favorite movies and television shows to music that really inspires us, we have a desire to get to know the real person behind the celebrity persona. I think it's also because celebrities are always there. Their every move is recorded and broadcast into our homes and streamed from our computers, so we become more invested.

n ND: If you could interview any celebrity (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

KA: Oprah or Barbara Walters. Both women are legends in the broadcasting industry and have inspired so many other women to be strong, confident voices in the world. I admire both of them so much.

n ND: What is your most memorable day at work?

KA: I recently covered the '(The) Twilight (Saga): Breaking Dawn' premiere. All I can say is, wow! This franchise has the most devoted fan-following I've ever seen. People were literally camped out for days, without any guarantee that they would even get in to see the movie. Twi-hards are by far the best. The black carpet that night was one of the biggest premieres I have ever seen. It was bigger than the AMA's! ... We were streaming live that night for over a million viewers, which actually set a record for Yahoo!. Just such an incredible opportunity all around and I'm so grateful.

n ND: In addition to your celebrity reports, you are also a contributor to SHAPE magazine. Do you like writing as much as being in front of the lens?

KA: Yes, I do - especially because I can do it in my sweats, too. It's another way for me to express my creativity and spread more positive messages. I'm so grateful to be involved with SHAPE because they are such an inspiration to so many women in the health/fitness world.

n ND: If you could give advice to up-and-coming hosts out there, what would it be?

KA: Go for it! Never give up. Always know and believe that you can and will do what you've always dreamed of. Find mentors in the industry that you look up to so you can be inspired by their success. Study, study, study. Never wait for the phone to ring. Constantly work on your craft, take classes, watch all the shows you could see yourself hosting to research. Mail your materials to everyone in the industry you aspire to work with. Work harder than you've ever worked before. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the journey every step of the way.

n ND: Thanks, Kristen, sounds positively inspiring. See you on Monday, when I check my Yahoo!

For more information about Kristen Aldridge, visit www.kristenaldridge.com and to view her reports, see http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/now/.

Nicole DeCosta is the editor for the West Linn Tidings and editor of the Homes section, within the Tidings and Lake Oswego Review. She is also the editor of L.O., a monthly glossy publication in the Review. In her spare time, she operates www.nicoledecosta.com.