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8 Quick Questions for Brooke Burke

TV personality hosts latest season of ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’

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Photo Collage: MOA; (Source: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Skechers)

Fitness instructor and TV personality Brooke Burke’s career has taken a magical turn. She’s currently hosting the latest season of the CW series Penn & Teller: Fool Us, where magicians perform tricks and compete to win a guest appearance at Penn & Teller’s Las Vegas show. Burke, 52, shares her secrets to being a good host, her health and wellness priorities, and her bucket list wish.

Is there any chance Penn & Teller will ask you to get in a box so they can saw you in half?

My fingers are crossed, I gotta tell you. We watched that trick come to life this season. If we have another season, the boys are teasing me, threatening me, enticing me that we’re going to do some tricks that have never been done before. The cool thing about our relationship is I’m kind of game for all of that. I like thrilling adventures, and I like to get a little bit uncomfortable and to do some daring things. If we're lucky enough to have another season, which it looks like we will, we’re going to definitely push the envelope and do some dangerous and exciting and hopefully never-before-seen tricks.

What’s the secret to being a good TV host?

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Burke is hosting season 10 of the reality competition show, “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”
The CW

Really learning how to be present and learning how to listen has been probably the most powerful tool that I know. There are so many hosts that have an agenda. I love the energy of a live audience; I love the spontaneity — to be on with an audience and to be able to interact. I even love when things go wrong on a live show. That’s real life.

Do you like to host at your home?

I love to host parties. I am always setting the scene and setting the stage for interaction, connecting. I love the holidays. I love family dinners. I love to entertain outside. Malibu [California, where Burke lives] lends an opportunity to do all of that. I actually never connected the dots between home and entertainment [hosting], but I guess they go hand in hand. It’s very visual. I believe in ambience. I believe in energy.

Do you consider yourself a good cook?

I think so, yeah. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I love to cook. I love to home-chef. It’s always been a dream of mine to go to culinary school, and I’ve been so busy raising my family that I haven’t done that yet. But it’s on my dream list. I love a good bucket list. Culinary school is a big one. I love time in the kitchen, and I think that my children know what home smells like. They know what love tastes like, and I think that family dinners are really important to my family. I just did a show with Curtis Stone on his ranch in Malibu [Travel, Cook, Repeat with Curtis Stone], and we made a couple of incredible dishes.

Before cohosting Dancing With the Stars for seven seasons, you won the competition as a contestant [in 2008]. Were you surprised when you won?

Never thought it was possible, wasn’t my intention. I hoped to stick around for a few weeks. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life because on that show you discover so much: fear, accomplishments, body language, choreography. You really learn how to show up, how to learn something new, how to commit, how to pull it together, how to perform. It was a tremendous commitment, because I was raising four children. But it was also an invaluable accomplishment because I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder at anything. It sounds silly — it’s a dance competition, you’re competing for a mirror ball. There were many, many life lessons on that show, that’s for sure.

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You’re also known for your health and fitness business, Brooke Burke Body. What are your thoughts on aging and plastic surgery?

It’s very subjective. I would like for people to look more like themselves and less like each other, to be honest. I was married to a plastic surgeon in my 30s, so I fully understand the value of the decision-making process, and I think that’s more important than the actual procedure. I think that a woman should find her confidence from the inside out. Women, men should be free to do whatever they need to do to give them that body confidence. But I do think that beauty is a feeling and an essence that comes from within. I like to believe in aging gracefully. We all need to take care of ourselves.

What does “taking care of ourselves” look like to you?

I’m a bit of a biohacking geek, so I do a lot of things that I do more for energy, mobility, longevity, stress [relief]. I’m obsessed with Secrets of the Blue Zones. I’m doing my next [wellness] retreat Jan. 2 in Costa Rica, which is one of the Blue Zones [geographic areas with lower rates of chronic disease and longer life expectancies]. And we’re hearing a lot of buzz about that right now since the Netflix show [Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones] came out. I believe in movement more so than fitness. Fitness seems to be a very small concept right now. And my [Brooke Burke Body] app started out in that space, and now it has evolved over the last year to intentional wellness. For me, that’s meditation, that’s movement, that’s self-love, that’s inner dialogue — all of those things that help create energy and beauty.

You underwent thyroid cancer treatment in 2012. As a cancer survivor, what advice would you give to others facing a diagnosis?

Community support is really important. Partners and families are going through cancer just as much as the patient themselves. It’s important to be a great patient, to put together an incredible diagnostic and medical team. The one thing that I learned that was astonishing to me is the importance of that yearly physical. It’s no joke. I cannot believe how many people have never had a physical. I’ve been an advocate for women’s health for quite some time now, which is why I was so open about my own cancer journey. We have access to information that’s life-saving, life-changing, and it’s just something we don’t want to know. I plan on living long and strong, and in order to do that, we’ve got to take advantage of those things. It’s our mammogram, it’s our yearly physical, get that body scan, check your blood from time to time. If you’re a woman in her 50s and menopause is knocking on the door, look at it. I really do believe in becoming a detective of our own health.

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