Oddly enough I’ve known I wanted to be a television producer since I was about 14. I didn’t have strong career ambitions before then – when I was about 8 I thought I should want to be a nurse because my mother is a nurse. For weeks after I “made the decision,” I was racked with guilt and unhappiness. I didn’t want to be a nurse. Even then I knew I would make a terrible nurse. And yet, what would mom say if I told her otherwise? Needless to say that passed, and the only other thing I can remember wanting to do is work in TV. You can imagine my excitement when I was told a family friend was a producer for Real World on MTV. In a way, he was my first career role model – I didn’t exactly know what he did. (Actually, that’s not true. I knew he traveled and brought back memorabilia from the various houses the show was shot in.) All I really knew is that he made television, and how romantic I thought that was. I still do.
Fast-forward to choosing a concentration at BC. Like most public high schools, mine was lacking in opportunities for kids interested in TV and production. We did have one film class, which I took, that was led by the most dynamic and inspiring teacher whom I credit for nurturing my love of film. Otherwise, it was a classic public school curriculum that prepared you for a classic liberal arts university.
I studied Communications at BC. I dabbled in film, in screenwriting, in editing, in television production. To my surprise I fell in like with media studies. But I fell in love, deeply, with public media, and clung to the notion that someday I might have a career in the field, whether it was radio or television.
The short story of how I ended up at Charlie Rose is not a particularly unique one – in fact, it’s rather straightforward. I was a summer intern here after my junior year at college. I responded to a posting I saw on EagleLink, followed up, interviewed, and was asked to join the program. I stayed on from June till August, lived outside the city with a dear friend and her folks, commuted three times a week, worked a lot and learned a lot. I was hired just over two years later to work with the show’s executive producer, and it has been full speed ahead ever since.
For a long time my title was Assistant to the Executive Producer. It’s Program Coordinator now but the nature of my day to day maintains the same – if not a bit more nuanced now. About 30 percent of the time my job is concerned with the production aspect of producing a daily, hour-long show. The majority of my knowledge of production that prepared me for this aspect of the job I learned at BC and at my first job after graduation – but more on that later. You might say another 30 percent is dealing with things that fall under the umbrella of “editorial.” For the sake of uniformity, another 30 percent is administrative. The final ten percent is wildcard territory – the types of duties that change daily based on what segments we are slated to tape, what is happening in the office, and what’s going on in the world.
Over this week I’ll go into as much detail about my day(s) as I (and by extension, you) might find interesting. Looking at our extended schedule now, I can see it will be an unpredictable week.