TV, radio personalities talk about the biz

Television and local radio personalities from MTV and JAM’N 94.5 radio came to campus on Tuesday to discuss their experiences in the media and entertainment industries with students in communication studies lecturer Bill Lancaster’s “Producing for the Entertainment Industry” course.

The event featured a panel discussion, Q&A session, and meet and greet with three stars: Ashlee Feldman, a 2009 graduate with a bachelor of arts in communication studies, cast member from Real World: New Orleans, and one of JAM’N 94.5 radio’s morning show hosts; Zach Nichols, a cast member from Real World: San Diego and winner of the MTV challenge Battle of the Seasons; and Santi Deoleo, Feldman’s co-host on JAM’N 94.5 and radio producer.

Here are a few highlights from Tuesday’s discussion:

  • Feldman said that she makes it a priority to be topical, fresh, and authentic when co-hosting “Ramiro’s House.” “Some shows, if they mess up, they edit it out. Us, we just laugh,” she said. “I go to work every day and I get to hang out with my good friends and speak my mind, I love what I do.”
  • Nichols discussed the pressure put on reality show cast members to hone in on particular aspects of their characters. “Personality is huge on Real World,” he explained. “Producers find things they like about you, and they’ll target that. You may be funny and easy going, but they love it when you snap.”
  • When it came to producing, Deoleo was the authority on the panel. He spoke about his path to success, from a position as a JAM’N intern in 2000 to “stunt guy” to executive producer of the morning show, and what it takes to be a successful producer. “You need to have an understanding of media as a whole and you need to learn how to work that into every aspect of your life, every single day,” he said. “When you get up in the morning, just assume that something is going to go wrong. No matter how much you prepare, you never know what can change.”