SOC junior Leslie Gant knows about spice on the sets of some of ABC's popular morning shows.
Leslie, a west-coast native, spent May through August in New York interning at Good Morning America for ABC News. There, she had the opportunity to assist with production of the live cooking demos, which featured big-name chefs such as Emeril Lagase.
According to Leslie, 20, the great benefit about interning for GMA is that it was incredibly hands-on. "The intern duties had nothing to do with pouring coffee," she said. Instead, Leslie got to assist with virtually all levels of network morning television production. Her duties ranged from brainstorming and researching daily segments to having contact with PR firms, publishing companies and celebrities.
Some of the memorable shows Leslie helped with include Extravagant Wedding Cakes, a segment for which she had to sample over thirty-some cakes before the final five were chosen, and the Elegant Brides Fashion Show (that morning over $4 million in diamonds were on the set). GMA's Friday Concert Series was also a highlight of her summer as each week she could count on a front row view of performers like Santana or Michelle Branch.
Leslie was also featured live on Good Morning America during a "Legally Blonde" makeover (by Stila cosmetics founder Jeanne Lobell and hair designer Frederick Fekkai) to promote Reese Witherspoon's movie earlier that summer.
That's not the only time Leslie appeared on the screen that summer though.
"I've always had a passion for acting," she said. While living in the big city, Leslie began to pursue her ambition and feels blessed for the opportunity to work in both television and film. Leslie appeared on ABC's "All My Children" eight times and commutes to the city, on occasion, do acting between classes.
She also was cast in the movie Stepford Wives featuring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, Bette Midler, Christopher Walkin and Faith Hill. Although her acting experience in the film was background work, it gave Leslie the chance to get her feet wet in the business.
"This summer was definitely a learning experience for me," she said. "I got to see and do things I never would have imagined and I know the connections I've made are truly invaluable."
Leslie hopes one day to travel abroad using her interdisciplinary major of broadcast journalism and TV/film production and her global studies minor to make documentaries related to the environment, health, or culture.