June 29, 2012

Interview: Meet Rebecca

I haven't done any interviews in awhile and I decided it was time to get that started up again. I asked my friend, Rebecca, if she wouldn't mind answering a few questions . If I haven't said this before (though I'm sure I have at least several times), One Tree Hill seriously changed my life in just a few short months of watching. I've been able to meet so many wonderful people on the show and who watch the show, that I probably wouldn't have come in contact with otherwise. Rebecca and I technically met through Twitter, because a lot of us One Tree Hill fans follow one another. It turned out that we were both going to the rehearsal of Sophia Bush's new show, Partners at WB back in March. We talked for quite awhile after in the parking garage and kept in contact after that. We were able to hang out again just about a month later, when Carrie Underwood came to LA to tape Jimmy Kimmel, and the rest is history. Even though we haven't known each other for very long, it feels like we've known each other forever. Rebecca just finished up her internship in LA, so I thought I'd ask her a few questions about that, her love for One Tree Hill and some of her favorite experiences with the show. Read on :)

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself(hometown, family, school, major, etc) What are some of your hobbies or anything else you'd like to share?

Hello! To start off, my name is Rebecca Michelson and I’m originally from a small suburb just outside of Philadelphia, PA called Maple Glen. However, I like to call myself a jet-setter because I am all over the place! I go to school in Boston, MA at Northeastern University and I am entering my fourth year when I go back in the fall. I am studying Communication Studies with a focus in media and a Media Production minor. Outside of school, I love watching television (which I should, because I’m studying it after all) and I also love playing my guitar. I’m not very good yet, but I love playing and singing when no one’s home ;) It’s such a great stress reliever!

You came out to LA for an internship in the entertainment business. What was that experience like for you and what did you learn from working behind the scenes? Were you able to narrow down what you'd like to do if you continued a career in the entertainment field?

I absolutely loved my entire experience out in Los Angeles! I actually did my very first internship in the entertainment business last spring (2011) at The Dr. Oz Show in New York City. It really taught me so much about myself and the industry, so I felt much more prepared moving out to LA by myself and pursuing not one, but two different internships in the business. For those who don’t know, I worked part time at both Dick Clark Productions and at ABC for the daytime soap opera General Hospital while I was living in Marina del Rey from January to June of 2012. Also, for those who don’t know, these internships were part of my school’s co-op program, to which I am very grateful because I would not be where I am today without it. The co-op program allows every student, if we wish, to take classes for 6 months and then work for 6 months in the field of our choice, anywhere in the world. I have an advisor at school who is very helpful in finding me jobs for which I then apply and interview for, like a regular job.
These jobs taught me so much about working behind the scenes and so much about myself and what I want to do in the future. Through Dr. Oz and GH, I’ve learned about working directly on hit (and emmy-winning) TV shows and what goes on behind the scenes. From working at Dick Clark, I learned what goes into making those hit television shows from scratch and also what goes into putting on live television events such as The Golden Globes and The Academy of Country Music Awards. However, after my three internships, I feel no closer to deciding what I want to do in my future. There are so many different roads to go down, but I’m leaning toward production. I love the mix of creativity and organization that it requires, and I think it would be a good fit for me.

What were some of the highlights of your trip?

Wow, this is a tough question! I had the time of my life in Los Angeles and I wish I never had to leave! I loved my building, which was a fully-furnished, temporary housing complex in Marina del Rey, fit with a gym, pool and only a 3-mile block from the beach. I also loved where I worked, for the most part, so I’m so happy that I found those jobs! On a more personal note, I made some amazing friends while I was in LA from doing various things by myself. I also connected with friends that I already had out in LA and got to hang out with them! I always recommend doing anything that you have the opportunity to do, whether you have to go by yourself or you’ll get home too late, because you never want to have regrets. And I’m so happy that I made some new, lifelong friends from my experiences. But onto the fun stuff; I did so many amazing things while I was in LA, from concerts to screenings to television show tapings. I could run down the whole list for you but we’d probably be here all night! Off the top of my head, my absolute top five memories were going to the Dancing with the Stars finale with VIP tickets, going to a taping of The Ellen Show with VIP tickets and winning an iPad from her (can you believe it??), seeing Carrie Underwood perform on Jimmy Kimmel and meeting her at the fence after the show (all thanks to Shelby herself!), traveling to Vegas with my company and working at the Academy of Country Music Awards, and finally, running into my favorite actress, inspiration and role model, Sophia Bush, on a random Friday night on a crowded street in Los Angeles. Some other highlights from my trip include attending the Evening with OTH event with some of my best friends, the Team True Beauty event, working at the Golden Globes red carpet,  seeing Tori Kelly and Tyler Hilton in concert multiple times, going to the So You Think You Can Dance auditions, seeing the Partners network rehearsal, going to the Kelly Clarkson concert and meeting her, and seeing Baby Daddy and Hot in Cleveland tape live. That’s a good run down of all the amazing things I did while in LA. I am so beyond grateful for my experiences and couldn’t be more thankful for everything I’ve been given. I have the best parents in the world and I 
definitely would not have a life like I do without them. 

What were some of your favorite places to hang out while you were out here?
The beach! That's an obvious one though ;). Surprisingly, six months was a great amount of time to find some favorite places in the area! I actually have a few, and most of them revolve around food because I love to eat! My three favorite restaurants that I ate at multiple times while in LA were Lemonade Cafe on Abbot Kinney, C&O on Washington Boulevard and Urth Caffe in multiple locations. I’d definitely recommend checking out all three if you’re ever in the area! My favorite hang out spots were definitely 3rd Street Promenade, the Venice Canals, The Grove and Abbot Kinney Boulevard! I especially love 3rd Street Promenade because all the amazing street performers in the area come out and play all day long! I love live music :) I can’t wait until I get back to LA and can hang out at my favorite places again!

You're a huge fan of One Tree Hill, since that's how we met (thank you Mark Schwahn). Who was your favorite character and how did you relate to him/her most?

You have to get me started on One Tree Hill? You know I can talk for hours about this show! It’s changed my whole life. My absolute favorite character from the nine seasons of the show was an original, Miss Brooke Penelope Davis Baker. Which goes hand in hand with her portrayer, Sophia Bush, being my role model and inspiration. Don’t get me started on why I love Sophia. However, I love Brooke Davis because she started on the show as a promiscuous, outgoing, sometimes shy and insecure high school student and she grew into a beautiful and intelligent  woman who followed her dreams and finally got her perfect ending. I relate to Brooke because she spent all nine seasons of the show trying to find herself and figure out exactly who she was and what she was doing with her life. I have been trying to find myself for years now, and I don’t think you ever really figure out exactly who you’re supposed to be. I’ve been struggling to find myself in my career, my friendships and my relationships, but Brooke Davis definitely helped me find a solid ground to stand on. I can say, without a doubt, that I relate to so many aspects of that show. When I’m feeling down, I turn it on and it makes me feel better. When I’m feel happy, I turn it on and I can laugh along with the characters. Everything about One Tree Hill is perfection and I’m so glad that my generation was able to grow up with a show so significant. After all, I spent half my life watching One Tree Hill, and I’ll continue for as long as I live!

While the show was still filming, you went back to Wilmington, North Carolina. What was that like and how did it change the way you see the show (if at all)? Any special moments with the cast?

Wilmington, North Carolina will always have a special place in my heart. I convinced my mom to take me on a road trip to down to NC in August of 2011. She had barely ever watched the show before, but knew it was important to me, so she agreed. I made her watch all 8 seasons in 6 weeks, and then she was officially hooked! We drove 10 hours down to Wilmington and set up in the Hilton hotel on the river. We had the most amazing five days that I could have asked for. We spent an entire day visiting all the sets and locations from the show, including the Rivercourt, Tric, Clothes Over Bros/Karen’s Cafe, Nathan and Haley’s first date bench, the bridge, all the character’s houses (which are actually real people’s houses!) and various stores used on the show. We also spent a morning doing the set tour at Screen Gems, in which they take you to three different sets from the show. At our tour, we got to see Red Bedroom Records, Brooke and Julian’s house and Haley and Nathan’s house. The entire experience was so, completely surreal. Seeing these sets in real life that I watch on TV every week and getting to sit on Naley’s couch and browse the pictures on Brulian’s fridge. How many fans of the show from all over the world never get that chance? I am so lucky. After my trip, it made watching the show so much more sentimental. OTH came back for Season 9 just a few short months after I had been to Wilmington and suddenly, everything seemed more real. I knew exactly where the cast was walking outside and what restaurants they were eating at. While I’ve always loved One Tree Hill, I finally felt a part of it after my trip.
And I had a great interaction with the cast while I was in Wilmington! Long story short, there were only two on location filming days while I was there: Thursday night at the airport and Friday during the day at Tree Hill Cafe (which is really the Port City Java on the corner of Front and Grace). I was lucky enough to extra at Tree Hill Cafe as a cafe patron! The scene was with Joy, Lee, Antwon and my favorite, Sophia. It was a dream come true to be able to act in a scene on my favorite show, let alone with my absolute favorite actress. I also was fortunate enough to start multiple takes behind the gorgeous women and the babies that played Jude and Davis. It was such a wonderful, magnificent day!

Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

This is such a tough question, and I’m sitting here going back and forth about my answer. I know I should say something cliche like my mom or my grandmother. And they have influenced me a lot in how I’ve grown up and the career that I’ve chosen. They’ve both been loving and supportive in everything I do; my whole family has. I definitely would not be where I am in life without my friends and family. However, I have to answer this question honestly and say, once again, Sophia Bush. I could write you a ten page answer to why she has been my biggest influence in life, but I won’t bore you. If you really want to hear, contact me and I’d always be happy to talk about it! But I discovered One Tree Hill in 2005 and realized Sophia was special not long after. My first time meeting her was in 2006 at the FYE in Times Square and I barely knew who she was and barely said a word, but as soon as I got in front of her, I knew she was going to be important to my life, and that she is. Eight years later and I still look up to her. Eight years ago, I decided I loved Sophia because she’s gorgeous and talented, but how was I to know that she’s philanthropic, intelligent and generous too? And one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I could not ask for a better role model and I cannot think of any other person that has influenced me like her. Over the past 8 years, I have been thankful to have met/been in Sophia’s presence eight times. I guess eight is our lucky number then? And I’m a pure believer that our relationship (if you can call it that at all) is based on fate. But that’s a whole other story! I feel so lucky and so incredibly blessed for each and every time that I’ve met this wonderfully amazing woman. Each and every day she inspires me to give back to my community that has given me so much. I’m not spoiled by any means, but I’ve been given a lot in life. And Sophia has taught me to share what I’ve been given to those less fortunate. Not that my mom doesn’t believe in giving back, but she has never encouraged me to donate to causes. And if she knew how much I’ve donated this year with Sophia’s influence, she might not be happy! But that’s how Sophia influences me: she’s taught me to give up plastic bottles and use a water bobble, to support causes like Global Green, I Am That Girl, To Write Love on Her Arms, and Fuck Cancer, and that my one little voice can help save the world. We’re all important and we can all make a difference. So thank you Sophia, for helping me learn and grow. You seriously don’t know how much you mean to me. 

Leave us with 5 random facts about yourself.

I’m horrible at these questions but I’ll give it a shot!

1.  I have four cats who I love with all my life: Ginger and Nutmeg (twins), Bonjovi (the only boy), and Lexi (our special cross-eyed and crooked tail friend)
2.  My middle name is Joelle and I used to be ashamed of it. Now I love it!
3.  I’ve already picked out baby names and my first daughter will be named Johanna.
4.  I’d secretly love to try out for one of those singing reality shows because I think it would be so much fun! And I’d also love to be on Broadway ;)
5.  I love to travel! I’ve been to London twice, France threes times, Alaska, Canada and soon Greece and Italy! Not to mention my two cross-country road trips within 6 months!

I'd love to talk to anyone about my school program or co-op experiences if interested, or anything else mentioned in this interview. You can get my info from Shelby and I'd be happy to chat!

Editor's Note: 
If you'd like to follow Rebecca and see what she's up to on a daily basis, ask her about LA or see where her next adventure takes her, you can find her on Twitter at:  https://twitter.com/kanitydane1014. She's a lot of fun to talk to and so much fun to be around, so you should definitely get to know her. Rebecca and I have also talked about doing a little collaborating, if you will, for some music/dueting, so get ready to hear the next hit from us! We'll probably start working on it sometime this fall ;). But, more about that later...Stay tuned!

That's all for now,