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Behind the scenes at ‘Access Hollywood Live’
"Access Hollywood" set (Jessica Wenck)

Behind the scenes at ‘Access Hollywood Live’

As a journalist, there’s nothing better than having an all access pass to the subject you’re doing your story on. And that’s exactly what  happened when our class of seven journalism students was given a behind the scenes tour of the major entertainment news show, “Access Hollywood Live.”

Waking up early was an unfortunate sacrifice we aspiring journalists had to make Monday morning in order to make it to the NBC studio in Burbank for the shoot. Even though it was tempting to hit snooze when the alarm sounded at4:30 a.m., waking up before most of the city was completely worth it to see entertainment pros like Billy Bush and Kit Hoover do a full broadcast right before your eyes.

The casual Access Hollywood set is even cooler in person than it appears on TV. It feels like you’re walking into a friend’s living room rather than on the set of a top ranked entertainment show. Comfortable couches surrounded the lively set with colorful paintings, a kitchen and even a grand piano to complete the stylish look.

Though Billy, Kit and the rest of the Access staff were quick to make us feel right at home, it was still pretty easy to get lost in the moment with all the cameras and bright lights.

Take a tour with Style Producer Anthony Ramos and you’ll have nothing left to imagine about the inner-workings of “Access Hollywood.” As soon as we entered the studio we went straight into the green room, a luxury typically saved for people who are appearing on the show as guests. From the control room to the make up studio to the dressing rooms where celebs like Ian Somerhalder wait before they make their on-air appearances, we definitely got total access to “Access Hollywood.”

The overall feeling on the set is both highly professional and laid back. Professional because it’s a well constructed show with talented people who are working hard to make it a success. Laid back because these working professionals who have a show to shoot still took the time to welcome our group of eight, not only in passing but on air as well!

There were many amazing moments to be had on the set of Access, but the best was definitely when the camera was turned on  the SILA students. We made it on national TV, an unexpected highlight of the trip to the entertainment set.

We got another opportunity to see the hosts in their element when they sat down for an interview with actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and comedian Jackie Fabulous. Though it was an entertaining interview, the single negative thing about the tour was we weren’t able to see more guests live in studio. Unfortunately, we were visiting on one of the rare days that they had pre-taped an interview with the lovely Ian Somerhalder. Getting to be in the same space as Somerhalder was the one thing that was left up to our imagination. Close but no cigar.

Lucky for us, we were invited back by not only Ramos, but Kit as well! You can count on me taking that invitation seriously. I will return to the Burbank studio in the near future in hopes of coming across another dreamy celebrity. Maybe Denzel Washington or Matthew McConaughey? I’ll continue to dream about the possibility of running into an A-lister or two, but thanks to Ramos and SILA, I no longer have to dream about being on the entertainment set I’d love to work on one day.



About Jessica Wenck

Jessica Wenck graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A in Cinema and a B.A in journalism. Her career goal is to be an entertainment broadcast news reporter, ultimately becoming an entertainment anchor.

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