Fanshawe College student Kelly Chmilar talks about her experience as an intern on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"Don’t ever give up; you’ll get there if you want it badly enough."
This was the piece of advice given often to intern Kelly Chmilar by the staff at The Ellen DeGeneres Show and they are words she will not soon forget.
"This is something I have lived by for many years, and it is definitely what made me keep trying to work for Ellen," Kelly says, donning a green Ellen sweatshirt, jeans and TOMS shoes—clothing staples all staff on the show wore.
After landing a six week internship with the show, Kelly jetted to sunny California in February where she worked on set in a variety of areas, including audience, research, human interest, web, and production.
The first few days on the job were spent getting oriented with her surroundings. "The Warner Brothers lot can be very overwhelming as it covers several blocks," Kelly explains. "The security is very tight and there is constantly something being shot."
Kelly started the week in the audience department, where she would assist the Audience team in checking people in before the show and helping them get seated in the studio. "It was a very good atmosphere, created by very nice people," she says.
She then moved on to the research department, clipping articles and photos of celebrities to be filed away for future reference. Next, she spent time in human interest, where she would assist the production associates and talent producers with anything they needed.
After Kelly worked in the web department monitoring and organizing the show’s YouTube channel, the show went on a hiatus for a week. "It was very unfortunate in my case because I really wanted to spend as much time as I could to get experience and make connections," Kelly says. But her last week on the set made up for that.
"My final week was the most enjoyable and where I had been asking to be placed since the day I arrived: production," she says. "While I was there, I assisted wardrobe, the props/art department and craft services. I was also allowed to shadow and watch the director during a taping, which was wonderful."
While much of the internship was office based, Kelly still found the experience invaluable. "I learned a lot about communication by observing as well as doing," she says. "The show is very organized and seeing how well each department works together helped me to stay motivated and organized, too."
Though sad that her whirlwind internship was over almost as quickly as it started, Kelly refuses to give up on her dreams. "The staff at the show said I was determined, competent and they thought I would do well in the industry," she says. "Hearing people say that gives me the confidence and drive to continue on."
Fanshawe College student Kelly Chmilar shows off her "Ellen" iPhone skin while taking a
break in the Fanshawe TV control room. Chmilar travelled to California in February
for a 6-week internship at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.