Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night" taps AU for assistance

Wed, 2012-02-01 11:47 -- univcomm
February 1, 2012
While Anderson University recent graduate Josh Blankenship loves to watch Super Bowl games, he’ll be doing more than viewing TV this Super Bowl week. Blankenship, along with recent grad Stefanie Vinsel and senior Andrew Stuart, are working as production assistants for the Super Bowl edition of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” at Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indianapolis. The show airs locally at 12:35 a.m. fallon-auJunior audio, video and cinema production major Patience Randle will also be involved in Super Bowl activities as a production assistant for MidAmerica Jibworks. [Photo on left: Josh Blankenship and Andrew Stuart talk about their roles with NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Both are working as production assistants for the Super Bowl XLVI edition of the show.] Blankenship, who graduated in December with a degree in broadcast production, started Sunday and will be working up until the Super Bowl game on Feb. 5. There will be a live show after the Super Bowl, he said. “I’m a little bit nervous,” he said last week as he was getting prepared, “but think I’ll be fine once I get into the swing of things.” Blankenship was actually supposed to start Monday, but got a last minute call to start Sunday instead. He said he was ready. He’s been helping out with errands and assisting stage managers to make sure they have everything they need. The assistants’ work can range from standing in for people to fetching coffee, and involves working from eight to 16 hour days, he said. Blankenship doesn’t mind the long hours, though. “I think it just comes with the territory,” he said. “Being there until the job’s done.”

Plus, working with Covenant Productions® and on class projects during his time at AU, along with an internship with WTHR over the summer, he’s already had to work long days.

“I love it more than I hate it,” he said.

Blankenship worked a 13-hour day Monday and expected to have another long one Tuesday.

So far, he said he’s enjoyed seeing professionals come and work together to get everything up and running.

“It’s going great,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve met quite a few interesting people.”

While he’s a fan of Fallon’s show, Blankenship said his favorite part is just being there and being a part of the production.

Andrew Stuart, a senior audio, video and cinema production major, said he was looking forward to the experience and meeting professionals, although he added he really had never seen the late night show.

“It’s a nice change of pace really,” he said. “It’s cool to have something like that in Indy and be a part of it.”

Stuart said they were told to “expect a lot of different things.”

“They just told us to have an open mind and be ready,” he said. To help with nerves, he said he’s just going to treat it like any other job and do his best to contribute good work.

“Any experience at any level is great,” he said. “On this level, it’s top notch.”

Stuart was to work Monday and today, balancing the job with his school schedule.

As will Patience Randle, who will be in Indianapolis through Thursday, working for pre-game activities and events.

She had been a camera operator and helped with some crane and camera work during AU’s “Candles and Carols.” She gave her contact information to a guy from the company and later got a call about helping out with Super Bowl activities.

“I was really surprised,” she said. “That wasn’t my goal. I had just helped him.”

She said people in the business appreciate hard work and that she’s willing to do.

“It’s a big deal for me just as far as being able to have the opportunity,” she said.

[Update: Other Anderson University alumni working on Super Bowl coverage include David Neidert BA '07 and Luke Renner BA '98, both working with the NFL Network; and Samuel McDonough BA '03, working with Puls4, an Austrian NFL affiliate.]

—Dani Palmer is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.