Red Carpet Reporter Workshop Helps Aspiring Journalists

By Usiel Teran

Red Carpet Reporter Workshop hosted by actress and journalist JJ Snyder helped students learn the ropes of how to interview celebrities at major events.

The Workshop was a two-hour session held on Nov. 9 at College of Southern Nevada’s Charleston campus with attendance of approximately a dozen journalism students aspiring to learn the skills needed to work star-studded events.

Students learned how to do a stand up, which is a standard intro to a story that a reporter does on camera, and ask questions on the red carpet, which required students to be well-researched and prepared to get the scoop for their news outlet they hypothetically reported for such as Extra, The Insider and Netflix.

According to IMDb, a database system, Snyder was a Hollywood actress and producer who starred in “2 Broke Girls,” “On the Red Carpet” and “America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back.” She now works as co-host on “The Morning Blend” on Las Vegas’ KTNV-TV.

“What I love is seeing the room filled up with people and everyone has dreams and aspirations,” Snyder said. “What is really exciting is that I get to see all the students get up and do it for themselves. Even within the two-hour workshop, I can see people make tremendous progress. I really love to see people who are a little bit shy or unsure about their talents step up and do well on camera. It’s exciting.”

Snyder explained, “My whole thing to teaching is to get people on their feet and show them exactly what it’s like when you’re in the job. Just dive in and learn while you’re doing. That’s just the way I believe that I learned the best. Learning should be practical.”

Red carpet events take place throughout the year including the following glamorous shows: “Academy Awards,” for film; “Grammy Awards,” for music; “Primetime Emmy Awards,” for TV; “Tony Awards,” for Broadway Theater; and “Billboard Music Awards,” for music. Reporters line the entryway to these major shows to capture a moment or two with major stars to get the best interview questions answered.

Michele Fogg, professor of journalism at CSN who planned the event, said, “‘The Morning Blend’s’ JJ Snyder created a hands-on experience that was extremely beneficial to students. This was a unique opportunity to work directly with a professional entertainment reporter who went out of her way to work individually with students. JJ was insightful and was able to push students out of their comfort zones to try interviewing like you would on the red carpet. I thought this was a great opportunity for students and I’m thrilled with the positive feedback.”

“Showing up to the workshop and finding out you are going to interview someone like JJ Snyder and you only have 5 minutes to come up with questions is nerve-wracking for anyone,” said CSN student Vanessa Villanueva, who was in attendance. “But after listening to the tips JJ had for how to ask questions with confidence I felt much more confident. Overall the whole interview experience was great. I learned how to think on my feet and handle a fast-paced environment like a red carpet.”

Villanueva added, “I really enjoyed doing the exercises because it made it so real. I learned a lot but the biggest take away for me was how to blend my personality with professionalism to become the reporter I want to be.”

“I enjoyed getting hands-on training… learning how to create a couple quick-fire questions because you may only have time for one or two questions max,” said Taylor Cayro, CSN student who attended the workshop. “I think it will be a resourceful bit of knowledge for journalism students interested in being a red carpet reporter.”

Snyder enjoyed the day with the students. “During my workshop at CSN I just felt like I was really helping people make progress. That was the kind of excitement that I don’t think I even feel on live TV even though live TV is really exciting. Yeah, I can totally see teaching more workshops in the future.”


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