Zac Vierra – Co-Editor-in-Chief
When “The Today Show” aired live in Boston in mid-February, hundreds of fans lined up at Faneuil Hall Marketplace to watch the show in action. Some of those fans might have noticed two college students around the set running errands. Those college students were Lasell’s Ryan McFadden and Tim Doherty, a pair of Communication majors. Thanks to Professor Michael Burns, McFadden and Doherty got a chance to work for “The Today Show” for two days.
Burns, who worked for NBC before coming to Lasell, got a call asking him to work “The Today Show” when it came to Boston and was asked to bring two of his best students along with him.
When McFadden and Doherty got an email from Burns, they both jumped at the opportunity. On February 14, the day before the show was going to be filmed, McFadden and Doherty arrived at Faneuil Hall Marketplace around 8:30 a.m. and started stetting up barriers, wires, hair and makeup stations, and ran some errands for the producers of the show. It was a full day’s work just to prepare for filming.
The next day McFadden and Doherty had to arrive on the set at 4:30 a.m. to finish setting up and to get ready for the show to air. “We had to wake up ridiculously early but it was well worth it and I was happy I did it,” said Doherty, a junior at Lasell with a Sports Communication concentration.
The show included segments with actress Mindy Kaling, chef Michael Schlow, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, the Boston Celtics dancers, and a performance by The Dropkick Murphys.
McFadden and Doherty were “runners”, and their tasks on the day of filming included controlling the crowd, getting things for the celeb- rities, helping the cameramen, and assisting the producers.
One of the more exciting tasks they had was picking up Kaling and the Dropkick Murphys at the nearby Mariott hotel.
“That was probably the most surprising and most fun part because it was just me that got to walk over [to the hotel] and pick them up and walked them back to the set. I was surprised because right when we got there at 4:30 I had no idea what my task was going to be that day so I was surprised and excited about that,” said Doherty. “They all seemed like awesome peo- ple. I’m a huge fan of “The Office” so I was a little starstruck [by Kaling]. I just tried to keep my cool but they were all really nice as we were walking down [to the set].”
However, McFadden and Doherty didn’t get to hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. They arrived on set at around 5 a.m. and were straight off to hair and makeup. Once the show was over, Lauer and Guthrie headed to the airport for a re- turn to New York City.
Although it was fun to mingle with celebrities, the experience was also a great opportunity for the students to learn.
“I think getting to work in the real world with actual producers and an actual NBC show that I’m used to just watching on TV. It was kind of cool to be behind the scenes,” said McFadden, a freshman with a concentration in Creative Advertising. “I think I gained the knowledge about how to organize everything because they had to do everything so fast. I’m pretty good with organizational skills to begin with but I think I learned more having that real world experience.”
“There were times where during the show after we got all our work done we could sit around and just watch the show and watch all the produc- ers doing their thing and that was really cool just taking in the whole atmosphere,” Doherty added.