I went to Wild 'n Out. Here's what happened.

If you follow me on social media,(which if you aren’t, you should be: @the_rebeccaj), then you have seen me post everywhere that I and some classmates were on the set of the popular comedy show Wild ‘n Out. My classmates and I had complete access to everything on set, thanks to my wonderful intro to media production professor, Dr. Kendrick, and my generous classmate Nick Cannon. On set, we got to speak one on one with Nick, hangout in the green room with the cast, and were even on a couple of episodes in season 11. All of this was put together in a couple of days.

One of my classmates, Andrew, is from Toronto, Canada, has never been to New York and wanted to take a trip. Some more of my classmates decided we should take him. I had not been since I was five years old, so I joined to trip too. We’re all media students, so we would find something to do in the big apple. We were on our pilgrimage from DC to NYC and we find out our media production professor is in New York hanging out with one of his students on a solo trip. That student just so happened to be Nick Cannon (yes, he really goes to Howard) and my professor just so happened to be hanging out on the set of Wild ‘n Out. When my classmates and I found out about this, we hit up our professor and asked him could we come on set. Knowing this was a priceless opportunity for young media students, he asked Nick could we come and he said yes. Any plans we had for the weekend were scrapped. We were going on Wild ‘n Out.

We got to the studio, checked in, and went to the dressing room of the one and only Nick Cannon. There, we personally introduced ourselves to him, and our teacher told him about our class. After that, we went on a tour where we saw they film the show, hair and makeup, and then we got to my favorite part: the green room. The green room is the area in a studio where cast members and guests can relax and recharge when they aren’t performing. It was my favorite part, because I got the chance to see the cast members just having fun with each other and be themselves. As soon as I walked in, it was like all of Instagram, Twitter and Youtube was in one room. If a viral video has ever made you laugh until you cried and you just had to share it in the groupchat, the person in the video was probably in that room and I probably have a picture with them. I also got to eat in the green room, which was exciting because my classmates and I hadn’t eaten all day.  

We ate, snapped some pictures, and then it was time for filming. My classmates and I are actually in a few episodes of season 11 sitting in the audience. Thanks to Nick, we had some reserved seats in the front. On Friday, I sat in the back seats out of the camera’s view with some producers and some cast members that weren’t on that episode. It was really cool to see how the show was put together. The producers had to keep the show flowing, the showrunners had to make sure the cast was on cue, the cast had to make sure they knew their roles and could be creative enough to portray them without compromising their personality that got them on the show. Everyone had a role to play and there was no room for egos. My professor put it best when he said “No one has time to be the star. The show is the star!”

My teacher told us when we first got to the studio earlier that day, that he brought us there so we can have something to add to our portfolios. I, a journalism major, had to face one of my biggest journalism fears: live reporting on camera. It was inevitable that I was going have to do it at one point in my career, but I did not think it was going to come that soon. I freaked out and asked one of my classmates that has been to the set before what should I do. She told me to just ask what I want to know. Great, I had no clue what I wanted to know. I was just happy to be on set. So, I asked my teacher what should I ask. He said, “You’re a journalist. You’re job is to give the facts. Just ask what you would want to know if you weren’t here.” I thought about what he said, took a deep breath and did what I came to do. I grabbed one of my videographer classmates, Jordan (@jojo.binx) and decided to go get me an interview. I scoped the room for a cast member and ended up grabbing Instagram star, Renny (@renny). I was so nervous, but I did the interview and snapped a picture to prove it. This is pretty much how all of my celebrity encounters when throughout the weekend. In between eating and partying in the green room, I made sure to leave with a few interviews. By the end of the end of the weekend I had three live interviews to add to my portfolio.

We took some time to go to Nick’s dressing room and get to talk to him one on one and were able to ask him questions about the entertainment industry, his job, how he handles it all and even asked him for some internships. Around midnight, we called it a day. We convened in our Air Bnb that night, we laughed, shared stories about our experiences on set, and tried to wrap our heads are what just happened and how did we really end up on the set of Wild ‘n Out. That night, I was truly thankful for is the bonds that I made with the people on the trip. We all clicked as soon as we boarded the bus together. That night, we weren't classmates anymore. We were a fully functioning production crew and best friends.  

Saturday morning rolls around, and it's time to do it all again. We get dressed, managed to eat and stop in a store for some Wild ‘n Out approved clothes, and made our way back to the studio. Day two went pretty much the same way. We sat through some show tapings, partied in the green room and did some more interviews. Saturday is when I interviewed the hilarious cast member Darren Brand and the super sweet Wild 'n Out girl Lexi. 

Almost a week has gone by since this happened and I am still in awe at the opportunity. From this experience alone, I changed my plans for my time at Howard and my post-grad plans, but that will all be in another post. To see all of the fun I mentioned, check out my saved Instagram story and check out my gallery below!

Follow my friends too and watch their footage from this weekend. They worked really hard and produced some dope work.

Kiara’s Vlogs: Day 1   Day 2

Chanté’s Interview: A Conversation with Wild ‘n Out’s Costume Designer, Satthra San

Andrew’s Super Cool Pictures: @andrewtamburro

Taiyler’s Social Media: Instagram Twitter

Ayanna’s Social Media: Instagram Twitter

Writing was my First Love

I’ve always kept notebooks and notepads that held scribbles of whatever word were swimming around in my head.  I used to write anything and everything; poems, songs, stories- I remember in third grade I even had a baby blue and pink notebook that I used to document my morning and night routines in detail (yes, I was an annoying type A content creator before it was a thing). Literature excited me. The was people could dissect and assemble the English lexicon to convey a message was beautiful to me. The way a human being could construct ideas and take a reader, or listener, to lands far, far away or to lands that don’t even exist excited me in a beautiful way.  A human being could bear her soul on to pages and give healing to someone on the other side of the world. That’s power. Storytelling changes the world.

Around seventh grade, there was a shift.  Being a cool girl took precedent to my love for writing and reading. I started liking boys, made friends, and my notebooks starting collecting dust. I put the pen down and turned into an annoying tween. The “look at me, I’m a weirdo who will be never understood” kind of annoying at that. Then, after that was over, I owned my innate trait of being an overachiever.  All of this while being an “A student” (I was gifted and my parents didn’t play that.) So, I went from an annoying tween to an overachieving student who had ties to every extracurricular and community group that I could find. There was no time to write then (in ninth grade Rebecca’s defense, it worked out pretty well).  Then college came and it reintroduced me to my first love.  

I am fortunate to be able to attend one of the best institutions of learning in the world, the illustrious Howard University. Howard is home to so many talented, hard-working creatives and I’ve become friends with some amazing writers, many of them that have blogs.  I was inspired, that I decided I wanted to have my own platform to share my writing, so I started another blog.  Oh yeah, I had a fashion blog for about a year in high school.  I was so anxious to have something to call my own, that I haphazardly threw up a blog that I kept up with for about two months.

While I was home for spring break, one of my friends introduced me to journaling. I bought a notebook and wrote my way out of the dark. When I started writing every day, I wanted to read every day. So, I did. My love came back like it never left.

Then, there was another setback, I was scared that having a blog to share my writing was going to be lost in this internet space of content curation and think pieces, but that’s stupid. I’m not scared of my words getting lost and overlooked in a sea of listicles and think pieces because they’re mine. Writing is how I can best articulate myself. My writing is unique. It’s different. No one has my expertise, no one knows what I know, no one is me. My voice is valuable, and my voice is needed. Before I am a content creator, a creative, or whatever we call people these days, I’m a writer. No one can take that away from me.