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CONTACT: GEORGE McCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: george-mccrory@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UI student interns at Late Show with David Letterman

NEW YORK --University of Iowa student Rebecca Bixby is having the time of her life this semester working as an intern on Late Show with David Letterman.

Working in the Late Show's Talent Department at CBS, the UI senior rubbed elbows with the likes of Tony Randall, Richard Simmons, Ray Romano, Ben Stiller and Mark McGwire, getting them coffee or whatever they needed.

"I see Dave (Letterman) every day. He's very nice to the interns, but he works long hours and is very busy," said Bixby.

She added that most of the guests she meets just want to be comfortable backstage and just want to relax before they make their appearance. "It's a very protected environment here, so it's not all the Hollywood glitz you might expect."

Bixby, who is from Hawthorn Woods, Ill. (a Chicago suburb) started her internship Aug. 31 after learning about the opportunity through UI Career Development Services. She is planning to major in communications with a production emphasis, hoping to break into the film production business after she graduates.

While at the Late Show, Bixby has had the chance to see how a national TV show works behind the scenes. She has sat in the control room, sat in on rehearsals for the musical guests (the Goo Goo Dolls were a favorite), and scouted locations for Letterman's expeditions outside the studio. She also works with executive producer Rob Burnett, who also runs Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Inc.

"It's very exciting just being here as part of the action. It's very fast-paced and can be overwhelming at times, but I can handle it," Bixby said. "It's also exciting to know that a great job like this is out there and that I can do it for the rest of my life."

The experience has been valuable for her, reinforcing what she has learned in class with hands-on experience. "Internships are the real thing--it's real life. There are no hypotheticals and no scenarios. You learn from experience and mistakes, and that's the best way to learn," she explained.

Living with two other Late Show interns a few blocks away from the Ed Sullivan Theater, Bixby has had a taste of New York's nightlife and cultural riches. Her favorite outings have been seeing Broadway plays and going to Greenwich Village.

Bixby's internship ends Dec. 20, and she will return to the UI for two more semesters of communications studies. But she doesn't want to leave New York and hopes to work there someday. "I've found where I want to live the rest of my life!"

(Editor's note: For contact information on Bixby, please call George McCrory at (319) 384-0012 or Mary Geraghty at (319) 384-0011.)

12/11/98