We would say "meet Ashlan Gorse" but you probably already recognize her from her extensive work on E! news, or her numerous interviews with celebrities like Johnny Depp.
After college, Ashlan moved to Los Angeles, and successfully launched a career in front of the camera. But don't be fooled; it took a lot of hard work.
Ashlan talked to us about her career, persistence, and life as a transplant in the City of Angels.
How did you decide you wanted to get into journalism and broadcasting? Was it something you always wanted to do as a kid, or did the passion develop later? What was the appeal?
The first time I saw Cindy Crawford hosting “MTV’s House of Style,” I was hooked. Then when “Wild On” with Brooke Burke came out, I knew that was my dream job and I would stop at nothing to get it. Traveling is a way to discover who you are.
You started as a page at NBC, right? What exactly does a page do, and how is that used as a stepping stone to break into the field?
As a page, I gave tours of 30 Rockefeller, I worked for Saturday Night Live, and assisted guests on the Today Show. Being a NBC Page is a huge honor, it’s a really hard program to get into and I was able to see all aspects of the industry and how they all worked together. Knowledge I still use today.
What are some of the challenges you encountered early on, and what lessons from your early days have been most helpful to you now?
The hardest part was trying to figure out how to get myself on camera. I went the producer route rather than move to a small market to be on camera. Finally, when I was a segment producer at MSNBC, I talked my boss Scott Leon into giving me a shot on camera (that is, after I bugged him about it for months!) and I was a hit. That perseverance has stuck with me, but there is a fine line between being persistent and being annoying.
What is the most rewarding part of your career so far?
Now that I am in the public eye, I can use my voice to promote things I care about. I went Great White Shark diving a few weeks ago and when I came back the New York Times did a story on my trip and the importance of protecting sharks. That is when I feel most proud of my accomplishments.
There's no way you can be on television as much as you are without a few goofs. What are some of the slip-ups you have dealt with, and how do you handle them?
Everyone messes up, even the most seasoned on-air personalities. I really don’t even remember my mess ups, but the best thing you can do is roll with it and most times. If you really are a pro, people don’t ever realize you messed up. One time we were live on the Oscar red carpet and my teleprompter broke. I knew I had to fill 30 seconds before commercial and I just talked about how excited I was. No one even knew there was a technical problem.
Do you get nervous when you know you're going to be interviewing a celebrity? How do you handle it?
I don’t get nervous. I never really have. But I do respect everyone I interview so I get more excited than anything
You have interviewed some awesome people. Who is your favorite to interview and why?
I adore Robert Downey Jr. He is talented, as smart as a whip and hilarious. You never know where the interview is going to go and I love that.
What's next for you?
I am launching a website, HollywoodSmokeandMirrors.com. It’s going to be a place I tell everyone all our secrets to looking great on camera. Some secrets are too good to be kept.