Author Archives: Katie Proch

Lights, Camera, Convention!

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There is much controversy over the idea of whether or not the national political conventions should be considered a political informative convention or rather a production for TV. There is no doubt that the pomp and circumstance play a big role in modern American politics so it is only appropriate that the Washington Center invite convention producer Ricky Kirshner to speak to the students.

The production aspect of putting on a national political convention is often overlooked. In order to have national press coverage of such an event, crews are setting up weeks before to transform an ordinary arena into a masterpiece of lights, cameras and television screens. Even if watching the setup for an hour or two, the progress of transformation is significant. Coming from a stage production background, I could appreciate the technical nature of Kirshner’s job.

Kirshner shared some very valuable insight on how he has run his production process which we can carry into all other job and leadership opportunities in the future. Kirshner shared that a leader in a production company has to pick good workers whom he trusts, then “allow them to do their job.” He illustrated this concept by sharing an instance during a Super Bowl halftime show he had worked on in which the lighting technician hadn’t checked in over the headset. Trusting in his worker, he did not go searching for him, but instead went on with the show. As it turns out, that worker had been doing his job, and had gone above and beyond to hold two cables together in the pouring rain to make sure that the show went off smoothly. In this case, as in life, sometimes it is best to just let others do their job.

-Katie Proch

Get Active America!

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Coming to Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention has been an overwhelming and rewarding experience for me. Because my educational focus is on International Studies, I did not feel as prepared to discuss all domestic issues, however, one experience did stand out to me. As we were taking a tour of Uptown Charlotte, where the Convention would be held, there was a gay rights parade taking place as well as protestors in the streets. It was clear we were going to see a lot more people speaking out on their various issues in the coming weeks. After speaking informally with one of the guest speakers, Aaron Brown, professor of journalism at Arizona State University, he noted that many political leaders fall under the “white male” category because that was the population of voters who were most reliable to turn out to the polls. In that moment it dawned on me. We aren’t misrepresented simply because this is the part of the population with the most money and therefore all the power (although often this is true). We are handing the election to this population simply because the remainder the population does not consistently vote in all elections, including the presidential election. It is not a secret that many Americans find issues with both presidential candidates and therefore choose not to vote at all. I think the best way to make sure our leaders represent the diversity of the American population is for all eligible voters to take advantage of that right and give them a voice. Minorities and young adults will no longer be referred to as fair weather voters, but instead will be a part of the population which leaders will have to pay attention to 100% of the time, not just when they choose to show up to the voting booths.

-Katie Proch