Meredith Jackson (performers peer group), Angela Relucio (performers), Jaylen Moore (performers), Steven Adams (professional representatives) and Peter Chakos (picture editors) attend the Television Academy's All-Academy Member & Foundation Alumni Holiday Mixer.
Attendees at the Television Academy's All-Academy Member & Foundation Alumni Holiday Mixer
Former development intern W.A.W. "Adam" Parker, Naledi Jackson (writers peer group), former development intern Jamil Akim O'Quinn, and former public relations/publicity interns Christine Murrain and Ebony Radcliff attend the Television Academy's All-Academy Member & Foundation Alumni Holiday Mixer.
When you go to a Television Academy mixer, sometimes the mixing starts in the parking structure.
En route to the All-Academy Member & Foundation Alumni Holiday Mixer, makeup artist Jeong-Hwa Fonkalsrud shared the elevator with fellow member producer Todd Szuch and former Foundation intern Chelsea Allen. "We walked together to the check-in line and introduced each other," said Fonkalsrud, a member of the Academy's makeup artists/hair stylists peer group. "We had dinner together, getting to know each other. Later, I saw Todd and a few former interns, and we had wonderful conversations about their future goals. And we all got connected on Instagram. I've had a wonderful time."
Providing a wonderful time at "the most wonderful time of the year" was the goal of the Holiday Mixer, held December 8 on the Academy campus in the NoHo Arts District. Held for the first time since 2019 because of the pandemic, this year's event also marked the first time that the guest list included alumni of the Foundation's Internships, College Television Awards and Media Educators Conference programs — who'd previously attended a separate holiday party — furthering opportunities for networking and inspiration.
About 100 Foundation alumni attended, including a group of four former interns soon joined by Academy member Naledi Jackson (writers peer group), who gravitated to the convivial quartet because, she said, "I don't know anybody here." Class of 2019 development interns Jamil Akim O'Quinn and W.A.W. "Adam" Parker are now also writers, while 2018 public relations/publicity interns Christine Murrain and Ebony Radcliff work at NBCUniversal, Murrain as a coordinator in the office of Universal Studio Group chairman Pearlena Igbokwe and Radcliff in publicity events and operations for NBCUniversal Media.
"This is cool," O'Quinn said. "It makes me feel like I need to walk around and meet more people, and say hello. I haven't had a chance to yet, because the mac and cheese was a little too good!"
For her part, Jackson said, "Having only been in the Academy since May, I've been to a few For Your Consideration events, but I have no idea who the Academy is. So it's really lovely to see friendly faces and your peers, and see what they're up to."
Another festive foursome were Bambi Moé (production executives), TeNeil Moore French (producers), Graham Wiggins (producers) and Em Sinick (reality programming). Mixer veteran Moé enjoys attending because, she said, "This is one event where people are not allowed to bring a spouse or partner. It allows me the opportunity to interact and engage more. Everybody is in the holiday spirit, so it makes it very easy to talk to people, to introduce yourself and get to know more of the membership."
Nearby, Marissa Messiano (reality programming) and Ben Bulatao, ACE, (picture editors) were having a moment, soon joined by picture editor Wilton Cruz. "We worked together on College Hill: Celebrity Edition for BET+, season one," Messiano said. "Ben was the editor on episodes I was producing, but we only worked remotely. And tonight is the first time we were able to meet in person!"
Also glad to be meeting members and renewing friendships in person was Roberta Bassin (performers), especially because the mixer was one of the few events she'd attended since the pandemic began.
"There's a warmth and a camaraderie that have come out of the situation of being quarantined away, isolated and not being able to be together," she observed. "People are happy and excited and welcoming, I've really been having a ball!"
As was fellow performer Patrick M.J. Finerty, enjoying friends and good food. And, he said, referring to his sparkly navy-blue suit, "It's an opportunity to wear some fun Christmas outfits!"