INTERVIEW BY IMANI HOLLOMAN
Organization: Mason Cable Network’s The Spill
How did you become involved with The Spill?
Reagan Ortiz: I joined The Spill my sophomore year. I saw they were having an interest meeting and it was something I was extremely excited to join as it aligns with a lot of my passions. When I joined the show I started out as the creative director and would also fill in for interviews and moved up to Word on the Street reporter, and now I’m currently one of the executive producers and main hosts on the show.
India Tolliver: I became involved with The Spill by having a conversation with one of the hosts and she told me all about The Spill and invited me to a Spill meeting. I met the manager during that time and I told them my experience with communication and they loved my personality. After the meeting, I was involved with The Spill!
Brianna Sharpe: I’ve been a member of the Mason Cable Network since my freshman year at Mason. I hosted my own segment for Mason Cable News, helped edit videos, and now I found an interest in the social media aspect. I love creating flyers that are engaging and coming up with fun Instagram stories. I believe that making content and visuals that stand out help [to] impress our audience. Since we are always posting the latest news on and off campus. We decided to host a variety of polls, questions and comments that help keep the audience engaged and informed.
Nicole Keeys: I became interested in The Spill when I transferred to George Mason [in] fall 2019 as a marketing major. I met one of the co-executives at an event and shared my interest in marketing. I was told there was a position for public relations opening in the fall and decided to join!
What segment on the show do you enjoy the most?
Ortiz: My favorite segment on the show is Word on the Street. As I moved up in the organization, it was one of the first on-camera opportunities I had with The Spill. I enjoy going out in the community and interacting. I’ve also enjoyed talk shows, specifically when they go out in the community and put on funny skits or ask funny questions.
Tolliver: I’m one of the executive producers and main host for The Spill. My favorite segment is Word on the Street. I created that segment when I first started The Spill my sophomore year. My goal was to make it fun for students to express themselves. It’s my favorite because I love interviewing students to get their opinions on topics. I enjoy the games and capturing all the tea!
Who is your favorite television talk show host?
Ortiz: Growing up I watched Oprah a lot. She’s one of my biggest role models in terms of how she worked to having her own show and what she has done after her show left the air. I used to enjoy watching the Wendy Williams Show as well, specifically Hot Topics, and I also enjoy watching The Real when I have free time.
Tolliver: My favorite television talk show host is Wendy Williams. She’s very entertaining! I love Hot Topics when she tells her viewers all the tea such as relationship drama, fashion and when celebrities come to the show.
What is your favorite media outlet that you follow online?
Sharpe: My favorite media outlet would have to be @TMZ_TV. I literally have been on their website since I was a freshman in high school. Followed after them would definitely have to be @TheShaderoom, they are very convenient and popular.
What can Mason students look forward to next semester with The Spill?
Ortiz: Unfortunately I will not be around for the season next semester but we are working on a lot of things to get more involved with George Mason’s campus. This semester we were set to co-host events with major organizations on campus, and I hope once we resume back to normal college life those collaborations will flourish. We have increased our social media presence thanks to our amazing PR team, Brianna and Nicole. And I’m hoping that we can continue the momentum into next semester.
Tolliver: Students can look forward to news on campus and, of course, entertainment news. We will have a lot of students come on the show to promote their business and talents. We are also going to capture moments outside of Mason as well!
Sharpe: The Mason community can look forward to even more coverage on Mason events, such as fashion shows, events and activities. We are planning the best season yet and can’t wait to get started next semester.
Keeys: Mason students can look forward to more in-depth topics on occurring things on campus and in the social media world, as well as trying to work alongside with organizations and film for big events for Mason.
Do you have any advice for students who are interested in media?
Ortiz: My biggest advice is, even if you don’t have experience, to come out. I’m the only media production major on the team, but because everyone has other hobbies outside of their major we find roles for everyone. We’re a family. Truly. A lot of people say their organization is a family, but we truly support each other and are inclusive to any and everyone who joins our show.
Tolliver: If students are interested in joining The Spill, please don’t be afraid to message us on Instagram or send us an email!
Nicole: If you are interested in media (reach out to us @thespillgmu) but also try different organizations and clubs out. I would play around with making flyers, blog posts and/or websites. Mason has so much to offer when it comes to media. It’s all about networking and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Keeys: My advice for people who like to be in media is to get involved and try to make a prevalent change. Try to always network and engage with other people and push yourself to do things that you never imagined you would do. For myself, I never imagined being in front of the camera filming with other students in the Johnson Center of Mason and so I expressed to all students in [student] media to exceed your expectations. Try to become creative and find outlets that best fit you! In conclusion, surround yourself with positive people and people who push you into [the] right direction for yourself.
You graduate this semester, Reagan! Do you have any plans post-graduation?
Ortiz: I originally had a plan in line that would set me up to potentially have a job post-graduation, but with the current state of classes and the economy. My plan is currently being adapted and changed as we move forward. I am currently seeking employment in the news reporting field as a multimedia journalist.