14 Jul Brooke Anderson – A Day in The Life
We are on the set of Entertainment Tonight (ET) with host Brooke Anderson, in CBS Studio 4. At one point during the filming of a story, the guest Mary Murphy, looking at the picture of Dr Oz in the background, points out how terrible he looks. His face is grey, hair unkempt, his mouth gaping. Brooke turns to look and after a pause, says, “Poor guy, he didn’t have the benefit of hair and make up”. That sums up Brooke Anderson perfectly. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve met – genuinely caring, self-deprecating and gracious to a tee.
Photos by Dana Adams. Story by Mark Castellino.
Her morning routine starts with hair and makeup at 8.15am, then a voiceover session in a tiny room in a nondescript block on the CBS studio lot. Afterwards, we walk over to the secret location of the new Big Brother set. Brooke is instructed to arrive in the studio golf cart, so that it can be filmed as a teaser for the evening show. We are not allowed to see the set but Brooke tells us to hang out in her office, make ourselves comfortable, she won’t be long.
Filming starts around 11am, and it is 90 minutes of a mixture of scripted and adlibbed segments, during which Brooke is at ease, un-selfconscious and delivers her lines flawlessly. “We are encouraged to show our personality and express opinions on stories – though we still need to hit the facts and provide the relevant information,” she says. After the show she will run around town, spending her day researching stories for future broadcast. The next day she does it all over again.
If it seems her schedule is monotonous, her life is anything but routine. She was once assigned to three different stories in Dallas and New York, within a 48 hour period. And the stories are not studio bound. Filming a piece for ‘Visit California’, she volunteered to go skydiving. “I was petrified”, she said, “because I have a fear of heights. I was crying and shaking uncontrollably but when I commit to something I don’t want to back out.”
Another time she flew with the Air Force Thunderbirds in Death Valley. “I knew it would be a once in a lifetime experience I could not pass up. I embraced the thrill and luckily did not lose my lunch during the G-force pressure or maneuvers. They do call them ‘vomit commits’ you know.”
Brooke moved to Los Angeles in 2004. She was working for CNN at the time, and they transferred her from the Atlanta office. “I was based in LA but also worked in New York a good deal. I have a love affair with this city. It is so energizing yet relaxed at the same time. My family visits a lot because they love it too and they know I need their help. As all working mamas know, it’s not easy juggling a career and family, but I am lucky that my mom and dad are quick to jump on a plane if I send out the SOS. My husband is extremely supportive but he too has a demanding job in commercial real estate development with CIM Group. We are constantly striving to lift each other up and we always laugh at the craziness of our lives at this stage. It really takes a village but I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
Despite giving birth to her second daughter just 6 months ago, Brooke is trim and surprisingly healthy looking for someone who surely needs more sleep. Part of her fitness could be attributed to her hectic schedule but she also works at it. “I try to eat clean and healthy. I drink a lot of water. I like yoga, circuit training, jogging – a little bit of everything. I mix it up. All that said, I don’t deprive myself. I love wine, dessert, junk food, sweets, just like most people. I really try to limit it to one Krispy Kreme though, and not go crazy with the entire box. Moderation. Key.”
In her office, she has framed pictures on the wall which show her covering the recent British Royal Wedding and shaking hands with celebrities. Various awards too. The show just won an Emmy. In a fickle entertainment industry, it’s nice to come across someone passionate about her work, and who still remains largely untouched by the fame. Entertainment Tonight tempted her from CNN three years ago, and it seems they both made a wise choice.
About the photographer: Dana Adams has spent her life working on both sides of the lens. With a few international campaigns running, Adams continues to push the front end of the lens. However, dubbed as a “Photographic Life Coach” her true passion resides in transforming Models into Role Models on the back end. loveinlalaland.com