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- Joe Morabito '06 - ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars'
Joe Morabito '06 - ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars'
Joe Morabito '06 is an early riser. Even on his days off, he's up at 6:45 a.m.-and it's that kind of drive, and restlessness, that has helped Morabito build a career in one of this country's toughest industries: Hollywood.
The Curry College communication program graduate is busy working for one of the most popular shows on television: ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." Morabito recently started a job as an Associate Producer on the show, after wrapping up a 7 month stint with CBS Television's "The Talk."
"When you're out here, you go through the nice gates, pull into a studio lot, you have a parking space, you get your golf cart, there are all the stages. It's typical of what you think Hollywood is."
But, it's not all glitz and glamour for Morabito. He's hard at work-with a long to-do list every day.
"I'm managing the celebrities," Morabito says, explaining his new role. "I'll be setting up their rehearsal schedules, booking the rehearsal locations, also hiring local crews, ordering equipment, and setting up the remote packages that highlight each of the celebrities."
It's a job Morabito earned thanks to a connection he made three years ago.
"I got a random phone call from a producer that I worked for back in 2010. She called me out of the blue, thought I'd be a great fit. I hadn't spoken to her in probably two years, and then all of a sudden, she sees a position, thinks of me, and calls me."
But, building those connections took work and dedication in two of the country's entertainment hubs: New York City and Los Angeles.
"By the time I graduated I did four internships," Morabito says.
Among those internships was a semester long stint at MTV in New York City. Morabito credits those experiences with helping him build a roster of influential contacts.
Morabito urges current students to be open-minded when selecting their internships.
"Don't be picky, don't be close-minded. Everyone thinks that everyone either produces or directs and those are the only two jobs. But they're not. There are a million and one positions. It takes an army to put on a show and then a job for every single detail of that show. You just have to take every opportunity you can. Never turn down an opportunity because you think it's not going to lead to what you want to be doing, because it probably will in some twisted way."
Morabito learned that first-hand during the winter of his junior year. He was part of the first group to travel to Los Angeles with Communication Department Co-chair Jerry Gibbs.
"Had Jerry not taken us on the 'Hollywood Productions: Up Close' class trip, I would not have met who I needed to meet in order to make my L.A. connections," Morabito recalls. "Because Curry is a small college Jerry was able to pay closer attention to each of us as individuals, and really give us the one-on-one time we need. I really think the most beneficial thing Jerry did me for was taking me to Hollywood for that week. That made all the difference."
And, Morabito has become one of those connections himself. Recently, he helped fellow alumni Mike Dacri '09 and Allen Yannone '11, and current communication student Shailaigh Sinnott '13 earn jobs as Story Assistants for an upcoming "Dancing With the Stars" shoot in Boston.
Meanwhile, other students are set to get a host of new opportunities on the west coast. Curry recently held a ribbon cutting in Hollywood, launching a new internship program that will offer students the chance to spend a full semester in Los Angeles.
Curry recently held a ribbon cutting in Hollywood, launching a new internship program that will offer students the chance to spend a full semester in Los Angeles.
"I wish I had that. I think that's huge. I think it's amazing," Morabito says. "The most important part of doing an internship is to meet people that you need to network with in order to get into this field."
It's a field Morabito is passionate about. One day he hopes to climb the ranks and become a producer-eventually working on live television specials.
"I feed off the insanity. I don't like to sit still," Morabito says, explaining why he's drawn to the hectic-and often stressful word of live television.
"I like that it's constantly changing, you're not doing the same thing all year long. You work hard to put on this big, grand show, and then you start from scratch on the next one. I enjoy that."
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