How a Girl from Indiana with No Show Biz Connections Ended Up "Here"

It felt like an impossible dream since I was stuck in the middle of “Nowheresville, Indiana.”  When I was a little girl,  I escaped into the make believe world of television shows.  Visions of meeting the stars that came into my living room via the TV set danced in my head as I daydreamed that I would one day work in the world of entertainment. 

Marianne Schwab is a Former National Network
TV Talk Show Producer based in Los Angeles.

But there was just one problem.  One very big problem.  All the “show biz jobs” were located a world away in New York and Los Angeles and it seemed like the odds were stacked way against me ever getting hired on a television show, let alone getting out of Indiana.  But it all started with a little girl’s dream.

Hey, there.  I’m Marianne Schwab and I’m a former national network TV Talk Show Producer.  I guess you could say I’m just one of those typical overnight success stories that took ten years.   Now, after being a TV Producer for over two decades, I guess you could say that I make what I do look easy, but it didn’t start out that way, I assure you.    

I grew up in a tiny house in a small town and my parents both worked full-time jobs to make ends meet “back then.”  In fact, my mom once bragged to her friends that she got my entire back-to-school wardrobe at garage sales.  I was so embarrassed that we were poor and I’ll never forget the stench on my winter coat that year because my mom couldn’t even afford to have it dry-cleaned.

My first “cell phone.” A Producer’s #1 Tool.

Well, I guess it’s no wonder that I escaped into the make believe world of television shows and dreamed that I’d one day work in the entertainment industry and meet the stars who came into my living room on the TV screen. 

I hated that the family budget was tight so I looked for ways to make my own money.  I found lots of odd jobs as a kid to scrape together a couple bucks here and there and then at twelve, I started delivering a paper route.  I also had a babysitting business taking care of a lot of the kids in my neighborhood and, when I was old enough at sixteen, I started waiting tables AND working at a local Target to finance my college education (and ultimately my dream of moving to New York City).  Such glamorous beginnings, right? 

Then, when I turned twenty-one,  I set out for the Big Apple.   With my college degree in one hand and a $1,000 loan from my local bank in the other,  I got hired right away on a TV Talk Show as a producer.….right away SIX years later. 

Since I had absolutely no contacts in show biz, I would struggle for years and years working office temp jobs as a secretary and living paycheck to paycheck before I made that magical connection that ultimately put my career as a TV Talk Show Producer on track.  Because at the end of the day, it’s all about WHO you know.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, I had to learn how to be a talk show producer and they really didn’t teach this in school.  My classes at NYU were about the nuts and bolts of producing so I started studying colleagues that I admired to see how they did it.  

On the set in New York City with Regis Philbin.

So, you see, when I got hired as a Segment Producer on my first TV Talk Show, I didn’t exactly know what I was doing.  Sure, I’d produced a couple of short films, but a daily TV show is a lot different.  I was basically thrown into the “deep end” and told to “swim.”

At first, I had a few segments bomb but after licking my wounds, I analyzed the disasters and re-calibrated my methods.  Begging for a life preserver was not an option since I had to figure it out because this was my big break I’d been dreaming about since high school so I had to figure out the recipe for the secret sauce or my career could have been over as soon as it began.

Eventually, I mastered the winning formula to hit a home run with almost every single segment and interview I produced and that’s how I help my clients today.  I take everything I learned from being a TV insider, including my connections, to get my clients on TV. 

You see, it is all about who you know.  And NOW, you know ME!

Oh, and you know those celebrities that came into my living room via the TV set? I met a lot of them as a producer and it was so thrilling to work with them and see my dreams come true.

Now, I have a special invitation for you to join me and my community of positive minded people in my Facebook Group to Grow Your Business with Video . I can’t wait to connect with you there.

Follow Marianne on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Copyright © 2020 by Marianne Schwab. All Rights Reserved..

Author: marianneschwablive

Marianne Schwab is the author of "The Insider’s Guide to Media Training" and, as a Content Creation Strategist, she is the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to tell your story, get you booked on TV, and media train you on how to ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe, a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

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