Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
And So She Goes
And So She Goes

Episode 19 · 1 year ago

18. Amber Theoharis, Emmy Winning Journalist, Producer, VP Programming for WinQuik

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It's not until you dig a little deeper into Amber Theoharis' career that you will learn that time and time again, someone else got the job she auditioned for. Luckily, she didn't let that stop her. It took Amber 9 years to make the jump from local TV to the national level. She's worked for Fox Sports, FS1, NFL Network, and Westwood One. She's covered Super Bowls, she's interviewed countless athletes, worked football sidelines, and hosted tons of live shows. She also produces documentaries, one that will be released on HBO very soon. She recently created a role for herself for a new gaming app, as the VP of Original Programming for WinQuik.

Conversations with real women who makesports happen, this is, and so she goes- here's your host, Amanda Morgeous, Hello. There thanks for tuning in, Ihope, you're doing well, if you're new to the show. This is an interview basedpondcast that highlights top women in the sports industry. Hi've worked insports broadcasting for several years and I created this platform simply toshare the stories of awesome women. Doing really amazing things in thisindustry. So this week my guest is ambertheoheris she's, an my awardwinning journalist, who's, hosted multiple live, shows and interviewedathletes for foxboards fs, one Westwood One and an Afhol network she's, also adocumentary producer who has a new film coming out on HBO at the end of Julythat she produced alongside Michael Phelps, and we do talk about that inthis episode. She's also working on another meaningful film about race andequality as well. EAMBER is really inspiring because she's tough she's hada successful career on a national scale, but she didn't get to the big networksovernight. In fact, she got a lot of nose for many many years before she gother big break. We talk a lot about all of her auditions and how she got backup time and time again. We talk about how she pimited her career, to make aname for herself producing and writing and creating behind the scenes and,most recently amber entered a new rule as the vice president of programmingfor a new trivia, Gamea called winquick. We talk about how that came to be andwhat it means for her career. I hope you're inspired by amber and her story.Her is my chat with sports journalist and master piboter and berth bioheris, hey ember. How are you I thanks for having me Amanda I've beenwaiting to get on this podcast we've had a lot of technological issues, butwe're here weare here the joys of recording frommiles away and technology getting in the way, but we finally made it work.Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for your patience. There is a lotto get into and not only because of how much has been going on lately in theworld, but also because you're working on a brand new project and I'm soexcited to get to that. But first I wantnot rewind a bit. I Wan to helplisteners get to know more about you and your career and where you came fromso, let's start where you grew up and how you got into sports. I grew up in Middletown Maryland, whichis um outside of Washington DC and outside ofBaltimore. It's about equidistant from both cities in Maryland and centralMaryland, and I was an athlete I came from a big sports family. I I letteredin three sports in high school. My Dad was a baseball coach, my uncle's afootball coach, so e. That was just what we did. We went to either ourbrothers or sisters or cousins games. It seems like every weekend all weekendand if we weren't playing in Agame, we were Um playing something in our back yard thathad to do a sport, so it just was who our family was. How did you know thatyou wanted to get into broadcasting? You know it's weird, I don't everremember not wanting to do it. So it's something that just was ingrained to mefrom really young age, and I guess the earliest. I I wrote it down was aseventh grade guidance, councellor report. That said, what do you want tobe when you grow up, and I wrote sports reporter? So that's the firstdocumented evidence, but it's just I always I like talking Um, I likestories, I like writing and I love sports, so I think somewhere in myadolescent brain I put that all together, and here we are that'samazing. Seventh grade not everyone...

...knows in seventh grade what they wantto do with their lives is seventh grade. I I wrote it down andI just remember all through high school. I wanted to go to college with a goodjournalism school and I was I was one of the few people that was lucky enoughto know what I wanted to do pretty young. So what was your first job out ofcollege? Well, my first job actually happenedwhen I was in college, my junior and senior year. I worked as a productionassistant and then like a grap fix, associate producer at W JLA inWashington DC channel seven, and it was the AB C affiliate there in DC a bigpolitical market. It was right in the middle of the Monica Lewinsky Clinton Scandals A.I know I dated myself there, but, but it was, it was an awesome place tobe in my home town in my home area and that that was my first job and thenmy first on Airjob was in Stasbury Maryland, which is a whole formin world.To me, it's out on the eastern shore on the a different side of the ChessapeakBay that could have been more different than the Baltimore Washington area, andI went out there as a general assigment reporter and that's where I started soa lot of people that graduate from college and no they want to either workin news or sports. A lot of people have to move to a super small town to gettheir start, a town that maybe you've never even heard of, but it must havebeen really special for you to get the chance to cover your hometown teams aspart of your first few years in the business I did but noted not on air. So when Iwas working in Washington ton D C, I was working in the I tam department.So I really wasn't doing sports a d then towards thegain I did some sports,but not really Um. I was doing more news and politics, and so then, when Imoved out to my first on Air Gig, it was all the things you just said. Itwas even though it was only three hours away from where I grew up. It's almosta different country, if you know anything about Maryland, who justicbayseparates this really agriculture, a rural area and then the western side ofthe the bay is completely urban asuburban scrawl. So I was coveringsoybean prices and learning what attractor or combine was 'cause. Thisis what mattered to the people they're going to local town home medians, so Ididn't get to cover sports. I didn't even get to cover the triple a or thesingle, a affiliate for the Baltimore Orols that was out on the eastern shore,because I wasn't a Sportsword worer there. I didn't. I didn't actually geta job in sports until pretty about four or five years into my career. So howdid you transition from talking about soybean prices too, then getting a jobcovering sports? Well, when I was working up in Long Island, so I wentfrom Salisbury up to Newstwall Long Island and I was doing traffic andweather it just I wanted to do anything I could to get into a big market, so Iwas doing that at Newswall, Long Island, which was a great station and what Iwould do as just volunteer to produce any time I could for sports. I wouldsay: Hey, I really no sports. I know I'm on Aur News, but you know if youever heed somebody fe and on here Tso I produced a couple of their sports castsjust to be able to sort of build that resume. But then I left there and Iwent on to WNBC and New York where I was a general assignment reporter. So Ikind of shot up the ranks in the world of news. You know I was twenty twentythree years old when I got a chibd at w NBC Channel Four, which was a big dealand I was working in their chopper and that was another amazing experience allthe while wanting to do sports and not knowing how I was ever going to getinto it, but just riding the wave Um that I was having and I just set as apipany one day in the helicopter. I was like I'm going to die in this thing.First of all, because it's we had too many close clop calls with the engine,and I caught up my age at the time e said. I don't even want to be doingthis on I'm going to die doing this, so you Dow can. Can you do anything youcan to find me a job in sports anywhere...

...in the country, and so he found me ajob as a weekend. Sports Anker at WSYX, in Columbus, Ohio and I went out to Wotto be- is the Midwest. I know to people from Ohio Therho consider them it was,but it was definitely in middle America. You know- and it was you know- Collegetown with Ohio, Sta and the Buckeyes, and that's why I first started coveringcollege football and they had a professional hockey team, the bluejackets and they had a indoor football team. So an they had a triple at Yankees team atthe time. So ive got to cover some great sports as a weekand sportzszanker,and then I ended up going back to Baltimore after that to box to be aweekend. Sports Anker in Baltimore, and I kind of took off from there Columbusis a cool place to coer or plaseonder estimate Columbus, Ohio. It was a greatcity, great restaurants, great people. I really love my time there I feel verylucky to have been exposed to that city. I would have never thought of it, sowere you hired as the first female sports anchor in Columbus? I was Iweleave and I I was told- and I haven't done the research on this- that I wasthe first female in all of Ohio to hold anghor position at a local station.Wowo words anchor yeah, you know it 'as kind of it was kind of the moment. Word I how to describe it. It wasn'tsomething you're proud of it's almost something you're sad about murde. Howis it, how is it two thousand an five and on the first, that's that'sunfortunate for all of the women that can't beform me that deserve a shotthat that just in the new millennia is the first time a female got a positionlike this. When many deserved it before me, so I don't think Thi Oer arsomething that has been ate the badge of honor. It's been more of a wake up,call of why I need to work harder and why I need to maintain a ey profile andso hopefully open the doors for people behind me. So we st I want to be thelast first. You know I want to be the last of them yeah. Do you think youunderstood the magnitude of being the first at that time? Or is it only onceyou look back and realize what that meant? I think only once you lookedback an and you no almost what fifteen years laterand a whole career later and all that I've been through is a woman in sports, realizing the importance of doing that job that small drove in Ohioand doing it well, and so I I took it, I took my jobs very seriously, everyposition 'cause I was, I think what that job made me realize is we aren'tall equil. I was raised to believe men and women are equal and you can do whatthe boys could do and that wasn't true, because that wasn't how the World SongMe- and that was a tough realization that, while I think I can do everything,the boys can do, people that are looking at you, people that makedecisions and hiring Um, just perceptions that are out there sexis onall. That makes it not equal. So you have to you have to be even better than theboys y. You can't be good, you have to be the best. You have to work, yourbutt off. You can't make you pantaform mistakes, because people want to use itas an excuse to face, see she's a female. This is why she shouldn't bedoing it. So I think of anything of just looking back at spurt, my driveand I always was driven, but my drive too, to really be responsible with myposition as a woman is worse yeah and it's clear we, we still have work to doand tweant an twenty. You know e're halfway through twenty twenty and thereare still so many trolls that you see all over the internet that are blastingfemales in sports yeah. It's very it's gotten better. I mean, I know thatyou're younger than me, and I don't know what your personal experience hasbeen, but it's gotten better 'cause, it's gone from. It was a very credibleviewpoint to think that women shouldn't be doing this and it was a mats amountof people too Um. Now it's flitloptd...

...and now it's a minority of people thatstill are holding on and those are the People Ho'll. Never you know they justalmost need to die out that generation, 'll, never they'll, never see thelights or they'll, never appreciate somebody for their knowledge, andthat's there's just always going to be people like that in the world. Youcan't do anything about them. No, no! I think, in order to stay positive, Ijust try to recognize women like you and so many others whoreally are making a positive impact on the sports industry and showing thathey women can do this job. They're they're doing it currently and theywill continue to do so, so I'm I'm hoping that we continue to move in apositive direction. L So after your time in Columbus, afterworking, verysmall local, you you've Ma, you made the jump to the national level, soyou've worked for foxports FS, one N FL network. Do you remember what yourauditions were like for those rules? Well, yeah. I mean I got those roles.Do you want to talk all other ones? I didn't get. You know it's funny. Whenyou look back at your history and somebody says: Well, you ged all thesesmall jobs and then you made the jump buttween. Those small jobs in the jumpwas nine years Yep. So I was in the local DC Baltimore market from twothousand and four Twell oing, eight years, two thousand and twelve. I do itby baseball seasons, and that was a long time and the wholetime that I was there. I worked for different Um. You know I started withthe local and en I went to a regional I did some correspond at work: Fra, Illbe,network N, w. You do all this, but in the meantime you're auditioning liecrazy. I must have auditioned at ESPN, I'm not kidding you five or six times reear span. It was like every time theywere going to launch a new show, and this I can. I can take you back to thattime. 'cause you'll go oh yeah. Every time they ren O waunch a new show. Itwas me and someone else me and someone else mat and they and they pickedsomeone else. So it was me and Michelle beadle. They picked Michele Beatle. Itwas me and Chris attonesent for number suver lie. They pick Cursa Thomson Umthe first one. It was me and Daniell sergeant for es news. They pick DanielSarton, so that story is never told and M. my sister always laughs. ECAUSEshe's, like people, well look at your career and say oh you're, so sucesuccessful there was a I it wasn't a straight uphill climb. There was a lotof I'm never going to make this. Maybe it's just not in t e cards there was afrustration of. I know I can be the best at this Um in the country. I knowI can be one of the top people to do this, but I'm not getting the chanceand one of the things I I didn't love auditioning. I thought it was really atough position to put people in ut. You know you go on a set, you don't Nov thegraphics, you don't know the director in your ear you just it's Kinda likegoing down hill on a roller coastser all through the audition, and you K, W I had to at one point did helplike a broadcast coach to specifically work on audition and specifically we'reon what Ame I saying an interviews. I had to really look at why? Why do theylike me enough to get down to the flannel too? And I can't get over thathop and you know part of it was just it. It was just luck, you know bad luck orat that point you know you know you're good you're, just o getting the breakand that's show business but um so yeah those those auditions. Nobodyasked me about, but I remember I auditioned for Nifal Network. That wasmy jump to to the national level Um, and I was I was so tired of gettingrejected, and I was waiting to hear back from firsttake before carry champion was on it again. They picked carry so hadaudition for first chame Wi me and carry champion I'm waiting here back. Iget a call fom my age and he says hey.

I need Yo to fly out to la. They want oaudition o friend of the network. To me, L A was a distant magical land that Ireally only went to to cover angels games with the Oriel. So I had nointention of moving my family. I had a two year old at the time to the WestCoast. So whatever I'll fly out there, I went out my heart. Wasn't there? Idon't think I think I didn't care anymore and maybe that's what cameacross just te looseness in a comfort. It was really that I didn't care. Ijust expected to not get it. I think, like AOL show for this one too, andthey called me before. I got back on the plane that night and said Yeure whowe want, and so that's when I I moved three weeks later, Maman hasn't madethe decision to give it a shot now or never. So we moved out to l a a D thatwas eight years ago. Wow Yeah. I'm glad that you tell those stories, becauseit's true no one hears about the auditions that don't go in your favorbecause w you know like where would we hear that story? Why would you wouldyou ask that? Could I wat away from MA ESP N my first oyscanadition thinkingthey will never call me again, I bombed when I say I bombed. I can't eventhere's not even a word for how bad I was. I was young. I was nervous. I hadtravel issues going in the day before it was a two thousand and fourDemocratic National Convention hat shut down the airport that was inMassachusett, so it was just a mess trying to get to Pristo Connecticut. Ithink I got in at three am and I auditioned at seven M- Oh my God, you ca't, there was no cuses. Eiter eperformed enough in that those minutes or you did and I did it and I think if,if I could say anything to young people about those moments, you really do have a choice. You caneither hut it under a rock and crumble and think everything's over or you cansay. Okay. What did I learn from that? It sucked yeah? I was reallyembarrassed Um. I always thought when I got that big moment. I would step up tothe challenge, but life doesn't always work out like like that, and you haveto figure out how to pitit. How do you I had a good friend say to me once youknow how discouraged I was with not getting jobs. She said you're allowedto lick your wiunds for a little bit, but eventually you're going to have toget back up. So take your time right now lick your wounds, wallow and yourMisisouri, but I want to call you back in a couple of days, you're Goin, toget back up, I as like all right all right so sa she talked it through itwith me. How? How are you going to do better? You know so having people likethat n my life when helped that's it's huge because truly in this business,it's so subjective, where, even if you had the best audition ever and you wereextremely qualified for the role you couldave done a great job, they couldbe looking for someone else, so it doesn't even matter they could haveasetic look in their mind. They could have L ke. There are so many traits andand things that go into people being chosen for Honair jobs that even thoughwe we know that in the back of our heads like all of those nose when theyadd up like I give you a lot of credit for for continuing on, because that ittakes a lot of courage to get back up and and keep trying 'cause thee.There's so much at stake, you know like there is, but I think that's why youstay in is because there is so much at sake. You've put so much of yourself adyour harmd soul into this direction, and and if one audition or tennelauditions miss take you off of that path, then you probably weren'tsupposed to do this anyway. You weren't meant to do this 'cause this I teach aUSC. I teach sports commentary and it's it's so wonderful for me to be aroundthese students they're, so brilliant they're, they're, most junior seniors,an gret students and they I try to really instoll for them.What they're about to enter with or about to be up against, and if I say to them, you need to make thechoice. If you do want to do this, if you really think that you have to do itbecause you can't not do it, that makes...

...sense, there's people that want to dosomething and then there's people that have to do something because they can'tdo anything else in their mind, they're t y. This is what they are and there'sa million problems that comes with that later we talk. ABOUTA, your identity isin your career R. You you have to be like that. In order to succeed in thisindustry 'cause it is so it's brutal. I I'm not trying I used to hear olderwomen say to me like the SIPERAL business ever you want to do this night.I do Wyre you so bitter or man she'll ou, you know now I'm like, Oh, theythey had been through what I was about to go through, got it okay. So I thinklike when I look at younger younger people. Now I make an effort not to be bitter aboutit, but o be like this is. This is what it is and IT CUN be. The greatest Imean I feel, like I've never worked in my life. You know I've never felt likeI've had a job. It's I've loved working. I've had the greatest experience M, butwith it comes a lot of heartbreak along the way, and you have to learn to not take it personal, which isso hard because I think a type personalities going to this businessand we we tend to think hightly of ourselves and especially when we'reyoung, we don't have that wisdom yet that perspective on life and thatability to not take it personal, it's very hard, and I I do feel furespecially toung women of the business. When I, when they come to me, there'snothing. I can do to protect them from the growth that they have to go through,that they will go through right well and look at look at all ofthose nose where it led you to today. You know looking back on your career, Ifeel, like I'm sure, it's it's so fulfilling now for you to be able tohave like. You can now tell me stories of the multiple superbowls that you'vecovered and all of these athletes that you've interviewed ind. The shows thatyou posted like you've had all these amazing experiences and I'm sure y yousavor them even more because of what you went through. So I think Y, I think when you know youworked really hard for what you have and many things were taken away from youprogressively along the way and ou had to regroup and built back up and thenMre. You know like I try to really take away thes simageof an uphilk clime. It's it's like an uphill time when they're gettingknocked all the way down to the bottom, then get I m halfway up and then knocktil the way down, and it's your ability when you're at the bottom to decidelike ight. This mountain is worth trying again. So I yes ta your question. Yes, I do Ido I always never. I never took it forGreaion'tastay. I never did, but I now I definitely don't take it for grantedthe life that I've been able to have and all tha all the challenges thathave come with it. I'V, I've embraced that and I think it's it's been a goodlife so to Pivit just a little bit you've.You are a storyteller on multiple levels, because you know you startedout on the production side. You still continue to do that and we will getinto that and then you've also been in front of the cameras, broadcaster andinterviewer a host. In your opinion, what makes someone a good storyteller? That is a great question. I think the ability like you just didto ask great questions. You are curious by nature. You need to knowhow things work. You have a general, a general interest in people, that'sinsatiable! I I've! Always since I was a kid, my mom and say don't talk tostrangers and I've go they're. Like my name's abretheoharrs, I live atthirtyteen ninety three and with this court she' like Yo, you can't talk topeople like that. So I just I think I love the human experience. I lovedifferences in people. I truly believe that everybody has a story and mostpeople don't get to tell it, because...

...nobody asked them the question so orany questions you just kind of progress, tough, your life, so I I've always liketo be that person that stops and ask the questions and I'm als adork I'dlike to learn. I actually liked college I'd like learning about like knowledge.I would never use like Constitutional Lawan SFF. Like that. I did. I love history. I still read alot F, I'm just I'm a Gen, I'm I'm genuinely curious about people, and Ithink it's that basic. That makes you a good story, teller, but also you needthe ability to flush out in your mind. Why does the story need to be told, soanybody can say well, that's really interesting. I think where the talentas a story tulker comes in as to say, does this need to be told? How does itneed to be told who doesn't need to be told to and what's the action plan to tell it?That's that's the difference between something, that's just curious andsomebody. That's a working storyteller yeah. Absolutely I completely relate tothat. I mean that's why I started this show. There are so many women who workin sports that I was either constantly meeting or just you know, seeing on theInternet and I'm like, I want to know their stories. How come hewcome, no oneis sharing their stories Um. so that's everybody has a story. Thi ReallyRemember. Who was the actress that won the Oscar h for the billboard movie? Ican't even think of o friend Frawanis, her name Yo k w she stood up, thoughyou know right in the middle. She won right in the middle of the me too Umyetting a couple of years ago, and she said I went all the women in the roomto stand up ow that was a rood full of of story, tellers editors, producers, everythinganimators, and she said every single one of these women have a story to tellabout their exp experience as uniquely as a woman, and she was so right and Ithink you've identified that and you've made a poecast out of it. So thanks fordoing this and theyclear when its voices are women's, voises are some ofthe most powerful. We just have such a unique pespective one life. Absolutelywe do and there's one part of being a woman that I want to talk to you aboutand that's having a family and having a career and figuring out how to balanceboth. I know you have three kids. How do you manage to give time to everyoneand everything I don't I I see, I see reising a family in thisindustry and to me that's my greatest accomplishment is my three kids andthey're more important than anything that I do, but I need to do what I doto be Ma and to be a good mother, and I had to accept that and get rid of theguilt of you know. Other mothers give up theircareers to give everything to their kids, and I just knew if I did that Iwould not be a good mother and I think, there's something to be said for seeingyour mother produce a movie that goes on each Yo ever seen. Your mother go towork as a teacher like I did every day, you know, Um have something for herself.U, there was ther stremendous value in that, and I wanted my kids. I just thought as biunit we would all be better Um. If, if I was who I am, then it didn't try tobe who I never wanted to be, which was a stay at home mom, but as a result, you never you never have it all rightlike so having it all, is a moving target. When I was twenty Yo said youhad you're going to be leating by the beach in La three healthy kids, aloving husband, a great career. You work for you. He wanted emy. All thatI'd be like Woa. I really got it all like. I would't have just oh wow, I'mgoin Ta to great that you know, and you tell me that now and I see have it at all and those few moments where I do feel likeI have it under control right. It's really like a becaume miir level likeokay. My kids are happy emotionally they're, okay, which is a challengeevery day cause I'm sureyou, know...

...everybody's going through the remotionsof coved. Oh and my my phone just got sold at Ghbo, and this just happenedand okay, I'm good for right now and then the phone rings and something hitsTe Tan. You know and then you're back into the scramble load. So I try totake it from a differen approach of like Yoeyou're, never going to have atall, but yget have moments of great happiness and an ad moments. So what Icall builting, where you've got to go through the grind and You'e better gothrough a little bit of the Um, be a little bit uncomfortable to get tothose those moments where you just sit back and say. Well this this is a goodday. This was a y count. Your winds on a daily basis, not on some big overallhierarcan theme of having it all. And it's you know my for my kids. It'sit's tough, I' N! I was sitting here today. I had to go on a bike. Rout wit,my oldest 'cause. She said I was working too much and I s and I had to figure out what todo with the little kids 'cause. Nobody wants to. You know let their interactduring comet Sori to figure out what to do with Haw, and I it was. It was somuch effort just to go on a fifteen minute bike ride and then, of course, Iwas behind all my calls. Wi O my Namos, but you have to take that pause becauseI lwas say in the end: It's not on my Tomestone, it's not going to say a wordwinning journalist, an story, teller's Goin to stay bllop and mother, andthat's what it's about in the edge. Absolutely, I think having it all isalmost like it's it's it's false like that. Doesn't exist. You know, likeeveryone has their own priorities. Everyone has something that's importantto them, multiple things that are important to them and you just have to figure out how howto make it all work as best you can for you and for your family. But I loveyour point of view of your career. Is is important to you, but it's not like some people. Somepeople have said that working mothers are selfish right because they can'tdevote all their time to their kids. But your point of view, it's you're, giving your kids somethingto look to to then hopefullyemulyte one day like there ere, so many people thatare like. Oh, I did. I wanted to go to med school, because my mom was a nursebecause my my dad was a doctor because I wanted to become an asthronaup,because my mom worked for Anassa, like it's there's so much value in yourdaughter, especially your daughters, and my son too. I I hope my son marriesa woman that has bulls for herself yeah ecause. He saw his mother. DO IT UMbacking up to wor you what you first said about Um people saying working mothers areselfish. how Ar cake is that white won Har will say working fathers orselfishmy. My husband works with buttup. He is just as active of a father as Iam an active mother, but for some reason somebody would judge me and sayI Seles, but they would never say, he's selfish. I know those are the kind ofunderlying sexist Um feelings and bias that are that stillexistn ut. It's so sad that we have to defend that, but I wanted to tell youabout a moment where I just got I'm working on a second documentary by theway Shamewas Plugg, my first one, the weight of gold is airing on HBO July.Twenty ninth at nine PM check it out H my Sep laned, on asking about that. Bythe way we e Havt Gott aretshameless flogyou have to be a master at justlike totally houring yourself out for po O in Yo, O wor, O story. Teller gofor it so, and I I'm working on another one that I'm I'm even more excitedabout atrue passion project and it really ties in with what's going onwith the racial tension, racial tensions in the world today and theBlack Lads matter of movement, and we were working on it way before this newawakening. So that makes me even more proud Um that my group was working onthat, but my daughter Ben nine years old she's heard so much about thisblack white thing. What's going on who'se George Floyd, it's confusing atthat age n is really tough as apparent to try to explain all of America in one you know sitting and theirbrainsjust can't understand it, and so...

...she got to see a cut of the reel thatI'm working on for the movie and the questions that came out of that cut.Shewas like this is your movie mommy. You wrote this yes wow what she started.Asking e very potent questions in very advanced questions, because the moviehelped her understand what was going with race in America at least begin toask questions and understand a little bit, and that was a proud moment for mebecause she sees me working at this desk at the computer, but she neverknows what's happening and she just thought it was really really cool thatI was doing that and that made me pray that one day she'll look back on thisfivotal time in our country and say I was nine, but my mother was part of thefight and my mother was you know. My mother was was one of the people thatcared and tried to use her position, T to change the world wow. I just gotchills hat, that's so cool an I'm glad that you brought this up because I didwant to trandition into this you. You have unique experience because you'veacted as a producer in different ways and so you're. Now, using thatexperience to be a writer and a producer first on the HBO documentarythat you coexecutive produce alongside Michael Phelps right. So that was yourfirst one, so Howin with headody an bectures got to give them a shalt. OurtRatgan APOM is the director and and hb it's been congalomerate effort. It always is. It always is how did thatcome about? You know that I, I always loved longform storytelling, but I had never done it because it takes time and it takeseffort at research Um. It just happened. It's such a weird story. I I haven'teye disease called CARATCONUS and a director I worked with at NFL network along time ago. I had since left and started his own production companycalled pordium pictures and he was doing very well and he saw me tweet outsomething about an experimental surgery. I had with the doctor in ele to triedto save my vision and he got in contact with me becausehe had the same eye disease and had never heard of anybody having it. So wehe was asking me about getting the surgery. I told him. I beally changedmy life. He said by the way. Do you know the name of this surgery is namedafter a Bolb? A? U S box flitter, who was the first person to have thesurgery be successful? He was going blind h. He had already won two goldmedals and this experimental surgery say decision and now he's going back toVancouver n hes expected to lead. You know t the Americans to gold, and Isaid this is a story: How what did we do? And so I had never been in thatspace before o long formand. So we mat Breton knife from the ground up juststarted going under harmor trying to get money. So we did pure indefilm.Well Long Story Short, and I don't mean to like go over this too quickly,because it is a deep issue. Unfortunately, right after herinterview, his name is stepen Holdthem Wat, Stephen Holom, the Bob Setter. Hecommitted suicide and Um, and he had talked to me about truginwith depression and he had tried to Commin toicide. For so we had the lastenergy with him and we didn't know what to do. We put a lot to thi boom and, at thatsame time, Michael Felt, who I knew from Baltimore, was meing very vocalabout mitl health and Olibians and how they have just such more of a uniquechallenge and I started, and so we reached ouom Michael Telvs and he cameon board and so the movie vivoted Um to a mental hall, film Um told by Goldathletes the gold winning at gold metal athletes. So we interviewed over ten H,gold, metalists and UM. They talk honestly and openly all names that youknow Um. You know boadi Miller and shop jokson and I mean Sawshould, come inweltalking openly about a fascinating...

...topic of a lea athletes and mentalhealth issues. whichar exist in the NFL that esisted the NBA, but especially inindividual sports like the Olympics. So that's where the film came from andit's taken three years there's been a lot of punps in the road by Um I had toTEP my head to Bret Rock, and he really he really got it off the ground andkept pushing forward wow. So when can we watch this? You Can Watch Ot Julytwenty nint on hpo at nine PM. My fobby follow me. Young twinner and I will besending at alot of updates CS, can remember to check it up. Yeah, that'sthat's awesome, Um and then so you mentioned you have another movie or adocumentary that's coming on on h, Bo as well. Yes, N! No, no, I'm sorry! Ithasn't been sold and I not go oll. Oh Tob, we're working on it right now, soI'm working with Kellcrest Media Hos. This fantastic production company hasdone a lot of great work here in L, A and we've done a couple of shoots and weare taking it to market pretty soon, so we're excited gosh. That is, I I'mreally happy and and proud of you really just because it's it's not aneasy thing to enter like a serious story, tellingrole whether you're, the one in front of the camera or producing and ratingor or any any part of the production of that it's a lot. But it's it'smeaningful and it's important. So thank you for doing that. Lookat Eel Yor,saying that thank Yo. I think there's a lot of people that live in this worldwith pain and it's it's an honor of mine to telltheir stories to maybe help other people to make realize that they're,not alone. The mental healththing is, is a big Um it it's a crusade that I take veryseriously and the same wit, racial equality, and if I can help expose someof that pain through my storytelling in a way that people can identify andmaybe change the way that they act towards people that are feeling thatpain. Then that's to me, that's work worth doing definitely, and there are a lot morestories M, as you mentioned before, like in the N. Ba no Kevin love is veryvocal about M, advocating for mental health and going through his own issues,and you know there are plenty of stories in the NFL, even the NHL Annmlb.So hopefully this you know opens doors for maybe even more stories to be toldhat. All of this wasn't enough for you. You are working on another project,which is a little lighter. U taken on a new rule as the vicepresident of original programming for an AP. It's a gaming platform calledwin quick. Can you tell us what that's about? Yes, it's super coal. I neverwanted to be an executive of anything other than my own company rownproduction Um, but this you know she doen't ride the wind. I always say thatsomder she got to ride the wind and just say gest at ththings, and this wassomething that was put on my plate through my friend Brian Baldingernetwork. He wanted to see if I could do some hosting for this new APP and Isaid sure, I'm not doing anything else right now, an ill do it one off hereand there and it just the way that I am as my agentdoysn't axchuse my language. I don't do anything half ask so when I startedlooking at what they were. Jun Wit, the they were pretty advanced in theirdevelopment, but I started seeing that there were major gaps in and what theyneeded O to make. This thing get off the ground and it just happened to beskill. SETSE that I had or skillset tat, really high profile people I knew hadso I started consulting and giving them ideas a connecting o people and writingstuff and coming up with concepts, and next thing you know you knoweverything's getting greenle that I that I pitched just as a host quote anquote, and sothen it didn't take long for all of us to realize. Hey, maybe Ho should be onan executive role here and um y. That...

...was about three or four weeks ago. Theannounce came out and the amount of strides we've made with this a it isgoing to be so cool. I can't tell you a lot about it, but we're looking for a launch. Thisfall we're going to be in production July twelfth we start production forsix new shows and basically trivia. It's it's based around Trivia, but it'sa very different spen on Rouae, very different topics, and you can win you.I you win cash prizes. It's it's not a betting platform. You don't put up yourown money, it's just about answering the right questions quickly and, ifyou're in the top percentage of the country to do it, they just putcashrate into your account. Wow I mean that sounds like a win win.Of course. Let you lose unless you loseing you're, not winning? U, unlessyou lose yeah, but there's? U It's it's kind of similar tage too. That wasabout that was yutatlearning a lot from what that aftded well and what theydidn't do so well, I think our our partners, a Nixadawhich, is softwarecompany. They're, amazing they've come up with just a really cool functioningAwith, a lot of features, and we have so many people on board. We have. Wehave a big announcement coming up, we signd an NFL player to be one of ourhost yeah, so Um I'm excited about it andit's it's Dif. I mean I'm sitting here: negotiating contracts with talent andI'm used to being taletra ore, writing budgets for production and I'm hiringpeople that were my friends that are out of work. You know in the sportsindustry. So it's it's! It's a really cool opportunity to get back to peoplethat look out for me and to use my creative brain, an a cotally differentplatform, which is the future. Really, let's be real, that's where we're allgoing absolutely and- and this is what I love about the intersection of sportsand technology because it really is ever changing, which means for people Igues who work in sports. Like think about where you started years ago, likeno one's career path is a straight line. I'm sure you never even imagined thatyou'd be a vice president of a gaming AP at somephing, ao n have said what isgaming? A is, like I mean Gosh. We we didn't have spacebook, you know twothousand an nthat came in two thousand and nine I'd been on air for nine yearsby that so yeh always said to me careers of vall, andI never knew what she was talking about because, again being a typwas like no,I have my wholelike plan, ow mom, you have no, I mean it's scripted, it'sgoing to go like this and then life happens and good and bad, and youknocked on your butt and you're surprise and you're shocked, ind yourhert or whatever your feelings are, and then you learn like what she meant nand- and I say this to my kids Ey just say like 'cause, my kids are surferslike I'll say: ride the wave or ride the wind it just mesins, you gotta, youGotto, take your hands off the wheel and just say: There's some plan for mesomewhere. I don't know whether you believe in the universe or God, butthere's a there's some plan there's some things. I can't control so be opento things that come your way and don't get so ben out of shape about thethings that didn't work out, 'cause nine times out at Tene. It's the bestthing to happen to you wow, it's funny literally. My nextquestion was: I was going to ask what advice Ho would give to people who wantto work in sports and, and you pretty much covered it- you just have to ridethe wave, especially now things are changing so much, there's so muchunknown in terms of Covit and what that means for sports. Coming in the fall Umth. We really don't have a choice but to ride the wave you don't, but youknow I just I actually just got off the phone with one of my students from twosemesters: Go that reached out for some help and I think those seniors aregoing through a panic right now. They're twenty one years old and Cot,it's happening and they can't get a job and they don't know what to do. And I I think, if you look at yourself, ifyou identify yourself as a resourcebl person- and you say no matter what I'ma resourceful person, I'm going to land...

...on my feet somehow, but you're alsowilling to use those resources that you really believe that when times gettouged, you can kick an action. You can pit it. That's a huge thing. I want towrite a book called pit or like one oother'cause to me that inability tojust get past something to get past that that road block. I was one that kept banging my headagainst that wall over and over rather than just piit, and find anotherdirection. It took ne a long time to figure that out. So I think the earlieryou can learn to accept what t is that didn't work out, pivot and open yourmind, to I say, say as to everything they say as to everything, but no kindof what you want to do and what drives you, what your passions are. So, whileyou're in the process of saying as to everything, you can also pursue whatyou want to pursue, but at least you have a steady, gig, o some sort, but don't give up on on your littles,always have a sidehostl man. I think that's what I would tell people H. Ialways had a side hustle whether it was doing radi on the side and doingcolumns on the side. 'cause, that's what she did before all F this socialmedia. Now now it's you know it's. It started working at box on the side, NFLthat turned into a good job, um working on the radio on West Wood, one doingsome Monday night football game, so that turned into a hosting position.You know so always ha because everything is so tumultuous right. Now,O media jobs come and go so quickly. THERE'S NO LOIMALTY! You literally area commodity, mean you're, not you're, not a Commodi, Osand, say you're, justa filet like fill in the black hair. This person Coan do this job for thecheapest. So if you kind of always have something on the side, you never putyour eggs on one basket. You won't be out of Work Yep, but solid vace. I lovethat there's, there's seiously so much amber. We could keep talking about. Butfor the sake of time, this is my last question. Can you leave us with a womanin sports who inspires you oo, there's so many? I know I hae. You know what it's funny, I'm atthe age, unfortunately, where they are more colleagues that I just admire somuch and butthey continue to Spi. Inspire me daily Um, Andrew Creamer, forvegmel sports nnetwork has been a dining light in my lifesh she's tough. You know when youfirst meet her sh. You don't think she's she's that warm and fuzzy, butthat a she reached out to me and loved me and checked in on me and guided meand she's. You know in her fifties and has been killing the game for so longsince the late eighties, and I just see her as I beacon a flighto somebody that can be taken for what they are and that's a highlyintelligent, creative person. You don't see her as a woman, you just seer heras the leader in in our industry, wito H, I mean there's Gd, there's there'smany Kim Jones as a good friend of mine, a lot of the women, and if I networkare my good friends and I just I look up to them so much that's great. I Ilove that. Another reason why else sorry Hadye Shu up on ee Ogain, I lovehat. You bring up Um colleagues, because another reason why I startedthis show was to just sort of show sort of show that there there is this kindof unspoken sisterhood that exists in sports amongst the women and I feellike that, doesn't get showcased enough like I don't know that people know thatthat exists unless you are in the sports industry and just want tohighlight that, because it it's so important to support each other,there's room for everyone and because life is so fleeting and there are somany different things that go on constantly. It's it's so important tospend time lifting each other up rather than competing with one another. So I'mglad that you that you brought up that you look up to your colleagues and theyinspire you. I try to do that for the younger ones.You know I want. I want them to know if I can stop them from feeling any of theanger or bitterness that I felt dealing...

...with stuff, then let me let me help youcoul. Have I want anybody to feel like that? W say let her go through iterself! Don't figure it out? That's that's, not the right way to handlethings, no paying it, for it is just as important. I agree amber think you somuch. This has been such a pleasure. There are so many more stories that Iwould love to hear. I just appreciate you taking the time to to get real andto share your ups and downs through the industry and also to share all themeaningful work that you're doing. I can't wait to see everything happen M,hopefully very soon. Hopefully, a man t a thanks. So Much Wer haping me andthinks fo're doing this fiteness. We we definitely needed our industry lot oframe women doing wonderful things. I knowi say this with a lot of my guess,but I really could have asked amber so many more questions she just had somuch to say about her journey and how she got to where she is today and howunfair life can be sometimes, but how important it is to get back up andfight for the life. You want not sure if you can relate to her, but I can. Weare in a very uncertain and interesting: Let's call it season of life right now,so her encouragement to learn how to Pibid and ride the wave really stuckwith me. I hope it's stuck with you too. You can follow amber on social media atAmberthioherris ontiter and on Instigram at Amberthia. One and you canfollow along with this, show a and so she goes pod and and so she goes podDot Com thanks for listening.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (43)