Getting foot in door: MSU's Schaefer looks into possible future TV career

MSU's Blair Schaefer, center, with Entertainment Tonight hosts.
Staff Writer

Want to know what your favorite celebrities are doing? Who’s getting married? Who had a child? Who is starring in another big film project?
Sometime in the not-too-distant future, Blair Schaefer might be who you turn to for those answers.
Schaefer, a guard on Mississippi State’s women’s basketball team, spent much of the month of May in California as an intern with the television show Entertainment Tonight.
For Schaefer, it was a chance to get her feet wet in the television industry, which is the career she hopes to pursue when her time at MSU is done.
“I have a huge interest in TV,” Schaefer said. “I feel like I want to end up being a talent on camera.
“It fits so many things I love to do. I love to travel. I love to talk to people. I’m a people person. I just feel like, right now, that’s what I’m looking at doing.”
It’s a stark contrast from what Schaefer originally thought her future might hold. Schaefer is majoring in biological science. She had an eye towards going to medical school. She admits that’s still not completely off the table, but TV has seemingly become the new goal.
It all started with a trip to New York that Schaefer took with her mother, Holly, last summer. The two attended an episode of Live with Kelly and Michael.
“When I saw them on camera and everything that goes on behind the scenes, on camera and everything like that, I was so mesmerized,” Schaefer said.
Then, last December, Schaefer finally got her foot in the door in the entertainment world. Mississippi State was playing basketball in the Women of Troy Classic in Los Angeles. While the Bulldogs were in town, Holly and Blair went to visit an old high school friend of Holly’s who worked at The Insider, another TV show that is taped at the same building as Entertainment Tonight.
When leaving, the Schaefers bumped into Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier. Blair invited Frazier to come to MSU’s Sunday game against USC. It was an invitation he accepted. The conversation also led to Blair expressing her desire for an internship, which Frazier granted.
Frazier confirmed Blair Schaefer’s internship in an Instagram post after MSU knocked off Connecticut to advance to the school’s first-ever national championship game.
“I believe I told her, ‘If you win a title, you got that internship, figuring that they would have to beat UConn to get that championship and that would never happen,” Frazier posted on April 1. “I think I owe Blair an internship, they are good enough to win a championship.”
So, on May 8, Schaefer began her internship. It ran through May 26. In that period, Schaefer shadowed Frazier and learned about various aspects of the television business, even the not-so-pretty ones.
“Kevin was awesome,” Schaefer said. “He wanted me to see every perspective – the good, the bad and the ugly. He wanted me to see the not-as-glamorous parts of the job. He let me come to morning meetings. I’d see how they put together the show and what interviews were more important than others and why they’d place them in certain spots. After that, I’d help Kevin with whatever he needed to do.”
It wasn’t all work and no play for Schaefer though. Her internship also afforded her the chance to run into a celebrity or two. She took a selfie with actor Josh Duhamel at an event for the latest Transformers movie. She also met several other big names, including one of her favorites, Vanessa Hudgens of the High School Musical series, in a coffee shop.
“I flipped inside,” Schaefer said. “When she walked out, I knew I could either just stand there and act like I didn’t just see Vanessa Hudgens, or I can go outside and ask if I can get a picture with her. I stood there for about three whole seconds before I was like, ‘I’m going out there to be that fan girl.’”
It was one of the highlights in a month full of them for Schaefer.
Now, Schaefer is back in Starkville working on that biological science degree. She says she’s too close to completing that to turn away from it. However, Schaefer definitely sees a future for herself on the TV screen. She says she’ll probably get a minor in communication, then, one day soon, perhaps Entertainment Tonight featuring Blair Schaefer, or something similar, will be a reality.
“Hopefully one day,” Schaefer said.