“The entertainment industry has always fascinated me. It’s been a passion for me my entire life,” said Hammesfahr, who majored in convergence journalism with a focus on broadcast.
When her maternal grandmother, Joan Adams, died in 2006, Hammesfahr turned to television entertainment. “(Television) helped keep my mind off things, helped me get through the loss of her. She was my best friend,” said Hammesfahr, a 2010 Marietta High School graduate. She is the daughter of Jodie and Rick Hammesfahr.
The optimistic qualities of entertainment appeal to her.
“Entertainment is the one source of news that, for the most part, is positive and upbeat. It’s a nice break for people to have from all the negative things going on in our society today. I want to contribute to something that will keep people’s minds off whatever stress they have in their lives,” she said.
Last summer, Hammesfahr interned for Entertainment Tonight. Chosen from a field of interns, she assisted a senior producer in charge of award shows and film festivals. Hammesfahr was charged with creating the interview schedule for ET at Comic-Con, an annual entertainment and comic convention in San Diego.
“Because I knew the schedule so well, (the producer) asked me to go down and work,” said Hammesfahr, who worked side-by-side with celebrities during the ET interviews. She also attended the highly coveted after party, rubbing elbows with stars such as Julia Roberts, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Ben Affleck and Sara Gilbert.
“(Comic-Con) was my first real experience with a lot of celebrities.
It was one of those things when you saw them come in, you didn’t really have time to process it because you were there to work. You had to be business-like. There just wasn’t time to think about how big a celebrity that was coming up to you,” Hammesfahr said.
Hammesfahr also worked the red carpet with ET at the premiere of “Lone Ranger II” featuring Johnny Depp where she filmed a standup, an update from the field.
During January 2014, Hammesfahr returned to ET for a second internship to work the Palm Springs Film Festival and the Golden Globe Awards. She received hands-on experience alongside seasoned journalists such as ET hosts Nancy O’Dell and Mary Hart.
“Watching them interview helped my skills. I learned a lot about how to interview and present myself on camera by watching them every day,” Hammesfahr said.
“It was invaluable experience because at school, we focus on hard news and political reporting, politics and all that. We don’t focus on entertainment, and entertainment journalism is my passion. It’s what I want to do. It gave me such an insight into the industry,” she said.
Hammesfahr’s experience in entertainment is not limited to ET. As director of SMU TV, the campus television station, she interviewed Dan Rather during the John F. Kennedy anniversary in Dallas, Texas, regarding his experience at Dealy Plaza.
“It was such a once-in-a-lifetime experience especially for a college student to have had the opportunity to interview Dan Rather. That’s something not many other people can say they’ve been able to do,” said Hammesfahr, who received the Adelphan Award: Woman of the Year by the Panhellenic Council in 2014. She was also a President’s Scholar at SMU, receiving a full academic scholarship.
Now that she has graduated, Hammesfahr plans to relocate to Los Angeles to pursue her dream in entertainment.
“Ultimately my goal is to be a host of one of the big four entertainment shows,” Hammesfahr said.