Can you guess today’s puzzle? It’s a place: Los Angeles. It’s a person: Erica Labile. What are you doing? Being a publicist for “Wheel of Fortune! “
There is no bankrupt space for Labile in the world of success. The Kingwood High School graduate lives in Los Angeles and works as the publicity and promotion manager for the hugely popular “Wheel of Fortune” television program.
Labile, a native of Kingwood and a graduate of Kingwood High School, Class of 2012, didn’t count on luck to land such a great job. She earned it by combining a great education and taking advantage of as many volunteer positions and internships as possible.
After leaving Kingwood, she traveled to Austin to study journalism at UT for a year, then moved on to public relations and advertising. She knew that both fields were her favorite career, but for fun she immersed herself in the creative arts and theater world of Austin. She volunteered in various theatrical endeavors including a group called Texas Tower PR where she did internal marketing and was an account manager helping promote nonprofit organizations in the Austin area.
Teatro Vivo, a nonprofit promoting bilingual arts in Austin, was another business and, again, volunteered her time to manage their social media and website.
And in her senior year, she interned at an advertising agency in Austin.
On the verge of graduating, she found out that UT offered a distance learning program in Los Angeles for students interested in the entertainment industry.
She was accepted and moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2016. Classes focused on how Hollywood works, how to tell a story, and provided even more volunteer opportunities.
In addition to a full course load, Laible completed two volunteer internships, one at NBC Universal, where she worked in advertising on scripted shows like “This Is Us”, “American Ninja Warriors” and “The Good Place “.
“Internships are what you want to do with them. They made me do little chores like monitor media coverage and archive publicity notes, ”she said on a recent Father’s Day trip to Kingwood. But there were almost limitless opportunities to take on more responsibility.
“You can do whatever you want with it,” she said, stressing that she took every opportunity available to her to learn as much as possible about the entertainment industry.
Her second volunteer position this semester was advertising internationally at Paramount.
“It was a great way to find out if I liked cinema or television more,” she said.
At the end of the semester, she returned to Texas and spent several months applying for jobs in Los Angeles.
In March 2017, she had landed a few interviews but no firm offer. Finally, a friend told him about the opening of an assistant position at “Wheel of Fortune”. Laible sent in her resume and a few weeks later they called for a phone interview. They asked to see her in person and it was another flight back to LA where she met the person who is now her boss. A week later, they called to offer him the job.
“I loved the show and watched it forever,” she said. “It’s just a wonderful place to work. “
“I had to find a place to live and find an apartment within walking distance of the studio. No commute to work in LA. Can you believe it? ”She said.
Laible has a second family at Wheel of Fortune, she said. “Everyone has been there for so long, many for years. My job has become open because of a promotion.
“The staff are tight-knit and almost everyone started at the bottom and worked their way up. One of the perks of people is that they really encourage you to grow within the company and give you opportunities to shine, ”she said.
In the entertainment business, she commented, it is unique to find a team and staff who have been together for so long. “Wheel of Fortune” is about to celebrate its 40th season.
Hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White are wonderful, she said.
“Vanna is just the sweetest person. They never take a day for granted and are very grateful to the fans. Both are just very warm people,” she said.
In one season, which runs from September to June, around 600 contestants appear, although the show receives up to 1 million requests per year.
She is on set throughout the recording of the shows, which takes place every other Thursday and Friday.
If you look quickly, Laible’s name is in the credits that scroll at the end of the show.
Laible keeps track of the hundreds of stories written about the show, its hosts and the contestants every year. “My main job is to monitor the media coverage of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and Pat and Vanna.”
“I also help promote the candidates,” she said.
In fact, Laible was recently promoting Lake Houston area resident Tajj Badil-Abish, who appeared as a candidate last May.
And now, back to the Bonus Round riddle!
It’s one thing: Erica’s dream job.
“It’s just a wonderful place to work and I’m so lucky,” Laible said. I guess you can think of her as a winning Wheel Watcher.
Fun facts about the wheel of fortune
• The puzzleboard contains 52 touchscreen monitors, 12 in the top and bottom rows and 14 in the middle two rows.
• Since there is only one wheel and one puzzle, they are both taken apart and reassembled each time the show moves on tape to a different location.
• Off-camera, participants can see a “used letter board” which keeps track of all the letters called for each puzzle.
• The wheel, including its base, is 19 feet in diameter (the wheel itself is 7 feet, 11 inches in diameter) and weighs approximately 2,400 pounds.
• In 1997, the puzzleboard went from analog to digital so Vanna could just start touching a monitor to display letters. The update also made it possible to reset the puzzles in seconds, rather than taking several minutes to reset each letter manually.
• There are 73 stainless steel pins on the wheel that pass past three hard rubber “fins”, giving it a unique sound.
• The Bonus Wheel, first introduced in Season 19, contains 24 prize envelopes.
• Since its beginnings in syndication in 1983, “Wheel of Fortune” has awarded more than $ 250 million in cash and prizes to its competitors.
• The Million Dollar Wedge was introduced in 2008. Since then there have been three contestants who have each won $ 1 million.
• “Wheel of Fortune” awarded over $ 11 million in cash and prizes to Wheel Watchers Club members just for watching at home.
• “Wheel of Fortune” records five to six shows in one day, with Pat and Vanna changing their wardrobes between each recording to make it feel like a new day.
• “Wheel of Fortune” is recorded at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, on Stage 11.
• The studio audience can accommodate 160 people who watch two to three recorded episodes during their visit.
• A random selection determines whether a competitor will be in the red, yellow or blue position at the Wheel.
• Since 1988, “Wheel of Fortune” has recorded live shows 64 times in total, in 27 different cities.
Wheel of Fortune fans can submit entries at wheeloffortune.com / join / be-a-contestant for a chance to be invited to a virtual audition. There, potential contestants can show off their puzzle-solving skills and potentially be selected to appear as a contestant on the show from the comfort of their own homes. If selected to be on the show, everyone goes home with a minimum of $ 1,000.