Thursday, July 26, 2007
Former pro cheerleader from a small town was hosting nat’l TV show by the time she graduated
By Alex Ben Block
By Alex Ben Block
If you wonder why star struck kids keep coming to Hollywood, consider Angelle Tymon of Lutcher, Louisiana. Two months ago she graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal State Northridge and she is now one of the hosts of a show on national television.
The energetic 24-year-old former NFL and NBA cheerleader came to L.A. as an exchange student and never left. Now Angelle is on the GSN network’s interactive show Quiznation, where viewers can win small cash prizes by filling in word, picture or song puzzles.
She is enjoying a dream come true. “I was a fan of the Game Show Network,” gushes Angelle, “ever since I was a young girl…I had a passion for games in general.”
Angelle is one of three co-hosts who fill in for permanent host Shandi Finnessey. The hosts job is to keep the games moving, viewers glued to the set and text messaging at 99 cents per pop for GSN, in addition to any phone company charges. Entries online are free. Tymon’s style is bold, sassy and in your face, as she shifts from your pal to the fast talking, hard-selling auctioneer at the county fair.
The contestants on Quiznation are chosen randomly from along those who enter, and are brought on live over a phone line during the show. Programs air several nights a week, typically from Midnight until 2am over the long weekend. Many prizes are under $100. One of the biggest prizes ever given away was $3,000.
Angelle’s road to stardom began as a child with dancing schools and performing in musical theater while growing up with an older sister in a small town roughly half way between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. While in high school, she visited London as an American All-Star.
While a student at LSU, majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in dance, Angelle was selected after an open call as a cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints football team. She did that for one season.
The 2002-03 New Orleans Honeybees
She also got hosting work while at LSU on a TV jewelry and fine art auction shows “Timeless Collections” and “Fine Arts” which was shown on satellite TV.
Then Angelle was one of 375 girls to audition for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornet’s Honeybees Dance Team, becoming one of only five students chosen.
For her junior year, Angelle entered the NSE, or National Student Exchange, transferring for a semester to Southern California. “Then I decided I liked L.A. and stayed,” she recalls.
She was in Southern California fearing for her family when Hurricane Katrina hit. “All my brothers and sisters and extended family were under water,” recalls Angelle, who offered refuge to those who could make it out west.
At Northridge, Angelle was a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, and editor for the campus FM radio station KCSN and the TV show Valley View News on Time Warner.
Her expose on “Dimples,” in Burbank, one of the first karaoke bars in the U.S., won awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association, a Regional Edward Murrow Award, a local award from Society of Professional Journalists, which also nominated her for a national award to be announced in October.
Late year, a girl friend at Cal State Northridge “knew a guy who worked for Sony,” she continues her story. “He got me a production contact at GSN.”
When Angelle applied, she was told there were no jobs. She said she wanted to be an intern, and she was told they did not have a program for interns. Then the producer who interviewed her said she could be an intern anyway, and hired her.
That was in November 2006. She quickly rose to production assistant, and auditioned for a job as an on air host. She was turned down. But soon she was promoted to contestant coordinator and there was no stopping her. She went on the air as a host this past April. “I was waiting for my moment,” says Angelle brightly, “and became host.”
She said her friends and family were amazed. “To have a gig before I graduated,” she says, “everyone was like, ‘O.K., how’d you do it?’”
Quiznation began in 2003 on Sky TV in the United Kingdom. It came to the U.S. on GSN in April 2006 under the heading Playmania. It was split into two shows this past February, and has morphed into a single show as Quiznation.
So Angelle’s dreams are coming true; providing an example for those thousands of kids and young adults in big cites, on farms and in small towns like Lutcher who aspire to overnight success, fame and fortune, in Hollywood. They might just make it if they have the same kind of beauty, brains, energy, drive, personality, poise, passion and enthusiasm that helps Angelle light up a TV screen.