October 27, 2012 in City

WSU grad’s song, video score job on ‘Ellen’ show

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

Washington State University student Erica Norris’ self-made video helped her get a production assistant job on the “Ellen” show.
(Full-size photo)

Thanks to an eccentric approach to job-hunting and a viral video, a young Spokane woman has landed a job on the “Ellen” show.

Erica Norris, 22 and a recent advertising graduate of Washington State University, appeared on the nationally syndicated television show last week to accept her new position as a production assistant.

“Ellen needs the best people on your team and that’s why you should know I’m more than I seem,” Norris rapped in the video, released in late September.

The video, taped at familiar Spokane sites, featured a fearless Norris, and her visual résumé made her a local sensation.

“Don’t be afraid to be crazy and out of the box,” Norris recommends to fellow job-seekers.

She hit the streets sporting a full-body green suit to market her video, for example. She also sent a box covered in QR codes that eventually made it to the “Ellen” mailroom. That box was displayed on last week’s episode with comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres announcing the new hire.

Norris said she’s excited to start her post-college career in California.

“I really like Spokane, but I’m excited for something new and to challenge myself,” Norris said. “Being down there for the show – realizing you’re going to live there – is intimidating.”

Norris, who is gay, actually made two videos: In the first she was vocal about her sexual orientation, while the second kept it tongue-in-cheek. She said she made the new video because she wanted it to be family friendly and marketable.

The first video was taped and uploaded in less than a day. The second video took a month of production.

“It’s a miracle and it worked, but now I’m ready for a new goal,” Norris said. “I want to inspire people like (DeGeneres) inspired me. What better way to start that dream than to work for somebody like that?”

Norris starts her new job on Nov. 15, with moving expenses and one year of rent paid for by the show.

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