Junior Ann Lutzenkirchen’s summer internship in New York City led to celebrity encounters and a grilled cheese sandwich named in her honor.
Lutzenkirchen (pronounced Loots-in-kirk-in), a forward on the women’s soccer team, had the opportunity of a lifetime working as an intern with "The Late Show with David Letterman" in New York City. Guests during her eight-week stint included actress Julia Roberts and country music star Dolly Parton.
But one of the most heady moments had to be enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich from Rupert Jee’s Hello Deli, made famous by Letterman during his nightly show. Jee called Lutzenkirchen’s sandwich the “Intern Annie Grilled Cheese.”
The broadcast journalism major landed one of the 11 available internship positions, out of more than 400 who applied.
"I always wanted to be in New York because it is the center of the entertainment industry," she said. "I have a cousin who knew some people at the 'Late Show,' and he gave me the e-mail address."
Lutzenkirchen worked primarily with Paul Shaffer, the longtime music director for the CBS Orchestra. Her first day on the job was May 17, and she returned to Winthrop on August 6 for preseason soccer practice.
While in New York, she lived with her cousin who had an apartment near Central Park. She walked to work to the Ed Sullivan Theater, the home of the "Late Show," which is located at the corner of Broadway and West 53rd Street and just a stone’s throw from famed Times Square.
Lutzenkirchen was one of two music production interns who worked with Shaffer‘s assistant and the orchestra members. "At first, I said 'what?' I really didn’t know music, but as it turned out that really didn’t matter. We worked with the guest musicians and helped to make everything run smoothly during rehearsal and when the show went live."
Her experience on the show ran the gamut from working with the cue card guy, the props, to the director and the camera crew, and the PR (public relations) people. “I was really lucky that I got to do all of that.”
A typical work week ran from Monday through Thursday. The show, which is held before a live audience, is taped during the afternoon and then replayed at 11:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Even though Letterman does not take part in rehearsals, Lutzenkirchen enjoyed watching rehearsals the most. "I liked seeing what actually made it out on the show," she said. "They rehearse so many skits, but maybe only one would make it on the show, and they have all of these extras waiting backstage wondering if they will go on. It is really like a game time decision. It was like Dave would say a word, and it might trigger a skit."
Regarding some of the well-known celebrities and entertainers that frequent the 'Late Show,' Lutzenkirchen said, "the celebrities that are on the show are very, very gorgeous and very, very skinny. That’s the truth!"
What has the internship experience meant for Lutzenkirchen? She learned she prefers the entertainment side of television, rather than the news side. "I don’t think it was because I was meeting all these people. I just like the hustle and bustle of it, and I like making people laugh which is the total opposite of the news side."
Last updated: 03/23/2011