I Want Her Job Feature
Full Article HERE. Excerpt Below:
INTRODUCING: REBECCA ZACCARD
OCCUPATION: CO-CREATOR, CO-HOST AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF BLITZED
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Spanish + Theatre & Drama - Acting Specialist
Sometimes the best jobs aren’t found, they’re created. Not many know this more intimately than Rebecca Zaccard. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, Rebecca landed some commercial work and, prompted by a desire to promote her personal brand and love of sports, she created a weekly vlog. Little did she know, her vlog was a big precursor of things to come. It wouldn’t be long before Rebecca teamed up with her good friend Travis and BLITZED, a TV-quality NFL Web show, was born.
The YouTube series airs weekly during the NFL season in what looks like your favorite neighborhood bar. Rebecca, also known as RZ on the show, describes the show as “hilarious and just the right amount of weird.” (Take a peek at this two-minute intro to BLITZED video to see for yourself!) A local video production company agreed and signed on to help produce season two of the Web series.
Currently, the end goal of BLITZED is to build up the brand to include more sports shows with the same brand of humor. “We feel like there’s a real opportunity to cover other sports the way that we cover the NFL,” Rebecca says. Read on to learn more about Rebecca’s unconventional approach and find out what she thinks being a #GIRLBOSS is all about.
There’s something unique about being a female in the sports world. I have to remind myself I don’t need to prove myself or my sports knowledge.
How did you discover your current job?
I created my current job! I’m originally from Wisconsin, but I moved out to LA about six years ago to pursue a career in acting. I had most of my success commercially, but my love of football and passion for talking about the game won out.A couple years into living here, I started a weekly vlog called “Wisconsaholic” to promote my personal brand as an actress by talking about what I love. I quickly learned producing and sports hosting, with a comedic twist, was my true calling.Travis Platt, friend and fellow diehard football fan, became a regular on the show. Those were my most popular episodes by far. From the get-go, we knew we had great chemistry and an awesome ability to write together and riff off each other. So from there, we created BLITZED.
How did you and Travis meet?
Travis and I met at the Den, which just so happens to be the bar where we shoot BLITZED. We bonded over the love of our respective teams and after many a brainstorm session at Coffee Bean, BLITZED was born.What's cool about our show is that the core, original cast and crew all met at the Den. It's like our spirit animal and definitely has influence over BLITZED. Our goal is for people to feel like they know us, like they're sitting at their favorite bar with their friends talking about the hilarious things that happened around the league, because that's actually what we're doing.
How is BLITZED different from other sports shows?
We created and developed the show we both wanted to watch and that we felt was missing from the sports world. There’s a time and a place for SportsCenter, for former NFL players debating and giving predictions, but we’re not that! The way I like to describe it is that some people go to CNN for their news, while others go to The Daily Show. We’re more Jon Stewart than Anderson Cooper.We’re now in the midst of Season Two with new partner Forge Apollo and, as promised, is bigger, badder and even weirder than ever.
What are your responsibilities?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from BLITZED, it’s that a producer’s work is never done. Well, that, and a career that requires watching a ton off football is pretty amazing!Travis and I research, write, produce, host, put together the rough edit and promote every episode of BLITZED. We’re constantly interacting with our fans through all the social media platforms. I also take care of putting together the final outline I send out to the cast and crew the night before every shoot.In addition, we handle whatever gets thrown our way in production—whether it’s rescheduling, setting up meetings with potential guests or running around town grabbing props and costumes. The Den is our main sponsor right now and we have an awesome relationship with them; partly because they love BLITZED and because they love Travis, who’s bartended there for years. (He's juggling everything, too!)We’re lucky to have an amazing cast and crew who contribute so much to the process as well. I have to give particular props to our amazing and IAWTV Award nominated director, Aaron McLane, and our incredibly talented Creative Director, Ryan Wilmott. They’re invaluable to our show and I’m constantly impressed by their skill, talent and perfectly weird (and perfectly BLITZED) senses of humor. We’re a good team.
How did you know you had something special with BLITZED?
I’m so passionate about it and I really truly believe in the product we’re putting out. I love my show and I know I would watch it, even if it wasn’t ours (and would then be pretty bummed I wasn’t a part of it!).I think it’s hilarious and just the right amount of weird. Our brand of humor is really specific, and I’m constantly surprised and impressed as each episode takes shape. Whether it’s an NFL pylon puppet that sings the blues or a Fantasy Football 80s workout segment, each joke gets me saying to myself, “That’s so BLITZED.”In addition to my passion and belief in the success of the show, it also uses many of my natural skills and talents. It’s constantly is pushing me to do better, to learn more and to grow as a person; as well as a producer, a writer and as a host. BLITZED has been, and continues to be, invaluable to me.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
There’s a certain amount of anxiety that’s part of each episode. It’s such a last-minute process with the ever-changing news in the league and there’s very little prep that can be done before the week of football is done.Often, when Travis and I meet on Mondays after a weekend of football, we have no idea what our episode will be. But we know whatever it is, we’ll be shooting it the following morning. Luckily, we write together really well and we find that the episode naturally takes shape.The NFL and its cast of characters definitely help to write the show for us! The challenge for me is to let go and trust that the episode will, in fact, come together. Another challenge for me is balancing the creative with the business side of things. I want to be an effective leader, handle the business, the production, the social media and also remember to be a great and relatable host. Sometimes I look at it as a challenge and sometimes I look at it as an advantage. But either way, there’s also something unique about being a female in the sports world. I have to remind myself I don’t need to know everything and I don’t need to prove myself or my sports knowledge. I just need to do what I do and do what’s best for the show.
How do you create a work/life balance?
Balance is one of the most important things I strive for in life. I do tell my friends that I’ll see them in February when football season is over and I’m only half-joking. In addition to BLITZED, I also bartend part-time. BLITZED is much like a startup company in that I’m investing more time and money right now, but I fully expect to get a return on my investment in the future.It can be difficult to juggle a job that feels like I’m never off duty with a job that I need to pay my bills, but I have my ways! I meditate, take power naps and use exercise as a time to unwind. I make sure to spend time with the people I love. And sometimes, I just need to read some chick lit or drink wine and watch The Bachelor with my girlfriends.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
The honest answer is almost. I shot a pilot with a sports network and I thought that was it for me. I visualized my new life of traveling to different American cities and stadiums on the weekends, then returning to LA to write and shoot BLITZED. Unfortunately, as is the way with this industry, the deal fell through in the 11th hour. I was devastated. I always taught myself with acting to not celebrate the job until the ink on the contract was dry, but this time, I just truly thought it was all happening; that I could finally quit my bar job and work full-time in sports.It wasn’t, but I’m still grateful. Everything happens the way it’s meant to. And I’ve received so many blessings that wouldn’t have been possible had I gotten that show. Also, I know in my heart of hearts I’ll get my “I made it” moment soon enough and I know it will be because of something I helped create from the ground up. I know it will be because of BLITZED.
What are some of the rules you live by?
The rules I live by are pretty simple. Be kind and be the most authentic version of yourself. Trust your instincts and put positive energy out into the Universe and you’ll be blessed in ways you could never imagine.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Tenacity, charisma, a sense of humor, professionalism and empathy.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
When it all seems like too much, take a deep breath. It’s all going to happen when it’s meant to happen. Keep trusting your intuition. Keep living in the moment, but maybe try to put a little more money in savings each month ... at least think about it.
What’s a favorite term or expression that gets you through the harder times in your career?
My friends and I use the term “#GIRLBOSS.” It’s the title of a fantastic book by Sophia Amoruso, the CEO of Nasty Gal, and for us has become a mantra or a battle cry. My friends and I use the term as a verb and a noun. For example, “I answered a bunch of emails, solved a production scheduling problem and edited the rough of our latest episode. Basically, I’ve been GIRLBOSSing all day.” Taking care of business, taking risks and handling whatever gets thrown your way — and hopefully doing it all with grace — are staples of being a GIRLBOSS for me. It’s not always easy, but it’s pretty dang rewarding.I’m lucky to be surrounded by GIRLBOSSes and I’m constantly inspired and encouraged by them. It helps me to navigate this career world and I love it. By the way, the ladies of I Want Her Job are definitely GIRLBOSSes!
-By Kathleen Garvin
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