5 Things You Need to Know About...Gabe Lenners (’12)
Oklahoma twisters, sweet tea and the real Blake Shelton? Radio Disney Country host, Gabe Lenners (‘12) discusses all three and more in this month’s 5 Things You Need to Know About…Gabe Lenners!
You’re a weather chaser of sorts. You recently experienced driving in Southern California’s recent downpours. More unnerving: Oklahoma tornadoes or California mudslides?
Definitely Oklahoma tornadoes. It's mild and sunny most days here in Los Angeles, so obviously we are spoiled when it comes to the weather. We also have the beach, which is a short drive away. It is refreshing when it rains in southern California, and I love to go outside and experience it every time. I will say that California drivers could take a lesson from Oklahoma drivers when it comes to commuting in rain. Traffic on the 405 freeway gets pretty jammed up, even if there is just a light shower in the area.
You have a love of McAlister’s sweet tea? What other Norman delicacies or locations do you miss most while in SoCal?
Wow. I do! I really have a weird obsession with their sweet tea. So much so, that I regular chat with the company on Twitter and try to get a McAlister's location here in Los Angeles. So far, it hasn't worked! I have total confidence that it will though. There are so many other spots I miss in Norman. One of my favorite places is The Mont. Nothing beats sitting with friends out on the patio while enjoying a beverage and their legendary queso.
You’re a radio host, vlogger, you host red carpet events. What about your time at OU prepared you most for all you do now?
Yes, I'm a host for Radio Disney Country. The multi-platform network is a modern country music destination for families featuring up-&-coming artists and today's biggest hits. We launched at the 2015 CMA Awards in Nashville! The variety of technology I was exposed to and the faculty at Gaylord College definitely helped prepare me for my career in the best way possible. With state of the art editing software, computer labs and soundstage with a green screen, I was able to get hands-on learning on and off-camera. I now host a digital series called the Radio Disney Country Close Up showcasing candid moments with country music artists, and it is filmed on a green screen. With the experience I gained at OU, I was able to step in and know the logistics of the production before we started recording.
With the mixture of media in which you’re involved, what would be your advice to graduates headed into the job market?
It's a very exciting time for media where engaged audiences develop around pieces of viral content, brands and influencers. You really have to study the trends and stay on top of evolving media platforms. I highly encourage internships and an entrepreneurial approach. Sometimes when the perfect job isn't at your finger tips, go out and create it.
Most importantly, you met Blake Shelton recently. Impressions?
Blake is awesome and so down to earth! I met him out on his Doing It To Country Songs tour at The Forum in Los Angeles. We chatted before the show, and the Blake you see on-camera during The Voice is the Blake you see in person. During a pre-show party, I noticed that he made special time to meet one of his biggest fans. She was in her 90s, and came out for the show! It was such a powerful moment to experience firsthand.