5 Things You Need to Know About...Kelsey Hightower
Kelsey Hightower ('13) graduated the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and minor in Film and Media Studies. She used her degree in journalism over the summer of 2013 to work with News21 in Phoenix, AZ covering in-depth stories about post 9-11 veterans. Following that summer she moved to Los Angeles to live as a beach bum, to which she has mastered her craft with flying colors.
Now in Los Angeles, she works in the film and television industry both behind the camera and in front. In fact, there’s a good chance she’s worked behind the scenes as a production assistant on one of your favorite shows (she works a lot!) In front of the camera, you can catch her going to prom on The Fosters, running track on Speechless, attending class on Silicon Valley, playing at summer camp on B’nked, and being a 12-year-old on The Goldbergs. Further, she hosts several shows for the online network AfterBuzz TV.
Kelsey is President of the OU Alumni Club of greater Los Angeles. Through the OU Alumni Club, the group watches every football game at Busby’s West and got the opportunity to attend the Rose Bowl in Pasadena! What a game! Although still heartbroken from the Rose Bowl, the spirit of the OU Alumni club is unbeatable. The club has participated in a number of activities together including going to Dodger Games, playing Lawn Bowling, and cleaning up our beaches.
In her spare time, Kelsey likes to enjoy the beach (her mastered craft), binge-watching her favorite shows, going to the Farmer’s Market, and hiking. You’ll likely find her on adventures with her friends whether that’s hiking in the Sequoias or wine tasting in Malibu. Life is an adventure and she’s not ready to grow up yet!
You graduated from OU in 2013 with a degree in journalism. Were you always destined to be a Sooner, or was there an “aha” moment when you figured out Norman was the place you wanted to be?
I'm truly Sooner Born and Sooner Bred! I was absolutely destined to go to OU; Both of my parents are OU Alumni and that was my dream since I was a kid. In fact, I only applied to one college, and you guessed it, it was OU! They say never put all your eggs in one basket, but I like to live dangerously.
So, you’re living in LA now and serving as president of the OU Club of Los Angeles. You’ve done work on both the entertainment industry and the tech industry. Catch us up on what you’re doing now and what a day in the life of Kelsey Hightower looks like?
Trick question! Every day is completely different for me. When it comes to my career, I have some serious commitment issues. If I jump on a job that's longer than a month, I consider that long-term. Let's take this at a week's glance (cliffnotes style). For instance, today I'm sitting on my balcony in 65 degree weather by my pepper plant answering questions about my life. Yesterday, I was getting paid to play a game for a new Facebook TV show! Tuesday and Wednesday I worked on the HBO show Room 104. Monday, I was on a Nike commercial! Whew. See what I mean?
Outside of work, I'm president of the OU Alumni Club of LA so I'm constantly planning and coordinating activities for the club. Currently, we are getting ready to pick our scholarship recipient. This will include a team of leaders going through applications to select one person from the LA area to receive a scholarship to go to OU! We're about to send another Sooner your way!
Traffic! We hear about the infamous traffic snarls in LA. On the flip side, let us in on what you enjoy most about life in Los Angeles.
There are so many things to love about LA (traffic is not one of them)! If you like ideal weather, then LA's got it! Seriously, if the weather drops below 65 degrees it's time to grab those flannels because it's wintertime. My favorite thing about LA is that whatever your interest is, you can find it here. For instance, last weekend I spent one day going to the beach and the next going to the mountains to snowboard! How crazy is that?!
I like to think of LA like a Mary Poppins's bag. You think you've experienced all of the best places in LA... but then you find out there's an Ice Cream Museum! Drop everything, we must go! The possibilities never end. That being said, number one on my list is (and will always be) the beach. My best naps were taken at the beach. Stand Up Paddleboarding in the ocean is so peaceful. Plus, seeing dolphins, whales, and sea lions aren't too bad either.
The OU Club of LA is going to among some 10-15 OU clubs nationwide to take part in OU’s Big Event in local communities across the country in April and you’re spearheading that effort in LA. Why is it important for Sooners to serve the communities in which they are now living?
It's important to serve your own community because that's where you spend the majority of your time, even if you're a travel guru. It's enriching to intentionally make time to give back to your community. When you spend time contributing to your community, you appreciate where you live even more. For me, I live on the coast, so I believe it's important to make sure our beaches are taken care of. This is why the OU Club of LA will be cleaning up our beaches for the Big Event!
Finally, a favorite memory from Norman? Football? Studying (we had to throw that in)? A go-to place to eat that you miss? What’s on your mind most when you think Oklahoma?
The Mont. Queso. O'Connell's. The Library (you know which one).Those are my favorite places around Norman, and definitely the ones I miss the most!
One of my favorite memories is camping outside of the ticket booth for OU-Texas Tech tickets freshman year. My roommate and I already had tickets because we won the lottery, but some of our friends weren't so lucky. So we all got tents and camped outside of will call all night! There were so many people camping out for tickets that night because it was supposed to be a big game. All I can remember from that delirious night was that the weather was frigid, we ran around campus like crazy kids, and took way too many pictures. You tell me: great friend or crazy freshman?