By Liz Chang
I recently interviewed Michelle Scalise, the in-arena hostess for the Capitals. You've seen her on the big screen during home games, asking lucky fans Caps trivia questions and getting the crowd pumped up.
This is Michelle's second season in her role. She described a typical game day, which starts with preparation. She attends a production meeting in the video control room to go over the script and review the timing for PA announcements, timeouts, and video elements. Michelle averages 4-6 appearances on camera throughout the night. She also enjoys walking around the arena and getting to know the fans.
Michelle grew up in New Jersey and went to James Madison University. She graduated from the School of Media Arts & Design with a degree in electronic journalism and a minor in English. Her experience in front of the camera started then; in college, she was the host of a show on the campus television channel.
After college, Michelle had wanted to move to New York City for work, but after twelve interviews there her senior year, nothing worked out. Michelle's first job after college was with Channel 9 (WUSA) as a production assistant on the graveyard shift. One day, she went to visit a friend in New York who was a page at CBS. Michelle met her friend at the office, and as it turned out, CBS happened to be hiring for pages. Michelle was interviewed on the spot, offered a job, and moved the next week to New York. It was a dream come true for her. She worked on many different programs, and one of her roles was as an audience coordinator for "The NFL Today." She worked her way up the ladder over the next six years in different roles, but eventually moved back to Washington to be with her (now) husband.
She also currently works for Comcast Sports Net as a digital media content producer. Michelle always enjoyed the production side of television, and had done some freelancing and worked the production desk at CSN. When the digital media department was established and the job was created, the news director approached her about applying for it, and she did. Michelle started the job the day after she returned from her honeymoon!
Michelle has always been a hockey fan. Being from south Jersey, not far from Philadelphia, she was raised a Flyers fan. Her father was a gym teacher, so she was always involved in athletics and watched the games with her dad. Michelle knows her stuff! She had some comments for female fans: "It's the most incredible thing. When you think of hockey, you usually think of rowdy fans, but that's not the case in D.C. It's so amazing to have this women's hockey group; just keep rocking the red! I see more female fans than men sometimes; it's a great sport that goes across all genders and age groups. It's really fun!" Michelle expressed her enthusiasm for Club Scarlet and hopes to have more interaction with the group in the future, so keep an eye out for her!