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Hi everyone! Today I’m so freaking excited to introduce you to one of my best friends, sportscaster Charissa Thompson. I am truly so inspired by her career!
After attending the University of California-Santa Barbara, Charissa began her career as an assistant in the human resources department at FOX Sports. Her ambition did NOT stop there. After completing her daily duties, she worked her way into the network’s highlights department where she discovered a love for TV production. She quickly got a crash course in all things production and landed a production assistant position shortly after.
However, her true stardom began after she filled-in as host of FOX Sports’ Colorado Rockies all-access show—she was a natural! She quickly grabbed the attention of executives and landed a role as a regular host for the “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and soon made regular appearances as a sideline reporter for both FOX NFL and Big Ten Network.
Charissa then moved to both Versus and Yahoo Sports where she flawlessly juggled both anchoring Versus’ NHL studio coverage and recording web videos for Yahoo where she led coverage for events such as the 2010 Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl XLV and the BCS National Championship. Her success soon led her to ESPN where she hosted the afternoon show “Numbers Never Lie” before transitioning to the popular “SportsNation.”
Charissa is now—as you all probably know—the host of FOX NFL KICKOFF, the Sunday morning NFL pregame show we all know and love. She’s also the co-host of “Calm Down”, where I’m so lucky I get the excuse to chat with her week after week!
She is a sports fan through-and-through and you can see her love and passion for the game throughout everything she does and I’m just so honored to call her my friend.
Erin Andrews: What does the day to day of being a top tier sportscaster look like?
Charissa Thompson: Well, I'm currently sitting at an airport after doing standups for Extra, the entertainment show and I changed my clothes in a parking lot, did my own hair and makeup and now I'm eating nachos in the airport. Glamour, glamour! But honestly, it's the best. I mean look what I get to do for a living, watch football, talk sports with friends on TV, and occasionally interview Clooney. My life is good—not as good as these nachos—but good!
EA: Haha I know that life very well—but very jealous of those nachos, save some for me next time!
Where did your love/passion for sports begin? Did you always want to be a sportscaster?
CT: My love of sports came from my Dad. As a young girl I just wanted to hang out with my Dad and he was always watching sports so he taught me the game and instilled in me the love of all sports.
EA: Aw, that’s so sweet! I love that.
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to people who aspire to be where you are?
CT: The biggest piece of advice I would give to an aspiring broadcaster is work hard and be nice. Never treat anyone—cameraman, audio, prompter operator—like they work for YOU. You're a team. Always understand that someone else wants your job so keep working to make sure you're deserving of it. Lastly, be willing to do the small stuff. If your boss asks you to cover a game or do an interview, even if it's not the best game or the biggest star, say yes, or they will find someone else who will do it.
EA: Alright so obviously I know the answer to this, but can you tell everyone about how we came up with the idea for a podcast?
CT: Honestly our voicemails to each other were as long as our podcast episodes! I love that our genuine friendship has spanned a decade and honestly we were looking around and thinking, if everyone else is doing one, why not. We can talk about everything and anything. Now you might feel like you need a tylenol after the episode cause we're all over the place, but we enjoy it!
EA: Haha, so true. We sometimes just can’t stop, but I love that. Recording our episodes is still seriously a highlight of every week.
Can you tell everyone more about the name “Calm Down”?
CT: Calm Down was a name that came naturally to us because so often we will text each other if we see something or someone doing something and we would say, Calm Down! We just say it to ourselves and each other so much!!!!
EA: Ok so you also have a love for interior design and founded “House and Home” - where does that passion stem from and why did you choose to start your own business?
CT: My love of interior design comes from being a kid too. I remember when my parents were building the house I grew up in. They let me pick the room I wanted and it had bay windows and I thought those were so cool. I believe your home is a reflection of who you are and I believe that everyone should live in a home they are proud of, even if there are budgetary restrictions. So House and Home will help anyone make their house a home!
EA: What was the “I’ve made it” moment for you in your career?
CT: If you're lucky enough to get paid to do a job you love and you get to do it with your best friend, you don't need to buy a lottery ticket because you've already hit the jackpot!!
That’s how I feel about all these years of work and friendship with you, EA! And I will not calm down about it!!