Rhode Island’s Atwell Lands Spot on CBS’ Crazy Ones
Monday, January 13, 2014
"I try to get booked as often as possible, given the week-to-week demands," said Atwell. "So I'm grateful to share that I will be spotted throughout the season on different episodes."
The Rhode Island College graduate, who ran for statewide office in Rhode Island in 2008, moved to Los Angeles three years ago to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Atwell had been in consideration for a host position on the The Rhode Show before turning her sights on Hollywood.
"The hustle is worth the price," Atwell said. "I am so thankful for all of the support I have from everyone back home, I get so much support on Facebook. I hope to make Rhode Island proud. And I hope to inspire others to chase their dreams."
A "Consistent Journey"
"I contacted someone I knew, and a Thursday on set turned into four days the following week," said Atwell of her opportunity on The Crazy Ones. "My first day back on set will be Monday this week."
Of working with some of Hollywood's elite, Atwell said, "To share the screen with Robin Williams -- he is the one of the kindest, most generous spirited people out there. Should I make it, I aspire to be like him. But right now, I know my role. It's to be in the background and learn. I do feel the camera is my friend, and I will continue to work hard to succeed."
"My journey has been in a sense, consistent," said Atwell. "I went from working at a frozen yogurt shop and a Starbucks, to being a hostess at Wolfgang's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills. They then made me their public relations manager, and I made a lot of contacts. I also became a freelance reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, and I worked as Paula Abdul's executive personal assistant."
Atwell said it was an experience while working at Wolfgang's which solidified what she wanted to do. "I was a site rep for Fox while at Wolfgang's," said Atwell. "So if people wanted to film there, I helped negotiate renting the place out. And then I would be there from 7 AM to 2 AM -- and I loved it, the experience of being on set. I could see that happening for me."
Honing Her Craft
"It's non-union work," said Atwell of her appearances on The Crazy Ones. "My goal is to save up enough money to get a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card. It's $3,000, but it's an investment in your future."
"I'm studying at the Aaron Spesier acting studio, and doing some stand-up," said Atwell. "I perform with the Sketch Time Strangers. I really enjoy working with the up-and-comers like me -- I am passionate about connecting with people who love what they're doing and know what they want to be."
Atwell looked back at her experience in the industry to date. "It was three years and one day to be exact, and I was on national TV. I'm proud to be representing Rhode Island."
Note: Atwell was a member of the GoLocal sales staff while in Rhode Island.
Related Slideshow: Rhode Island’s Reality TV Stars
The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Season 7)
Claudia Jordan was recently picked up by Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" for Season 7 which is set to air in 2015.
The Providence native and former Miss RI is most recognized for her model stint on the hit show, "Deal or No Deal," but got her start as the second African-American woman ever to become a Barker's Beauty on "The Price is Right." Following her first run on "The Celebrity Apprentice," Donald Trump chose Jordan to host the 2009 Miss Universe pageant on NBC.
Jordan most recently appeared on the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice Season 6, representing the charity organization The Tom Joyner Foundation.
Game of Crowns
Cranston native and CEO of OPTX in Johnston Lynne Diamante is a life-long pageant queen and lawyer.
When Diamante is not on Game of Crowns, she and her family are busy supporting Hasbro Children's Hospital. She also represented Rhode Island at the 1991 Miss USA Pageant.
The Amazing Race (Season 23)
Providence native Amy Diaz recently became the latest in a string of Rhode Islanders to capture reality gold by winning the twenty-third installment of the hit CBS reality competition series The Amazing Race. Diaz, along with her boyfriend Jason Case were crowned the winners on Sunday night’s episode. Diaz is a former Miss Rhode Island titleholder, radio host, and a graduate of Classical High School.
Interestingly, fellow Rhode Islanders Daniel and Jordan Pious won season 16 of The Amazing Race in 2010.
Joseph Aaron Segal
Project Runway (Season 11)
The latest Rhode Islander designer to compete in Lifetime's popular fashion competition show, Joseph Aaron Segal works full-time designing and making World of JAS and Pretty Snake collections.
The Providence resident also teaches part-time in the textiles department at Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned an MFA in textile design. Segal finished in 13th place in Project Runway Season 11.
Making Mr. Right (Season 1)
Maybe it was the fact that he admitted that he had his mom from Cranston pack his bags, but the bachelor makeover dreams of Chris Mercurio were short-lived on the new VH1 reality dating show, which premiered in early January, 2013.
He left the show in the second episode.
The Bachelor (Season 17)
Perhaps the former GoLocalTV host and New England Patriots cheerleader should not have told ABC's newest bachelor, Sean Lowe, that her father would be a, well, threat if he dumped her.
Unfortunately for Marchetti, it played the opposite way, and she was not given a rose in episode 1.
He's become such a brand unto himself, it may be tough to remember that Johnston's Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio got his start as a member of the cast of MTV's wildly popular reality series. While not a reality competition per se, one might argue that Pauly D, who has emerged with resident DJ contracts at top-flight Vegas hotspots, collaborations with the like of 50 Cent, and his own spin-off show, took top prize.
Speaking of top prizes, Pauly won back-to-back Teen Choice Awards for Male Reality Star, in 2011 and 2012.
Survivor (Season 1)
Perhaps the most famous of all RI's reality stars, Newport resident Richard Hatch out-survived them all. By the final episode, 51 million Americans watched him "outwit, outplay, outlast" the last of 15 other contestants for the prize of one million dollars and a Pontiac Aztec.
Hatch returned to Survivor in 2004 for the All-Stars season, where, with a cry of, "I"ve been bamboozled!" he was voted off in the fifth episode.
Hatch stayed in the news when he was subsequently sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for failing to declare his winnings to the IRS.
Survivor 2: The Australian Outback
Rhode Islanders survived on national television back-to-back, as Elizabeth Filarski, who grew up in Cranston, fought her way to fourth place before being voted off the island.
Filarksi (now Filarski Hasselbeck—she married Washington Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck in July 2002), is perhaps one of the most successful Survivor contestants so far. She traded on her reality show face time to land a hosting job on a show called The Look for Less on the Style Network, and a co-hosting gig on ABC's The View with fellow Rhode Islander Meredith Vieira. She recently retured to co-host Fox and Friends on Fox News after a cancer scare.
Survivor 5: Thailand
The third Rhode Islander to rise to the extreme physical and emotional challenges of Survivor, the Navy swim instructor from Middletown graced the small screen in Survivor 5: Thailand.
Glover made it to fourth place and launched from there to hosting The Helen Glover Show, on Rhode Island's 920 WHJJ radio. The conservative radio host endorsed Ken Block's gubernatorial campaign earlier this year.
The Associated Press has also named her best talk show host a record five times.
Survivor 11: Guatemala
We're a tough lot here in Rhode Island, which is why Survivor's producers may have dipped into the Rhode Island pot again for Survivor 11: Guatemala, casting 2005 Brown University graduate Rafe Judkins. Judkins, who managed a wilderness program at Brown, got all the way to the final three, but his conscience ultimately caused him to give up any chance at the million-dollar prize. Conscience? Perhaps he's not a true RIer after all.
Footnote: Survivor 19: Samoa included Californian Mike Borassi who attended URI from 1965-1969. The sixty-two-year-old personal chef was pulled from the game in episode 2 after experiencing shortness of breath and low blood pressure.
Jonathan Joseph Peters
Project Runway (Season 7)
The URI graduate had left Rhode Island for Manhattan for 3 years when in 2009, he returned to Providence and was cast on Lifetime's hit design-challenge reality show hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum.
Peters made it all the way to the final 6 of 16 before heading home with his tools. Since then, the designer has taken a prominent role in launching and supporting fashion and design events in the region, including StyleWeek Northeast, where is is Creative Director and VP of Brand Development.
Kitchen Nightmares (Season 4)
An entire restaurant became the star on a March 11, 2011 episode of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey's high-voltage reality show on FOX about remaking restaurants that are desperately in need. The star? Providence's DownCity restaurant and its stubborn co-owner Abby Cabral.
Ramsey read Cabral et al the riot act, then returned to Providence on July 5, 2011, to check on DownCity's progress. He found a restaurant that had seemingly learned from his contentious earlier visit, and the episode aired October 21. But the changes and notoriety weren't enough to save DownCity from a down economy, and the restaurant closed its doors forever on December 10, 2011.
The Pious Brothers
The Amazing Race (Season 16)
In what has to be a unique situation, two contestants (or in this case, teams) from Rhode Island competed in the same season of a reality show. On the popular, far-flung CBS show that highlighted teamwork and creativity, two teams hailed from the Ocean State: undercover detectives Louis Stravato & Michael Naylor, and Daniel & Jordan Pious, brothers from Barrington.
And maybe two's a charm--the Pious brothers went on to win the whole thing. They were also the first male siblings to win the competition.
The Bachelor (Season 7)
Warwick resident Krisily Kennedy (Miss Rhode Island USA 2003) graced the spring 2005 season of the show featuring bachelor/actor Charlie O'Connell. She made it all the way to the final two before being rejected, in the May 16 finale, in favor of Sarah Brice, a nurse from Texas.
Kennedy became a contestant on the first season of ABC's spinoff, Bachelor Pad. She made it through four episodes before being eliminated.
The Bachelorette (Season 6)
The Barrington native was one of the eight contestants cut during the rose ceremony in the first episode of season six (aired May 24, 2010).
But before he left he was featured in a brief profile in which he visited his parents' home in Barrington, Barrington town hall, and the inside of a Providence courthouse. Resmini is a lawyer with his father's firm, Resmini Law Associates.
Erika Van Pelt
American Idol (Season 11)
While this wildly popular show may not be hard-core reality TV, it's still merits mention that South Kingstown singer Erika Van Pelt made it to tenth place before being eliminated on March 22, 2012.
Her first appearance was in the second episode during auditions in Pittsburgh, which aired July 15, 2011. The episode prior to her elimination included a profile of Erika that showed her home in the Green Hill neighborhood of South Kingstown and a shot of Wakefield's Main Street.
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