She has eyes that can tell a story, and genuine smile that can warm your heart.  I’m talking about NTV’s Colleen Williams.  But she is WAY more than a face on NTV, she is a mentor and friend.  I decided I’m going to tell you a little more about Colleen … more than you may know now.

Nine years ago I didn’t even know this lady.  After working at NTV for not even quite a year yet, I hear “She’s coming back!”  Who?  Colleen Williams.  Super short blond hair, poise, style–she was an anchor that NTV was excited to have return to Central Nebraska.  She was a big deal. (I mean even more than Ron Burgundy in Anchorman 🙂 )

I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated.  I was still trying to get my bearings around how to talk on camera, and she worked in New York.  Kearney is the biggest town I’ve ever lived in, and I was struggling with the biggest challenge in my life at the time.  Image

This on-air gig was not working for me.  The editing and writing I was understanding, but the hair, makeup, adlibiing, and talking into a camera was not working for me.  I just couldn’t grasp what I was doing wrong or how to fix it.  I hit rock-bottom.  On top of the criticism I was getting, I knew I needed new clothes but I didn’t have the money to pay for them.  Besides, I didn’t know what to buy that would look good.  I was ready to throw in the towel and give up my dream of being a news anchor.  Every day I drove home from the station furious at my performance and I remember thinking, “Who am I kidding?  I do not have the look or talent to be on t.v.”

Then, I thought, if anyone knows whether I have a shot at this job or not, it’s Colleen.

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She must have sensed it, or someone told her, because at the same time I was going to ask her for help–she offered.  She helped me learn how to style “on-air” hair and what makeup to use.  She sat with me in the studio and taught me how to talk, sit, and present information.  I will never forget the day when she said, “I have something for you.  It’s like Christmas for Marylyn today!”-and it was.  She pulled out about 5 suit jackets and gave them all to me.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how she pulled me up from nothing and made me into who I am today.  I wouldn’t be in this business if it wasn’t for Colleen.  I look up to her, and I cherish her as a friend.

I still have most of those suit jackets.  They are a reminder of how Colleen was willing to go out of her way to reach out to a drab country girl trying to find her place in the t.v. world. Image I LOVE YOU COLLEEN!!

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