By Wade Coggeshall
INDIANAPOLIS — Lisa Lee has come home in a big way.
The Avon and IUPUI graduate recently moved back to Indiana after spending a few years working in Hollywood. She has translated that experience into her new gig as The Face of MyINDY-TV 23.
"I accomplished some of my goals (in Hollywood). I just wanted to be back where I'm from," Lee said while in the MyINDY-TV 23 studio at WISH-TV. "This contest was perfect for me."
As The Face of MyINDY-TV 23, Lee records and broadcasts from myriad public events around the city. Recently she conducted a segment on the Headless Horseman attraction at Conner Prairie. Next week she gets to go to Chicago and meet Steve Harvey on the set of his talk show, which is aired 4 p.m. weekdays on MyINDY-TV 23.
"It's not really a job because it's so much fun," Lee said of being The Face. She also helps with numerous station contests and giveaways, a current one being a trip to Chicago to meet Harvey.
Melissa Hook, promotion coordinator for WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV, says it's The Face's job to promote the stations to the public.
"It's such an interesting and unique position," Hook said. "It's definitely a talent-oriented position, but it's also a one-stop shop. It's meant to encapsulate every aspect of promotion."
Lee, who started in the role on Sept. 17, is the fourth Face since the stations commenced the position. Each Face serves as such for one year.
"The first two Faces have gone on to do some pretty significant work after this job," Hook said, adding the third only recently left the role. "It's a really cool steppingstone kind of job because it gives you practical skills. You're not just sitting and looking pretty. You have to know how to write, shoot, and edit - the interworkings as well."
Lee beat out almost 200 other contenders for the Face position. She believes her experience working in Los Angeles helped. Aside from freelance writing for outlets including MTV and People magazine, she also did everything from serving as a stand-in to acting in movies and TV shows.
"It's all about getting one job after the next," Lee said of Hollywood. "Steady gigs are almost impossible there."
She describes that time as interesting, educational, fun, and even shocking.
"It's a totally different culture in Hollywood," Lee said. "You have to be a pretty tough cookie to survive. They say if you make it past six months, it's a go. People generally find out in that time if they're cut out for it."
It's also expensive.
"You have to have a real part-time job, do something you probably never dreamed of doing," Lee said. "The rest of the time you're trying to get your parts and do what you love."
Ultimately she decided to return to Avon because her family is still there, along with creature comforts like the Pizza King Express and Frost Bite dairy bar.
"You miss things like that when you're gone, trust me," Lee said, adding Hoosier Hospitality is real too.
She sees herself staying for the time being. While she acknowledges you sometimes have to go where the work is, Indianapolis has grown exponentially, and creatively, in her view.
"I'm having a great time," Lee said.
She may be reached by calling 874-0381 or emailing TheFace@INDYTV.com. Lee also is on Facebook at Face of MyINDY-TV and Twitter @FaceofMyINDYTV.