The Official Blog of Misericordia University

COM Major’s Luck Led to Vegas

Posted by Guest Staff Blogger on Jun 1, 2016

Misericordia University Communications Department senior, Erin Dougherty, proves that not everything stays in Vegas. She brought home an important resume entry and portfolio material from her surprise gig as a production assistant on the Spike TV reality show “Bar Rescue.” The show features Jon Taffer, a food & beverage industry consultant who helps turn around failing bars in danger of closing.


The job came as a lucky break. While waitressing at III Guys Pizza in Dallas, she met a long-time cameraman who worked on many well known shows, including the “Mickey Mouse Club.” She chatted with him as she delivered pies and wings, and he put her in contact with the supervising producer for “Bar Rescue.”

“I had mentioned my aspirations of being in the field, and she remembered my interest when she was looking for an extra PA to assist with the bar they would be redoing in Las Vegas, Nevada. She said, ‘If you can fly out on Monday or Tuesday, you’ll be back by Saturday morning, all expenses paid. Arrange that and we would be happy to have you.’”

Dougherty had precious little time to make flight arrangements, connect with professors, cover her work shifts and pack her things. She landed in Las Vegas two days later, 8:11 p.m. Pacific time.



Dougherty said she was involved in almost everything: interviews, production meetings, and the recording of b-roll at the Hoover Dam and the Vegas strip. Here’s a link to her Vegas photos -

“I saw the interviewing process, how the interviews were conducted and how quickly they turned over footage to the editing team,” she said.

She attended meetings in the Palms hotel, where the crew stayed, and she carried equipment, cords and extra SD cards. She organized equipment, and served as a go-fer for lights, cords, memory cards, batteries and, at times, people.

She met the producers, cameramen, stage team, lighting team, decorating team, and even the crew’s personal chef, and the host Jon Taffer and his wife, Nicole.


“I learned that it is a fast-paced world,” Dougherty said. “Being well organized is key to creating a good show. Everyone must do his or her part or the show falls apart. Quick cover-ups or solutions to problems are important. The crew encouraged opinions and suggestions from everyone. Teamwork is key.”

She said she even found the bartending experts interesting and educational because she, too, is a bartender.

“The creative drinks and the quickness of [the bartenders’] hands were eye catching,” she said.

She said the most important lesson she learned was that “things” – and the people we meet – “are often not what they seem.”


dr_sgroi.pngAbout the author: Melissa Sgroi, Ed.D., is Chair of the Communications Department at Misericordia University. To learn more about Communications at Misericordia University, visit or request more information

Topics: Misericordia Proud

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