The Bach­e­lor pro­ducer weighs in

Jes­sica Nah­mias gets real about work­ing in re­al­ity tele­vi­sion

Richmond Hill Post - - Currents - by Ju­lia Mas­troianni

For some­one who spends al­most all her time be­hind the cam­era work­ing on the big­gest shows in re­al­ity TV, pro­ducer and di­rec­tor Jes­sica Nah­mias grew up think­ing she be­longed in front of the cam­era.

“When I was re­search­ing what kind of uni­ver­si­ties to go to for un­der­grad, at the time I said, ‘Oh, I want to go to theatre school,’ ” Nah­mias re­calls.

Theatre and per­for­mance had played a role in her life all through­out her child­hood. Nah­mias spent some time in the Thorn­hill-based theatre com­pany CharAc­tors, ran theatre camp at the Rich­mond Hill Coun­try Club day camp and sang in the jazz choir at Thorn­hill Sec­ondary School.

“There are so many places in that Thorn­hill com­mu­nity that helped cul­ti­vate my passion for this in­dus­try and also gave me the ex­pe­ri­ences that led me to the road I’m on,” Nah­mias says.

Her dad told her to pur­sue an­other more aca­demic de­gree be­fore go­ing to theatre school, so Nah­mias found her­self in the me­dia, in­for­ma­tion and tech­no­cul­ture pro­gram at Western Univer­sity, which led to a new­found in­ter­est in en­ter­tain­ment news.

Nah­mias de­cided to pur­sue a mas­ter’s de­gree in broad­cast jour­nal­ism at Syra­cuse Univer­sity, lead­ing her to work in the de­vel­op­ment depart­ment at Ex­tra for a year. She says the ex­pe­ri­ence was great, but she re­al­ized en­ter­tain­ment news wasn’t for her.

“I felt like I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I felt like I would have to only talk about gossip, which re­ally didn’t in­ter­est me,” Nah­mias says.

She then found her­self in a po­si­tion where she was be­ing of­fered an on-cam­era job in Palm Springs or a pro­duc­ing job on a re­al­ity show in L.A.

“There was a cross­roads where it was choos­ing this same path or re­al­ity TV. And I thought I could tell more real sto­ries and more in­ter­est­ing sto­ries in the re­al­ity TV scene,” she says.

The move led Nah­mias to some of the big­gest re­al­ity TV shows of to­day: she has worked as a pro­ducer on The Bach­e­lor, The Bach­e­lorette and Bach­e­lor in Par­adise; TLC’s Love at First Kiss; Spike’s Bar Res­cue and Bravo’s Yours, Mine or Ours.

“I get to meet amaz­ing peo­ple from all walks of life and get to share their per­sonal sto­ries with the world, and I find that su­per in­ti­mate,” she says.

Most re­cently, Nah­mias has taken on a new chal­lenge — work­ing as the series pro­ducer and di­rec­tor of Gusto’s Where to I Do?, a re­al­ity show cen­tred around help­ing cou­ples find their per­fect wed­ding venue.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful chal­lenge,” Nah­mias says. “It’s so ex­cit­ing to be able to not just tell the story from a pro­duc­ing per­spec­tive, but also tell it from a vis­ual per­spec­tive.”

The chal­lenges of re­al­ity TV for Nah­mias are of­ten more prac­ti­cal ones than any­thing else. “I need sun­light. I need no rain, weather, wind, sirens, leaf blow­ers.… It’s still a real en­vi­ron­ment, and I have to con­tend with all of that,” she says.

Nah­mias also says, with re­al­ity TV, there is the added chal­lenge of so much footage and so lit­tle time.

“There are three things you have to be con­sid­er­ing: what were the best mo­ments, what was the most au­then­tic and time be­cause that’s just a very real thing.”

Although Nah­mias says re­al­ity TV pro­duc­tion is a lot of long hours and hard work, she says she would never trade it for a desk job.

“It’s always a grind no mat­ter what show you’re on, but you get to make TV! How cool is that? How is that even a job?”

Nah­mias has worked as a pro­ducer on ‘The Bach­e­lor’ and ‘The Bach­e­lorette’

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