Three Abilene Christian University students completed internships for the TV production The Chosen over the past two summers and acquired new connections as well as tangible skills for their future careers.
Holly Reichling, senior multimedia major from San Antonio, was a production intern for The Chosen at the set in Utah this summer.
Reichling started out at ACU as a digital entertainment and technology major before making the switch to multimedia. Screenwriting is Reichling’s aspiration for her career, and ACU has allowed her to begin to create connections with her future field. Being a fan of The Chosen already made her role as an assistant director intern even more enjoyable. A majority of her time was spent behind the scenes providing whatever was needed on set.
“This industry has so many moving parts and everyone has a role to play, but no matter what job you’re doing it’s important to be a light,” Reichling said. “At the end of the day, regardless of the position, people are people and should be treated with the same love and kindness that Jesus displayed on the cross. This industry involves relying on people and connections and you never know who could get you your next job.”
Nouwen Craft, senior musical theatre major from Wylie, was a background extra for The Chosen last summer, and Gabriella Lopez, senior acting major from Keller, was an assistant director intern for The Chosen this summer working alongside Reichling.
As a background extra last summer, Craft arrived early in the morning to check in, put her costume on and have her hair and makeup done. She found the opportunity through a friend and said she loved every minute of her experience.
“The Lord was very present on that set,” Craft said. “I watched as many people who were believers on the set engage with others who just viewed this as another job. It was an incredible thing, and the Lord is doing big things on the set of The Chosen.”
Despite working on such a large production, Craft felt respected by all of those around her, even while sometimes working 15-hour days on set. She was able to learn about the world of TV production and how to produce a high-caliber production all while glorifying God.
“While it was incredible working on such a big project, the thing that really stood out to me about The Chosen was the way they dealt with people,” Craft said. “We were always treated with love and respect. What stuck out to me was not the big sets or the fantastic costuming, but the way they valued every single person who worked there that summer.”
Lopez worked alongside Reichling to ensure the set was a safe environment for the crew and actors. She had the opportunity to closely shadow the script supervisor, ask questions and direct the background actors in several scenes.
She met Chad Gundersen and Chris Juen, producers of The Chosen, who came to ACU for a visit last year and reached out over email for opportunities to get involved in the show. Later in the spring, she heard about the summer internship from a family friend in Keller who then connected her to the production.
“The Chosen was such a special environment that was incredibly supportive and encouraging,” Lopez said. “When things got stressful or complicated, emotions didn’t run high, and things were still so professional, even when the pressure was on. But whether it’s easy or challenging, remember to be a light wherever you go.”
— Connor Mullins
Oct. 3, 2023