Columbia student off and “Running” 20-year old Erica Hubbard hosts her own show on the UPN

By The Columbia Chronicle

On a yearly basis, Columbia becomes a haven for fresh talent. It’s no secret that due to the school’s commitment to staying active in the fine arts community, students flock to its doors. As students come into this warehouse of dreams, one always hopes to become successful in their field of choice.

Erica Hubbard, a model and actress, can be added to the long list of Columbia success stories. A broadcast journalism major and a theater minor, this 20-year-old senior has been making a name for herself since she was nine-years-old. “My parents were stage parents,” said Hubbard. She attended acting classes at such institutions as Act One and Kids in Theater. Her first gig in the world of glamour was modeling job for Sears at age nine. Her first audition for television was for “Charles in Charge.” Hubbard did the lip-synching for the promos. After such extensive experience as a child, it’s no wonder she came through the doors of Columbia where her talents could continue to develop and be shown to the world.

Although she keeps a tight schedule, Hubbard has managed to become a senior in just three years thanks to summer school. She has also been given credit through the SAG office at Columbia for life experience. Life is hectic for the model/actress; she takes classes only on Tuesdays and Thursdays and continues to do voice-overs, acting and plenty of modeling.

The newest addition to this busy woman’s schedule is hosting the Sunday morning show, “UP ‘N Running” for the last five months. The show airs at 8 a.m. on UPN-Channel 50 and is geared toward eight to 12-year-olds. Aside from the actual taping time in the studio, she has to fit two to three days of shooting footage in her schedule.

“The most exciting or interesting part of my work is the people I interview. For example, B96 [WBBM-FM] was great!” said Hubbard. At the popular radio station, she met Roxanne, B96’s music producer.

She said her most interesting interview, however, was when she met with an organization of people who dedicated themselves to living like the people on “Star Trek.” “It seemed as if they actually thought these people were alive,” Hubbard said. “They didn’t just dress this way, they acted like it. There was a woman there who did the make-up for ‘Star Trek,’ so they had all these special effects make-up and chiseled teeth. They even had their children dressed up like this and there was even a little spaceship. It was fun.”

Just as this business is exciting, it is also hectic. “My most hectic interview was when I interviewed some of the Bears players,” Hubbard said. “I got up at 3 a.m. to go to the Bears training camp in Platteville, Wisconsin, and didn’t get back until midnight. It was a long day, but the footage was great.”

She can also add newly elected Secretary of State Jesse White to her list of prestigious guests. Meeting plenty of people is very important to the young host and something she has the opportunity to do every day in her many different roles.

When asked if she gets nervous in her new position, she claimed, “When I first started out in 1988, I was really nervous and hesitant to go on all those auditions. There was all this competition, all these girls who had more energy than me at times. But now I just say if I get it, I’m going to call it a blessing.”

Hubbard has come a long way since then to become an energetic young woman making her dreams come true. Her list of accomplishments include commercials for Ameritech, Coca-Cola, Montgomery Wards, Nike, Noxema and Oprah Winfrey Promotions. Hubbard was also featured in a national Reebok commercial for NBA star Shawn Kemp. Along with “UP’N Running,” she can also add “ER” on her list of film credits.

Hubbard’s biggest goal is to receive a role in a movie produced by “Babyface” Edmonds and his wife Tracy. She was called in for a read-through along with many stars including Sara Gilbert (“Rosanne”), Usher, Edmonds, Vanessa Williams and Forest Whitaker. Hubbard plans to go to Los Angeles eventually. “I feel like I need to get out there during pilot season and meet some people,” she said. “It’s 50 percent talent and 50 percent who you know.”