Hallmark Birthday Greetings: To my sister Leisha Smith-Townsend
Hallmark Birthday Greetings: To my sister Leisha Smith-Townsend

Hallmark Birthday Greetings: To my sister Leisha Smith-Townsend

Back in 2003 I was working for a place in L.A. called Burke Williams and I met some cool people there.Halle Berry came in for a treatment, I forget what it was but I did check in Jennifer Aniston for a thermal seaweed wrap; it’s supposed to be good for detox. Kevin Spacey and George Michael would come out to BW, too, but not together, though, at least I don’t think they were together. Hmmm…anyway, Kevin would get a massage and George would have the salt-glo super-exfoliant treatment. Ellen’s mom Betty came in with a gift certificate for a massage. I even got to meet Ellen’s wife Portia de Rossi while working for Burke; she was a regular guest and a member of urban day spa/oasis on Sunset.

Seeing all these entertainment people made me want to get in the biz but I’m a Pisces so I didn’t want to be front and center; I’ve never been much of an attention-seeker or self-promoter. My, how things change, right?! 😉

Anyway, I started looking around online about how to get my foot in the door somewhere. I found an ad on Monstertrak for a research internship at the UPN television network. I didn’t think twice about sending my resume. I made sure it was perfect and I even wrote a dynamite cover letter. I wasn’t sure I’d hear back but I did the next day. I got a call from a gal who sounded very sharp, very matter-of-fact yet nice and polite. We’d scheduled an interview for the following week. I had butterflies in my stomach the day I went in there to meet Leisha-Smith Towsend. Our interview went well and after it concluded I thanked Leisha for her time. I didn’t know if I’d hear back or not. I told my grandmother Mary about it and she told me quite convincingly and encouragingly, “You’ll get it, watch…” Who was I to argue with mi abuelita?

Anyway, to make a long story just a little bit longer, I got the internship that started my research career. I was hired full-time by the network after my internship and was put in charge of viewer feedback — first order of business: dealing with the Trekkies after Star Trek: Enterprise was canceled. A couple of years later my grandmother passed away and Leisha attended her funeral. I’ve been very fortunate to have met many great people in an often-fickle business. UPN was folded into the WB to create the CW that same year and we all went our separate ways. Leisha and I still keep in touch and we both still work in this crazy entertainment business. We’ve had a rough past couple of years but now things are looking up again. She’s my sister and a loving, kind and extraordinarily compassionate Scorpio with a heart of pure gold. Happy Birthday, Leisha.

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