It was a spontaneous leap out of the Bronx and into the Green Mountains that landed Castleton State College alumnus Mark Noble on the red carpet.
And at a Soundings event on April 3 at 7 p.m., this senior field producer for Access Hollywood will take the stage of Casella Theater to discuss the journey from living his small town Spartan days to fulfilling his Hollywood dream.
The 1989 graduate says he intends for the event to be an interactive session where he will shed light on the importance of taking advantage of all the tools Castleton has to offer, preparing for internships and maintaining contacts along the way.
” I think it will be insightful in terms of the journey,” he said.
As a reporter and producer for Access Hollywood, Noble has the opportunity to interview celebrities from across the globe. He says he has met and worked with all kinds of people, from comedians to humanitarians and everyone in between.
“I’ve been able to interview incredible people,” he said.
Last June at an FX premiere event, Noble found himself in front of the camera with Russell Brand interviewing him about the debut of his new show, “Brand X.” In the interview the famously scandalous celebrity took Noble’s phone and called his parents.
“Mark’s dad, this is Russell,” Brand said into the phone.
According to Noble, his parents, who live on the east coast, were awakened by the call. However, his father’s grogginess was not enough to defer the prank-driven Brit.
“I just wanted to say that Mark is doing a wonderful job here. You’ve raised a fine – if a little overly erotic son,” Brand continued. “You’ve raised a fine young man, sir. Now I need to talk to your wife.”
When Noble’s father did not put his mother on the phone Brand ended the chat with an “I love you, Dad” and hung up without ever putting Noble on the line.
“They have no idea who Russell Brand is,” Noble said of his parents.
He also recalled a more recent incident at the Oscars when he was scheduled to interview Elton John, but couldn’t get through security.
Fortunately, Noble was recognized by John and his manager, who quickly handled the security fiasco.
“Ya made it!” said John.
“It was like I was his best friend,” Noble said.
Noble hasn’t always lived in the fast lane and been ushered through security by the Elton John’s of the world. As a kid, he grew up in the Bronx and after viewing the opening scene of The Bob Newhart show he found himself itching to know life in the Green Mountains.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God! This place is gorgeous, I want to go to college there!” he said.
So Noble pulled out a catalog of Vermont colleges, closed his eyes and pointed to a random school on the page.
“I knew I wanted to go to a school that was journalism and communication,” he said.
The first school his finger landed on didn’t have these programs, so Noble closed his eyes and dropped his finger again, only to land on Castleton.
He never actually visited the school before making his decision to attend Castleton. He trusted the reviews of a friend who had toured the school, read the catalog, and called the residence halls a few times to talk to students.
He said the people were helpful, the location was beautiful, and his desired programs were available, and so Noble became a Spartan.
“Site unseen. Based on a catalog and a couple of phone calls,” he said.
While at Castleton, Noble said he benefited most from the hands-on aspect of his courses that allowed him to get familiar with media equipment. He was also able to intern in the field and this experience landed him his first job at WABC.
Noble called communication professor Robert Gershon his “primary shepherd” while at Castleton.
“He gave you the tools,” Noble said.
Gershon recalled his time with Noble fondly as well.
“He had the talent to match his intelligence, a seriousness of purpose and a willingness to work,” he said.
While Noble acquired many of his technical skills from Gershon, he said he was also riveted by the teaching styles of Roy Vestrich.
“He was at Castleton at a time with a lot of new faculty and young faculty. We had a lot of energy,” Vestrich said.
“We were all so inspired by what his classes had to offer,” said Noble.
Vestrich recalled many discussions he had with Noble outside of the classroom and described him as being a creative and very driven student who knew the path he wanted his life to go down.
“He had the Hollywood-bug” he said, “he was going to make it happen and you knew it was going to happen.”