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LIBERTY'S TENNILLE RUTH never had Hollywood dreams, but has fashioned a solid living for herself in Tinseltown.

Hollywood Career Suits Liberty Woman

By Jeanne Sager
BURBANK, CALIF — January 11, 2008 — Climbing aboard Captain Jack Sparrow’s boat or a visit to Paris’ famous La Tour D’Argent would rank high on most folks’ “I wish I could lists.”
To Tennille Ruth, it’s just another day at the office.
Born and raised in Liberty, Ruth has spent the past 10 years behind the scenes in Hollywood.
But ask if her if she feels her life is glamorous, and Ruth laughs.
“No!” she says honestly.
“I mean, I’m in the midst of it just trying to make a living . . . it doesn’t feel as glamorous as it probably is,” Ruth explained
“But I’m definitely lucky,” she continued.
Growing up, Ruth admitted she never really thought about Hollywood.
She liked movies and television, but it wasn’t acting that caught her fancy.
She spent her days at Liberty High School in the art department with teachers Mr. Parks and Linda Berkowicz fostering her dreams.
When she left home, Ruth headed to Ithaca College to study cinema and photography, to enter the world of creating the final products screened on televisions across the country.
Her contacts through the school earned Ruth a place with Evolution Film and Tape, a Los Angeles-based company with contracts to produce shows for Disney, MTV and other big names.
Her first job for Evolution put Ruth on the set of Project Time, a series of segments used by Disney between its regular programming on the Disney Channel.
After interning on the Christopher Walken movie “Suicide Kings” while she was still in college, it was Ruth’s first chance to move into a real television show art department and show her stuff.
It was her in to Hollywood, but Ruth quickly moved up to production assistant and graphic designer on a number of Evolution shows and projects.
Among them was the Screen Gems Network overhaul of old favorites such as “I Dream of Jeannie” and a History Channel series dubbed “Secret Passages” that put Ruth in the role of diagramming the hidden chambers using her skills as a graphic artist.
The show lasted six months.
That, for Ruth, is a long haul, she admitted with a laugh.
“You come out, and jobs aren’t steady, you just go from job to job to job,” she explained. “Sometimes you get lucky, and the show lasts for two years, then you move on.”
For two years, Ruth was a team member on the popular TLC organization show “Clean Sweep.”
Hired as the production coordinator, Ruth’s role was in organizing the logistics behind the show.
She’d call craft service to be on the set, scout locations, meet up with the families who were calling for help to conquer their clutter even check with the local municipal zoning ordinances and apply for building permits.
“I just made sure things got done for [the designer],” Ruth explained. “But because it was the idea of something like $2,000 in two days, it was all hands on deck whenever necessary.”
She was known to grab a paintbrush or help rebuild rooms, even show up the final “reveal” to the homeowners.
The show lasted two years, and Ruth moved on to the Adam Carolla Project, where she was a segment producer as the one-time host of MTV’s “Loveline” gutted houses to “flip” them on the real estate market.
She stayed on a for a few episodes, then earned a full-time gig with another Evolution project at Disney.
This time it was “Movie Surfers,” a series of segments that take Disney Channel watchers behind the scenes of Disney movies.
She’s only recently left the show to pursue other opportunities, but Ruth revels in the fact that she got paid to walk onto the sets of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and other big hits to do her job.
“That’s my favorite part,” she explained, “seeing how it all comes together.
“It’s definitely one of the benefits. I get to see it in real [life] compared to on television,” Ruth continued.
“It’s amazing what these people can pull off on a soundstage,” she marveled. “They make rivers and waterfalls . . .”
Preparing a “Movie Surfers” look at the Pixar animated film “Ratatouille,” Ruth said she was flown to Paris where they filmed on the streets and at the world-renowned La Tour D’Argent.
It was an unexpected bonus to enter a 400-year-old restaurant that served as inspiration for the animated restaurant run by a rat named “Remy.”
“Yes, it’s work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” she admitted. “It’s always a perk when these type of jobs come up where I can fly someplace I’ve never been.”
The job has taken her to Prague in the Czech Republic to hype the next chapter in the Narnia series, and to New York City which allowed for a few days’ trip upstate to visit her parents, Bill and Derry Ruth, in Liberty.
Her family has always been behind her foray into the world of film and TV, Ruth said, even when they realized she’d be picking up her life and moving clear across the country.
“I don’t think anyone knew how it worked when you come out here,” she admitted, referring to the instability of a life in “the industry. “But they’ve always been supportive.”
Asked if she’s missed Liberty since leaving for college in 1994, Ruth laughed.
“I don’t miss the snow!” she said.
Life in Los Angeles is slower paced than other cities, she said, and Burbank is a short drive from LA.
“Burbank has a nice hometown feel, it’s not city life,” she noted. “Living in Liberty, you could drive to the city for culture and entertainment, it would just take you two hours.
“Here it just takes me 10 minutes.”
At this point in her career, choosing a freelancer what projects to get involved with is easier with a home on the West Coast.
She hasn’t ruled out moving back east down the road, but Ruth is content where she is.
There’s the bonus of course of running into the famous and fabulous when you leave your house – the glamorous part of it all.
“I think that the glamorous life probably caught my eye,” Ruth admitted. “As a kid, you find actors and actresses to look up to, but I really was more interested in how they made it all work.”
When she sees actors and actresses, it’s part of the job, Ruth admitted.
Filming a “Movie Surfers” piece about the movie “Enchanted,” she was introduced to “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey.
Most women swoon at the thought of shaking hands with “McDreamy,” but Ruth just laughed.
“I still think of him as the nerd from that ’80s movie, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’!” she confessed. “But things like that are fun – I get to see how the stars look in real life instead of on TV, how much shorter they are!”
Moving on to other projects after two years on “Movie Surfers,” Ruth said she doesn’t know what the next big thing on the horizon will be.
She volunteers her graphic design skills to help out the Burbank Animal Shelter and is lending a hand on the media kit for a children’s charity, Hollywood Heart.
She’s also still closely tied to Evolution – which is currently promoting its latest hits, Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and MTV’s “Yo Momma.”
She’s becoming a California girl, content not to pick up a snow shovel and bask up the sun.
“It’s nice out here, it’s not a hectic feel,” she said. “It’s just very hard to pick the good parts of your life when you don’t think it’s that exciting!”

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