Celebrity Travel: Go away with Kevin Frazier
“Entertainment Tonight” co-host Kevin Frazier has traveled the world for his job. But before he began working on air, he manned the camera behind the scenes. “I worked as a cameraman,” Frazier said from Los Angeles, where he resides with his family. “(One day I) got to do a story about a peewee football team that was going to the big championship game. I went out and set everything up and shot that football practice and did my little stand-up.” At the time, he was 27 years old and making $13,000 annually. But Frazier, 58, said he wouldn’t trade his humble start for anything, because his early years gave him the foundation to work in every aspect of broadcast journalism.
Q: Being on TV, I’m sure you’re often treated like a celebrity. How do you keep yourself in check?
A: My wife is a public defender who now works for the ACLU. I have a job that’s on TV. I remember one day I was in New Orleans and I had to wait two hours for Britney Spears, and then I had to get on a plane and go somewhere else. And I said to my wife (on the phone), “Yeah, it’s just another tough day,” and she said, “Actually, I'm standing outside of a dry cleaner, looking in a dumpster at a murdered woman.” And I was like, “OK, I’m going to shut up now.” I love what I do and I am fulfilled by what I do. I never feel slighted. But I understand that there are checks and balances in this world and it's important to have those.
Q: When you went to cover Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in England in September, what were some of your observations?
A: I go to London a lot. It's one of my favorite cities. I love the diversity of London. I've been there for two royal weddings. London is a raucous city that is always full of energy. But I've never seen the city like that before. There were more people there than for either royal wedding, but there was a hush over the city (to show) respect for this woman. I think there are people all around the world who may have a problem with the colonialism of the British Empire. But I also think there was respect for this woman who did her job for this country and has always been there for most people's lives. I went out at 4 a.m. in the morning and walked around the city to look at the people standing outside. The line just to view the Queen's casket was five and a half miles long. I walked about three miles of that line, and it was amazing to see people out there waiting patiently. You could hear the bagpipes that were resonating off the walls of the buildings. It was beautiful and gave me goosebumps, because it was a moment that I'll probably never see again in my lifetime.
Q: When your sons were little, did you travel a lot with them?
A: Yes! We have taken them everywhere. But our favorite trip always has been when I cover the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Doing that in New York is amazing. So, them getting to spend a week in New York, going around and hanging out and seeing stuff – but also having this bird's-eye view of the parade – has always been one of our favorite family trips. They love to go to the American Museum of Natural History and, when it's warm enough, we bike ride in Central Park and soak up the flavor of the city. It’s so regular to them now being there right after Thanksgiving and seeing all the stuff and the storefronts and everything. It's become this family tradition that I love so much.
Q: What is a favorite childhood travel memory of yours?
A: When I was a little kid, New York was a trip that we always did with my father. My father's college roommate was in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. They had a troupe of basketball players who rode unicycles and so we would always go once a year to New York and go see them in the circus. So it was always this big deal.
Q: Is there one thing you look forward to doing or seeing on your vacations?
A: Whenever I travel, especially with my boys, I always try to go see a soccer match wherever I am in the world. You get to meet real people when you go to these events. I feel like you can feel the pulse of the people.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)
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