Twelve years ago, Alex Ficquette was a teenager shouting at the back of a “Today” show concert featuring Mary J. Blige.
“I randomly saw Al Roker buying a pretzel from a street vendor, and said ‘Hi’ to him,” Ficquette told TVNewser. Fast forward to today, where he’s been anointed “Alex on the plaza.”
The Associate Producer for the “Today” show oversees the signature outdoor plaza, interacting with fans who come from far and wide to experience the concerts, contests, and ideally, enjoy their 15 minutes — or just a few seconds — of fame with “Today’s” hosts.
Friday morning, TVNewser spent some time on the plaza as OneRepublic performed. All the while, Ficquette, 27, kept the crowd revved up as they waited for the pop-rock band to take the stage. Taking pictures, sparking conversations, and giving shout outs to the best signs is all part of being the plaza’s ringleader (Vine after the jump).
“That group outside, they’ve been up since 2:30am, and you would never know it,” he told us about one energetic group celebrating their friend’s 60th birthday. “You have to be interested in people’s stories. I feed off of their energy because they’re in amazing spirits.” When he’s not on the plaza he might appearing on the show’s fourth hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Ficquette’s path to the TV news business is a story in itself. “I didn’t go to school for film or production,” he said.
Instead, he went to Parsons The New School for Design, where he studied design and management. Following internships at Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Barney’s New York, Fiquette worked as a design researcher. And one project brought him back to a familiar spot. “I was working with a design firm that was helping with the new enhanced TODAY plaza. It exposed me to what it was like to have a career in television, and I loved it.”
Back on the plaza, Ficquette interacts with the show’s anchors, alerting them to fans who stand out. “I’ve actually gotten personal thank yous from [the anchors] for some of the introductions we’ve made outside,” Ficquette said. “They feel the fans are the life of the show.”