Ana Martinez-Holler '85, Communication
Director of Public Relations
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
On a hot summer day in front of the Kodak Theatre, communication alumna Ana Martinez-Holler was overseeing the 2,236th star embedded in the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. This particular day belonged to Robert Duvall.
Camera shutters clicked, and video rolled in hopes of capturing the star’s gaze. The media crowd itself was a good cross section of entertainment journalism: Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, CBS and E! were among those allowed within the cordoned event area. Holler watched every moment of the event carefully as she stood next to Duvall’s entourage under a VIP awning.
This was all a typical workday for Holler, who graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s in communication. Holler is director of public relations for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the organization behind the Walk of Fame, a five-acre area of sidewalks that is a popular tourist attraction dedicated to luminaries in various entertainment categories.
She is involved in every stage of a Walk ceremony, from helping choose which “talent” will be immortalized in terrazzo and bronze, to coordinating the publicity and ensuring the dedication goes smoothly.
Holler’s career in the entertainment industry began with an internship at KNBC as a junior during the 1984 Summer Olympics. After graduation, she took a position at CBS Television City as a page working on game shows.
“I didn’t really know where I was going to go to work until I got the KNBC internship, so that’s what pretty much pushed me toward Hollywood. I knew there would be variety.”
Although she was looking for something that would lead to contacts with the major studios, Holler answered an ad in The Hollywood Reporter for a receptionist position at the Hollywood Chamber. She was soon promoted to publicist, a job she has held for 16 years.
“In publicity, every day is different. With two or three ceremonies a month, I’m dealing with people on a constant basis,” Holler says.
In addition to the event planning and media work, Holler scouts suitable locations for star placement. She also works with a committee to choose those who will be invited to have a star dedicated the following year.
Holler says that while most celebrities enjoy the honor, some well-known names have turned down a Hollywood star, while others get nominated more than once.
“The most difficult part of my job is being the one to say ‘I’m sorry, but your person didn’t get selected,’” she says. “People keep trying for years to get this person in, and every year, I have to tell them the bad news.”
The stars run the stretch of sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard between Gower and La Brea and along both sides of Vine from Yucca to Sunset. Oscar winners sometimes get placed in front of the Kodak Theatre, while other celebrity locations get chosen differently.
“I put Farrah Fawcett in front of a hair salon because she is so famous for her hair. We put the Rugrats in front of a toy store,” she says.
Holler’s first ceremony event as Chamber publicist was for rock and roll singer Bob Seger. Now, 300 stars later, she says she doesn’t get star struck, although she admits that “Sophia Loren was great, but I think because I’ve done it for so long, I don’t get fazed.”
She credits the university for preparing her well for her career.
“I think Cal Poly Pomona and my PR studies have helped me,” she says. “There are lots of personalities you have to deal with, and I think I have learned to deal with people well.”