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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

QU alum wins an Emmy for casting on the reality show ‘The Traitors’

Jazzy+Collins+is+the+first+Black+Emmy+winner+for+Outstanding+Casting+for+a+Reality+Program+for+her+work+on+The+Traitors.
Elizabeth Forrest
Jazzy Collins is the first Black Emmy winner for Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program for her work on “The Traitors.”

When taking film classes at Quinnipiac University, every student dreams of where their career will take them and what milestones they will accomplish once they graduate.

For Jazzy Collins, a 2014 Quinnipiac film, television and media arts alum and a casting director, dreams became a reality on Jan. 15 when she became the first Black Emmy winner for the category Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program for her work on “The Traitors.”

“I was in shambles on stage,” Collins said. “I was trying to hold myself together. I was trying not to cry. It was a lot of emotions hitting all at once. Obviously, first is shock and then the second one is being so proud of where I’ve come so far.”

At the same time, Collins said she has a responsibility to pave a path for other Black women who might think they don’t have a chance of working in the film and TV industry.

The casting director worked on “The Traitors” — a murder mystery reality show on Peacock — for six months in casting and production. She interviewed contestants and was able to see them again once they made it on the show.

“Seeing them on set is really, really cool because a lot of people from the casting team usually don’t have that opportunity to be on set as well,” Collins said.

Contestants on the “The Traitors” live in a castle and work in teams to complete missions to earn up to $250,000.

One of Collins’ roles was to help explain the rules of the show to contestants during its first season. Collins said she also did welfare, a process in which she helped contestants integrate back into society after being in a high-stress environment.

As a casting director, Collins oversees a casting producer, casting associate, casting managers, casting coordinators and casting editors.

“There’s a lot of us that are all on one team, which is why I can’t take credit for everything,” Collins said. “It’s literally a full -team effort.”

Collins said that the casting team works to find people based on what type of show it is. She said for competition shows such as “The Traitors,” they look for people that have particular jobs or who have the right psychological traits.

“So, can they manipulate?” Collins said. “Can they talk really well? Which is why we thought of a hairstylist or we thought of people that work as a political analyst, because these people can talk, these people can get secrets.”

The casting director has been working in the field for the last decade. She was previously nominated in 2023 for her work on “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.”

Collins has worked in casting on several different shows throughout the years, such as “America’s Got Talent,” “The Circle,” “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”

Prior to her work in the field, Collins’  time at Quinnipiac especially as a member of Quinnipiac Film Society taught her a lot.

“Quinnipiac Film Society was something that was near and dear to my heart while I was there,” Collins said. “It really opened up my eyes to how you can look at film differently and how you can collaborate with people that you normally don’t have the chance to collaborate with.”

Collins said she walked into QFS as a first-year that didn’t really know anyone and by the end, she is still friends with some of the people she met today.

“We’re on set for long hours, created these films that may never see the light of day,” Collins said. “But we had so much fun doing it. That alone, really, I would say impacted my career today.”

Raymond Foery, professor emeritus of communications, said Collins was in his two-part senior seminar class while she was at Quinnipiac.

“She was lively,” Foery said. “She was always opinionated. This was a seminar so I encouraged people to express their opinions and she was never reluctant to. I found her to be intellectually stimulating.”

When he found out that Collins won an Emmy, Foery said he was like a “proud father.”

“When you have students that you’re close to or that you remember fondly, they’re like your children,” Foery said.

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Jacklyn Pellegrino, Arts & Life Editor

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