Student Spotlight

On the way up

Cam Kreitner sits at a desk in downtown Athens, Georgia
UGA senior Cam Kreitner hosts a local live late-night show, "Late Night in Athens." (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)

UGA senior Cameron Kreitner sets his sights on late-night fame

As he walked down the stairs of his parents’ home to pour himself a bowl of Rice Krispies, Cameron Kreitner had no idea that his life was about to be impacted in an unimaginable way.

At the bottom of the steps, he was caught by “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on the living room TV, and in an instant became immersed in the world of late-night comedy.

Years later, Kreitner is still keeping the desire to be seen and entertain others alive as he works to carve out his own spot in a booming industry.

Through his time as a theatre minor and an entertainment and media studies major at UGA, Kreitner has been able to grow as a person and an entertainer, eventually coming to host “Late Night in Athens,” one of Athens’ first live evening talk shows.

Cam Kreitner hosts "Late Night in Athens" at Athens Creative Theatre in Memorial Park.

Cam Kreitner hosts “Late Night in Athens” at Athens Creative Theatre in Memorial Park. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)

The monthly show is staffed by current students and UGA alumni, with their first show taking place in November 2022. The show, held at various locations around Athens, has since featured local celebrities and socialites including UGA photographer Chamberlain Smith and Atlanta-based comic Noell Appling. Kreitner acts as the charming host to guide the conversation with carefully crafted anecdotes and witty banter.

The show was kicked off by a chance encounter with Keegan Westra, the current CEO of It’s Good to See You Productions, in their freshman acting class.

“I told Keegan about this idea, among thousands of other people, but Keegan was like, ‘Hey man, do you want to do this late-night talk show thing?’,” Kreitner remarked, “I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it tomorrow.’ and it’s just been a wild ride since then.”

All part of the journey

He has been able to explore all facets of show business through the EMST program, lately taking more time to focus on writing for TV and production.

In the recent 2023 BEA Awards, Kreitner earned third place in the Original Television Series Pilot category for “The Winner’s Circle,” a half-hour college comedy written with fellow EMST student Hyde Healy.

Props on the set of "Late Night in Athens"

Props on the set of “Late Night in Athens” (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)

“I think collaboration is one of the biggest things I’ve learned from working on so many different projects in school,” Kreitner said. “I used to be very confident in what I had, but in learning how to grow as a creative, I’m so proud to say that I’m nothing without the people who helped me get here and the people who help me now.”

This rings especially true for Nick Schwarzmann from IGTSY Productions, Kreitner’s right-hand man and a big part of the show’s success.

“He’s my Steve Higgins, my Andy Richter, I love him to death. We call for hours on end and just say these jokes over and over until we feel like it’s right,” Kreitner said. “Without Nick, it’d be impossible to put the show on.”

As he approaches graduation and looks to the future, Kreitner continues to strive toward his ultimate goal of hosting a show of his own.

But Kreitner knows that he may have to wait 10 or 15 years for that dream to become a reality. “Have I come to terms with that? Honestly no, I haven’t. I’m ready to work,” he said.

But to any students that may have similar ideas and don’t think that they are possible, Kreitner offers this advice:

Cam Kreitner interviews guest Noell Appling, Atlanta comedian and UGA alum, alongside co-host Nick Schwarzmann.

Cam Kreitner interviews guest Noell Appling, Atlanta comedian and UGA alumnus, alongside co-host Nick Schwarzmann. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith/UGA)

“Take a deep breath and realize how much good work you are already fully capable of doing,” Kreitner said. “If you really, really, really want something in life, in college, in your profession … go do it.”