How then-pedia-aspirant Laura Lehmann fell in love with hosting
Looks like we’re going to be seeing more of this ‘Upfront at the UAAP’ host. (Photos taken from Lehmann's Instagram account: @iamlauralehmann)
We have been seeing a lot of Upfront at the UAAP host Laura Lehmann, haven’t we? Next to the pre-game show she has been on since the start of Season 79 and V-League, plus her Ateneo courtside reporting stint in the preceding two years, the former Binibining Pilipinas runner-up’s gorgeousness seems like it’s here to take over television. She has hosted the previous seasons of LISTED on The Lifestyle Network, too. Just recently, on top of her other endorsements, she posted a wow-worthy billboard of her in a bikini to promote a skin clinic. (With her, former UAAP courtside reporter Bea Fabregas who is now a successful DJ and host, too.)
It’s really your chosen track now, we tell the Psychology student.
“I hope so, I hope so. I love it! I love hosting,” she could only muster.
Before UAAP came into the picture, Lehmann has been vocal about pursuing her degree to ultimately become a pediatrician. Somewhere along the way, her broadcasting career took flight. Such exposed the 23-year-old to a different world, which challenged her in a way that only drew her further in.
For example, the former national softball player has always liked how sportscasting meshed her two loves—sports and speaking. Lehmann went out with her on-court know-how for Upfront, with the show reformatting from a fan-meets-player show to a more in-depth program featuring legit sports panelists. She “really had to study, know all teams and every basketball player ‘cause, of course, you have to when you talk about them. You also want to give them respect and keep their dignity.” For V-League, which only debuted on ABS-CBN S+A last year, she had to bring out more of her research skills in tackling the humanity behind every player featured on the show.
While she went live for Upfront and V-League, Lehmann had to tape ahead for Listed. The magazine show literally brought her and then-cohost Walter de Mesa out of the comfort zone, say, an air-conditioned set indoors. She says stories of the sun touching her skin, sand dirtying her food, and all that jazz.
But the thrill-seeking Lehmann loved it.
“I hardly even wore makeup on that show ‘cause I can’t go swimming or searching for like a fish (wearing one). It’s very rugged and adventure-oriented, which I liked,” she reveals. “In previous seasons, it was more about fancy hotels and fancy food. But for me, It’s like, you don’t even stay at a hotel!”
Not all fun and games
The only trouble Lehmann had to inevitably face: Juggling everything else with school. The “part-time student” would have graduated along with batchmates Alyssa Valdez and boyfriend Von Pessumal, but hadn’t for missed classes especially whenever she went out of town for taping. Two years more with around four classes per semester, she vows to herself as her graduation goal.
Still, no regrets, Lehmann says. She especially feels lucky to have come across this as a new career track.
“I think it’s more important that I pursue this now ‘cause it’s very,” she pauses. “It’s here. It’s hard to come by. Sometimes, opportunities only come once so grab it and school will always be there as long as I graduate one day.”
“Of course, I want to graduate. I wouldn’t want to go through life without getting my degree. I started so sayang all these like, like the five years I’ve been in college already.”
Goodbye doctor dreams?
So, whatever happened to this kid lover’s dream of becoming a pediatrician someday?
She’s going to play it by ear, she says. “I can’t say now because I think my goal is just to graduate and decide what I’d do after.”
A grateful Lehmann just seems to take things in with less hesitation, especially if it’s doing her right. For example, she is just waiting to tape for another season of Listed, which she says might mix things up in the content in the next season. A quick browse of her Instagram would reveal her jumping from one product shoot to another, including posts that show her being a product influencer.
“When I started college I really had nothing. My life was not on TV. I was on the pre-med track, I was studying a pre-med course: Psychology and Neuroscience. I was really supposed to go to med school and when I tried all these things, it all changed.”
“So, I stopped with med but I opted to do AB Psychology so the med part is still kind of there. But then I added the communication portion from Psych for my hosting career.”
Despite getting off from her first track, what adds to Lehmann’s contentment with whatever she has now now is rather a who.
“Von is really supportive of my career,” she says of her GlobalPort-hailing beau. “We’re both very busy. He’s busy with PBA. I’m busy with my hosting. So, very similar lifestyle.”