RIO RANCHO, N.M. — If there’s anything to suspicions of DNA leading into an offspring’s talent, this may be a good case for it.
Clare Moots, a 2017 graduate of Rio Rancho High School, is the daughter of two longtime television talents — one behind the camera, the other in front of it. Carey Moots, a graduate of Cibola High School and Eastern New Mexico University, met Sumiko Corley, a graduate of Pepperdine University, when the two worked at KOB-TV in Albuquerque in the early 1990s.
Nearly 30 years later, the couple is still working, this time for NBC. There’s no telling when the phone may ring, summoning one or both of them for a news event in the West or Southwest.
Clare, a junior at ENMU, seems to be following in their often-hectic footsteps, and was among the myriad of media men and women covering the Sept. 16 Donald Trump rally at Santa Ana Star Center. Her dad, Carey Moots, was on the scene for NBC.
Being a media member wasn’t always her dream, she said.
“Honestly, as a kid I always wanted to be a FBI agent or a Secret Service agent,” she said. “I still think that their jobs are so cool.”
But according to Clare, her parents’ jobs are also pretty cool.
“Every single time I see something my parents worked on, all I want to do is show the whole world their talent,” she beamed. “I still get so excited even today, whenever an episode of ‘Dateline’ … that my dad shot footage for (airs), I always tell my friends to turn on the TV and watch.”
When those calls came, though, how did she feel, with her parents suddenly rushing off to a big news story?
“I was never really resentful; if anything, I was worried about my dad because a lot of the places that he went were often dangerous, like Africa or to cover a hurricane,” she said. “The only time that I can remember being bummed was my birthdays, but more so when they couldn’t attend a sporting event, especially track. They have always been my No. 1 fans, even from afar.
“Even though they might have been busy, they would always call me after. Now that I’m older, I can see that everything that they have done, and sacrificed, was for us kids. Them not being home was just as hard for them as it was for us.”
“She sees me with my bags packed 100 percent of the time,” explained her mother, Sumiko, “jetting off to whatever story is breaking news nationally. … I actually work more than Carey, and I travel all over the U.S. with one international assignment.
“Oftentimes, I believe she thinks it’s glamorous — what she doesn’t see is the oftentimes working around the clock, sleepless nights, crying in the shower because your heart has shattered into a million pieces for a family you’ve interviewed who’s lost a loved one under unimaginable conditions.”
It’s also a privilege to share those people’s stories, she said.
Clare said RRHS educators did a great job preparing her for a career.
“Through the guidance of the teachers that I had, I was prepared academically,” she said. “I learned to take classes serious and to have a good work ethic. I got lucky with some great teachers, one of which isn’t here with us anymore today, Mr. Farley.”
The only media class she took in high school was Yearbook.
“My classes were taken up all four years with the required classes, and my two electives were taken up by basketball, sports (fitness) and choir — until my senior year, when I had a little more time in my schedule and I was able to take Yearbook,” she explained.
“…Now that I’m not playing competitive sports, it’s really given me the time to focus on school and it really shows,” Clare said.
Being in Portales at Eastern New Mexico University is just right for Clare.
“Right now I am taking mostly media classes; I’m also learning how to make graphics on a computer, and Anthropology classes for my minor,” she said.
As for being among the huge throng of media, often booed when Trump would take shots at “fake news,” she said, “The experience I felt in the moment was once-in-a-lifetime.
“Seeing the president was something that I never even considered would happen this year and was probably the highlight of my night. As for my performance, being new to the business and only doing a few stand-ups, I was very critical of myself,” she said. “I think I did OK, but there is still a lot for me to learn.”
Clare said, It’s one thing doing weather in a studio with people that you’ve known for a couple years, it’s another when you go out into a crowd of people talking with noise and distractions all around you.
Clare said she wants to try to be the best at whatever she does.
“I’m exploring different things while I volunteer at News 3 New Mexico, just to get a feel for everything before I lock down on one specific thing,” she said.
(Readers can take a look at Clare’s piece for her college station on her Facebook page.)