Why She’s Interesting: Curtis has hosted the nationally syndicated morning news program EyeOpener TV, taught broadcast journalism as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas and worked as a volunteer with Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian refugees. Now she brings her worldly experience to Cleveland as the anchor of Cleveland 19 News’ Wake Up Cleveland.
Famous Family: Curtis’ mother, Pavani Sudhakar, was a well-known novelist in 1980s India who penned titles such as The Hostel. “People would stop us on the street and ask to take photos. They’d push me out of the way. They were like, ‘Well, can we just get a picture with your mom?’ ”
World Traveler: The Indian-born Curtis lived in Auckland, New Zealand, with her parents before they moved to New York City when she was 10. She had a thick accent developed during her five years in New Zealand. “The teachers loved it. ‘Here’s this cute little Indian girl with a little British-Australian accent, and we’re going to make her read out loud from the books in class because it sounds cute.’ I’m like, ‘No, please don’t!’ I lost it fairly quickly.”
Olympic Moments: One of Curtis’ first work experiences was as an NBC Olympics intern and production assistant, a position that took her to the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Greece. She’d return to the hotel late at night after a 12-hour shift, desperate for sleep, only to let her fellow 20-something co-workers talk her into going out with them. “We’d take the train to the Plaka, and we’d grab dinner from a stand and walk around with a beer. You just are looking up, and you’re like, ‘How is this my life?’ ”
Paying It Forward: While in working in Dallas, Curtis started volunteering as a Catholic Charities mentor to an Ethiopian girl. She also visited Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian refugees, donated personal and household items and taught the women to speak English. “There were kids in the apartments with no shoes on and no clothes on, no pots and pans, no beds. I just remember being stunned.”
Hair Rush: Curtis admits that she occasionally neglects to check the back of her hair before going on air. “My husband will text me, ‘You need to fix the back of your hair right now.’ I’ll look at it, and from the front, it looks fine. Then I’ll turn to the side, and then you just see this crazy hair in the back. It’ll be sticking out!”
Interesting Fact: Curtis took private voice lessons from fifth grade through high school.