Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trentonian TV Production Notes: Live with L.A. (Episode 8)

"When you have a love for education, 
the world becomes this great learning center."

TRENTON -- L.A. Parker said that today. Great line.

So yeah, L.A. and I have had more knock-em-down drag-em-outs than I care to remember, but I'll always be the first one to tell him when he knocks one out of the park. Today, Larry was on top of his game for Episode 8 of "Live with L.A." -- and he smashed the winning homer in bottom-9 with 2 outs and the bases loaded.

It was his tightest show yet, and whether he planned it or it was just a coincidence, today's show was an homage to women, young and old and somewhere in between. His guests ranged from a shy but sweet honors student at Rider U. (Stephanie Hendricks) with a great head of hair and who's headed to the 2012 Olympics in London, to a leader in the Trenton arts community (Lynn LeMyre), to the wildly energetic Marlene Devlin from UIH Family Partners of Trenton, to an important voice out of Trenton High (Maria Jones) regarding renovation of the school, to the 6 females from Burlington Township High -- cheerleader coach Kim Gaskin and her "dream team" of 5 seniors who led the squad to a national title.

Trentonian TV is closing in on its 50th live broadcast. This was the 35th, and easily the best one because of L.A.'s guest list, and the conversations he and his guests engaged in, and Pup Bolding chiming in at the right time to pick a little Earth, Wind and Fire on his guitar, and the cheerleaders performing cheers between guests, and finally, me in the booth. I was on the ball with the graphics and my camera. (Well, I misspelled Gaskin's name. It's singular not plural. She forgave me.)

Hendricks is a good and Godly girl chosen to be a stand-in chaplain at the Olympics if an athlete or family needs emotional and/or spiritual guidance because of bereavement or an accident. Her trip to London is sponsored by Lay Witnesses for Christ International. She still needs to raise some money for the trip, so if you want to help her get there, e-mail laparker@trentonian.com and he'll make sure Stephanie gets the money.

Stephanie said she's not big into today's rap music because "it's all the same" with "no originality." She said she listens to the old-school greats such as Cool and the Gang and Earth, Wind and Fire, which is when Pup's ears perked up and he did his thing.

LeMyre touted Trenton's "Capital City Student Art Show" that runs until April 23 at the Artworks Gallery at 19 Everett Alley. There's an opening reception on March 31.

Devlin is a fun person. She came to promote the big "4-4-4" event, which is the 4th annual Dress to Impress at 4 North Broad Street on April 4. Oh, and it starts at 4 o'clock. She said something funny, but kind of sad: UIH Family Partners is located at 4 Broad Street, which is "next to the pawn shops." So many pawn shops in Trenton. But anyway, UIH Family Partners outfitted 178 men in new suits last year and have given away 398 suits since the first Dress to Impress. The best part of Devlin's appearance came later, when she joined Burlington's cheer team during a cheer.

Maria Jones has strong opinions about what needs to happen with Trenton High: "Gut renovation" is the way to go, she said, not building an entirely new school, as Gov. Chris Christie wants to do with the $150 million the state found under its secret mattress.

Jones wants a "brand new school in the existing structure" because it will "cost less to gut-renovate to give students a state-of-the-art institution." She said plans were in place -- plans by respected architects were in place, as was an agreement by the Trenton Board of Education -- before Christie and his mattress-fund buddies threw Trenton High onto the list of schools to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Jones also talked about Senior Sports Night on May 4-5. On May 4 at 9 a.m. there is a kickoff walk at TCHS, and the games begin at 11 a.m. May 5.

The last 15 minutes belonged to Gaskin and her peppy cheerleaders Cayla Riggs, birthday girl Asia Mincey, Brianna Burgess, Ashlee D'Amato and Danelle Rambus.

They're leaders of the Burlington Township cheer team that raised $36,000 to get to Orlando for nationals -- where their acrobatic, high-flying routine won gold for the second year in a row. Gaskin said the first time was "an out-of-body experience."

The 5 seniors made the All-State Team, and all 5 are headed to college. "We're talking about great athletes," Gaskin said while paying tribute to their academics. "They're the best in the state." As far as nationals, Asia Mincey said the title felt so good because "we conquered what we fought for."

L.A. knows how that feels, too. Today he conquered the world of Internet television.

Here are my photos. Wasn't my best day for locking in the focus -- phone cams aren't designed to capture indoor action too well. Plus, I think the lens was coated with filth-gunk. My theme today was hands. Most guests who appear on Trentonian TV are nervous, and I've begun to notice their hands while they speak.

Lynn LeMyre:


Several shots of L.A. and Stephanie:





Stephanie's hands:


I struggled to shoot Devlin because she moved so much:





Maria Jones:




Burlington Township's Kim Gaskin & the national champion cheer squad (the second shot shows Devlin when she joined the team for a cheer):






Those are Gaskin's hands. Hers were by far the calmest of any guest.

And here is Stephanie and her mom, Alicia, who is joining the Trentonian TV lineup with a show about cosmetology. Spread the word. The first show is tentatively set for Sunday:


And here is Episode 8 of Live with L.A.: