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Name That VP Candidate

Do you know the names of the vice presidential candidates? If you watched Tuesday night’s debate, Mike Pence and Tim Kaine are probably familiar to you. And if you turned on the news the next morning or went online, you might have seen their faces more than you normally did in the months leading up to their only debate.

An ABC News poll published earlier this week found that almost half of Americans can’t name the candidates.

I hit the streets of Houston to test that theory considering these are the men who would be next in line to lead the country should something happen to the person elected president. So just in case you’re wondering (or wanted more confirmation since, of course, you already know!), Governor Mike Pence (R) is Donald Trump’s running mate and Senator Tim Kaine (D) is Hillary Clinton’s running mate. It was interesting to hear the different responses.

Check them out below!

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Letting Off Some Steam

Hours before the AFC Wildcard showdown took place at NRG Stadium, another battle of sorts was going on at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It was a fight between fans of the Houston Texans and a car covered in Kansas City Chiefs decals.

The Bridal Extravaganza may have seemed like an unlikely place to take a sledgehammer to a busted old car, but the show’s organizers say it was a  fitting way to let brides-to-be and their soon-to-be husbands relieve some of the stress that comes along with wedding planning. Fans also say it was payback for the way the Chiefs beat the Texans at the beginning of the season.

Although we know how the story ended (KC shut out Houston 30 to nothing), fans were thrilled to destroy anything Chiefs-related, even before the game that put a wrap on the Texans post-season run.

This story was a lot of fun to do. I admit destroying things (in a somewhat healthy way) can be a great stress reliever. I could barely hold the sledgehammer, but I got a couple hits in! Check out the story above. I wrote and edited it.

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Demo: Deputy Darren Goforth Memorial

Deputy Darren Goforth’s death shook a community and I think you could really say — the nation. I’ve never seen complete strangers rally behind this man’s family the way the public has.

What was it that made everyone respond the way they did? Was it the way he was killed? The community’s outpouring of support has been stunning and it was clearly evidenced at the gas station the day this story was shot.

It was the first time that I’d been on a hard news assignment like this one. Even seeing the blue ribbons on the trees as we approached the gas station where the deputy was killed gave me chills. In that moment, everything that I’d heard about the story in the news (and written about it since I WORK in news) had become reality. The massive memorial was no longer just video or pictures used as broll for VO or SOTVO. It was live, right in front of me, with literally hundreds of people shuffling in and out, to pay their respects, take a picture, or just get a glimpse of it.

The ringing theme that stuck out to me from those interviewed was the deputy’s death was senseless. That was what the people we spoke to said repeatedly, bringing some of them to tears. It was difficult to watch them cry or feel that sadness. But it also gave me a taste of what I may experience as a reporter and further confirmed why I want to be in this profession – to do the stories that have value, give meaning and show we’re all in this together.

Take a look at my demo below. This did not air. I wrote the script.

 

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Demo: Juneteenth Parade

Covering Juneteenth in Houston this year was a particularly emotional time because it was only a few days after alleged gunman Dylann Roof opened fire at an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine of its members. While the Juneteenth Parade I went to featured the traditional sights such as marching bands and floats, groups also came through to use it as a platform for their own messages surrounding violence, the hope for peace, and the unrest between communities and law enforcement in the wake of the officer-involved shootings in places such as Ferguson.

I was really grateful for the opportunity to talk to the people involved in this story and get their perspective. Below is the package, which did not air, but could be used for my demo reel. I did write the script.

The event happened near Texas Southern University and ended at Project Row Houses.

Enjoy!

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In the Booth

The last month and a half or so, I’ve been looking at television from another angle – the producer’s chair. Around the end of March/beginning of April, I started filling in as the 4:30 a.m. producer for KHOU’s morning newscast.  Up until that point, I’d only produced the show in emergency situations. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to produce it on a regular basis, and it’s been quite the ride!
In the short time, (although sometimes it feels long!) that I’ve been producing the first half-hour of the newscast, I’ve taken live reporters, put together my first hour-long show for extended weather coverage and handled breaking news events.
I had experience producing in my previous position at Houston Community College in terms of writing the scripts, booking guests and putting together segments — similar to what I do now only this time the show is live and typically has to be turned around and ready for air within a few hours. Of course, even though the rundown is all set, anyone in news will tell you it can get thrown out very quickly.
For the time being, I’ll be producing the 4:30 a.m. every Monday but other days might be added on an as-needed basis.
If you’re up that early, tune in! Just make sure you stick around until 7 a.m. when the newscast ends — or even better keep it on Ch.11 all day! 😉 Yes, I just put a plug in there!
You can see a short clip from the show below. I look forward to adding this and many more to my demo reel!

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Demo: Houston Fine Art Fair Preview

As a journalist, it’s important that I bring the freshest information to audiences. That rule is always applied when it comes to delivering the news and I’m pretty sure it goes for demo reels, too (because who wants to look at stale stories?)

I’m working on updating my reel with some new material now that I work at a different TV station. Below is one of the stories I’m thinking about adding.

This one was on the Houston Fine Art Fair. The event brought together artists from 14 countries and according to the website, showcased a record 85 galleries.

Diversity was a huge theme in this show and it’s also an element I tried to weave into my story, given the multicultural flair of Houston. I had also hoped to capture the idea that Houston does have a vibrant art scene despite being better known as a mecca for oil and gas.

Check out my take on the Houston Fine Art Fair below.

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Changes for the New Year

Happy New Year! Albeit, a few weeks late. I’m excited for the new year and hoping it ends where 2013 left off. For starters, I’m officially a University of Houston alum, graduating Summa Cum Laude in December. It was a tough semester working and going to school full-time, but I’m thankful to say I finally made it. Now, the next step is finding an opportunity where I can continue to grow and learn in my TV career. I’ve made a few changes to the site, including adding my demo reel to the Video menu. You can also see it just below.

Also under the videos page is a tab called Packages where you can find my story from Fashion Houston, a premier fashion event (think New York Fashion Week meets southern hospitality) held downtown at the Wortham Theater last November. I spotlighted Jo’se Reyes – a designer who ended up selling several pieces from the collection he showcased at FH. The next story I’ve added is about Paper Floral Artistry, a company run by Khrystyna Balushka. The Russian native has been featured in the Houston Chronicle and literally makes paper flowers for all types of events. I went to her warehouse to see how she does it.

The next change is the resume page. The biggest adjustment there is, of course, graduation! Woohoo!

I’ll be updating more regularly, so stay tuned!