Last night, Tanisha LaVerne Grant continued the string of amazing performances in the Chester Made lecture series at MJ Freed Theater in Chester. The event was billed as…
Tanisha will lead aspiring community reporters through exciting “guerrilla” journalism exercises, prepare them to tell their Chester stories, and talk about how she represents Chester in the world of global entertainment.
Tanisha did all that and more.
Being a community reporter myself, I made it a point to spend the day soaking in all that Tanisha came to share. During the morning workshop period, I found myself locked in the role of being the community reporter instead of a participant, but that served me well as I enjoyed watching the hands on process Tanisha employed to get about a dozen attendees to harness their reporting skills by taking one topic at a time, writing a script in 5 mins, and standing before a camera with a mic in hand to deliver a 60 second report.
It was fun watching the presentations as some were a little camera shy and quickly became aware that it isn’t as easy as it looks on TV. But there were a couple others who clearly missed their calling – or are well on their way to launching a great career.
The evening session consisted of Tanisha sharing her story from being a typical Chester girl raised around good friends and family, to becoming a Cheyney University graduate, to entering adulthood not being afraid to travel and experiencing different career paths before identifying her current passion as a celebrity correspondent.
Tanisha shared a few of her ‘reels’ where she is interviewing many of the very top names in the entertainment industry like Oprah, Wendy, and Spike. She shared some of her secrets of the process for getting such access and the demands of those who helped her get there – as she puts it, ‘You got to show your work.’
The fun part of the evening session was watching the videos produced from the morning session she produced with the workshop talent pool. Most of those 1 minute segments ended with a rousing applause from the audience.
A lot of Tanisha’s family and friends came out to surprise her by attending the presentation. It’s obvious she has a lot of support from many people who are following her work. It’s even more obvious that she’s making a huge impact in the celebrity circles as a force to be reckoned with on the red carpets of Hollywood.
My final observation of the evening was admiring Tanisha’s tremendous stamina throughout the two session. She shared, talked, instructed, engaged, and demonstrated non-stop on one of the hottest days of the year no matter how much air conditioning was pumped into the room. With all that she taught the budding corespondents who came to see her yesterday, she can’t teach stamina. That’s one ingredient that is propelling her to greatness.