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On air

Behind the scenes of Seabrook’s on-campus TV studio

Created date

July 7th, 2015
senior working camera
senior working camera

If you want to know what’s happening around Seabr..., all you have to do is flip on the tube. And if you want to get involved in what’s happening at Seabrook, the best place to start is the on-campus TV studio.

“It should be your first stop when you move to campus,” says TV Lead Coordinator Travis Tanay. “We love new faces, and we’re always open to new show ideas. We have the most fun; it’s a good group of residents. I highly recommend volunteering with us.”

The TV studio produces a variety of shows, including the daily live show Seabrook Today, a cooking show with Seabrook chefs called Culinary Corner, Two Guys From Seabrook, and Pastoral Ponderings.

Whether residents, staff, or guests are featured in front of the camera, all the behind-the-scenes work is done by a core group of about 40 resident volunteers, like Jane Finton.

Social affair

Jane has volunteered with the TV studio for the past ten years—since she moved to the Tinton Falls, N.J., community. 

“What I like most is interacting with the people I work with and those who come in to be on a show,” says Jane, who works behind the scenes as a camerawoman.

Like almost all of the volunteers, Jane had no TV studio experience before moving to Seabrook. But she saw it as an opportunity to meet new people—and she was right. 

“It looked like something interesting to do, and I’d meet a lot of people that way,” she says. Now that she’s a seasoned veteran, she says, “The people there are really great.”

Tanay says people are often recognized out and about by their neighbors, which generates a spark for easy conversation.  

Jane volunteers about two hours a week in the TV studio. She spends more volunteer hours at the VNA Thrift and Consignment Shop in Manasquan and with other organizations.

Entertaining and informative

Phil Freedman volunteers his time in front of the camera, which makes use of his teaching experience. “I’ve been in front of an audience most of my life,” he says. 

He and neighbor Pat Driscoll host Seabrook Today every Tuesday. Other volunteers host Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

The show airs live Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. then replays twice a day. It features information, events, and energetic discourse between the two hosts. They share history and events about the day, as well as interview staff or residents who have information to share with the community.

“It gives us an opportunity to ask some interesting questions of our guests and reveal information that is of value to residents,” Phil says. “Pat and I do it because we enjoy it and it provides a service.”

Phil says the fun isn’t restricted to the studio. “We get comments from viewers, especially since we’re in the community and in contact with the audience.”

He says no one has asked for his “John Hancock” yet—but maybe some day. 

No experience necessary

Tanay says only one person has ever had prior TV studio experience. He provides gradual training so volunteers feel comfortable and, most of all, have fun.

First, new volunteers shadow a seasoned volunteer in the studio. After about a week, they take the wheel. “It’s all fun. We have a good time doing it,” Tanay says. “When residents first come in they’re usually timid to try something new, but they end up loving it and getting addicted to it.”

Phil says Tanay provides excellent guidance and organization, and his creativity runs deep. “Travis is very creative and runs a very efficient TV network,” Phil says.