The format of television talk shows, and even some radio shows are fairly the same. Usually, a media personality invites someone of interest on the show to discuss their background, current works, and future aspirations. Though most shows have practically the same format, it does not attract the same audience, and this is where the differences of television/radio shows arise. There are two things that separate television/ radio shows from one another : purpose and structure. Both are instrumental in forming a platform. In this article, I will share the purpose and structure of my platform, BXTRA.
What is BXTRA?
“BXTRA” stands for Bronx Extraordinary, and features extraordinary people and places in the Bronx. Every Thursday at 8:30pm, BXTRA is aired on a local cable network called Bronxnet. In the interim of each episode, pictures and short clips are posted on the blog, Instagram and Twitter.
At a young age, not only did I want to go to college; I wanted to go away for college. The Bronx had negative stigma of being violent and being one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation. A stigma that I did not want to be attached to. Therefore, I thought that in order to be successful, there was only one thing to do, leave the Bronx. At 18, my desire for wanting to leave was granted, and so I went off to a small college in northern Maryland. The desire of getting away from the Bronx was short lived and I started to relate to Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” because truly, there is no place like home.
A couple of months into my college career, a classmate asked me where I was from. I proudly responded, “the Bronx.” He paused for a second and said, “isn’t that place dangerous?”
A year and a half later, after transferring from the private school in Maryland, I attended Temple University in Philadelphia. Temple offered a more real world college experience because of its size and its urban location.
The very first class I had dealt with technology. During the semester, we had to create a website from scratch, and I decided to do my website on the Bronx. Towards the end, like most students, I turned to Google Images to spiff up the website. In the search engine I typed, “Bronx” and the list of previous searches appeared. “Is the Bronx still dangerous?” Adjectives appeared on the top screen on the Google Image search, ” Ghetto” “Violent” “Poor” were amongst the three.
I often had to travel around different neighborhoods for my photography class. Though Philadelphia has a transportation system, I found it easiest to use Uber. During one of my rides, the driver asked me, ” where are you from?” I proudly responded, “The Bronx.” From the rear view mirror, I could see the driver’s face scrunch up as he said, ” isn’t that place dangerous?”
In both instances, I voiced my frustration to my fellow colleagues and I was met with blank stares that gave me the impression that they too did not know that the Bronx is more than just a statistic. The response to ignorance is education, and after graduating from Temple University, I decided to do just that.
Who goes on BXTRA?
Thus far, I have covered individuals who are in the industries of food, fashion, policing, and art. There is no limit. A person does not have to be from the Bronx to be on BXTRA; however, each person does have a connection to the Bronx and all businesses have to be based in the Bronx.
In each episode, we cover topics such as : life in the Bronx, overcoming obstacles, following passions, facing gentrification, and of course, making the Bronx extraordinary.
The Structure of BXTRA
Some episodes have a segment called, “One minute warm-up which is essentially the interview before the interview. Guests answer light questions that help the audience relate to them on a personal level and to allow the guests to show their fun side. If you have seen a similar concept elsewhere, that is no mistake. The idea comes from a talk show in Chicago called ” Windy City Live,” where there segment is called “Two Minute Warning.” The questions are different, but the concept is fairly the same.
The “Final Three Extra Questions,” is used to wrap up every episode; each question is the same. The three questions are : what is next on your bucket list? what would you tell your seven-year-old self? and if you had to be extra something, what would it be?
Like the one-minute warm-up, I ask what is next on someone’s bucket list to get a more personal perspective of the guest and exposes their goals outside of their craft.
The second question goes back to the age-of-reasoning. Though at seven, we are still fairly new to the world, it is at that age that we can remember people, events, and decisions that shape who we are today. At seven, we may lack the wisdom to understand those memories; and so in a sense, I am asking my guests to go back and give advice to their younger self.
The final question acknowledges that no matter how successful a person is, there is always room for growth. What is that extra something that would get you to the next level?
In 30-minutes, two interviews per episode, each viewer should have an understanding of why the Bronx is Extraordinary and hopefully those in the Bronx can see the extraordinary factors in themselves.
The slogan is Do good. Stay well. BXTRA.
Do good to yourself and other. Stay well in order to do those good things. Go fourth and be extraordinary. This message can be relayed from people in the Bronx to the whole world.