Home News Local show hosted by GRCC student

Local show hosted by GRCC student


By Jenean Zahran
Collegiate Staff Writer

A new television show in Grand Rapids, called “MYGR Weekend,” debuted on February 2, 2011. The show was created to help promote and suggest activities for tourists and locals to do in West Michigan.

Despite being the second-largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids has not always been well known, even among Michigan residents.

Recently, this has changed, with new facilities and activities popping up regularly around the downtown area.

This is what “MYGR Weekend” hopes to get across to its audience.

“The show is fresh, original, and in a way groundbreaking. It’s just an engaging fun 22 minutes of where to go, what to eat, and what to do,” says Derek Emerson, one of the co-hosts for the “MYGR Weekend.”

Derek, 22, is a student here at GRCC and is your average college student – working part-time and attending school.

He has been doing acting-related work since the sixth grade, from school plays to being spotted in the background on well-known shows such as Hannah Montana and Entourage.

About a year ago, he landed a job for a show that Storytelling Pictures was filming for the Dove Foundation.

The owner of Storytelling Pictures, who is the creator and producer for the show, still had Derek’s audition footage and approached him about the job to be a co-host for “MYGR Weekend,” a new television show they had in the works.

“They wanted to have 3 hosts each representing a rough age range,” Emerson said. “The hosts would give their ‘age bracket’ three suggestions on how to have a great time in Grand Rapids. They approached me in March of 2010, so about a year ago.”

Despite Emerson’s love for acting, he also enjoys writing and film and plans on transferring to GVSU to major in Communications. He does plan to continue acting, production, and writing in the future.

“I want to see more of Michigan come alive as well in that aspect,” he said.

Being chosen in the past as extras for popular television shows, having the spotlight on

“MYGR Weekend” is a new and exciting thing for Emerson. He hopes it will help convey him into writing more.

“To be honest I haven’t seen all the episodes I did out there in California, nor have I sat down and watched every single ‘MYGR’ episode,” he said. “It’s just a job, I do it. I like acting, but I’m getting more into writing as well. This college has a golden staff in the writing department.”

“MYGR Weekend” seems to be getting a lot of positive feedback from its audience so far.

The show’s website provides links to view every single episode that has been aired, and also provides bios for each co-host. It definitely tries to make Grand Rapids stand out and draws positive attention to the city.

Jenna Boluyt, 20, a student here at GRCC, says she watched the show out of curiosity and was very pleased to see that Grand Rapids has created a show that informs you of fun and new activities in the city.

“I’ve lived in Grand Rapids my whole life, but some of the places they talk about in the show I would have never thought to go there or never even heard of,” she said. “It’s extremely nice to have new ideas of things to do when you just keep going to the same place every time.”

Emerson has already received some recognition for his work on the show.

“One time when I was at Costco, this older gentleman came and approached me because he recognized me from the show,” he said. “He explained to me how he used to live in Chicago and he just moved back and he says, ‘Hey my wife and I watch your show, it’s great,’ and he tells me how he thinks it has made Grand Rapids just illuminate more than Chicago.”

You can catch “MYGR Weekend” on television on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on WXSP 15 or at 1:30 a.m. on WOTV 4 or the show’s website at www.mygrweekend.com.

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