A Duo Worth Watching: Magic Box Communications and TV Talent 3
By Brian Laurito
In this series we're highlighting the businesses that form the foundation of Monmouth Arts' creative community, touching base to see how they're faring during the COVID-19 health crisis. This week's featured business, Magic Box Communications/TV Talent 3, is led by husband and wife duo Robert Gengerke and Angela Lomangino. We "sat down" with Robert and Angela to see how they've been adapting during the pandemic.
For those who don't know you yet, how would you describe your business?
There are two sides of our business. TV Talent 3 is led by Angela Lomangino, who has been teaching actors of all ages for over 30 years. For businesses, Magic Box Communications — led by Robert Gengerke — has produced training, public relations, and internal communications delivered via video, print, and interactive programs since 1993.
What’s been your biggest business challenge during COVID-19?
The biggest challenge has been how best to retain a sense of connection despite physical distance. Actors thrive on communication with each other and the audience, so we have had to develop workarounds that enable interaction without violating pandemic restrictions. Virtual classes were a relatively easy transition, because film work is often actor-to-camera; getting that live "audience connection" has been more challenging. On the business services side, the work has turned more toward interactive online environments; we also had to develop a set of procedures for directing narrators — complete with teleprompter use — over Zoom.
So much has changed since last year . . . . How are you operating right now?
We are currently operating at normal capacity. While the majority of our technique and acting classes are handled virtually, we still have location shoots and on-site classes (following the SAG-AFTRA and New Jersey/New York COVID-19 safety guidelines, of course). The techniques remain the same regardless of the class location.
Can you share an interesting anecdote about your business or something that might surprise people?
People assume that television and film classes are focused only on actors and performers, but there are many other applications. We have coached Fortune 100 executives and scientific professionals for presentations, broadcast interviews, and public events. One of our students championed legislation making Streptomyces griseus the New Jersey State microbe!
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
We look forward to running more showcases and more on-site activity, and increasing classroom participation as the COVID-19 threat subsides. Whether you're a performer on stage or a public official at a town meeting, improving your communication skills is a continual process. In the end, what we're most excited to do once things have returned to normal is get back to doing what we love—helping people to better themselves!
Monmouth Arts has a great network of arts supporters. How can our members and readers support your business right now?
We have lots of opportunities open to all potential customers! For performers, we can help you define your goals and pursue your dreams, whether you're a beginner or a pro; and for business professionals, we'll help you refine your messages and deliver them to your audience in terms they will understand and appreciate. To learn more about how we can help you, visit our websites at www.tvtalent3.com and www.magicbox1.com.
Do you have any upcoming events or promotions you’d like people to know about?
You can find current Winter and Spring schedules for TVT3 by checking us out at thebasie.org/tvt3.
Where can folks find you?
Facebook: TV Talent 3
Interested in becoming a member like TV Talent 3 and Magic Box Communications? Become a member of Monmouth Arts today!