|By Evan Pinsonnault|
This year's Top of the Town Local TV News personality winner spotlights some of his favorite things about living in Lansing
Editors note: Raindrops on roses? Whiskers on kittens? No, Evan Pinsonnault, our Top of the Town winner in the Local TV News Personality category, has many favorite things in Lansing — none of which were ever immortalized in a Rodgers and Hammerstein song. Here’s his list, with his comments.
Common Ground Music Festival: It was the first community event I went to after starting as TV-6 morning anchor back in July of 2009. In fact, it was my first day of work at the station! I remember Tim (Barron) introducing me on the mainstage party deck that Monday night and poking fun at pronouncing “Pinsonnault.” Who’d have thunk that two years later I’d be co-hosting the event with him and interviewing many of the artists live on-air for WLNS. And I’m looking forward to repeating that success again this summer, both for the CG audiences each night and the viewers of TV-6.
Dusty’s Wine Bar & Cellar: Not only was Dusty’s a featured “Pick a Place” winner, but it’s my go-to spot for unwinding (or should I say un-wine-ding). I’m a big red wine fan, especially Cabs and Pinot Noirs, and I love saddling up at the bar with Billy or C.J. or Matt and just talking vino and sampling new (and old) vintages. Plus, the people there become your friends as you trade wine stories, and sometimes wine bottles, adding to each other’s experiences through great conversation and a shared appreciation for what you’re drinking/trying.
Riverwalk Theatre: I love to act, as you know, and my time onstage at Riverwalk so far has been nothing short of amazing. One of the best things I did when I first moved here was audition for a Riverwalk show (“Into the Woods”) so I could meet people around Lansing and get to know the community and the arts “scene.” Well, six productions later (“A Few Good Men,” “Fortinbras,” “Puss in Boots,” “Conspiracy” and two staged readings), I’m now a board member at the theater (as well as an actor whenever I can find the time for sleep and rehearsals, LOL), always working on ways to connect people with Riverwalk and all it has to offer.
“Tell Me Something Good” and “Pick a Place for Pinsonnault”: These two franchises have allowed me to tell so many wonderful, inspirational and positive stories about mid-Michigan people, places, events and happenings. There’s no better way to celebrate the place you live and the people living here than to see firsthand how they’re making a difference locally and giving back in ways more beneficial than expected. I’m rewarded each day I come to work because this is my work — “telling the good news stories” of our city and community.
In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I want to stay in Lansing and at TV-6 for a few more years: There are so many more positive and important stories that need to be discovered and told and I know I’m the journalist to do it.
Singing with Starfarm: Not only do I love acting, but also singing (hence the musical theater background in college). So when I was offered the opportunity to be a featured guest singer for the best ‘80s cover band around, it was a definitely a bucket list accomplishment. (Starfarm was also a top Pick a Place experience) My favorite songs to do lead vocals on are “The Safety Dance,” “Whip It” and “You Spin Me Right Round (Baby, Right Round).”
Being a community volunteer: I’m very lucky to be doing the work I’m doing, especially at such a great and supportive station as TV-6 and in such a wonderful area. As a result, I feel it’s important to give back to all the people who give me the chance to come into their homes and deliver the news each morning. I’m most active in organizations that promote the cultural and theater arts throughout Lansing and mid-Michigan, but I also donate my time as an emcee and host for great causes like the United Way, Junior Achievement, the Ingham County Animal Shelter, the Waverly Foundation and the Lansing School District, the McLaren & Sparrow foundations and the downtown YMCA.
Stand-up comedy at Connxtions: I rediscovered my passion for stand-up comedy (I used to perform in D.C. at George Washington University and later in Syracuse during grad school) after interviewing Rob Schneider on the morning show in 2009, LOL. He was performing at Connxtions and wanted me to introduce him. So, naturally, I did some shtick to fill the three minutes — that included Seinfeld, Kramer and my Dad impressions (along with a bit about not ticking off the teleprompter guy).
From there, I’ve been back three times as a performer while also doing stand-up at the Country Club of Lansing and the Mint Festival Pageant. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and my personality has always gleaned towards the comedic. If I can make you smile, then I’ve done my job (and not just as a performer, or news anchor, or actor — but as another human being who appreciates everyone he meets). That being said, I believe everyone has a story — in fact, I know everyone has a story to tell. And I’m very luck that I get the chance to tell those stories, using comedy and creativity in the process.
Anywhere I can golf: Especially the Country Club of Lansing — I joined as a junior member two years ago and have made so many connections and new friends since then. What a great place to network and establish lasting friendships, all while experiencing championship golf, top-flite dining (pun intended) and service and a fantastic social scene.