Tactical Trio- Technique is Unique!
by Cate Murway
“Goooooooooooood morning, Warriors!”
Bristol Jr./Sr. High School has turned over the daily bulletins to the Tactical Announcement Force of “Most School Spirit” Dennis Antolin Black, “Best Dressed” Robert [Bob] William Bogarde and “Most Likely to be Famous” Charles [Charlie] Austin Saxton. Background cheers for the sports report and “Way to go!” for the guys!
It’s only fair that the “tacticals” have sound effects, too!
Small steps lead to big journeys! Most importantly, they have the students' attention.
B.T.A.F. [Before Tactical Announcement Force], keeping the students' attention and stopping them from getting distracted was a big challenge! They now listen to and enjoy the daily announcements.
What a plan! Functional innovation while delivering exceptional value!
Senior Class President Charlie, NHS Bob and “Bearded Bandit” Dennis all currently run the popular participatory sport of cross-country through grass, mud, woodlands, and water. Captain Samuel Michael Scalzo, BHS ’08 appreciates the threesome, “They wake you up in the morning. Their enthusiasm makes you look forward to the afternoon announcements. They bring that enthusiasm to the XC practice and make it much more enjoyable.” Track Coach Jimmy Jones, BHS ’59 said, “They are really funny! They add humor in their own individualistic way. Their sense of urgency makes the kids really listen and you never know what they will say!”
The childhood friends, Green Lane, Bath Street and Beaver Street residents progressed through the Borough schools together and ran a film enterprise, B.S. Productions [Black & Saxton]. Bob’s Newportville resident grandmom gave him his prized 1974 behemoth, a “Pepsi can blue” collectors' car, Ford Gran Torino, christened “Henrietta” that transports them about the town. Ford has no plans to revive the Torino, so like these three lads, it will remain one of a kind!
Together they bring “joy and humor and love to people’s lives”, not to knock previous years announcement attempts. Bob crafted the needed “sweet name” for the school news trio and Tactical Announcement Force sounded like something to be reckoned with! They are equipped with just a microphone and sound system but they sincerely add the “class” to the room announcements! The dressed for success trio are presently planning their “airbrushed announcement apparel” of “Tactical Announcement Force” denim vests, black “fitted” jeans and matching converse footwear.
“It's not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing it's always better when we're together”
Social Studies teacher/cross country & bowling coach, Ronald Brian McGinn, Brick Township, NJ H.S. ‘72/ St. Joseph University ’83 steeplechase athlete, who often tailors his own “sport spots” assures, “They are very spirited and the announcements are fun and tasteful. They have a good dramatic background and people really enjoy them!” The tactical trio shared their mutual respect for Coach Ron McGinn, “He’s the man, very energetic and real down to earth! He’ll joke around with you but he means business!”
Their broadcasts are notoriously humorous rather than giving lengthy or detailed explanations, resembling a natural, spontaneous conversation. They also touch on what they feel are “major” issues, some of which are their selections of the “Teacher of the Week” on Wednesdays, or special personal issues such as Dennis’ “wrist awareness week” or “kitten awareness week”.
Sports are always a highlight and a super important anticipated component of the morning message. Bob “gets hyped” and covers the extremely successful field hockey team while Charlie and Dennis cheer “good job!” and voluntarily adlib local commercials “Mmm,Mmm visit your local Applebees”. Charlie announces visiting colleges “Attention Seniors. East Stroudsburg is coming, so get ready!” Dennis, 6th man of the pack, loves cross country and he receives a lot of help with his XC patter from Mr. McGinn’s “amazing and really long announcements”. Coach Ron edited one lenghty blurb to “The XC team did well. Et Su!” [meaning “Eat This Stuff Up”, literally “Runners’ High” in Japanese].
“There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard”
Dennis, a member of the Chem Club and Dr. Smith’s research group, who has taken every possible science class, is positioning himself to meet new challenges as well as capitalize on opportunities for success. He is considering continuing his education at Albright College that is credited with the first undergraduate biochemistry program in the region. A particularly intellectually challenging experience with unusual opportunities for research at all levels at Indiana University of PA [IUP], the largest of the state-owned universities, is appealing to him also. In addition, his college quest includes expansion of his knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences at Penn State University. His lofty aspirational goal is a Nobel Prize, the most prestigious award one can receive in the fields of research of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. His dad, Dennis Lee Black grew up in Bedford County and his mom, Felicia and he were both born in Charleston, SC. His sister, Denise is a BHS ’05 grad. Dennis enjoys his job as a rink attendant/skate guard at the Grundy Recreation Center Ice Skating Rink. His backup profession is to be a Borough policeman “like Jones!” “Mr. School Spirit’s” favorite color is red and he savors the sound of Rock and any number of the subgenres and watches the animated American sitcom, The Simpsons, that lampoons many aspects of the human condition. Any food is perfect but he loves a stack of pancakes at the Mill Street Café! Charlie and Dennis worked at Annabella Restaurant on Radcliffe Street together; vodka rigatoni fed the two very hungry souls, and they unanimously agree that they “miss Ricky and Bobby”.
Homecoming Court Bob’s parents are Joann [Volponi], BHS ’82 and Robert David, Woodrow Wilson’66. He, as first leg, and Dennis as third leg qualified for Districts in the 4x100 relay and anticipate a return experience in this event this Spring season. His concentration will be on his “excellent starts” for indoor sprints and his glaring goal is States! His interest is in Forensic psychology, the fastest growing area of psychology and he is applying to the University of Tennessee [“actually don’t even know if they have that major!”], St. Joseph University, Rice University, Houston, TX and Villanova University. He and Dennis have been contacted by Muhlenberg College for track. “Henrietta” blue rules as his favorite color. He loves gym [the active class] and Italian [extra credit, please!] Bob stated, “I have to throw this in there- I really LOVE my car” [he MADE me put this in].
Charlie Karp's Pub has the best filet mignon, medium-rare! His favorite film is Talladega Nights about the fastest man on four wheels, Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) who is one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. Bob listens to hip-hop and R&B.
Charlie, “Grandpa Vanderhof”, acts in the Pulitzer Prize winning comedic play, “You Can’t Take it with You” during the winter, along with Dennis as the very straightlaced fat-cat “Mr. Kirby”. He will be investing his 130 average on the bowling team with his “Tactical” cohort 180 average Dennis who adds spice to the lanes with his “good guy purple” Raging Inferno bowling ball. “Something about Bristol sports, no matter how good you are, they’re just fun!” All three will run the outside lanes together in Track & Field. His plan is to major in Communications/Media to be a filmmaker and minor in Theatre at Indiana University of PA [IUP] where he has already been accepted. His sister, Homecoming Queen Mianna, BHS ’05 is presently enrolled @ IUP in Musical Theatre. He is the self-proclaimed “jean folding extraordinaire” [he’s a pro at it!] and a model with front of store floor sales at the “Dudes Shop” Hollister Company along with best bud, Bob. His Great-great-great grandfather, Charles Saxton was the Constable and the first Borough chief of police and his great Uncle is the Mayor of Bristol Borough, Honorable Joseph [Joe] A. Saxton. His parents are Mark, Council Rock ’72 grad and Dix Hills, L.I. grad Drucie Hope [McDaniel] Saxton.
Charlie enjoys medium-well steak and a side of garlic mashed potatoes at B.J.’s Steak and Rib House, also on a “ Mill Street”, but in the Knoebels Amusement Resort in Danville, PA. He performed in the terrific revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on Broadway as the perfect little sycophant, Buster. He [as pal, Dill] and his sister, Mianna [Scout] performed in “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, NJ, The Walnut Street Theater, Philadelphia and the Coconut Grove Playhouse- Broadway by the Bay, in Miami FL. His latest theatric venture is in Director/writer M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening”, a paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity, starring Mark Walberg.
Charlie also plays guitar and bass in the originally progressive-pop band, “Cool Kids Going to the Beach”. His group recently performed in the Teen Music Venue at “The Escape” in the First United Methodist Church on the corner of Mulberry & Cedar.
“I’ve honestly never heard another band that sounds like you”, shared Dennis.
“And there is no, no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We're better together.”
The three gentlemen are responsible, study and get good grades, presenting themselves entertainingly without a hint of being formal, stilted, and distant. They use a myriad of dramatic adjectives, never forfeiting expressiveness and animation. Their warmth and rapport have a positive effect on any audience with their lively personal anecdotes.
“why are we here
and where do we go
too many things I have to do
if all of these dreams
may find a way into my day to day scene”
The trio’s projection, articulation, and tonal quality surely echo in the students' minds and prompt them to anticipate their next bulletin barrage. Their effective bold and daring delivery skills isolate critical chunks of information into digestible, enjoyable bites.
They make passive listening a thing of the past! The Warriors never had it so wonderful!
Spring break/senior week plans are just to hit Route 66, the nation's principal east-west.
“it's always better when we're together
somewhere in between together
it's always better when we're together”
["Better Together" lyrics by Jack Johnson, one of Dennis’ favorite songs]
Recommend a Spotlight: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Saxton shows off the theater in his blood
By MICHAEL ELKIN Correspondent | Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:15 am
Charlie Saxton has the best Mother’s Day present planned for his mom.
It’s May 12 opening-night tickets for his off-Broadway debut in a play
directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
But then it’s only fair play, perfect payback.
His mom, Drucie McDaniel, a local actress, acting coach and teacher at the University of the Arts, has gifted him with a lifetime of acting lessons, priming Charlie for a career that included their appearance in two films together: “Billy and the Kid” (2004) and “Rounding First” (2005).
Is it any wonder the off-Broadway play is named “A Family for All Occasions”?
“I was born and raised in the theater,” says the 23-year-old actor, whose father, Mark Saxton, was also an actor. “I was definitely raised in a trunk.”
But he’s broken out of it to be on his own for some time now, establishing an acting persona with more than a nubbin of the nebbish, also in evidence in a new Amazon.com series called “Betas,” a comedy pilot in which Saxton gives Woody Allen a run for the money in the shlub department.
Sweet revenge of the nerds?
“Oh, I’m a nerd in real life, 100 percent,” he says proudly, offering samples of what traits he treasures that qualify him. “I collect toys — I have many of the Simpsons figurines — I’m waiting for the next ‘Ghostbusters’ film so I can step in and take a role. And I love professional wrestling.”
Body slams as part of his body of work? He’s been a lifelong fan since starting his own World Hardcore Championships of Wrestling at age 7.
“It was me and a group of friends in the backyard,” he says of the Bristol brawlers, who “would crash pillows over our heads” instead of metal chairs, and had their own entrance music.
Does Vince McMahon, chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment, have anything to fear?
Saxton laughs: “He’d want nothing to do with this!”
But others have bought into Saxton.
For three years, beginning in 2009, he portrayed Ray Drecker’s son, Damon, in the HBO series “Hung,” in which dear old dad, played by Thomas Jane, parlayed prostitution into a way of earning extracurricular cash without quitting his day job as a high school basketball coach.
“It was a life-changing experience,” Saxton recalls of the HBO show.
In fact, he kids, there was some talk of a spin-off, in which the son would join the father in the family business.
“It would have been called ‘Hung and Son,’ ” he jokes.
The end of the show didn’t leave him hanging — far from it.
Someone associated with the series asked him to try out for a summer run of a play that has since evolved into “A Family for All Occasions.”
It is not Saxton’s first involvement in theater; at the age of 13, he was cast in a Broadway revival of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
“I’ve been acting since I was 5. It was a good way to get out of school,” he says.
It’s been a long recess.
After graduating from Bristol High School in 2008, Saxton decided to enroll as an English major — “with a minor in theater” — at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
But then, the roles started rolling in.
“I got this random audition for ‘Bandslam,’ ” he says of the 2009 movie about a battle of the bands which culled critical and cult status if not financial profits.
He got the role of Bug the bassist, and school took a back seat. Then came “Hung” and he was hooked, signing with CAA, one of the biggest talent agencies in Hollywood.
And even now, this self-described nerd — who appeared as a — what else? — wrestler in the Wonder Years 2010 music video for its release of “Melrose Diner” — is accruing some pretty cool credits.
“Betas,” the comedy pilot about some computer goofs trying to make a name for themselves in Silicon Valley, has gotten attention after its recent premiere online on Amazon.com. Online viewers will help decide the pilot’s future.
Whatever its outcome, Saxton will never forget his old stomping grounds and the role Bristol itself had in shaping him.
“It was a great place to grow up,” he admits.
It had tones of suburbia “with an urban vibe to it. It’s cool; everybody knows everybody there.”
There’s a chance Saxton will expand that pool of people who know his name when “Family” opens on Mother’s Day.
Speaking of which, did he get his actress Mom great seats for the opening?
“Oh, unfortunately, she won’t be there,” the “Family” star says, disappointed yet proud. “She has her own play, ‘It’s My Party,’ she’s doing that day.”