‘Shameless Promo’ for poet, TV aspirant
By Ed Stattmann
Indiana Jewish Post & Opinion
One of the other weeklies in town has a classified ad category labeled “Shameless Promos.”
The P-O has no such heading, but if we had, it might be appropriate for mention of Blair Karsch. He has pounded on our door, so to speak, for many weeks, seeking some publicity. We surrender.
Karsch is telling anyone who’ll listen that he deserves a chance at becoming a national television personality, because he’d be a lot better for child viewers than some of the trash talk shows now available. Being right and being marketable are two different things, he concedes, but he says he’s even willing to cut his ponytail and dress conservatively if he can hold onto his show.
Karsch, 37, has a cable show in which he gets youngsters to express themselves about how school, adults, and life in general are treating them.
This writer has no pretensions to being a critic of television or any art form. The Indianapolis Star & News TV critic, Steve Hall, recently gave a dollop of praise and a few verbal bruises having mostly to do with technical flaws. He granted that Karsch seems to get kids to say on camera what’s on their minds.
Karsch is a graduate of North Central High School and Indiana University. He has done professional TV acting in Los Angeles. Now he’s a substitute teacher in Zionsville, Carmel, and Pike and Washington townships. A self-published rap-style poet, Karsch sometimes wins children over by plugging their names and their interests into instant verse. If Hall is correct, there’s some truth to Karsch’s boast that he’s a magnet for at least some kids. Some kids in North Central High who stayed after school to be on his cable show; some African-American kids in Tarkington Park, for example.
He’d like to find some backup help that would lead to taking his concept national with good production equipment.
“I’m an optimist. I believe the world can be a better place,” he says. “I believe TV can do as much to correct everything as they’ve done wrong.”
Karsch says he’d like to combine TV talk with help for kids who need it – with toll-free telephone lines manned by professionals who can lend a caring ear to the callers.
Karsch has been an entrepreneur, an insurance sales man and an actor. He says he’d rather make a living helping children. He has nothing against fellow Jews who take a more traditional philanthropy, but it’s not his way. Many kids especially see a male who cares about their emotional world and is not just out to sell them beer and sneakers, he says.
He’s a big fellow who looks fit, dresses casual, wears a ponytail and drives a Mercedes left over from pursuits more prosperous than substitute teaching.
If persistence can make you a star, he’ll be one.