Alyssa Buecker, a 15-year-old Lawrence filmmaker whose guinea pig movies have landed her a contract with HBO Family Channel, now has caught the eye of the producers of NBC's "Today" show.
A camera crew from NBC's Chicago bureau will be in town today to film segments of Alyssa and her guinea pigs at her home as well as Alyssa demonstrating editing techniques at Kansas University's Oldfather Studios. The crew also may film the teen-ager at The Children's Book Shop, where she reports to clip the resident guinea pig's toenails.
NBC hired a cameraman from Topeka to come to Lawrence on Wednesday evening to take footage of Alyssa during her participation in the Seem-To-Be Players Apprentices' class conducted by Ric Averill.
Since the initial story about Alyssa ran on Jan. 28 in The Mag, the Journal-World's arts and entertainment magazine, Alyssa's mother, Nancy Pistorius, says the phone has been ringing off the hook.
"It's just been unbelievable," her mother said. "For the past month when the phone rings, it's been a reporter."
The Journal-World story was picked up by the Associated Press and has run in The Topeka Capital-Journal, Olathe Daily News, Iola Register, Hays Daily News and Chanute Tribune in Kansas, and the Joplin Globe and Blue Springs Examiner in Missouri.
Alyssa has been featured on programs produced by KSNT, KCTV and KSHB television stations and KMXV-FM 93.3 radio station. On Friday, Lawrence's Channel 6 is planning to film a story about her.
Pistorius said she wasn't sure when NBC will air the "Today" show segment. The network will interview the head of the HBO Family Channel early next week and then schedule the story for broadcast.
-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.