||American Dream Show
with Ingrid Lemme Producer, Director
(see air times at bottom of this page)
Co-Publisher "American Dream Magazine"
As we all know, America is a young country in the scheme of world history. It's a country made up of people from different cultures and religious beliefs whose ancestors came to America to fulfill some far away dream. Ingrid Lemme's job is to dig through these heritages and find the dreams that became a reality. "The heritages of the guests on my show is something that is very serious and very important to what I do," she says.
Lemme (right in photo above) is the host of the American Dream Show, which airs on Hamptons Television (Channel 78) on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm, Fridays at 7 pm and Saturdays at 3 pm. She began doing the show eleven years ago, but it was picked up for a larger audience five years ago when she began shooting the show at Gurney's Inn in Montauk, NY. "I've been the marketing director for many years at Gurney's Inn and after a while, I didn't want to do the show anymore because I was getting so stressed traveling to the studio and shooting. So eventually, the people shooting the show said, 'If you are going to continue the show, then we are going to come and shoot it at Gurney's." The show is now shot once a month in front of a live studio audience with the ocean as its background.
Lemme's intention in starting the show was to "remind everybody that this is a country of people who came from somewhere." Lemme came to America eighteen years ago from Germany not for want of a better life, but because she couldn't stop thinking about living in Montauk after taking an earlier trip there. On the show she asks her guests about their heritage and what it means to be in America. She asks them to discuss the obstacles they had to overcome, because "obviously they weren't always the successful people that they are." This is the crux of the show, the "message of hope" that she plugs her viewers into. Lemme presents people who are successful and who had something real to overcome in order to reach their dreams. Success is the focus of the final segment of the show where Lemme discusses how her guests became the person they are today.
The guests on American Dream Show are, as the title suggests, living examples of the term "American Dream," which is such a large part of what being American is all about. Her past guests have included Lori Stokes who worked her way through the television ranks to the anchor spot on ABC's Eyewitness News. Her father was Carl Stokes who was the first African-American mayor of Cleveland. He worked his way up from an impoverished family in order to achieve his success and allow for the success of his daughter. "Lori was there with her father knocking on doors introducing her father who was saying 'I am running for mayor...'"says Lemme. "The Stokes story embodies "real American Dream stories."
One of Lemme's recent guests was Italo Zanzi, a native of Port Jefferson, NY and is now running for U.S. Congress in New York's first Congressional District. His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Chile only shortly before he was born. "He is," says Lemme, "the child of parents who made it, who had to work very hard in order to give him the life he has. Now, he is a 32 year-old very successful attorney who is running for Congress."
The show's focus on guests with different backgrounds and heritages has proved beneficial to Gurney's Inn also. General Manager of Gurney's Paul Monty says that the show has, "allowed Gurney's to reach out to people across all walks of life." That is a main part of the show's attractiveness - it's ability to touch viewers and show them that no matter where they come from, America offers a multitude of opportunities to improve their lives. This is a theme that people value worldwide but it's something that Americans who are citizens by birth tend to take for granted - they also forget America's strength was built on the backs of immigrants. "People always tell me that I talk like their grandmother," says Lemme, "and there are lots of people who say that they had a German grandmother or great grandmother so it helps me to remind them where they come from."
In the end though, the show is about making the guests equal to the viewer. Ingrid Lemme brings her guest's successes back down to earth, back to where they started. Behind all of the achievement is almost always a story of hard work and sacrifice that has roots in generations that came before. The American Dream Show allows the audience to see how normal people can make their dreams a reality. There's something comforting and universal in that, and at the same time, completely all-American.
Ingrid's American Dream Show has been airing for 12 consecutive years: Her guests have included: Aida Tuturro (Janice on the Sopranos), Jamie Flyod (Court TV), Michael Nader (All My Children), Ed Lowe (Newsday) and others...(visit the website for a complete list)
The American Dream® Show is aired on Hamptons TV, a commercial cable and broadcast TV station serving New York City, New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island with the affluent Hamptons and is watched world-wide in real-time