Oprah’s heir?

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BRATTLEBORO -- A local woman is living out her dreams of hosting her own talk show and is hoping to inspire others to do the same.

When Oprah Winfrey announced that she was no longer hosting her own television show, thousands of people applied for the job. People from as far away as Bellingham, Wash., and a local career counselor, Desha Peacock explained why they should be Oprah’s Heir.

"I’ve watched Oprah since I was little and I’ve always wanted to do what she does," Peacock said. "My friends have often told me that even my name doesn’t sound like a real name."

Even though Peacock didn’t win the contest to take the reins from the Queen of television, she set herself a goal to host a 10- to 15-minute talk show on Brattleboro Community Television once a month for a year.

"Most people won’t go for what they really want to do," Peacock said. She should know, as a career counselor at Marlboro College she’s been dispensing life-altering advice for years and finally decided to take some of it for her own.

As an avid collector of interior design ideas, fashion magazines, food and aesthetics, Peacock said the show is her chance to interview people whose professional love of those things is inspiringly apparent.

"It’s my way to connect to the things I love," she said.

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Originally from Arkansas, Peacock fell in love with Brattleboro while attending SIT Graduate Center studying inter-cultural communications, which also became the location she met her four best friends and focus of her talk show’s fourth episode.

Ayda Robana, of Om Sweet Mama, a high-end catering service based in California, has been the personal chef for such Academy Award Winning actors as Kevin Costner, met Peacock at SIT and the two have stayed close ever since.

On Thursday, Robana will be serving Peacock and 50 other guests as a fundraiser for The Desha Show.

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Peacock said it meant the world to her that Robana was able to take time out of her incredibly busy schedule to help with her project.

"At the beginning I decided for a whole year I wasn’t going to worry about the funding of the show and I was just going to do it for myself," Peacock said.

For now the show is shot by Elliot Samuel-Lamm, an intern attending Marlboro College and edited by Peacock’s friend Robin MacArthur.

Peacock said having the ability to interview people where they’re comfortable allows the person she’s interviewing to open up in ways she never thought possible, as shown in Episode 3 which airs July 15 on BCTV.

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While interviewing Marshall Jarreau, a recent graduate from the New England Center for Circus Arts and new member of Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, Jarreau reveals his darker past dealing with drugs and suicide following his decision to tell people he was homosexual.

"Since that moment it’s been about love and positive energies," Jarreau told Peacock.

He said that dance saved his life, something Peacock said was a truly special moment to not just be part of, but to capture on film.

The Desha show is expected to begin to be broadcast statewide through public access stations later this month or next, Peacock said.

Past episodes are available at www.brattleborotv.org and on Peacock’s blog at www.thedeshashow.blogspot.com.

To purchase a ticket to the dinner send an e-mail to deshapeacock@hotmail.com, visiting her blog or by calling 802-251-0136.

Josh Stilts can be reached at jstilts@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.


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