Wednesday, July 27, 2005

MTV crew films dress segment in Lake Geneva

By Chris Schultz
Gazette Staff

DELAVAN-The camera focused on a young man and woman as they browsed through the racks of women's dresses.

The young man occasionally held a dress up to his shoulders, as if it was for him and not the young woman.

Kerry Lofy of Lake Geneva and friend Jill Doherty were at the Goodwill store at 1402 Geneva St. in Delavan on Tuesday afternoon re-enacting the shopping trip they took to buy the little black spaghetti-strap dress that he wore to prom. The re-enactment was for a half-hour MTV documentary, "High School Stories."

If fame is measured in 15-minute increments, Lofy, a recent Badger High School graduate, can trace his quarter-hour to the day he and Doherty found that black dress at Goodwill.

Lofy, who was on the Badger track team, wore the dress, a blond wig and open-toed shoes to the Badger prom in May against the school administration's orders.

Lofy's dress and his dancing at the prom earned him a three-day suspension from school and a $249 disorderly conduct ticket.

MTV touts the series as a look at high school students' antics and pranks across the country, including "true-to-life re-enactments." Last week, Lofy's attorney, Erik Guenther of Madison, said he had heard MTV would be in Lake Geneva on July 27.

Instead, the crew arrived late Monday for initial interviews. MTV is big on security. Earlier, MTV denied a newspaper photographer permission to shoot the videotaping. Asked her last name, the producer, Ann, smiled and said it would be better not to say.

Cheryl Lightholder, manager of communications for Goodwill's Milwaukee headquarters, was there to make sure everything went well.

Lightholder said MTV contacted Goodwill last week. The music television station worked out a location agreement to use the Delavan store.

Customers in the store shopped in the background, but no one seemed overly curious about the cameras and light.

Later that night, Lofy said the experience of being taped in the re-enactment was interesting, as well as time-consuming.

"I thought it was cool," Lofy said. "It was also a little boring."

Lofy said MTV isn't paying him. Instead, it's an opportunity for public exposure and experience in video work and acting.

Today, the crew was heading to an Illinois high school to re-enact the prom, he said.

Shooting will wrap up Saturday, Lofy said. The next season of "High School Stories" will air starting in mid-November, he said.

First denied access to the prom, Lofy put a suit on over the dress and made his way into the dance.

Although the school suspended him because of the dress, police have said that Lofy was ticketed for his dirty dancing, not for the dress.

Guenther, Lofy's attorney, said he is not challenging the three-day suspension, but the ticket violates Lofy's right to free expression.

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