“Will You Marry Me” Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal

Someday, Amy Frankel and Isaac Lamb’s children will ask Dad how he asked Mom to marry him. Dad will then chuckle, maybe plug in a thumb drive, or navigate to this link.

And their kids will immediately realize their Dad rocks.

Champagne and rose petals? Cliche. Diamond ring baked into a dessert? Please. Suddenly, the new standard for a creative marriage proposal includes secret rehearsals of 60+ people, borrowed marching band uniforms, and parents from afar linked in on Skype.

Oh, and a video that burns up the InterWebs.

And to think, he pondered not even videotaping it.

“A lot of people talked me out of that,” says Lamb. “They said, so much work went into this, we want a record of what happened!”

In an interview Saturday with KATU News, Lamb and Frankel stood in front of his parents southwest Portland home, on the street where this musical theater all played out last week.

Lamb says he started mulling over the idea of a lip-dub proposal back at Christmas-time, when he asked Frankel’s parents for permission to marry her.

“I knew when I got around to asking, it would have to be something incredible and special, because that’s how I feel about her,” he explains.

“I’ve always had sort of a flair for the dramatic. I’m a musical theater actor. I think in those terms a little bit.”

Both are involved in theater as members of the Third Rail Repertory Company. They have also watched and appreciated the entertainment of lip-dub videos, like this one, from the good people of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It’s such a special thing, it expresses a whole city’s heart, so I thought what a perfect way to communicate to her how much I love her,” explains Lamb.

He mapped out a plan and enlisted the help of their friend, Gina Johnson Morris to choreograph. She owns Radish Underground Clothing in downtown Portland, and used the entryway of her store during off hours for group rehearsals. She also made instructional videos recording herself doing the dance moves, wrote detailed instructions, and sent that homework out to the friends and family members participating so they could practice at home.

(Yes, she’s the foxy brunette in the red dress. And sorry guys, she goes home every night to that bearded guy swinging her around in the video, her husband.)

Was Lamb worried about having an audience for this highly personal moment? Nope. And he has the perfect reasoning for that.

“I really do believe marriages exist as a part of a community and I feel like you need that community, that support. That’s why you celebrate marriages with your community, so I thought it was very important for that be a part of the proposal,” Lamb says.

The group had one three-hour rehearsal last weekend, five days before the performance Wednesday. Lamb lied, telling Frankel he was somewhere else.

“I knew something was up. We’ve been talking about getting married, so I knew someday a proposal would happen,” Frankel says.

But the day of the proposal is when things got really weird.

Lamb sent Frankel to pick him up in downtown Portland at six o’clock at night, through traffic, only to text her once she arrived telling her he was at his parents home, and to go there instead.

“She was a little mad about that,” he says, laughing.

“He made me drive back through traffic, but they were doing that to keep me away from the setup to keep me safely far away from them all gathering.”

By the time she arrived, everyone was in place. They’d parked their cars elsewhere and were hiding in arranged spots. It was Lamb’s large and commanding brother who was in charge of getting Frankel to sit in the SUV. She put on headphones, which would serve as the soundtrack; the street, SW Marigold, became the stage.

“I did not expect 60 people to start dancing in front of me as the car moved down the street, it was amazing. It’s completely overwhelming,” says Frankel. “I’ve been in the theater profession, and this was hands down the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced.”

As the car traveled slowly down the street, Frankel was wondering how she could ever top this, thinking there’s no way.

“Just wait till you have a baby,” joked Lamb. “You could birth a human being. I’ll make a lip dub video about it!”

She cracks up at that.

Lamb thought their friends and family would get a kick out of the video, and that it would be a great document to show their kids someday. He never expected it to go viral.

“What’s been most special about that is everybody posting about it is talking about how touched and moved they are by it. To know we contributed a little bit of love and positivity into the world that way — injected that into people’s lives — is really pretty special. That’s rare I think, something to be cherished. It means a lot to me.”

And at the heart of it all?

“As crazy and fun as this all has been, truly, the most thrilling thing is that she said yes and I get to spend the rest of my life with her. She makes every day brighter just because of who she is. She is a beautiful person and a beautiful soul,” he says, gazing at Frankel.

Yup. You’ve done it Isaac Lamb.

You’ve raised the bar even higher.

For all of us.

Turning to her future husband, Frankel says, “Life is so exciting with him.”

And it’s only just beginning…

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Deadly Force

This is a report I filed for K-2 examining the training for Oregon State Police troopers when it comes to deadly force, and the criteria they use for deciding when to use it. It followed a man’s 2006 attack on an officer with a knife in La Pine that resulted in the man’s death at the hands of Deschutes County law enforcement. It was also shortly after traffic stop turned shoot-out in Albany between a trooper and a driver he’d pulled over.

It came to mind as I covered the Aaron Campbell shooting settlement, and his family’s cry for change with how police are trained.

Occupy Portland, Inc.

It’s official. Occupy Portland, a movement opposed to corporations and corporate greed, has incorporated — albeit as a non-profit corporation with the State of Oregon. The move was apparently made by members of the group’s finance committee. Yes, the group has a finance committee.

It’s been explained to me that Occupy PDX needed a way to track donations and expenses. It had explored organizing as a 501(c)(4) charity or even as an LLC, but ultimately, it’s decided to register as a non-profit organization.

Here are the papers the group has filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Corporation division.

Casualties of War

As a journalist, I’ve had the rare opportunity to witness firsthand the sacrifices local soldiers and their families have made in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a reporter for KATU the last twelve years, I have reported from mobilization ceremonies, demobilization ceremonies, happy homecomings and funerals.

It is a privilege to understand the military in this way – to tell the stories of those who serve – to document the spectrum of emotion that comes with their commitment to duty.

I’ve watched as a father in The Dalles scooped up his young daughter, wondering about the milestones he will miss in the year that his unit is deploying overseas.

I’ve stood with a woman as she anxiously scanned the sailors’ faces lining the edge of the USS Abraham Lincoln pulling into port in Everett, Washington, straining to catch sight of her sailor.

What we knew but she did not is that he was coming off that ship to get down on one knee and propose to her.

And what ensued was one of the funniest moments I have ever encountered in my career. It involved our story subject finding her beloved, taking off toward him in a dead sprint, and losing her footing as she got within two feet of him.

Whatever preconceived notion my photographer Chris Wilkinson and I may have had about capturing a romantic proposal evaporated.

She body tackled that poor sailor – who happened to be foot shorter than her -with the force of a defensive lineman, sending the red roses he was holding flying in every direction.

No need for him to drop to a knee.

He was already on the ground.

Wilkinson had to look away as he shot the scene because he was laughing so hard the camera was bouncing on his heaving shoulders.

Our astonishment and stifled chuckles then turned into joyful tears. She said “yes.”

Others tears have been shed in the course of my reporting. Sometimes I’m not on scene. Sometimes I’m just in the anchor chair, my weekend post in the evenings.

On this story http://KATU: Two Marines I had learned earlier in the week from a contact in Governor Kulongoski’s office that two Marines were to be buried on the same day. This would create a logistical challenge with the services taking place quite a distance apart. Still, I pitched the story. It felt important.

With the help of our sister station in Eugene and KATU Photographer Monty Orrick, I wrote and presented a piece that in the end, overwhelmed me on-air.

It’s a real moment.

May we honor the fallen, today, especially, and always.

Twitter: @AnnaCanzanoKATU

The Prez is coming to town

Bruce Ely / The Oregonian

Once when attending a career-building seminar aimed at broadcast journalists, the guest speaker, who’d had years of experience in this industry, issued a specific word of caution to us up-and-comers about our resume tapes.

Those are the tapes we desperately send out to news directors in markets higher than the one in which we currently work, hoping something in the first ten seconds doesn’t induce a gag reflex and prompt the tape to be yanked out. We call them tapes, but nowadays, it’s a dvd.

The lecturer said, “Don’t put the president’s-in-town story on your resume reel. Because EVERYBODY puts it on there. And it does not make you unique. It doesn’t mean you’re a great journalist. It simply means, you can adequately cover the story when the president comes to town.”

He was right.

Covering the president, while an extreme honor, merely means that you passed the security clearance at the federal level to get a press credential. You survived the world’s biggest hurry-up-and-wait drill. And you and your crew managed to not screw up your feed, or botch your audio, as you collected the key moments of the event (the entrance, the standing ovation, the exit) usually from a platform WAYYY in the back of the room.

Not to sound cynical, but that’s really what it amounts to be.

Still.

Tomorrow, President Obama comes to town. The last time he was here, he drew some 72-75,000 people to the bowl in Waterfront Park. It was, by all acccounts, an historic day. It caught the attention of the national media, it was the largest gathering of his 2008 campaign, and by golly, it kinda put Portland on the map.

The Oregonian newspaper has the A1 page proudly displayed in its newsroom.

Which is why I’m looking forward to his return. Not for any sort of political reason. You’d be hard pressed to figure out which political party I ascribe to. (hint: none)

Given the context of how much has happened since he took office, I enjoy the context of having the Big Man step on our turf. I appreciate the weight of the news event. And I love that he’s here because we have a hotly-contested gubernatorial campaign, which can only serve to energize the electorate.

I know. That sounds kind of wonky-wonk…but it’s true.

I dig it.

My only dilemma is that I will be filling in as an anchor tomorrow, which I just dumbly realized sitting here on my couch. Evon, the scheduler at work, asked me to co-anchor last week, and even though I spent the weekend telling people about Obama’s pending visit on Wednesday, I did not realize until roughly two minutes ago that I get to announce to our KATU viewers tomorrow evening: “The President’s in town.”

That’s pretty rad.

The reporter in me would rather be on scene, but hey, the anchor clip might look good on a resume tape, no?

(BTW, Mr. Boss-man, if you’re reading this, I will perform my professional duties to the best of my abilities, in whatever capacity I am asked. All aforementioned content is purely satirical and derivates from my alter-ego.)