Adams native returns home, and appears with wife in social media series
ADAMS — Evan Pinsonnault doesn't get back to the Berkshires very often. His career keeps him busy. The Adams native, who lives in Los Angeles, is a host, actor, comedian and writer who entered those fields after a career in politics and broadcasting,
But Pinsonnault recently found a unique way to return home, share his experiences growing up in the Berkshires and promote the area, all at the same time.
In conjunction with Chevrolet, Pinsonnault recently appeared in a commercial video for BuzzFeed's social media series "Bring Me Home." The 4 1/2-minute clip, titled "Do You Love Small Towns? Prepare to be Charmed by the Berkshires," began airing on YouTube and BuzzFeed's and Chevrolet's websites in October.
The video has Pinsonnault and his wife, Rebecca, driving a Chevy Equinox around Adams and visiting three Northern Berkshire sites: Ramblewild Adventure Park in Lanesborough; Jack's Hot Dog Stand in North Adams; and River Hill Pottery in the Eclipse Mill in North Adams. On YouTube, the clip had received about 50,000 views as of Tuesday.
Evan and Rebecca married last October, so, doing the video allowed Pinsonnault to bring his wife, who grew up outside Detroit, to the Berkshires.
"She had been to Western Massachusetts before, but never experienced what we did together," Pinsonnault said.
Pinsonnault is a freelance host, writer and content creator for 00Evan Productions, which is based in Los Angeles. He had heard about BuzzFeed's social media series through industry postings.
"They were looking for someone who was recently married who was looking to take a spouse back to where they grew up." Pinsonnault said. "I reached out to one of the producers. They met with Rebecca and I and said, 'When can you get back east?' We said we were available now, this was in August. They said, 'How does September sound?' We thought it was great, because it was just before our anniversary."
Pinsonnault gave the producers a list of Berkshire sites that the couple could visit while they filmed the clip — "A whole smorgasbord of places from when I grew up," he said — but was "pleasantly surprised" at the producer's selections. Some of the people who posted comments on YouTube's website wondered why the three destinations chosen for the visit were all located outside Adams.
"We started talking just about Adams, but then one of the producers recognized Mass MoCA and said, 'Is this your hometown? Maybe we can loop the whole area in.'" Pinsonnault said.
"They really wanted to find opportunities that a wife and a husband could do together," Pinsonnault said. "Chevrolet wanted a lot of family content. They went looking for an outside category, something from 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives'" — it's the Guy Fieri food and travel show on Food Network — "and something artistic."
The couple was filmed walking the adventure course at Ramblewild; eating chili cheese dogs at Jack's; and making pottery at the Eclipse Mill. The production was bigger than he expected, Pinsonnault said.
"I work in this business, so I was expecting it to be a small crew," Pinsonnault said. "I thought that it would be very intimate, just three or four other people. We get into town for a two-day shoot, and at the first location, there's a 16-person crew. ... It was a bigger deal than we thought, which made it even more special."
Pinsonnault, a 2001 graduate of Hoosac Valley High School, majored in political science and minored in theater at George Washington University, before receiving a master's in broadcast journalism and communications from Syracuse University. Pinsonnault served as a television news reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, Georgia and Michigan, while moonlighting in local theatrical productions and moderating debates.
While in Michigan, he also created his own variety show, which led to his move to Los Angeles in 2014. Since moving to the West Coast, Pinsonnault has appeared in several stage and screen productions, and done voice-overs while appearing in stand-up comedy shows.
He is the son of Bernie Pinsonnault and Dianne Cutillo, of Adams, and Jan Charbonneau and Stan Spencer, of Lenox.
Pinsonnault is writing a documentary on candlepin bowling that is based on the experiences he had growing up in the Berkshires.
"It's more a mockumentary like 'Best in Show' or 'A Mighty Wind,'" he said. "But there's a lot of truth in comedy, so perhaps we'll strike the perfect balance. I just need to find the funding first."
Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-496-6224.
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