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For MTV's Newest 'Veejay,' It's Been a Wonderful Life

December 05, 1992|J. MARTIN McOMBER

"I can't explain it. I'm not more talented than a lot of people in radio and TV," says MTV's newest "veejay," Kennedy Montgomery. "I was just at the right place at the right time--twice."

The first time happened less than a year ago, when the 20-year-old Portland, Ore., native managed to go from answering phones to spinning records at Los Angeles alternative radio station KROQ. The second time came two months ago when MTV tapped her to come to New York.

"My life is a 'gooder'--I would have to give it an 8 or 9," she says, commenting on her meteoric rise. "I was expecting it to be much more competitive and it is not. Everyone was so willing to help me out and give me advice."

Her high school classmates may have seen it coming--they had voted her most likely to be a talk-show host--but Montgomery insists her burgeoning career hasn't been built on ambition.

"I wanted to go to college and get into politics, maybe work for a record company," she says of her pre-broadcasting plans. "When it sunk in that I was a deejay, I was totally shocked. I said, 'Wait a second, I didn't plan on this.' "

While MTV may have put a few of her plans on hold, it certainly hasn't taken any of the passion from her first love--the GOP.

"I wouldn't broadcast the fact that I am Republican if it wasn't such a bad time to be one. It tends to get a rise out of people," she says, adding that she hopes the party will do more to attract young people. "There are a lot of cool Republicans and I wish someone would wake up and reach out to the MTV generation."

Despite her recent success, Montgomery realizes the disc jockey's life can quickly turn sour.

"It is not the most secure aspect of the industry. You definitely should have a back-up plan."

And what would she do if the pink slip arrived?

"I'm going to be a shepherd," she says, laughing. "With a big flock of fluffy pink sheep."

'Going to Extremes' Allows Carl Lumbly to Come Full Circle

When the fast-paced world of Hollywood collides with the mellow island grooves of Jamaica, there's bound to be tension. Just ask Carl Lumbly, co-star of the new ABC series "Going to Extremes," which is shot on the scenic Caribbean island.

"It doesn't function like Hollywood. It functions like 'Hollymaica' or 'Jollywood,' " says Lumbly, the son of Jamaican immigrants. "It's a hybrid we are working with down there. You have to make some adjustments because things don't necessarily happen the way you expect them to."

In the series, Lumbly, 40, plays Dr. Michael Norris, the chief administrator of a Caribbean medical school and cultural ambassador to a group of frustrated American students trying to adjust to life on the island.

For the longtime stage, film and TV actor, who calls both Santa Monica and Jamaica home, it's a case of art imitating life.

"I've been sort of the person cast and crew members come to and ask, 'Is this normal?' " he says. "I've heard everything from when does the mail get here and I haven't seen a hamburger in weeks, to there's sand everywhere and these people are so different."

But when frustration hits a peak, Lumbly tells people to take it easy.

"What I've been saying is just give it time, because there is a different pace in Jamaica. Some things can't happen right away. I also tell them to enjoy those things that are familiar. When you attach to those things, then it opens up the things that are going to become familiar."

Even with the added burden of playing cultural mediator, Lumbly calls working in his parents' homeland a dream come true.

"In my childhood it was always stressed to me that I was Jamaican," he says, recalling his upbringing in chillier Minneapolis. "In some ways I feel like I have come full circle and I can live the childhood that I missed before."

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