| SPU Student Brings Her Interest in People to the Set of TV’s “The Littlest Groom”
“I’M REALLY SKEPTICAL ABOUT reality shows,” says Jennifer Montzingo, a 21-year-old majoring
in communication at Seattle Pacific University.
So when someone suggested she audition for the Fox Network reality show “The Littlest Groom,”
the 4'2" senior consulted with her pastor, Mark Abbott of Seattle’s First Free Methodist
Church, and one of her professors, Kerry Dearborn of SPU’s School of Theology.
“Jen is a remarkable leader,” says Dearborn. “Others on campus rally to her boldness in living
the Christian life.
”Montzingo wanted her participation in the two-part show basically “The Bachelor” featuring
little people to be an opportunity to share her faith. So just before Christmas
Break, she stood in Tiffany Loop with Dearborn, who held the camcorder and taped
the audition video. “We had 30 minutes to put it together,” Montzingo recalls.
“It was raining, and we were laughing as I stood there talking about my life at SPU.”
Montzingo’s grandfather, Lloyd Montzingo, is an SPU professor emeritus of mathematics.
Her father, Darrel Montzingo, is a 1979 alumnus. Her uncles include David Montzingo ’68,
Doug Montzingo ’74, Dan Montzingo ’87 and Dean Montzingo ’89. Her aunt, Joanne Jarvie
Montzingo ’81, and cousins Sarah Montzingo Mork ’00 and freshman Jake Montzingo
round out the family SPU connections. So far.
As she nears her own graduation, Jennifer Montzingo hopes to continue her education
at Seattle Pacific through enrollment in the master’s degree program in marriage
and family therapy. “SPU has helped me to understand the human heart,” she says. “It combines academics
with student life and made me realize how much I love learning about people.”
An “off-campus” lesson in human behavior began for Montzingo when the casting director
from “The Littlest Groom” called on a Friday
afternoon in January, asking “Do you want to fly to L.A. tomorrow?”
By 7 a.m. on Saturday, Montzingo was flying
to Burbank, where she joined 11 other women and met “Glen,” the 4'5" bachelor looking
for “true love.” “We started filming that afternoon, and it went until 2:30 in the morning,”
says Montzingo, who was one of Glen’s early cuts. “I got to meet a bunch of people
and talk to them about their lives. We had the common label of being small, but
we all had different stories.”
Although some critics argued that “The Littlest Groom” exploited little people,
Montzingo disagrees. The experience, she says, was a lesson that little people are
like everybody else. “When people give you a label, they miss all the other
characteristics that make a person special,” she says. “Because I learned that
early in life, it’s been a blessing to be small.”
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