The first thing you notice about Jonathan Aldridge on video is the wardrobe. He’s deftly draped in bow ties, suspenders and bright colors.
The second thing you discover about the former Lee’s Summit resident is the energy he emits as host of “Inside South Florida Show,” a lifestyle television program produced by Aldridge’s Maverik Productions.
Now Aldridge and Maverik are preparing to produce “Inside Kansas City Show.” It’s in the early stages, so no production schedule or air dates have been announced.
While in Missouri, he intends to mentor young, aspiring entertainers by allowing them to work on the show in front of and behind the camera.
Aldridge attended Lee’s Summit High School for three years before his family moved to Gulfport, Miss., in October 1993. He finished his senior year in Gulfport, but it was in Lee’s Summit that he honed his skills as a baseball player and print model.
He launched his entertainment career modeling for the Jones Store Co., where ads ran regularly in The Kansas City Star as well as in the Kansas City Chiefs’ weekly in-season program guide.
A former ball boy for the Kansas City Royals, Aldridge scored that gig after being cut from the baseball team as a sophomore at Lee’s Summit High.
He would later play his junior season on varsity at Lee’s Summit High, his final season in Gulfport and eventually sign on to play professional baseball in Canada in 2003 for the Saskatoon Legends.
A year later, after he landed in a national commercial for Hershey’s Swoops, his career path was set.
“After that I just took off and drove my car (from Florida) straight to L.A.,” Aldridge said from his new locale in Miami’s South Beach.
After a few months, however, he realized he wanted to avoid being the typical entertainer, which he described as someone who lived with five or six people in an apartment.
In the intervening years, Aldridge has appeared on “All My Children,” seen his modeling ads run in Maxim magazine, and starred in more than 45 commercials. Recent assignments have ranged from professional sports, to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York and Miami, to VIP red carpets and celebrity charity events.
“Throughout my career, I have befriended a lot of celebrities,” he said. “Having that celebrity appeal is, I think, it’s something like a hook. We can actually get in events (like Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) and bring that to the people, and they can watch.”
His company also has produced lifestyle and reality-type television programs that have appeared on networks like CW, MTV, VH1 and Fox.
“The funny thing is, when I got to L.A., my agent at the time said: ‘Hey, Jonathan, this reality thing is here for a little while. It’s not here to stay. Ride the wave.’ He couldn’t have been more wrong. Reality is here to stay.”