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SHWA 14 The campus market is known for discovering amazing independent singer/songwriters.Add one more to that list. CHARLIE BALLARD Talk about diversity... Charlie may be America’s only Gay Native American stand-up comedian.

MARCH 2009

FEATURE STORY: BO BURNHAM 26

With hits on YouTube for his comedy/rap music videos exceeding 32 million, this 18 year-old is quickly becoming a “Superstar”. While he admits that his material is obviously “blue” in nature, the skill in which it is done is nothing short of stunning. In this exclusive interview you’ll discover exactly what’s in his head.

SKINHEAD CONFESSIONS This is one story that is too enthralling to miss. Check out T.J. Leyden’s path from hate to hope.

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WELL HUNGARIANS 36 With roots in country, this group can deliver a wide variety of music and still rock the house. D E P A R T M E N T S

From the Publisher Spanky Back Stage The “New” New Student

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The Comedy of Will Marfori 32 Agency Profile 39 Artist Report Cards 41

ONLINE EDITION: campusactivitiesmagazine.com


RANDOM THOUGHTS & OTHER MINDLESS DRIBBLE Will Conference Data Have An Effect On Business for 2010? We polled returning associates coming from the 2009 NACA National Convention in Nashville to get a feel for how business was at the conference. The information I share with you here are the preliminary results; more complete results will be available in April. Also note, we also plan to poll campuses attending the conference to get their feedback. Hopefully, this will bring to light all the positive attributes as well as identify some of the things that need fixing. There were eleven (11) questions designed to get a short response and the 12th question allowed agencies to elaborate on their experience. A. Was the attendance at the NACA National Conference what you expected? YES 100% NO 0% B. Was the business you got there what you expected or what you expect to receive? YES 80% NO 20% C. Was the cooperative buying at the conference handled professionally and efficiently? YES 20% NO 80% D. Did you feel the showcases effectively represented all segments of the industry? YES 65% NO 35% E. Did you feel the showcases were better or worse than previous years? BETTER 40% SAME 60% WORSE 0% F. Do you think the conference made an extended effort to bring emerging artists to the buyers? YES 50% NO 50%

G. Do you feel the exhibit area was as busy as the previous year? YES 70% SAME 20% NO 10% H. Do you feel the exhibit area was professionally prepared and fair at all agencies? YES 100% NO 0% I. Do you feel your investment in the conference will allow you to make a profit? YES 65% NO 35% J. Do you think the student buyers attending came with the intention of buying entertainment based on what they saw on stage or in the exhibit hall? YES 35% NO 65% K. Are your strong interest forms better or worse than last year? BETTER 10% SAME 50% WORSE 40%

HERE IS SOME OF THE FEEDBACK: Co-op buying is absolutely the #1 issue. NACA did nothing to address the issues with the economy and its impending impact on this community or to stimulate the business environment.All artists get great response from the stage but co-op buying has been broken for 3 years and NACA doesn’t seem to be in a great enough hurry to fix it. NACAneeds longer exhibit halls, allow schools to fill out co-op forms during co-op (not just in the exhibit hall) and better communication. It would be nice if the people with microphones would calm down a bit about vendors leaving the marketplace area. We invested over $6,000 to be at this event. After students leave the marketplace, there are notes and things that we might like to do in our booths along with paperwork. It seemed a bit rude, yelling at vendors to leave the area. Make the address line on the name badge larger and change set-up times on the load-in day to begin as early as 9am and run until 7pm.

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Have the final exhibits end at 6pm rather than 11:15. Late load-out is a problem and the traffic flow in the booth is dramatically decreased when it is so late. Do NOT schedule other activities such as movies, while the exhibit area is open. We have spent an enormous amount of money to see students during this time. These other activities draw students away and greatly reduces exhibit hall traffic. I would really like to have the club and lecture showcases not compete. SonicBids is a pain in the ass and they don’t seem to be helping us fix anything.

While some of these comments might seem critical, the over-all experience at the conference from most agencies responding so far has been positive. Obviously there are some things that NACA could not control but the complaint was that the association knew the economy was going to be an issue and did nothing to address it and the problem with cooperative buying is ongoing. What does this data say about the market in general? It tells us the market is still strong despite any number of outside influences that have troubled other areas of the entertainment industry. Traditionally, we see an influx of new artists and agencies into the campus market when economic conditions elsewhere become distressed because of the resiliency this sector has shown throughout history. Look for additional information to follow next issue as well as feedback on the APCA National Conference when that data becomes available.

For Booking information contact:

CRAIG NEIER/CRAIG NEIER ASSOCIATES, INC PH: 973.227.8787 / FAX: 973.227.0278 / EMAIL:CNEIER@AOL.COM

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ENTERTAINING & MOTIVATING AMERICA’S STUDENTS


“Talking About My Generation” “If your parents never had children, chances are you won’t either.” Dick Cavett

I recently received an email inviting me to speak at a college graduation ceremony to “bestow any wisdom accumulated since my graduation.” I thought it must be a friend playing a joke. It wasn’t. Ouch. Seems the older I get the more life becomes a series of painful conclusions; the email made me realize that in my mind’s eye I have seen myself as college age from the time I was fourteen years old, until, well, the present. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as “latent or prolonged adolescence.” I call it “fun.” My family calls it “immaturity.”

From the inside looking out it is easy to fool myself, but life has a way of slapping you out of your fantasy world. All I have to do is go into an antique store and recognize my childhood toys, or hear my favorite song being played in an elevator. Just a simple glance in a damn mirror and reality pokes you in the eye and you are reminded that you are not the age of a college student; in fact, you are closer to the age of a college student’s parent. I am beginning to hate mirrors. I don’t want to paint too bleak a picture for my younger readers and imply that aging totally sucks (although it does); there are benefits to aging, however the only one I can think of is that your eyesight will begin to go at the same time you begin to wrinkle, so

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when you look in that damn mirror you won’t notice the crows feet if you don’t wear your glasses. I’ve seen my Levi’s go from traditional, to hip-hugging bells, to tight straightlegged, to baggy, and back to traditional and hip-hugging bells again. I can measure my life in denim. How sad.

I’ve gone from pinball to Pong to Halo 3; from the Gong Show to Star Search to American Idol; from the Beach Boys to the Jackson Five to the Jonas Brothers; from Sean Connery to Roger Moore to Daniel Craig; from “backseat bingo” to “sucking face” to “friends with benefits”; from “I am not a crook.” to “Read my lips: no new taxes.” to “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” But despite all that has changed, in my mind’s eye, I am still nineteen, ready to change the world with my wrinkleless skin and full head of hair. Sadly, my perpetual Peter Pan delusion is easily and often shattered by something as common as a reflective surface. When faced with self-reflection I am left muttering, “Dude, what happened? You wanted to change the world and the world changed you?” How can I be a member of the generation viewed as responsible for environmental disaster, economic collapse, countless broken homes, and unparalleled corporate avarice? If you are a college student reading this, on behalf of myself and all mem-

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bers of your parent’s generation, I’d like to offer a few explanations.

First off, we are really sorry, we truly are. We sincerely apologize that the house you thought you were going to inherit is in foreclosure, and the job you thought you were going to get was shipped overseas, and that our pensions and retirement accounts have disappeared so you’ll have to take care of us when we get too old to work. We’re sorry, but it wasn’t our fault. Well, that’s not altogether true; it wasn’t entirely our fault, your grandparents helped. (Funny how blaming parents for problems only seems like a cop out when your children are doing it.) Our parents (your grandparents) instilled in us a tenant that has been passed down from every generation in our nation’s history: each generation of Americans will have a better lifestyle than the previous. My generation embraced this belief and pursued a lifestyle that we only just now discovered we really can’t afford. Sorry to leave you with the tab.

Naturally it is impossible to review the past fifty years and divide it into three eras with distinct borders; people have children at different ages, generations blur, achievements and trends overlap, so for the sake of simplicity, let’s look at three generations: yours, your parent’s (mine), and your grandparent’s. All generations have common ground: bitching; younger generations always bitch about not being understood, and in return older generations always bitch about how much harder they had things (walking to school 5 miles… in www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com


much harder they had things (walking to school 5 miles… in the snow… uphill…both ways). One of the many annoying traits of my generation is the desire to label and categorize everything. We call ourselves “Generation X,” the previous generation “Baby Boomers,” and your age group “Generation Y.” Tom Brokaw calls the people that grew up during the Great Depression the “Greatest Generation” and that may be true, but I’d rather be a Gen-X guy than a Greatest guy, because depressions are depressing, as we are beginning to learn firsthand.

Although there are a great many reasons to take pride in being a member of Generation X, there are also an equal number of reasons to feel ashamed. We are a living enigma, a breathing paradox, a walking Catch 22. We have more toys, yet less happiness. We make more, yet save less. We spend more each year on dieting than the GNP of Ireland ($50 billion+), yet two-thirds of us are overweight or obese. We preach “just say no to drugs,” yet gobble antidepressants like candy. We have more time-saving devices, yet less time. We are the first generation to ever shout at a microwave oven to hurry up, because for us, instant gratification takes too long. We spend money we haven’t earned to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t really like. If you think the older generation doesn’t understand you, perhaps you are right, because to be honest, we don’t understand us either.

Why are we so confused and confusing? Where do I start? Since we are exploring your parent’s generation lets start with a Gen-X craze: “parenting.” Naturally there have always been parents, just not “parenting.” What is the difference? According to Nora Ephron, “Parenting meant playing Mozart CDs while you were pregnant, doing without the epidural, and breast-feeding your child until it was old enough to unbutton your blouse.” Much to my chagrin, I was born too

early to experience the benefits of “parenting.” My parents were so far removed from this concept that on my fifth birthday they gave me “Jarts,” a game consisting of giant lethal darts with heavy metal tips, which was played like horseshoes, except with child fatalities. My parents operated with one simple rule: in by 10, out by 21.

When I was growing up if your kid was dumb, tough luck, your kid was dumb, now, your kid has A.D.D.. If your kid was hell-on-wheels, you didn’t have the option to sedate him with daily medications (well, not legally). If your kid was not gifted in sports, no one gave him a “Thanks for Participating” trophy. Child Therapy consisted of swift blows across the backside. We did not have “Time Outs” – we had “Ass Whoopings.” My parents would beat me any time, anywhere, with anything: belts switches, yardsticks, wooden spoons, Hot Wheels track… weapons of ass destruction. They would beat me for any reason; they used to beat me for wetting the bed (of course, I was standing on the dresser at the time). Obviously I needed some “parenting.”

Prior to the Baby Boomers, the traditional role for American females was to stay home and take care of children, but just before the end of the Cold War the “nuclear family” blew up. First, the Women’s Movement encouraged women toward the workplace, closely followed by economic necessity, soon the task of raising children became a shared responsibility and how can a man learn to do that? Enter “parenting.” It has become big business; do a search for “parenting” on Amazon and you’ll get over 130,000 hits. I recall my parents had exactly one book on the subject, the one by Dr. Spock. I remember it being a thick book because it hurt when my mother hit me with it.

Not only were stay-at-home moms fading away, divorce rates skyrocketed, doubling from 1960 to 1975. When I was a child, people whispered the word divorce because of the shame attached; now, if you are over 40 and not married or divorced, people assume you are gay.

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For the first time in America it became common for Mommy to be at work and for Daddy to be living with his new wife, which is a great thing (if you happen to own stock in the Day Care Industry). By the time Gen-Y arrived, nearly a third of American children live in single parent homes. I believe my generation created “parenting” because we felt guilty our children were being raised by people that were not their parents. Of course not everyone got onboard with “parenting.” For example, the parents of 15% of children, ages 5 to 14, known as “Latchkey Kids, which return from school to empty homes. On the other extreme, we now have “Helicopter Parents,” which hover close, rarely out of reach, using the cell phone as the world’s longest umbilical cord, so they can rush in to prevent their offspring from ever experiencing any harm or failure.

Unfortunately their children do not get the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, unlike myself; and I have the scars to prove it. I never owned a bike helmet. I routinely played with firecrackers and BB guns. I ate anything given to me on Halloween without prior inspection. My role model was 007, a chain-smoking alcoholic killer that was so horny he would sleep with women that he knew were trying to murder him. Obviously I needed some “parenting.” TO BE CONTINUED…

Spanky has twice been voted “Campus Comic Of The Year,” and once the “Campus Performer Of The Year.” He is looking for friends myspace.com/campuscomic.

at

He is represented by Red Planet Productions (212-514-5741).

If you were amused or bemused by the above, please write to: forgiveplease@hotmail.com

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Few and far between are those acts out there in the college market who have the talent, resolve, wherewithal and fortune to make it successfully on their own. And let’s be clear: when we say on their “own,” we are referring to those artists who have been able to promote, distribute, book and live the life of a busy entertainer without the aid of professional management, agency or major label. Shwa is one of those acts. He has been able to make it on his own in this market and his re-

cently playing his 100th college show is a testament to that. “I guess I follow the old adage ‘No one will work harder for you than yourself,” laughs the 23 year-old singer songwriter from Holland, PA. Defining himself as an “indie singer/songwriter” loosely describes this talented young artist, though labeling anything in music seems to be a pretty ambiguous task any more. “I am not even sure what defines ‘indie’ these days, but on my business card it says ‘edgy, melodic rock’ if that helps at all. Somewhere along be-

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tween the lines of folk and Brit pop and Brit rock is me I guess.” Shocking we know, but one influence on this solo singer/songwriter was the shag tag team from Liverpool (has anyone else ever actually come from there?) among others. “I grew up listening to the Beatles and I am a heavy product of the grunge era as well so Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Screaming Trees and all of those bands had a big impact on me. Once I got into high school and started playing guitar, I got into a lot of Brit pop www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

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and rock groups like Radiohead, Blur and Pulp. Those are the influences that shaped me but as I have grown older I think I have mellowed out a little bit. I got into acts like Elliot Smith and other singer/songwriters.” The final mention above is one often drawn on for comparison in reviews of Shwa’s own music. Clearly no artist wants to be held up as a copy of another, but Shwa is keen enough to know “guilt by association” may not necessarily be all bad in this case. “I think realistically one of the good things about the last album that I put out is that it gets compared to a whole host of other artists in one place or another, pretty much all of whom I really like and respect. At least in one aspect the positive thing about this is that I ripped off, stole or borrowed from enough acts that there isn’t one clear person I’m mimicking (laughs).” Shwa understands that in this day and age of songwriting and guitar, being completely different and unique collides with practicality and the music being listenable. “I am able to see where certain strengths that I have lie and I try to play to those. I am not trying to go out and necessarily be the most original act in the world; I am trying to make music I would want to listen to. If you can create an album people like and you know you like it but you can’t exactly put your finger on why, it’s a good accomplishment.” Though he may not be pushing the bounds of reality in his genre, Shwa is certainly still his own artist. While perhaps moving counter to the general flow of the modern internetminded, instant gratification, five-second attention span of today’s MySpace music market, there are still acts out there that view music as an art and the album as a canvas. Sometimes you can’t convey as complex and brilliant a message on a sticky note (single) as you can on an entire canvas (album). “I have to say I am definitely an album kind of guy, though I know that isn’t the way the industry is going. I am sure there are people who will tell you they have a favorite song of mine and I know some songs I write are better than others, but I think if you sit down with an entire album, you are more likely to create a mood and lasting impression from it. That is what I strive to do. That being said, I prob-

ably will release a couple of singles this coming year to tide people over because putting out an entire album is quite a process.” They say 80% of all tunes written are love songs and while Shwa doesn’t necessarily shy away from this particular subject subset, listeners will be delighted to find an eclectic and sometimes even quirky array of subject matter constituting his set list. “It has definitely changed over time,” he says. “I think that is probably the area where I have grown the most since I have started doing this. My main goal now as a lyricist is to tell people a story they can jump into tied together with a melody that will stick in their heads.” Shwa likes to draw from personal experience in writing, with his first album being a great example of the previously mentioned 80%. “That CD is for all intents and purposes a break-up record with a couple of political songs mixed in. If you take a look at the last record I put out, you can see the conscious

effort I made to not only draw from personal experience, but also to incorporate a variety of things I thought would capture the listener’s attention.” Chop Chop, available currently through iTunes and CD Baby is Shwa’s most recent work and is an impressive offering of his creative potential. The focus Shwa maintained on making Chop Chop an entire album experience while also providing an exciting variety from song to song may make the album more rewarding for listener and artist alike, but it certainly didn’t make producing the work any easier. “It definitely makes things harder; I don’t want to put out words or songs that I can’t fully wrap myself around or speak out of place. To that end, there will also al-

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ways be songs that are just too personal to expose to the wider world as well. There are some artists out there who can just go for a quick rhyme and write songs about absolutely nothing, but I never could do that and don’t think it’s what I want to do.” Like so many of our youth, music was always around Shwa as a boy but didn’t become a serious passion until he was a teenager. “I was casually into music as a kid, I had Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams tapes or whatever was thrown in front of me to listen to. I remember my mom buying me Huey Lewis and The News when I was really little. “Once Pearl Jam came out, I got Ten. When I heard “Black” it absolutely floored me. I got into music pretty heavily then and by the time I was in junior high I was writing songs with a buddy of mine who ended up teaching me some guitar. One thing led to another and I was hooked.” Shwa describes the classic middle class average suburban kid syndrome, cycling through the cursory list of potential hobbies until something finally sticks. “I had done so much in my life (for brief periods of time) be it karate lessons, soccer, ultimate frisbee, you name it, and I did it. The only thing that ever remained constant that I have always been passionate about and kept pursuing was music. I can think back to times when I was 11 or 12 years old and it was already something that I was fervently dedicated to.” Every kid with a guitar and an imagination has dreams of becoming the figure of pixilated perfection ogled so intensely in our culture. But those who are truly serious about a career in music are generally fleshed out pretty quickly. For most, the dreams fade into a harsher reality of work and school. Of the remaining souls who have the desire to dedicate their lives to music, the hopelessly unqualified and untalented will eventually (hopefully) realize the folly of their pursuits. For those left, the truly dedicated and talented, there might not be one single moment that defines the time when he or she knew “this is what I want to do.” www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

Not so for Shwa, who says he remembers clearly his decision to entertain. “Actually I can honestly pinpoint it. I graduated from American University with a degree in International Relations and did really well in school. I was on a little bit of a career track; you know you graduate and nobody tells you what you are supposed to do. I figured I would have an office job and maybe try to save up money to record a CD at night. But I never seriously thought I was going to go all out and do it full time.” Post graduation, Shwa found himself in a plight so unfortunately common among certain circles of our college graduates. “I couldn’t seem to find a job for a while. Maybe I was subconsciously tanking it (laughs) in the interview process but I went to a NACA conference in Baltimore in the interim. I was very lucky to have a friend, Adam Richmond, to show me around and introduce me to a lot of people.”

focus on maintaining growth in his career and rooting himself firmly in the college market. “It’s always a process of looking forward I think. You have to keep your eye on the big picture but from there it’s all about focusing on those small tangible steps because you can get kind of lost if you don’t. When I first started, I think my goal was to open for John Mayer and be on the cover of Rolling Stone in a couple of years. Obviously that was not really realistic. That being said, I did have some other smaller goals I worked on that I was able to attain and I’m proud of those to date. I was able to play the Mercury Lounge. We made a record and it was reviewed in the Washington Post and then USA Today. All

of these small victories have kept me focused and excited and I am really looking forward to all the future will bring.” Shwa Losben has the contemporary style, age and attitude to make him a perfect prospect for a college market entertainer. His appeal will draw your students in and could very well make this act one your board continues to bring in far in the future.

BOOK IT! For more information on bringing in Shwa for your next music night, contact Amber Fuster at the New York Songwriter’s Collective at (202) 210-7049 or shwamusic.com CA

Shwa was able to do very well at the meeting and launched himself into the college market. “I was able to book about 10 shows on the spot. I did some number crunching and realized I could live off of music alone and couldn’t think of any reason why not. I said ‘Screw it, I’m going for it!’ and poured all of my energy into making a really great record the following year.” Shwa didn’t confine himself exclusively to the college market during this period, trying instead to drum up shows by any means possible. “I was playing every club that would have me and was on the road pretty much non-stop. I played coffee shops and really anything else I could put toward the rent. It was probably around October of 2003 when I decided all this was possible.” One of the most interesting aspects of Shwa’s success to date is the fact that he’s been able to do it unaided, without help from agent, manager or publicist. “I’ve been very lucky and college crowds have been so supportive. There is definitely something to be said about working with an agency and working with people who have those connections and know what they’re doing. But at the same time, if you don’t mind doing the work, there is probably no one who will work harder for you than yourself.” One thing is for sure; Shwa has a clear www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

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There seems to be a tendency among the mainstream comedy consuming audience to want all of our comedians to be neatly placed into singular trait identities. Whether with the “blue” comic or “Asian” comic, the “fat” comic, or perhaps the neurotic observer, we often try to take one overwhelming trait in a comic and label him as “this.”

can” comic. No, Charlie Ballard understands that while playing to stereotypes in moderation can give a comic considerable latitude (and some great laughs), sometimes performing great comedy is about breaking outside the preordained notion of everyone else for you as a comic and just performing great comedy, for everyone, period.

academic prowess and determination to be whatever he wanted. “I graduated in 2003 but after school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, maybe grad school or law school. Suddenly this big ‘ole light bulb just sprang into my head and I thought ‘Stand up comedy!’ I’ve been doing it now for the past 5 years and it has turned out pretty great.”

With a limited number of these convenient little labels to run through, masses of these presorted players are run through the stereotyping mill every time a new project calls for a “weird” comedian or a “girl” comic to fill a scripted part. For those left on the fringes, the new opportunities can be left wanting.

Charlie has a unique perspective on comedy, with little doubt that his surroundings provided him with a need for comedy as a means to cope with thechallengesofgrowingupdistinctly unique. Born and raised in the bay area, Charlie was far from the origins of the Shinobi Tribes of Michigan that form his heritage. Being gay to boot didn’t necessarily alienate him from society in San Fran, but the combination did make him distinctly individual.

Charlie was pretty isolated as a kid (or felt so at least) and humor soon began to trigger as a defense mechanism. “I think when I was growing up, I was always by myself and I didn’t really have a whole lot of friends. It made it a lot tougher for me to communicate with everyone else and I didn’t have a normal pattern of social skills set. The only way I could relate to people was by making them laugh or by making a wise crack. I never really considered myself ‘funny’ but I guess wit was more of a defense mechanism than anything

Introducing a comedian who turns this notion on its head. While he may not fall in the cookie cutter of common comedians, he also won’t just be labeled that “gay Native Ameri18, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

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At 34, Charlie was a bit of a late bloomer out of college, but had the

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else.”

Charlie wasn’t born with stars in his eyes and big dreams of the stand up stage as a child. It was much more of a stumbling across stand up as a young man that lured him in. “Honestly, it wasn’t one of my life long ambitions to be a comic. I went to this psychic lady and during the session I kept cracking up. While she was in her trance state, she opened one of her eyes and said ‘I see you doing stand up comedy down the road.’ She looked me dead in the eye and said ‘You’re not going to be very funny at first though.’ She was right.” If comedy were easy enough for anyone to be great at it their first time, it wouldn’t be worth doing. “I wasn’t funny at all at first, but it is a process like anything else I suppose,” he says. Besides, every comic has at least some resonance of a positive experience when they start or they might all quit. “It’s really weird, I want to almost call it providence. It was like a passion, one of those things that you are just supposed to be doing in life. I just really gravitated toward it.” Charlie says it was over a prolonged period of soul searching and introspection throughout his oft-postponed academic career that kept reassuring him comedy was the right way to go. “I was in college for a long time, I kept coming in and dropping back out,” he admits. “When I decided to clean up my life and really stick with school I sat down and asked myself if there were anything in the world that could make me happy, what would it be? I knew the answer was stand-up comedy. I never gave it any more thought; I think I had probably seen one bona fide comedy show before that.”

edy books and going to a lot of shows. There are different ways of breaking into this game but I wanted to do it the old fashioned way and learn it for myself. I had some help along the way in the form of a comedy coach and I just stuck with it.” Charlie describes the early years in the same sort of haggard manner you might imagine a fighter describing the first time he was knocked out, or a soldier coming through the other side of the melee. “There were times when it got really tough and no one would laugh. I went through times when no one would book me; there were times where I was really secondguessing my decision to do this.” Perseverance typically has its rewards. “I just stuck to my guns and believed in myself. I thought ‘OK, this is what you’re supposed to do, so go do it! Find a way to make people laugh’. I learned along the way what people like and what they don’t and I think that’s where my niche has come in. To be honest, I didn’t come into this thinking I could be the ‘Native American Gay Comedian.’ That kind of fell into my lap and it is who I am, not what I’m angling to be because there is a market for it.” No comic (or anyone else) wants to be pinned down as a stereotype and Charlie is no different. Sometimes though, you also have to play to your advantages and find your own voice based on your unique background. “When I started out, I talked about my family a lot and going to school, a lot of the really obvious things for a fledgling comic to work through. I talked about how I felt, usually at the par-

ticular moment I was on stage.” Charlie understands that in his early stages, the emotion that charged his performances and made them passionate unchecked could make him come off a little bit abrasively. “When you write, you can either be active or reactive. Most of the jokes I have written, especially early on, were reactions to things I have seen in the media or a conversation I might have had. It can turn into a seemingly very defensive thing and I don’t want to always seem that way. I am not always going up there to be on a rant or bitch about something; I am concentrating all my energy on writing materials that is active in nature. I haven’t completely figured out what that means, but I want to be the initiator. I want to be the one who has something to say at the moment and has come up an idea that’s original. I want to be able to drive thought and new ideas, not just wait until something like gay marriage comes up as the topic of the week and try to latch onto it for all I’m worth and bleed it dry for the 15 seconds people are actually paying attention to it.” There’s a fine line between pure social commentary and comedy. What could be considered a list of complaints given the proper delivery can keep an audience entertained for an hour, but it’s considerably more difficult to convey a message and entertain than to just go for the easy laughs. “Initially, I honestly couldn’t tell you what I was trying to do with my comedy other than survive my sets. As I got better at it, I learned that people really do

Without being boastful, Charlie concedes that though he was inexperienced in comedy, his personality was well suited to it. “I would hate to sound conceited or egotistical, but I kind of knew I was going to be alright at it. I had other hobbies I was good at like basketball, volleyball, shooting pool… whatever. The point is, I knew that the kind of person I was lead me to apply myself to whatever I was striving for.” This is not a career for the faint of heart and Charlie did understand the risks involved before he made the leap. “That is the chance people take with whatever they want to do. I accepted it right away; there was no looking back for me really. For me, I knew that it was this or nothing so I put everything I had into it.”

Here, Charlie really levels with us on the reality of delivering any sort of message on stage. “A lot of it is truth, a lot of it is bullshit. Alot of it is… it’s a show. I like to twist it around as much as I can. At the end of the day, my goal is to entertain the audience and ultimately keep them laughing. If I can impart a message, open some eyes or still some emotion in the process, that’s great, but I am not going to get so engrossed in trying to make each of them better people that I’ll let the show suffer.”

BayArea. Being gay obviously has its unique challenges as well, even in a ‘progressive’ state like California (who by the way just rejected bill to legalize gay marriage). So, I have to reach out to everyone and I do, but at the same time I get a lot of backlash, especially in the Bay Area. There is a very extreme left liberal population here and they are surprisingly very conservative, even though that seems to be an oxymoron. You really have to watch what you say here, because many people are on the edge of their seats just waiting to be offended for someone. It has taught me to use more tact and to read my audiences. I am able to fit in, make people laugh and have a good time because there are good people out there and I try to gravitate toward them as

much as possible. There will always be someone out there who doesn’t fit their mold and that is where the comedians come in. I try to never take myself so seriously that someone could throw a rock at my glass house and destroy it. I just try to catch it, turn I into a joke and throw it right back at them. BOOK IT! For more information on bringing up and coming SF comedian Charlie Ballard to your next comedy event, contact him at (510) 534-3574. For online media of Charlie, including video, pricing, tour dates and booking info, log on to www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com. Click on “Artists” under the “Buyer’s Guide” Tab and either enter Charlie’s name in the given field or find it browsing

The last thing Charlie wants to do is come off as preachy. “I don’t take myself seriously enough for that. Certainly I suppose some things I say can be controversial at times, but that’s the nature of comedy. Like I said, I like to twist things and milk them for anything that might be funny and I guess some sensibilities can be offended along the way, but I would never use my comedy as a weapon to say ‘You must do this or be judged.’” If any comedian has ever cracked a joke in the history or the world that at least someone hasn’t been offended by, we’d be pretty surprised (heck, even Bill Cosby did the bit about his dad re-naming his kids ‘G Dammit and Jesus Christ). Ethnic groups seem to be commonly offended, as well as certain rights groups who sometimes just don’t get it. Every comedian will get blowback at some point in their careers, won’t they? “For me, yes and no,” Charlie says. “I hate to say this about comedy, but it can be really racist and it can separate people (and it has). I mean if you look at all the big comedians, they all have different demographics. Take Margaret Cho (my idol), she has a huge gay and lesbian following. Carlos Mencia has a huge Latin American following. A Caucasian following primarily enjoys the ‘Blue Collar’ comedians. It disturbs me, because people tend to think that just because someone is a certain color or a certain gender or has certain persuasions, they should gravitate towards them. “It gets hard for me sometimes to put myself in that situation. I amAmerican Indian and I’m gay. There are not many of us; I meanAmerican Indians are about 0.5% of the U.S. population, and that number is even less in the

So Charlie delved into the study of the art of comedy. “I started buying a lot of com20, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

listen to what you have to say when given this platform. So, lately what I have trying to do is to just put my issues and myself out there and say ‘This is how I feel about this.’ The rest is up to the audience.”

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March 2009, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, 21


STORY BY IAN KIRBY

Once in a while along comes a story so compelling, we have to tell it. Entertainers of all walks are featured in our magazine and certainly some of the most captivating in the campus market are the speakers. Not since Daryl Davis and his story of infiltrating the KKK as an African-American has this writer seen such a stark look and inside perception of the most deeply recessed crevices of racial hatred and indifference in our country. Now, perhaps with TJ Leyden, this bar has been set 22, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

even higher, because TJ was not a foreign presence infiltrating a uniform body in which clearly didn’t belong only to come back and report to us outsiders as Daryl has.

hole that almost claimed his life. He now focuses all of his being on keeping other young and impressionable minds off of the same wrong track he headed down.

No, TJ was mixed in as one of the homogenous white mass that makes up the most diabolical sects of racism in the US. He spent half a life in the depths of anger, hatred, intolerance and despair. Only after the dawning realization that he was forcing his children into the same tumultuous existence did he escape the clutches of the black

TJ Leyden was a skinhead. While the larger term describes to the uniformed masses anyone who is in a racial gang in jail or on the streets, the group is actually much more narrowly defined. With humble beginnings on the West Coast in Southern California, the skinheads weren’t always an army of drug crazed and racially focused animals. It

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started off simply enough with just a bunch of angry kids with too much time on their hands, far more mundane than the Nazi-esque monsters we imagine in these groups. Much like the image of an innocent little boy named TJ doesn’t fit into our normal frame of reference. It wasn’t until coming out of a broken home that TJ was any more like the racial thugs we cringe at so easily. Now a successful and highly accredited speaker, TJ presents his hate crime lectures to colleges, law enforcement, military and

even the White House Conference on Hate Crimes. He worked on former California governor Grey Davis’ assessment panel for hate groups and has had a hand in much hate crime legislation. Long before all of this though, TJ was just a scared kid looking for a sense of identity. TJ was only 14 when the locomotive that was his home life started to derail. “My parents started getting divorced when I was 13 and by my next birthday I had started hanging around on the streets a lot. To vent my frustration, I started attend-

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ing a lot of the early punk rock shows, which were really all about anarchy and violence anyway.” TJ’s mettle quickly showed itself and he caught the attention of some pretty questionable characters. “I was in the mosh pit one time and a group of older guys saw me and liked my spunk, charisma and most especially my penchant for violence. They invited me to hang out and sort of provided me a new home away from home. They were skinheads.” TJ’s presentation is an interesting introspective into March 2009, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, 23


the world of white supremacy, taking the audience on a journey of first hand knowledge. “I try to bring people into the world of white supremacy and let them see what I went through in my eyes. I do it in kind of a humorous way, but there is a specific purpose behind that. People will laugh at the over-the-top stereotypes I generate and it helps break up some of the nervous energy that would normally exist around this topic. I use my family as an example by pointing out a lot of our flaws, but what I try to explain to people is that the reason they are laughing at these things is largely due to their own inherent biases.” TJspeaksabouthowhegotinvolvedinthe“movement”, what he did there and intentionally shocks viewers at times. “I do talk about a beating that I was involved in,” he says. “And I talk a lot about how I got out. I cover quite a lot in my hour-long presentation.” Now before we proceed any further, some clarification is necessary. Unbeknownst to this writer, TJ informs us that skinheads are not a one-sizefits-all organization and, despite their racism-fueled drug running contemporaries, the group TJ affiliated himself with then would be barely recognizable by today’s standards. “You have to understand,” he explains, “that when I first got involved with skinheads, there were no drugs and skinheads weren’t racist.”

“I was really just a thug, a brutal thug and nothing more.... I used to joke that I was a permanent hood ornament for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.”

hood and a couple of my friends from there had gone to jail. While there, they picked up some of the jailhouse philosophies and pursued the white power movement. That was the main crux of our segment of the skinhead subculture.” Just for reference, this was around 1981, long before the evolution of the modern skinhead movement we know of today, a group seemingly primarily concerned with gross black market profits and conveniently using the white power banner as more of an enrollment tool than an actual creed. It’s easy to target disillusioned and intimidated white kids in urban neighborhoods who feel out of place among large minority populations and want to belong somewhere. Precisely

the same scenario that plays out in prisons so often. “This was the very beginning of theAmerican skinhead scene.”

nothing like the Nazis; that would definitely have freaked out one of my grandfathers, considering he was a WWII veteran.”

So, what would make a young man such as TJ gravitate toward the Neo-Nazi movement instead of being a S.H.A.R.P.? “I didn’t experience any sort of overt racism in the home as a kid. I always tell people I think my dad was pretty stereotypical in many ways. He had friends of all races and religions and sexual orientations so he wasn’t a bigot; but if you cut him off on the freeway, every dirty word known to man would come out of his mouth about your culture or heritage. So, he was sort of a convenient racist.”

TJ says this environment as a child really hadn’t engrained any sort of deep prejudice within him, wanting to fit in was the real culprit. “I was going with the flow,” he says, “and what pushed me over the edge more than anything was music. The music we listened to had that message. In the beginning, for me it was a way for an angry kid to say ‘Eff you’ to society; eventually I began to really develop the philosophy. The more you are in it, the more it kind of draws you in and then you gain power and rank in this organization because you know more and are doing stupid crazy things to fit in.”

TJ says both of his grandfathers were a bit more overt, but this was a sign of the times they lived in as much as their own personal biases. “There were certain things my dad’s dad said like ‘Never bring a darkie home.’ My mom’s dad always used to tell us ‘Never marry a wagon burner’ referring to Native Americans. “Those [racist] influences were around, but it was

You read right. It seems completely contrary to everything we thought we knew about the big collective bundle we average folk lump hate groups into. The Ku Klux Klan, Nazi’s, Aryans, skinheads are all fruit from the same poisonous tree no? “No. The group at that time had no real political undertone. It wasn’t until later on the skinhead movement split into two groups. You had Sharps, which were anti-racist and then everyone’s more conventional idea of skinheads, the white supremacy group.”

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“Those [racist] influences were around, but it was nothing like the Nazis; that would definitely have freaked out one of my grandfathers, considering he was a WWII veteran.” hood to a very upper middle area and the kids there had no idea what was going on. I mean, there were punk rock kids but they didn’t know too much about skinheads and all of a sudden there’s a bunch of skinheads showing up in their town, me being one of them.” With TJ’s natural tendencies for leadership, being well-spoken and able to quickly establish rapport with anyone he meets, it was time for him to truly excel, even if it was in a dirty business such as this. “All of a sudden, I became someone important because I was recruiting. I was really just a thug, a brutal thug and nothing more. I started catching attention from the local authorities. Too much in fact, I used to joke that I was a permanent hood ornament for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.”

Ok so wait, let’s recap. We have the skinheads, two groups, one racist, and the other anti-racist. Anti-racist? Does this mean they were the antithesis of the other racist group, traveling around and spreading a message against racism? Or perhaps they’re just general anarchists with no specific motivations? “Not exactly,” TJ laughs at this bit of naivety. “The group was called S.H.A.R.P., which stands for ‘Skinheads against racial prejudice.’ Being a skinhead was all about being working class, drinking, partying and fighting. The Sharps basically just looked for NeoNazi (white supremacist) skinheads to fight with. They are not about trying to create unity or peace or cultural understanding. It’s more like ‘Hey let’s go find that racist and beat him up.’” Now that the distinction is a little bit clearer, what were the fundamental causes for the split and difference in opinion? What were the environmental factors that created this scenario in the first place? “Ilivedin a very upper middle class white neighbor-

As TJ progressed in the movement, he was what was known as a street soldier. “I got into a lot of altercations and fights, then my parents moved from one area to another and I got my chance. We went from a solidly middle class neighbor-

The main source of the heat came not at this time from major criminal enterprise, but petty works done by thugs. “Some of us had jobs, but we all made extra money by jacking people, robbing, mugging, whatever we could for a quick buck and a cheap thrill.”

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TJ’s “career” continued until he had reached majority age and by the time he was 21 his reputation was preceding him and his paranoia was rising. “I knew the cops were building a case against me to put me away for a long time because of all the problems I was causing, so I joined the military to escape the area.” www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

It’s no surprise in which branch a hard partying, hard fighting, hard ass like TJ would enlist and the Corps treated him well. But alas, it wouldn’t last because eventually TJ realized that a job in the military is a job all the same. “The day I graduated from boot camp was probably the proudest day of my life, because I was a high school drop out that had finally really accomplished something. Once I got to the regular fleet, I figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t like boot camp, would never be like boot camp again and it was basically like having a nine to five job; it was… crap.” Three years later and TJ was out of the Marines and back on the streets. He was still in touch with his old buddies back home and even visited on his shore leaves. So, by the time he was through, he was into more trouble than when he started. “I did a lot of really bad things when I was on my leaves because I would be there just long enough to do my deed and then take off on deployment again. The cops weren’t looking for a marine, they were looking for some dumb gangsters.” Once TJ was out (discharged for drinking and fighting too much- go figure), he was more dangerous than ever. “The thing is… the military

“...the military made me a better racist. The military taught me leadership abilities, recruitment techniques and organizational skills I would have never learned without the Marine Corps.” made me a better racist. The military taught me leadership abilities, recruitment techniques and organizational skills I would have never learned without the Marine Corps.” TJ isn’t the only one who noticed this and the trend is downright scary. “Alot of white supremacist leaders today tell their young people to go into the military. I’ll tell you now that the Pentagon

says (and they are lying) that 1% of the U.S. Military are active gang members. To put it into perspective, that would make roughly 14,000 gang members actively serving. I believe the number is more like 2-3% and my peers in this field tend to agree.” If you hadn’t connected the dots, this gives the worst kinds of people access to nearly unlimited transport capabilities, international contacts and tactical training. “Some of these guys have been over in Afghanistan and Iraq and decide they want to make some money by upping the heroine trade in the U.S. They have a direct connection to the most abundant heroine fields in the world. This is not to mention the specialized training they are getting. Most people don’t realize that this is a different kind of war than Vietnam. These guys aren’t fighting in the jungles; they are fighting door to door and in the streets, just like they would be in an urban setting back home.” Whether the fight is with rival gang members or law enforcement. TJ’s presentation takes an interesting look at all

“...My three-year-old walked in, turned the TV off and said ‘Daddy, we don’t watch shows with niggers on it.’ of these topics: racism, violence, the military, street crime and finally, tolerance. It wasn’t until shortly into the formative years of his two children that TJ realized the road he was going down was leading nowhere. “I was watching a show on Nickelodeon with my youngest son called “Gullah Gullah Island.” My three-year-old walked in, turned the TV off and said ‘Daddy, we don’t watch shows with niggers on it.’ My initial reaction was to be proud; he was following in dad’s footsteps. It wasn’t until later that I thought about who they were going to become.” TJ realized the same path of violence; pain, jail and even death were awaiting his two young ones. This inspired him to get out of the life and turn things around. He details this aspect of his story in his presentation as well. There is little doubt one would be hard pressed to find a story, presenter and program each as compelling as the next, but TJ does it. This is one event that will attract students and people of all kinds and there is little doubt they will walk away with fresh insight and different opinions than when they entered. BOOK IT! For more information on bringing TJ Leyden to speak at your campus, contact CAMPUSPEAK at (303) 745-5545. For virtual links, log on to our website at www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

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STORY BY IAN KIRBY If you don’t mind a little raucous humor that raps on just about everyone, Bo Burnham will have your audience rollin’. While one byproduct of the YouTube craze leaves us with a sea of endlessly pointless video diaries and excursions of every imaginable angle from people of all walks of life (all striving in their desperate attempts to be seen by anyone who will watch), another result of the online phenomenon is a new breed of bona fide entertainers. As the cream of the online video sharing world rises to the top, millions of views catapult previously unknown talents out of their bedrooms and onto the grand stage of the public spotlight. Bo Burnham has just such a story. Starting his career bored in his room with nothing to do, Bo decided to write some funny songs and video himself performing them. The resulting video posts since have netted him well over 30 million online views. This launched a career that, judging by his talent, will last a 26, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

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lifetime. He’s been picked up by a major talent agency, has an album on Comedy Central Records availble on iTunes and will have his “Comedy Central Presents” special airing this spring on Comedy Central.

YouTube are like the fabled paper tiger, very one dimensional and quite tame upon closer inspection, the thing that sets Bo apart is the obvious likelihood of him having a lasting career in the business – this based on observing his aptitude, wit and self-awareness that one shtick can’t last forever. “The whole white boy rapper thing I started doing because it has that inherent comedic element in it. ‘Oh, look how funny and awkward I am, the straightaced white kid rapping dirty’ but now it feels so old hat and boring, like a million people have done it already. I don’t want that to be my label; I plan to be much more three-dimensional than that. That is why I try to make the raps (in and of themselves) very funny, not just the ‘white boy rapper’ shtick packaging. The meat and content is made up of funny jokes and good comedy, something the listener can really wrap their head around and enjoy, as opposed to being momentarily amused by the novelty it. I have been trying to move away from that a little bit.”

At just 18 years old, he’s only slightly past his growing up in Hamilton, Mass, about 20 minutes north of Boston. With plans to attend NYU this year, Bo was going to continue the education he obviously absorbed so well in high school, judging by the wit and intelligence in his lyrics. “I decided to defer for a year,” he says. “Two years ago I posted some songs on YouTube because, well, I was sort of bored. I started writing funny songs as a joke. I never thought of them as a way to make a career or anything. It was all just for fun.” Watching Bo perform in his videos, one can’t help but be impressed by his musicianship. It’s not easy to sing or rap (which he does surprisingly well), especially while playing an instrument. “My freshman year, I really wanted to play an instrument, something I had never done before. I tried to teach myself piano and kind of just hacked my way through it and got pretty good. With guitar, I know like 10 chords and can fudge the rest. Anyone that plays guitar knows you can learn like eight chords and look like you know what you’re doing (laughs).”

Musically there may be no specific influences to note, but Bo is quick to fire off a list of his comedic influences. “Comically, I love Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Mitch Hedberg and a lot of other comics out there who are really great. I don’t have any strong specific musical influences to name. People ask me that a lot and I usually disappoint them.” Bo’s love affair with stand-up goes back to his childhood and the irony of his opportunity to make a living from the craft isn’t lost on him. “I have been a really big fan of stand-up for a long time, even when I was very young. I think it’s so cool that now that I am able to be in some of the places like the major comedy festivals because I think it is more fun to watch some of the stand up than be in it.” As a kid, Bo watched many of the classic movies that tickle all of our funny bones, but unlike many children’s casual interest in what makes us chuckle, Bo wanted to see the down and dirty of

the comedy world. “I like all the old Farley and Sandler movies and those favorites, but I was always fascinated with stand up. I watched a lot of George Carlin and Eddie Murphy’s ‘Raw’ and ‘Delirious.’” So, obviously we’ve skimmed around the most compelling part of Bo’s story. How does a 16-year-old kid with nothing to do make himself an overnight celebrity with nothing but plenty of boredom, free time inspiration on his hands? “My first big ‘breaks’ were live performances at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. That was this past summer and it got a lot of good buzz around it. Judd Apatow was doing a show there and that’s where I met him.” Apatow, writer and producer of such recent comedy giants as “Superbad”, “Pineapple Express” and “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan”, is making a new movie, a project Bo is writing, starring in and very excited about. “At the time I had a development deal with Fox

“Cause there’s an inverse relationship between respect and sects, I’m talking bout religious sects like a Mormon sect. That says you can’t have sex with members of different sects, but you can’t have sex with members of the same sex. So if the sects can’t be different, the sex can be same, then the only sex left is some left hand shame.”

Surprisingly, the musical side of Bo’s experience isn’t the heaviest influence. He wasn’t some audiophile out to make incredible music and then went the easy way by writing funny lyrics for his songs. It was actually more the other way around, with comedy being a predominant influence on him and subsequently his material as well. “I don’t have an especially strong musical influence at all. I mean, I like hip hop because of some of the lyrics, but all of the CDs I have are of comedy. I lay down my jokes on some very basic melodies and tunes, nothing really revolutionary. I have never actually been a huge music fan, but I have always been a huge comedy fan.” While many of the talents you see on 28, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

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“That’s right, consider yourself warned. I’m offensive and creative... like handicapped porn.”

that is entertaining and funny. Not only are his music good and lyrics funny, but also Bo exhibits a level of witticism, cleverness and craft not seen often in any music. “I always liked puzzles and word play; I even used to write my own palindromes and memorize lists of palindromes and anagrams. I have always been interested in that stuff and I guess over time I started to make little one-liners that amused me. Those slowly assembled into lyrics and songs. It is really just things that I find funny and finding creative ways of expressing them. I am not setting out to say ‘Oh look how funny and clever I am.’ I just enjoy making a song into a puzzle. Every line is a pun, but it’s all logical and makes sense when you dissect it. That’s the aim anyway, I don’t always succeed in it, but its fun to challenge myself.” Bo’s rhythm in wit (in, not and) is so notable, it’s bound to garner him considerable public praise. However, the 18-year-old is cognizant enough to see through some of the smoke. “The en-

to make a television show, sort of like ‘Flight of The Concords’ with a ‘Superbad’ tone. When I talked to Judd, he expressed he thought the project would turn out better as a movie and that’s where I got the deal to write the sort of anti ‘High School Musical’ script.” So, how does an average kid from MA go about assembling some random funny songs into something that will carry itself into an entertaining live performance? Holding someone’s attention for 3 minutes with a video clip and entertaining an audience for the duration of an hour-long performance are two very different animals. “Honestly, I try not to change things too much. I don’t want to tamper with things and have the show coming out too affected and contrived. I think the small mistakes and nuances are what add the authentic appeal to the show. I wanted it to look like it was a kid who just came out of his bedroom and is now performing on stage. I think that carries a lot of the likeability, appeal and tone of the act.”

Listening to Bo, one can certainly tell he’s not just some dumb kid singing dirty songs; he sounds more like an experienced industry veteran who knows the entertainment business. “I do jokes both inside and around the music, and some of them are only effective in context. Some of the more edgy jokes have to work by comparison; they have to come from a kid who is very shy and insecure so he can get away with saying shit like that. If I went out there like a completely cool, cocky and confident pro, it would just seem disingenuous and fake, but I do try to transition things as smoothly and organically as possible. When I take on that persona, any mistakes really only contribute to the larger effect of the act.”

But, this is the secret to growing and maturing as an artist. Bo exhibits a level of talent and witticism that guarantees whatever transition he makes into the next phase of his performing persona will be a successful one.

Bo is cognizant of the fact that this stratagem mishandled could easily turn him into just another one trick pony. “I am not going to be able to play it off any longer. If I am 21 and go out there, I won’t be able to play off being the shy, naive 17 year-old kid anymore.”

Every kid in any idle classroom has at least sat next to some errant and bored youth who makes up impromptu rhyming ditties about the relation of the teacher’s posterior to the size of the school building or the titillating topic of flatulence. But, there is a big difference between making up a funny ditty and writing good music

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In actuality, anyone who listens to Bo’s music beyond the cursory review will already realize the clever and intricately layered rhymes he spouts are not the product of some dumb ass deer-in-the-headlights kid. “I think Sara Silverman does a great job of playing this sort of naive, more arrogant version of herself. Someone with less capability but too much confidence in their capabilities I think is a good atmosphere for comedy.”

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tire entertainment industry is very selfcongratulatory and by extension, those same people congratulate others hoping they’ll return the favor. It can be nice when people tell you you’re good, you just can’t let it get to your head.” Television is the great hungry beast that feeds on a comedian’s material and unlike the purely musical artist’s work, which people will hear and watch again and again, once a joke is told, there’s not much replay value. This is not such a hard and fast rule with Bo’s work, however, since it’s a hybrid of the two genre’s, but he can still see the writing on the wall. “My Comedy Central special won’t necessarily spoil all of my material because it has already been out there on YouTube so much. My well has been dry for a while,” he says laughing. “There’s not a lot stored up somewhere waiting to be unleashed. When I write my material, my mind set is that once I post it online, that song is over; I am on to the next thing.” His reasons for this are quite sensible.

“While it may seem like I am just discarding one piece of work to move to the next, I think it is a good and healthy practice because it encourages me to write a lot,” he says contemplatively. “I 100% embrace the way in which wider television or Internet exposure nullifies a set of material. It means it has gotten out there, been seen, made an impact and I can focus on the next set. I really want to be pushed to do more stuff. I mean, in two years I am not going to be singing songs about not being good at sex at a high school party. It wouldn’t make sense and it would be milking it after it was dead. I want to move forward, develop and become a more comprehensive and well-rounded entertainer. This is what I hope will be the first chapter in a long story.” BOOK IT! For more information on bringing Bo Burnham to your campus, contact Doug Edley at The Gersh Agency at (310) 205-5885. CA Bo Burnham photos by Brian Friedman

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Every now and then, we run into one of those comics we can’t help but love. Will Marfori is one of those affable, laughable and delightfully enlightened folks who, despite dealing with both adversity and ignorance, have come through life with the core moti-

vation of making other people laugh despite himself. Will lives with Cerebral Palsy, a brain system disorder that often affects coordination, motor skills and diction. Cases range from severe enough to be debili-

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tating or as mild as almost indistinguishable accents or minor ticks. Despite some who may misinterpret slowed or slurred speech with mental disability, they are not retarded! Will most definitely falls on the milder www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

side of the spectrum and has the maturity and self-confidence to find the everyday persons misconceptions of hid condition quite humorous. He says he finds time to laugh every day at some silly thing or another a confused or misguided soul may do. www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

Will grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC and has been a comic for nearly 10 years now. “Sometimes it seems longer,” he says, “sometimes it feels like I just started yesterday,” he finishes with a laugh.

Beginning its existence as just a hobby, Will’s comedy career came to life in college. “I just did it for fun at first and slowly just became a job. I guess it started a long time ago with my family; my mom used to use humor to make everything cool.”

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His dad, as musician, gave Will the natural born performer’s flair. “I come from a family of kind of artsy-fartsy and musical people, so I think that’s where I get a lot of my stage presence. I love being in front of people and doing my show.” Of course Will has a few great jokes on the obvious topic, the handicapped (or those people perceive as such), but the real crux of what Will does is about a much purer and more diverse form of comedy. “I think all comedy is observational. It’s so funny when people call a certain bit ‘observational’ when all any comic does is to observe the world around them and point out the funny things about it.” Comedy is more to Will than just the opportunity to share joy with others, even though that is the most important part. “Humor is a way to relate to people for me on a certain level. A lot of people say the truth is funny, that if something is true, people will laugh at it because it is something that needed to be said. That is sort of the philosophy I carry through life and in my comedy. I watch things, I payattention to people and I talk about it. I wouldn’t say I was the class clown, actually the opposite as I’m a pretty shy person in real life. I’ve just always been a big observer of people; when you don’t do very much talking, you do a lot of listening. It’s funny, because a lot of people think the show is about me and humoring me and my CP. I am actually very self-deprecating in a fun way, but I think that sometimes makes people uncomfortable. “A lot of the things I say are based on how people view me and while the things I say are about how I feel about myself they are also based on things other people have said to me or done that are just funny! When people are uncomfortable, they tend to say really funny things,” he says with a laugh, “and I guess I can make people really uncomfortable,” he quips cracking up. My mom told me, ‘Look, there are things that everyone can and cannot do; we all have things we fail at and we’re good at. Your challenge happens to be physical and obvious, so you might as well just laugh at it and do your best.” So Will did. For example, Will quickly found out that just because he couldn’t run as fast as some of the other kids didn’t mean he wasn’t just as smart. “School has always been a huge part of my life because I knew I didn’t have to compete with people academically. I might not get picked first on the kickball team or be really good at dodge ball, but I could do all of our science projects really well,” he laughs. We all have times where we don’t feel like we fit in and a certain part of the endearing appeal of Will’s comedy is how he can bring a familiar light to that situation. “Alot of my comedy comes from being an outsider too you know? I always felt like I was obviously different from everyone else and that feeling of being different is what kind of

makes me critique what other people perceive to be going on with me.” Will isn’t preachy about or overly focused on his CP. “First of all, I want to be honest about who I am. I try not to invent stories about myself that didn’t really happen just to get a laugh; I want to convey some reality to. For example, one of my jokes is about this lady who found out I had CP and her response to me was ‘Oh, you’re one of those slow people,’ …(laughs). She didn’t even realize this was offensive. When I talk about that, people say ‘Oh, that’s horrible that someone would call you slow or retarded’ but a lot of times people just say things accidentally. That makes me laugh, because it happens to me all the time.” “What’s hilarious is when people talk slower to me so I can understand them. You know, I am a pretty well read guy, I have a degree in computer science and I communicate with people for a living. I’m not a genius but sometimes people talk to me like I’m eight years old. That is what I find especially funny, because it happens to me all the time.” But, Will uses these experiences to make himself and others have a little laugh in their day. “I think once these things happen to me enough, they end up in a show; I don’t constantly go ‘OK, today we’re going to discuss what it is like to be this or that, here or there.’ There are stories that just come back up over and over. For example, as a kid, my parents for some reason thought it would be a good experience for me to play little league. Of course, I’m completely horrible at it right? I was the worst little league player in the history of the game. All the other kids are trying to get hits and home runs and I just didn’t want to get hit. The coaches would be yelling at me because I was scared of the ball saying ‘Will, why are you scared of the ball?!’ And I’d be like ‘because it keeps hitting me in the face! Can I play ‘concession stand’ now?” Will says pity doesn’t get him anywhere and is more often than not misplaced. “People are like, ‘Aw that’s so sad that you were bad at little league’, well most kids are bad at little league aren’t they? How many of them go from little league all the way through to the majors anyway?” Commenting that we seem to live in a culture that is terrified of any sort of ego-fracturing self-criticism, Will explains this is exactly what pushes his funny button. “Everyone is very uncomfortable to say anything bad about themselves, but to me that is what’s funny about life! You’re failures will always be more interesting to tell than you’re success (the times you fell down or said something really dumb to the opposite sex will always live in infamy). So why not have a little fun, let go of a little stress and laugh a little?” Watching other people’s perception of him and reactions to his comedy are a highlight of what Will does. “It’s weird to see how people respond

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to it. Some people are very inspired by it and they think it’s amazing. Other people are horrified that I’m talking like that in public (laughs).” Stereotypes in comedy are nothing new. Each one navigates the pitfalls of being pegged for one trait. “People will say ‘Oh, you’re the comic we saw, the disabled guy.’ They never say, ‘Hey you’re the funny comic we saw the other night!’ But you know I think in our culture, that is how things are marketed. We put emphasis on very narrow things and try to cater to specific groups like the redneck comedy thing or comics for black people and comic for fat people you know?” “I am ‘that disabled guy’, but I also try to talk about other things as well. If I talked about nothing but Cerebral Palsy, that would be horrible to sit through for an hour.” Talking about stereotypes and comparing one comic to others, the success of Josh Blue since Last Comic Standing has been a constant presence with Will. “I have this conversation at least once a week,” he says laughing again. “Someone will see my show and come up to me and say ‘I really like your show, have your ever heard of this guy named Josh Blue?’ (Laughs) ‘No, I have never heard of… really sir? As a comedian, who has Cerebral Palsy, would I have ever heard of the only nationally famous comedian with Cerebral Palsy? That’s like going up to Kobe saying ‘Hey have you ever heard of this guy LeBron James?’” Despite sometimes redundant (and not so well thought out) questions from casual observers, Will doesn’t harbor any bad feelings toward Josh Blue or anyone else. “Listen, I know Josh and he is a nice guy, but I want to be my own person, no matter who it is. I don’t want to be Josh Blue and I don’t want to be George Carlin or Chris Rock or whomever people think is funny at the time. I want to be my own thing and have my own act. “That’s another thing that is really important to me. People sometimes talk about where material comes from and how some comedians borrow material from each other and it is very important for me to write an original show. I want to think about and say things that people haven’t said before. For me that’s the point of doing stand up; it’s about making people laugh, sure, that’s why they are there. But, it’s also about what you want to talk about to make them laugh and I want my act to be as unique, original and thoughtful as possible.” BOOK IT! For more information about bringing Will Marfori to your campus, contact Summit Comedy at (888) 925-7073. For online media of Will, including video, pricing, tour dates and booking info, log on campusactivitiesmagazine.com. Click on “Artists” under the “Buyer’s Guide” Tab and either enter Will’s name. www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com


For over the last 15 years, Well Hungarians have been playing good music to anyone who will listen. Forming in 1993, the band started with humble beginnings among a circle of friends. “It happened totally by accident, says Johnny Holzum, lead singer and front man for the group. “We started by doing a couple of acoustic request shows for sun in our local area. Over the years it grew from there and we added original music and more complex and comprehensive instrumentation to the group.” Finally settling into a groove, the band has had essentially the same lineup and format for about the past ten years. The band is primarily a country group but is also well known for their ability to spread their wings into count-

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www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

less other popular genres. “We are country at the core, especially in our original music. We charted four singles in the past four years on the country charts and we won Best Country Group of The Year by New Music Weekly magazine.” This was an especially proud accomplishment for a band that has seemed on the cusp of breaking into the national spotlight time and again. “We were nominated for that award with other groups like Sugarland and Emerson Drive so to pull that one out was extremely gratifying.” The band is a full time outfit, staying quite busy throughout a variety of markets. “We consistently play 200 to 250 shows a year and have had the chance to share the stage with acts from the little ones all the way to the top.”

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This includes opening for acts like Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery Gentry and even Molly Hatchet. “We also play with a lot of up and coming groups like ourselves. We are still plugging away, trying get that brass ring.” Sometimes the reality of shattered expectations can be irreversible and intolerable. So many talented acts fall by the wayside because they haven’t landed in the right place at the right time yet. Expecting that one big “break” too soon can disillusion so many, yet Well Hungarians have not fallen into this trap. While not the #1 act in the world (yet), these guys have the foresight and wherewithal to understand its not always about busting the charts. Sometimes it can be about following your passion and being pleasantly surprised at any reward. “We could make a living just playing all the clubs, fairs & festivals, corporate and college gigs we do.” A well-spread and strategic set of venues keeps this band busy all year long, but surprisingly the staple of work that so many entertainers enjoy from the college market is a relatively new avenue for them. “We have gotten more into the college end of things in the last couple of years which is really exciting for us. It is a market that we always wanted to attach ourselves to.” The group was a complete accident. “ I had a club owner who called me because he had an act cancel and he needed someone to fill the slot. I was in a different group at the time that wasn’t available so I thought I would make a couple of calls to some buddies just to help this guy out.” Johnny knew even if he couldn’t find a well-polished and experienced act for this club owner, he would at least put something together to help. “Every musician knows ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’, you know? I knew we could find a couple of people and throw together a night of songs that everyone would know and enjoy.Afew buddies and I got together and did it just for fun, but the club owner called me the very next night to book the same show again. I thought ‘what the heck, why not?’ Before long, we were doing it every Tuesday night.” Suddenly the snowball effect kicked in. “It was really apathetic at first actually,” Johnny explains. “It was really a lark and we laughed with it and no song was out of reach; if someone knew a couple chords and lyrics, we’d hammer it out just for the fun of it. We’d almost embarrass ourselves having fun with it. ” Apathetic or not, serious or not, once things started to click, these guys quickly realized they had something special. “We established pretty quickly that the three vocals we had in the group were pretty prominent and the harmonies were just undeniable. There came a point where the demand became so great that we all abandoned our other

groups and made Well Hungarians our priority.” Eventually the three core players who started out acoustically in the bar scene added a drummer and steel guitarist and fiddle player, nicely rounding out the ensemble. The natural talent and tendencies of the members of the band guided the unit’s direction and what came out was an organic amalgam of the unique talents in the band. This is not a band that plays a certain type of music because it’s marketable; rather the music they play is what’s natural. “The transition to being considered a straight ‘country’ group was pretty natural for us because the harmony-oriented and melodic stuff we play didn’t really suit itself to heavy metal or hip hop. It felt like more of the ‘country’ vibe (or what’s called country).” While the modern day mainstream music establishment loves to be able to slip artists into nicely formed little slots, designating one act “country” or “pop” while another may be “R&B” instead of “soul” or “rap”, for Well Hungarians things don’t fall so conveniently under our accustomed little labels printed in stark black and white. Rather upon closer inspection, a grey area emerges. “I would liken our stuff just as much to the Allman Brothers, the Eagles orAmerica as I would toAlabama, Diamond Rio or Restless Heart.” The great thing about Well Hungarians is the awesome flexibility in their set list. If a school wants to bring in this band to do a full show of their great original country music that’s fine, but Well Hungarians can also come in and play a show with far more variety if the activities board wishes to draw a more diverse and well-rounded crowd. “We can pull out an Ozzy Osbourne tune and turn right back and do a George Straight song and both will be delivered to you with maximum effort and results. We believe if you are going to do this for a living, you have to be diverse to be successful. After 15 years of doing this we know our crowds and how play to them. Every place we go isn’t going to accept a set full of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw. Some of them want some Skynyrd,Atlanta Rhythm Section and Doobie Brothers. Sometimes people want Poison and the 80’s hair rock. It is important to us to remain diverse; maybe we can play some funky dance music, we never know what requests will come our way.” Playing clubs in the St. Louis area kept the band busy upo to six nights a week for the next few years, eating up the success they were finding. “It’s like being a crack addict,” Johnny laments, “once you get on the stuff it’s hard to get off. We were getting in these clubs, having ecstatic crowds and seeing good money coming in so it’s a little hard to say ‘Let’s stop doing this and cut back to a couple of shows a month so we can pursue writing and recording.’ That is just a hard thing to do when it is our living, our way of life and our passion. But eventually we realized it was the logical things to do. Corporate shows, fairs & festivals and college shows not only broadened our

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fan base but also gave us something to fall back on if bookings in other areas dropped off. For example, the economy right now (in our experience) isn’t affecting the club circuit too much, but private and corporate events seem to be taking a hit. If something happens and the clubs start falling off, we are doing more and more in the college market and during the summer; we have fairs & festivals to hold us over. We understand it’s smart business and we learned long ago that even though this is our passion and we have a sincere love for what we do, it is a business first and foremost and we ultimately have to look at it that way to stay viable.” One advantage Well Hungarians may have had is the “right place, right time” luck. Regionally, they were able to be big fish in a small pond. “Our location has been an advantage actually. The St. Louis area is a notoriously ‘rock’ region, with a little bit of the bluesmen mixed in. Well, the blues guy’s have their little market that is not very feasible for supporting an entire band of full time musicians. The rock market is pretty much where all of main focus is. Our advantage has been finding a niche within that. There is a good handful of country acts in this area, but most of it is the honky-tonk, middle of nowhere places playing for 20 bar flies. I’m not saying that in a mean way, because that is, in a lot of ways, the heart and soul of live music and not just country. We were just able to take a product (our music) that was quality,” he explains with due humility, “and were able to deliver it in a fun and exciting way. There are a lot of people out there who enjoy mainstream country music and weren’t getting it in the clubs so we filled that gap. It kept us very busy and worked out well. We have had moderate success In Nashville and our music has been played in 11 countries. We are on an independent label and are completely self-financed but have been able to chart four songs. Sure, it would be nice to be further and that’s part of this game.” Well Hungarians is a band that can give your students what they want. Their CD, Sorry Bout The Mess, features excellent examples of their talents as songwriters and the amazing harmonies. They were finalists in the 2002 Jim Beam Unsigned Artist Competition and were only bested by Keith Anderson. The Riverfront Times Reader’s Poll named them Best Country Band in St. Louis in 2004 and were named “Best Country Group” by New Music Weekly Magazine. They have performed for over 1,000,000 fans and counting. BOOK IT! For more information on bringing Well Hungarians to your campus, contact Doug Hall at Talent Plus at (314) 421-9400. For video, tour schedules, co-op buying info, pricing and contacts, visit our website at www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com Click on “Artists” under the “Buyer’s Guide” Tab and either enter the band’s name in the given field or the letter “W.” www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

Quite often, I find myself feeling incredibly lucky that I get to occupy my small niche of the entertainment industry, most especially the campus activities market. So many unique opportunities abound among this relatively close-knit community and what makes it so great is that this is no exclusive insider’s club. Every student and every volunteer that wants to feel like a part of the entertainment process on their campus can do so, whether that means being involved in booking, promotion, production or anything else.

we expect everyone else to know and they have no idea what we are talking about most of the time,” he says laughing. This may be playfully frustrating in theory, but fundamentally this is exactly what Aware and A-Squared is all about. “Finding bands no one has ever heard of and building them up is the principal Aware was founded on. We use that grassroots effort to break these bands sometimes into something incredible. We have done

Because of this ultimate accessibility, friendly atmosphere and exciting challenges, there is little wonder that so many of the students who occupy spaces on activities boards later go on to jobs in the industry themselves.

With a fairly lackluster and dormant music scene on the campus immediately prior to his joining, Josh had landed in the perfect place at the perfect time. He was right in the heart of Columbia just before a giant explosion in bands from the region would rise to the pinnacles of national acclaim and include names like John Mayer, Howie Day, Hootie and The Blowfish, Cravin’Melon and others. “They really hadn’t done anything on campus in years as far as music went that was truly resonating with students. It was really cool and I had never had the chance to do any event producing or anything like that before, so I dove into it head first.”

Each month, Campus Activities Magazine® searches out one of these dogged few, those who were so enthralled with their respective CAB experiences that they decided to dedicate their lives (or at least a significant portion of it) to this industry. This month, we speak with Josh Terry, manager at A-Squared Management, a division of Aware Records. Like many in his position, Josh started simply in the industry, almost as a fluke, satisfying a personal curiosity while at the same time indulging an avid interest in music. Carolina Productions at the University of South Carolina is not an activities board unfamiliar to Campus Activities Magazine®, as not only is it just down the road from our offices, but was also featured in the Campus Activities Live! article in our October 2004 issue. So, when we found out Josh began his campus activities journey at CP, we were pleasantly surprised. We caught up with Josh on a typical day at the hub of music that is Aware Records, as he has to ask the office to lower the volume of the background jams so we can proceed with our interview. “Oh, man it’s on all the time. My boss has speakers everywhere around here and we get unbelievable amounts of submissions. We never really listen to a lot of the current stuff that is out there, it is always, demos, demos, and demos and nothing but brand new bands. It’s funny, because the stuff we listen to all the time www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

Explaining that the board was responsible for a variety of entertainment offerings brought to campus, Josh reluctantly agreed to check it out. Once he did, he made contact with the concert director within Carolina Productions. “At that time (2001), our staff only had maybe three people on the concert staff and the board in general was fairly small as well. The concert director explained that there was nothing really big going on; I think the first semester I was on the board, Jimmy’s Chicken Shack was the single biggest event held. Maybe 10 people showed up in our ballroom.”

Josh Terry it with John Mayer, The Fray and countless other bands we’ve worked with. That is the cool part of my job; working with a band from either the first or second show they have ever done in a room with two kids in it to seeing last summer’s amphitheater tour with The Fray. 20,000 people showed up in Boston; it is kind of nuts when you get to that point.” Josh attended the University of South Carolina with the aspiration of majoring in Journalism with his eventual sights set on being a newspaperman. “I slowly learned within the course of probably a month that I had absolutely no interest doing that, ever, in my life. A friend of mine just randomly asked me if I wanted to get involved with anything on campus. I was a typical 18 year-old college kid that wasn’t really that focused on school and was too busy doing other stuff. She suggested the student activities board, Carolina Productions.”

This was around the time of the Napster craze and Josh wound up freezing up his computer more than once from downloading too much music. “I was starting to go to clubs for the first time to see bands that I had downloaded off of Napster for free and I got into music really quickly that way.” After his first semester essentially working as an assistant to the concert chair, Josh ran into another spot of luck. “I got the concert position and ended up doing it for three years for Carolina Productions. Our staff went from three when we started to over 65 kids on the concert staff when I stepped down. We went from doing two shows a year to doing the best events out there. I personally got the chance to do the MTV Campus Invasion, The Used, a ton of national shows, a regional band playing every three months and local shows every week for free on the patio outside. The staff got really involved and we were working on probably more shows than the university had ever done before.”

March 2009, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, 39


Josh generating his own results during his tenure, working his tail off during the time he had. “I think I had 7 unpaid internships sprinkled through there either at local venues, management companies or booking agencies. I would go in for 4 hours a day at each of these places around my school schedule, go home and study, head to work at a club until 2 in the morning, study for 2 more hours, go to sleep and then wake up at 9 to go to class. I was busy. Everyone knew ‘Okay, this is what Josh wants to do and he’s kind of a nut for it,’” he laughs.

THE RATING SYSTEM: 5= EXCELLENT 4= VERY GOOD 3= AVERAGE 2= FAIR 1= POOR

AGENCY COOPERATION

PROMO

ROAD CREW/ MGMT

C O M E D Y

He helped with some of Aware artist’s street teams when they were in town. “When I was one of their reps. They had just signed John Mayer and I think he was 21 at the time. Aware is and was based out of Chicago so they didn’t have a ton of reps in the Southeast. Whenever there would be anything in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia, I would cover it. I went to all the shows and learned how to sell merch. I saw John Mayer in front of three people in Columbia.

MICHAEL PALASCAK Bass/Schuler Entertainment

His drive got him noticed at Aware and he was eventually able to land a lucky internship at the company. A few years later now and he manages names forA-Squared like Leslie and does day to day management for Sing It Loud, The Fray, Mat Kearney, Motion City Soundtrack, Vedera & The Heyday.

MICHAEL FOSBERG/INCOGNITO Bass/Schuler Entertainment

Dreams can come true in campus entertainment, just ask the countless stars who have worked their way through, both in front of and behind the scenes. Motivation, hard work and a little bit of talent are all it takes sometimes. Students reading this who are already on activ-

COOPERATION/ATTITUDE

Leslie

ARTIST'S ABILITY

During the Napster times, Josh was getting his hands on the now legendaryAware compilation discs, not knowing what he had at the time. “I had no idea what Aware was, these discs just had a lot of the bands I was listening to. Once I downloaded one of the compilations for free, I like it so much and felt so guilty that I bought the rest of them online.”

INDIVIDUALPERFORMANCE BOX SCORES

ORIGINALITY

Aswitch in majors to public relations further developed his skills. “It was the best of both worlds. I got the degree on the wall for my mom, but I also got this kind of gritty real world education that has led to my career in music.”

RELATIONSHIP TO AUDIENCE

If you want to know how good an act might be that you plan on booking, just ask another campus where they have played. Here are reports from our readers on recent playdates. No report may be submitted older than ninety (90) days at the time of our deadline for the issue. If you would like to report on a performance, complete a form on our website at campusactivitiesmagazine.com, use a form in this issue or request one at (803) 712-1429. Submit online at campusactivitiesmagazine.com, by mail or fax. All forms online must have complete verifiable information. Mailed and fax forms must be signed. Agents and/or acts have the right to respond to negative reports. No reports will be accepted from agencies.All reports must be submitted by the school where the date was played.

The Fray

Eventually Josh’s gumption really started getting him somewhere, especially once he had opened his own management company and was producing his own results. This looked really good for him once he wanted to make the leap up to Aware.

Indiana Tech, Ft. Wayne, IN Andrea Check, 1/6/09

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

Utica College, Utica, NY Thomas Armitage, 2/17/09

5

4

4

4

3

3

3

Dickinson State Univ., Dickinson, ND Jamie Jung, 1/22/09

5

5

5

5

4

5

5

Always have her back.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

She is an outstanding speaker- best of all my presenters.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

P E R F O R M I N G

A R T S

ACME MYSTERY CO. GP Entertainment

Sing It Loud ities boards and interested in the next step should always be encouraged to talk to professionals in the industry about that transition. Whether on the buying end with directors and campus staff, the selling end with artists and agents, or in the media with a writer, most will be more than willing to help. If you have a story of someone working from the campus activities board into a career in the

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industry, we’d like to hear it! Email me at ian@cameopublishing.com to fill us in.

For more information on the great artists available from Aware Records and ASquared Management, contact Josh Terry at (847) 424-2000. For virtual links to Aware’s agency profile on our website, www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

S P E A K E R S

ELAINE PASQUA Pasqua Productions, Inc.

Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ Pat Daly, 11/08 Villanova University, Villanova, PA CAB, 11/4/08

www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

March 2009, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, 41


3

Material very relevant as requested. Always great to have Elaine!

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Refreshing speaker. Connects with audience, they feel comfortable w/ serious issues. Funny and engaging, students loved her!

5

5

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She was excellent!

5

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FUNNY FOTOS The Smith Agency

FUNNY T-SHIRTS & PICS TOO The Smith Agency Devry Univ., Columbus, OH Jacob Epling, 1/6/09 NCCC, Chanute, KS Anthony Reed, 1/27/09

Chatham Univ., Pittsburgh, PA Aimee Loisel, 2/6/09

Capt. Jack is great to work with! Great relationship with students.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

2

3

2

4

4

5

4

Very creative and imaginative. Kids had a lot of fun.

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

The students really enjoyed this event & are already asking for another.

5

5

5

5

-

5

3

I wish the quality was a little better.

Albion College, Albion, MI Jennifer Schreer, 2/4/09

4

4

4

4

4

4

-

3

3

3

3

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SMARTER THAN A FRESHMAN GAMESHOW GP Entertainment Medaille College, Buffalo, NY Bridget Helak, 9/4/08

Univ. of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT Chintel Sewell, 9/4/08 SUNY Morrisville, Morrisville, NY Jawim Haynes, 9/6/08 Post University, Waterbury, CT Allison Panissidi, 9/8/08 Hunter College, New York, NY Julio Agosto, 9/8/09

Raritan Valley CC, Somerville, NJ Mary Sullivan, 9/9/09

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Attendance low but good for a friday night at a suitcase school. Good questions.

Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA Kaitlin Begin, 9/19/08

4

5

5

5

5

5

4

This was a very well thought-out and engaging show.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Univ. of Louisville, Louisville, KY Jane Kim, 12/3/08

Great service/attitude; promo looks outdated & not eye-catching. Very professional work.

5

5

5

5

5

5

1

4

4

4

4

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4

Farmington State, Framingham, MF M. Long, 9/12/08

TOTALLY TATTOOS The Smith Agency

Univ. of the Ozarks, Clarksville, AR Rodnie Bohannon, 2/2/09

Students enjoyed this program!

5

5

5

5

5

5

3

Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH Laura Green, 2/18/09

I enjoy working with this company!

5

5

5

5

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5

5

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5

5

5

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5

5

5

Totally Awesome.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Game was received very well. Different, audience was very engaged.

5

4

5

5

5

4

4

4

5

5

5

5

5

5

Artist was very engaging. Additionally the scene set-up added to the overall atmosphere.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Very enjoyable, great energy, thanks!

5

5

5

5

5

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5

www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

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THE ADULT CIRCUS VARIETY SHOW GP Entertainment Johnson & Wales, Providence, RI Andrew Duruis, 1/14/09

They are 2 of the best performers I have worked with. Even came a few hours early to do teasers to promote the show.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Great enthusiasm & crowd control. The show had every bit of energy that one could expect from a live show. Well done.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Chris & Mike were a pleasure to work with. Fantastic show! Also devoted an hour after show to interact with students.

4

5

5

4

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4

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4

5

5

5

5

5

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The posters and other materials provided to promotethe show were excellent- the teaser Craig did went over extremely well, too!

Slippery Rock Univ., S.R, PA Diana Riley, 1/29/09

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

The show blew my mind! He was so nice, great performance!

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

MSCTC, Wadena, MN Ross, M. Wideer, 10/13/08

It was a peasure working with Frederick, he puts on a very good show & holds the audeince’s interest.

4

5

4

5

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4

4

We’ve had Frederick to campus many times & he always puts on a great show. Each time he visits its a different show.

5

5

5

5

5

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PA College of Tech, Williamsport, PA Keith Saboski, 1/17/09

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC Jacob Tidwell, 1/29/09 Univ. of New England, Biddeford, ME Larissa Bonnet, 2/6/09

My friends and I had a great time. Wish more people on campus showed up. Very interactive and funny. GREAT show.

42, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

St. Augustine’s College, Raleigh, NC Leonard D. Gambles, 1/24/09

WAX TO THE MAX WAX HANDS The Smith Agency

Materials/Tech. was extremely outdated. Total of 37 shirts made in 6 hrs. Machine broke, turned people away. Will never use again!

PUT IT WHERE YOU WANT IT Cutting Edge Productions CSCC, Columbus, OH J. H., 1/13/09

Great show! The students loved it and everyone felt a part of the fun.

Sussex County CC, Newton, NJ Heidi Gregg, 9/10/08

TOTALLY T-SHIRTS The Smith Agency

San Jac Central, Pasadena, TX P. Bent, 10/15/08 UT Permian Basin,Odessa, TX Rolando J. Diaz, 2/12/09

PROMO

4

AGENCY COOPERATION

-

ORIGINALITY

5

ORIGINALITY

5

ROAD CREW/ MGMT

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COOPERATION/ATTITUDE

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RELATIONSHIP TO AUDIENCE

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The feedback I received from the students was outstanding! They learned a lot and were thoroughly entertained.

ARTIST'S ABILITY

N

AGENCY COOPERATION

Nova SE Univ., Ft. Lauderdale, FL James Knapp, 2/17/09

ROAD CREW/ MGMT

FL Intl Univ., Miami, FL Liz Borrell, 2/16/09

COOPERATION/ATTITUDE

The Juilliard School, New York, NY Barrett Hipes, 2/10/09

RELATIONSHIP TO AUDIENCE

New York Institute of Technology, New York, NY Mike Schweiden, 2/10/09

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE BOX SCORES

ARTIST'S ABILITY

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE BOX SCORES

CRAIG KARGES Karges Productions

George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA Dennis Hicks, 1/22/09

FREDERICK WINTERS- HYPNOTIST Bass/Schuler Entertainment

Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL Lori Morrissette, 11/5/08

www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com

March 2009, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, 43


RELATIONSHIP TO AUDIENCE

COOPERATION/ATTITUDE

ROAD CREW/ MGMT

AGENCY COOPERATION

PROMO

Frederick was great to work with. We love bringing him back every year.

4

5

5

5

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5

5

Absolutely amazing as always Frederick has been to HCC for the past 10 years and has never disappointed. Here for years to come.

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Everything was great! Exceeded expectations. Easily 11 outta 10!

4

5

5

5

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4

5

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5

5

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5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

4

4

3

3

3

3

5

Artist was great & helped our technical crew when the equipment did not work quite right!

5

5

5

5

-

5

5

Frederick is our most anticipated artist each year! His show is always fresh and our students cannot get enough.

4

5

5

5

-

5

5

We like the table tents! We also suggest a different poster picture from year to year.

4

5

5

5

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5

5

Frederick is our favorite hypnotist! His shows are always funny, unique and a huge hit with the students.

5

5

5

5

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5

5

Good clean show.

4

3

4

5

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3

4

Arrived at 6:52, show was at 7PM. Crew was waiting for almost 1 hour. He was borderline rude. Probably won’t have him back.

3

4

2

2

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3

1

Western Illinois Univ., Macomb, IL Diane Cumbie, 12/4/08

5

5

5

5

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-

-

Bethany College, Lindsburg, KS Roxie Sjogren, 9/23/08

5

5

5

5

-

-

-

4

5

4

5

3

-

-

2

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

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5

Westminster College, Fulton, MO Nikki Giesler, 11/9/08 Highland CC, Highland, KS Brad Dixon, 11/12/08

Hastings College, Hastings, NE Addison Stoddard, 11/13/08 Lincoln College, Lincoln, IL John Stoltzenberg, 11/20/08

Blackhawk Tech College, Janesville, WI Stephanie Huott, 12/4/08

He was great & we will have him back next year!

Univ. of Dubuque, Dubuque, IA Kirby Orabun, 1/13/09

Wilmington College, Wilmington, OH Chris Hughes, 1/15/09 Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH LeeAnne Sipe, 1/16/09 Hope College, Holland, MI Allison Lautz, 1/17/09

Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI Brooke Wagner, 1/21/09

Central Methodist Univ., Fayette, MO Mark Stone, 1/23/09 HYPNO DAN GP Entertainment

Cowley College, Ark City, KS Kristi Snow, 1/22/09 MARY MACK Neon Entertainment

MIKE AND MARGARET Everything But The Mime

MISSION IMPROVABLE Bass/Schuler Entertainment Kankakee CC, Kankakee, IL Sarah Zirkle, 11/21/08 ROB RASNER GP Entertainment

SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY Alice Sorensen, 1/24/09

Good show, similar to Justin Kredible. A great guy, but audience didn ‘t receive it very well. Some left in show, some entertained.

Shippensburg Univ., Shippensburg, PA Lori Riley, 10/22/08

The audience loved them, awesome job.

TRICKS & TRANCE TOUR W/ JUSTIN KREDIBLE AND JOSHUA SETH GP Entertainment

44, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, March 2009

ORIGINALITY

ARTIST'S ABILITY

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE BOX SCORES

www.campusactivitiesmagazine.com


Campus Activities Magazine