Tag Archives: The Whit

Not “Goodbye,” but “See you soon”

It is the end of the semester and that means farewell to this blog for now. However, I plan to continue posting to R U Entertained. I was just elected as the Arts and Entertainment Editor of Rowan University’s campus newspaper, The Whit. So, I plan to continue promoting The Whit and to expand upon the articles I write by incorporating multimedia. Before I took this class, I knew nothing about using SoundCloud, iMovie or any multimedia components. I learned a lot about online journalism and I plan to use everything I learned in the near future.

Check out this collection of my best blog posts from the semester and be sure to check out my blog in the near future.

1. The uncensored interviews with Dev, B.o.B and Rome of Sublime with Rome from Profstock 2013

2. Behind the scenes of the College of Performing Arts’ production of “Guys and Dolls”

3. Rowan University reacts to Twenty One Pilots performance at Rowan After Hours

4. Interview with Rowan After Hours student worker Megan Richards on her RAH experience

5. Rowan theatre students prepare to perform a Holocaust story in “Who Will Carry the Word?”


Rowan University reacts to Twenty One Pilots performance at Rowan After Hours

This past weekend at Rowan University, the genre-blending Twenty One Pilots rocked the stage in the Student Center Pit at Rowan After Hours. MTV voted the band as “Artists To Watch” in 2013 but what did the average  students and staff members watch for during the RAH performance? Many diverse groups of people were in attendance at the event. Whether they were a simple audience member, a student journalist or a RAH employee, each of these people had different pieces of insight into the event.

Student, Phillip Thompson

About 400 students were in attendance at Twenty One Pilots’ performance. Junior mechanical engineering major Phillip Thompson was familiar with the band’s material from listening to Radio 104.5 but almost did not attend the show. Thompson was eventually persuaded by a friend.

“As a result, I attended the show and I do not regret that decision at all,” Thompson said.

Thompson believes events like this enforce the idea that Rowan University has multiple opportunities for students to get involved and have fun.

“I really do believe that Rowan does it’s population a great justice through these events,” Thompson said. “Unlike other institutes of education, there’s a really big focus on student life here and [Rowan is] maintaining that tradition. So, I implore other students to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Rowan After Hours and Student University Programmers.”

Student journalist, Ashley Cline

Senior journalism major Ashley Cline, who serves as a staff writer for The Whit, was in attendance to write an article about the event. Cline was familiar with the band’s material as she attended Radio 104.5’s Winter Jam where she also wrote an award-winning review in The Whit. Cline would like to pursue a career as an entertainment journalist and conducting an interview with drummer Josh Dun was her first step.

“Considering that this is what I would like to pursue, [this opportunity] was huge,” Cline said. “You don’t expect to talk to [famous people], yet alone on your campus. It was really cool to have that intimate moment with them.”

Cline will be traveling to Virginia over the summer to see the band perform for her third time.

“They never disappoint,” Cline said. “It’s always phenomenal. They’re always on point. They’re energetic and they get involved with the crowd.”

RAH student worker, Megan Richards

Junior art education major Megan Richards is a student worker at RAH as you may remember from my audio interview with her. Twenty One Pilots was not originally on the Office of Student Activities’ event calendar but during RAH’s first all-staff meeting of the semester, Richards found out about the upcoming performance.

“I just started listening to their music a week or two before that [staff meeting],” Richards said. “I was pretty ecstatic.”

As a fan, Richards said she found it difficult to keep calm and work during the event since she wanted to simply watch the performance. However, she still enjoyed all of the extra perks of working during the event.

“It was really cool because I got to actually meet them,” Richards said “I got to interact with them a little bit. I got to help them set up and kind of be a part of their performance. I got extra-nice seating because I got to sit on the stairs next  to the stage.”

RAH coordinator, Rio Napoli

Assistant Director for Programming and Special Events Rio Napoli has coordinated many large-scaled events for RAH. When RAH first booked Twenty One Pilots, the band was not a big name.

“When I saw that Philly station 104.5 picked them up for their free Winter Jam show in February, I knew that they were starting to gain a following and would be really starting to gain popularity around this time of the year,” Napoli said.

Napoli was correct in the assumption that the band would start to gain popularity. She noticed how students were starting to respond to the band’s upcoming performance prior to the event.

“It wasn’t until the last two weeks that we really saw a log of interest,” Napoli said. “So at the last minute, we had to get extra staff, security and a stage barricade. It was definitely worth the extra effort though.”

One of Napoli’s favorite parts of the night was when the band brought the drum kit out into the middle of the crowd to finish their set. She enjoyed how they trusted the Rowan audience enough to do so. When events get a response like this, it inspires Napoli to coordinate more large-scale events.

“We work hard to bring great events to campus and hope that students appreciate that and continue to enjoy the events in a way that allows us to continue to bring bigger and better programs next time,”  Napoli said. “The student reaction makes me want to do these types of events more often.”

Me, the blogger

I have attended several events at Rowan University pertaining to arts and entertainment but the approach I took to this post was different. I was unable to get an interview with Twenty One Pilots but it was interesting to see how other people reacted to it. So many diverse people were in attendance at this event and I enjoyed getting other points of view. If you want to see more on my thoughts about Twenty One Pilots’ performance, check out my Storify aggregating my tweets from the evening at the bottom of this post. You can also check out other tweets from the evening, including Cline’s tweets, if you search the hashtag #21pilotsatRAH.

[View the story “My Live Tweet of Twenty One Pilots’ performance at Rowan After Hours” on Storify]

It all began with one tweet: how coverage of Dev’s new song, “Crazy Talk,” gave my blog traffic

As the Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor of The Whit, I was asked to cover the fifth annual Profstock, sponsored by Rowan University’s Office of Student Activities, which includes the Student University Programmers and Rowan After Hours. You may remember my article in The Whit and my blog post with the uncensored interviews about Profstock 2013. I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing rapper B.o.B and Rome of alternative group Sublime with Rome but it was a real pleasure to interview singer Dev.

Before her performance, Dev told me that she might perform a new song at Profstock. After the interview, I made sure to tweet from @TheWhitAE Twitter account about it.

I did not expect one tweet to get so much traffic.

I know this blog is supposed to focus on coverage of arts and entertainment at Rowan University and that this post may come off as bragging, but I find it fascinating that I got to actually break the news to a large audience. As an aspiring journalist, it has always been my dream to report the news first.

Check out this Storify post to give you a visual presentation of how the public found out about Dev performing her new — and still yet to be released — song, “Crazy Talk.”

[View the story “Dev at Profstock 2013” on Storify]

Behind the scenes of the College of Performing Arts’ production of “Guys and Dolls”

This weekend, Rowan University’s College of Performing Arts will be performing “Guys and Dolls” in Pfleeger Concert Hall. Check out this article I wrote for The Whit about the show and check out some interviews with a few of the cast members and scenes from the production in this video post.

Check out the show on the following dates:

Friday, April 19 at 8pm
Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m
Sunday, April 21 at 3pm

Ticket prices:

$15 General Admission

$10 Seniors, Students, Alumni and Staff

Rowan students are admitted for free with a valid Rowan ID.

The uncensored interviews with Dev, B.o.B and Rome of Sublime with Rome from Profstock 2013

On Saturday, April 6, Rowan University’s Office of Student Activities, which includes Student University Programmers and Rowan After Hours, hosted the fifth annual Profstock for 2,767 college students in the Esby Gymnasium. Singer Dev, rapper B.o.B and and alternative group Sublime with Rome were the featured performers. I had the opportunity to interview each performer for an article I wrote for The Whit. While the article may include quotes from each performer, R U Entertained? is the only place where you can see the interviews in their entirety.


You may have heard Dev’s electronic dance songs with “In The Dark” and “Naked” but she is also a mother and performer. In an interview before her performance, she discussed what it is like to perform at colleges, juggling motherhood, her upcoming sophomore album and the new song “Crazy Talk” that she performed for the first time at Profstock.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Q: What’s it like to perform at colleges in comparison to larger venues?

A: I love performing in colleges. It’s awesome to be able to sort of have a one-on-one relationship with kids and people that are working so hard to accomplish their goals. You know. They’re in school. They’re in college. They’re working their ass off. And I get to come for 30, 45 minutes [or] an hour and get their minds off of everything.

Q: What kind of performances can we expect from you tonight?

A: I’m going to play a lot of up-tempo, fun stuff, stuff that people know, hopefully [laughs]. And maybe a new song.

Q: Oh. Maybe a new song?

A: Yeah, that nobody’s really heard. So it might be fun.

Q: Will it be from your second album?

A: Yeah.

Q: So it’s never been heard before?

A: I’ve played it once but this will literally be my second time playing it. Maybe 100 people heard it. Maybe less [laughs].

Q: Wow. That’s exciting. So your daughter, Emilia, recently turned a year old.

A: She did. Aww. That’s cool that you know that.

Q: [laughs] So what can you tell me about what it’s like to juggle motherhood and performing at the same time?

A: It’s awesome, actually. I love it. I feel really fortunate that I get to have my family life, which I love obviously and do all of my music stuff. I feel very lucky. I love it. It’s awesome.

Q: Awesome. So I heard that your second album is going to include more live instrumentation. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

A: I think, at the beginning, I definitely wanted to include it. I think it’s going to be for the live performances. I definitely want to include a lot more live instrumentation. As far as the album goes, it’ll definitely still have electronic elements which I think I wanted to celebrate because the first album was so electronic-based. I didn’t want to do something too off but I definitely wanted to show growth and I think that in the vocal stuff and in the stories behind the songs, you’ll definitely be able to hear that.

Q: Is there a release date in mind?

A: Not yet but soon. Very soon.

Q: So when are you planning on recording it?

A: I’ve been recording it for about five months or six months now. It’s been awhile, actually. So yeah. It’s time [laughs].


Rapper B.o.B is known for his high-energy performances of songs such as “Airplanes” and “Strange Clouds.” In an interview after his performance, he talked about what it’s like to perform at colleges, something he also tweeted about, and his two upcoming albums, a third studio album and a rock EP.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Q: Can you tell me what it’s like to perform at colleges in comparison to the larger venues that you’re used to?

A: Colleges are a lot more fun because [students] are dying to get out of class. I didn’t go to college. I mean, I did but I wasn’t “enrolled.” I was just partying so [laughs] I don’t know what the “going to class” part is like but it feels like they are really amped to get out of class and out of the norm so it’s usually a high-energy show.

Q: Were you satisfied with the outcome of your performance at Rowan University?

A: Oh yeah. I kind of lose some belongings in the crowd when I jump in there but it comes with the territory [laughs].

Q: Right. Part of the performance life.

A: [laughs]

Q: You just announced the other day on Twitter that your third album will be released soon. Can you tell me a little bit about that.

A:  I’m finishing it right now. It’s getting mixed and finalized right now. But simultaneously I’m recording the Hustle Gang album with T.I. and all the other Hustle Gang artists which will also be out this summer.

Q: A lot of multi-tasking there.

A: Yeah, man. We’re multi-tasking it. We’re m-tasking it [laughs].

Q: You also have a rock EP coming out. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

A: I’ve been working on that since before “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” my first album. So some of it were songs that I had written. Some of it were songs that have already been recorded. But if it stands the test of time, it’ll make the project because with me, even though it’s my project, I look at it like I’m another aspiring artist or producer or a songwriter who’s trying to make an album. I don’t look at it like, “Well I can just do what I want because it’s my album.” I look at it like “I gotta make this a classic.”

Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome

Alternative group Sublime was known for hits such as “Date Rape” and “Santeria.” The group performed from 1992 until 1996 when lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose. In 2009, the surviving band members started performing with Rome Ramirez and the group was renamed Sublime with Rome. The new group ended up producing hits such as “Take It Or Leave It” and “Panic.” For Ramirez, it was a dream come true to perform with one of his favorite bands. In a phone interview before Profstock, Ramirez discussed Sublime with Rome’s plans to return to the studio, the first Sublime song he ever learned on the guitar and what it is like to perform with his favorite band.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Q: When can we expect new material from Sublime with Rome?

A: We plan on going into the studio around November or December of this year.

Q: Is there anything in particular that you started working on yet?

A: We just kind of started jamming and stuff. We like to take our time with these kinds of things just because there’s no rush [laughs].

Q: I’m sure a lot of people are really excited about seeing that getting put together. Just a few personal questions for you: you were 11 years old when you picked up your first guitar and the first song you learned was a Sublime song. What song was that?

A: “Wrong Way.”

 Q: How does it feel to go from that moment where you picked up your guitar, learned that Sublime song and be where you are today.

A: It’s still kind of hard to believe. I’m grateful, man. It really changed my life. I went from being such a huge fan to singing with one of my favorite bands and writing songs that you see on TV or hear on the radio. It’s kind of a culture shock but I’m getting used to it [laughs].

Coming up on R U Entertained?

It’s been awhile since my last real post on this blog but I am back from spring break. Here is a look at what you will see in the next few weeks.

  • An audio interview with Megan Richards, a student worker at Rowan After Hours. Richards has worked at RAH during her entire junior year at Rowan and was recently promoted to RAH student coordinator for her senior year.  She will be talking about what it has been like working for RAH and what the new position means to her.
  • A look at what The Whit has been up to with their coverage of arts and entertainment.
  • A video post of Rowan’s production of “Guys and Dolls.” You may have remembered my post about John Angeloni, the dramaturge for the show.  Now the show is ready to be performed in front of a live audience.

Of course, if you are craving a fix for entertainment news at Rowan right this second, you can always check out the Arts and Entertainment section of The Whit.

The Whit reports on arts and entertainment at Rowan University

Rowan University’s campus newspaper, The Whit, has reported on several arts and entertainment venues recently. I am the Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor of this paper and I decided to share a few articles about what has been happening on Rowan’s campus.

1. Joel McHale visits Rowan’s community: Written by Matt Perez, the Arts and Entertainment Editor of The Whit, this article details “The Soup” and “Community” star’s visit to Rowan on March 11. There is even a Q&A with the comedian at the end of the article.

2. Exhibitions are final steps towards graduation for art students: Written by staff writer Megan Richards, this article details graduating seniors and their art shows for graduation. Check out the end of the article for a full list of the remaining art shows.

3. Student filmmakers premiere their films at Campus MovieFest finale: In an extension of the Campus MovieFest preview written by Matt Perez, this article features interviews with the winners of Campus MovieFest. The article was written by me, Jeremy Rodriguez.

If you would like to read more about arts and entertainment at Rowan, pick up a copy of The Whit in any academic building on Rowan’s campus and follow @TheWhitAE on Twitter.