Get To Know…New & Improv.’d

Dear Fellow People;

In this day and age, there are a lot of tumultuous problems that may make us feel like the world is overall a very negative place. Unrest in the Middle East, a series of natural disasters, and the continued existence of Long John Silver’s are trials that would dishearten even the most optimistic of souls.

However, there is one thing that continues to be a source of joy and entertainment for people. One hobby that everyone who lives in organized society shares. That thing, that shared instinctual yearning, is to watch each other. Our voyeuristic tendencies are what make gossip, film, television, theater, periodicals, the news, and complaining about our boss/boyfriend/parents/government officials/Starbucks barista perennial and enjoyable. Our need to observe and know even the most frivolous of details about other people drives entire industries forward and single-handedly keeps Binocular-producing companies in business. This obsession is what makes comedy so successful.

The other day, I was eavesdropping on a conversation while eating lunch by myself. One girl was asking another what she thought of some presentation she did. The second girl immediately poured on the compliments that we all use to protect the feelings of people close to use. She said things like “it’s not about what the grade says, it’s about how you feel” and “if they didn’t get it then that’s their problem.” This conversation was satisfactory listening, especially given the tastiness of my sandwich and my inability to read the subtitles on the cafeteria television from so far away. It was also filled to the brim with lies.  This is where comedy comes in. If this conversation was honest enough to be comedic, the second girl’s response would have probably been “oh my God I have never seen someone flub as hard as you did. Everyone in that class probably thinks you’re an idiot. Even I’m starting to wonder, and I’ve known you for three years. Dummy.” We recognize that even though we’ve felt the same way, we would never say it out loud because of the consequences. Hilarious!

The most effective comedians are the ones that prompt us to say “That’s so true!” as we laugh our asses off at them. We get to sit there and listen to people putting their flaws, their thoughts, their experiences on the line for our amusement. We watch, we identify, and we enjoy. This Funny Freakin’ Friday, we of New & Improv.’d will open for a very talented stand-up comedian. Although our approaches to the voyeurism that makes people laugh are different, our goals are the same; to be as honest and truthful to our circumstances as possible. We look forward to the challenge.


Adrian, Alan, Amanda, Brit, Heather, Jeremy, Kelsey, Mark, Nathan, Robert, Ryan, and Sam
aka New & Improv.’d 2011

Micah: Coast to Coast

On Wednesday March 30th, TDU will be filled with soul! UPB’s Spotlight Series is bringing a singer/songwriter from Rochester, NY to our neck of the woods. Micah is a musician with a great textured voice that soothes all those who listen. He went to Northeastern for music business and is experiencing life as a starving musician sharing his talent with all who will listen. As well as having a voice that will melt your heart, Micah also has other interests. When we visited his twitter his description reads, “musician, cookie enthusiast, high-five giver”. He has a great sense of humor and we cannot wait to meet him on Wednesday and you should too! Wednesday March 30th. TDU. Spotlight Series. Be there!!

Check out his music:

~MaryMargaret Walsh, Spotlight Sounds

Friends of Rachel

Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shootings wrote and spoke this powerful message, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

Rachel Scott was known for being kind to everyone she met. An essay she wrote months before her tragic death, “ My Ethics, My Code of Life” was used to create a national organization, Rachel’s Challenge, in Rachel’s honor.  JMU Friends of Rachel is the first college level chapter. Its primary goal is to promote kindness around campus and in the Harrisonburg community through community service. Some of our past events include: a senior prom, assisting at various elementary schools in the community, a kindness week held at JMU, and workshops on preventing bullying.

The JMU community has the wonderful opportunity to hear her father, Darrell Scott, speak Friday night March 25th 2011 at 7 PM in Memorial Hall.  Darrell Scott will inform our community about the culture of violence: bullying, harassment, and other violent behaviors. This empowering presentation will make you want to start your own chain reaction of kindness!

~Marie Costantini, Friends of Rachel JMU President

Get To Know…Outreach Chair

This year, my involvement in UPB has been absolutely amazing with my new-found leadership responsibilities.  I currently serve as the outreach chair for the Spirit and Traditions committee. This position has allowed me to work the other organizations on and off campus in a relationship with UPB events. Some of these organizations include, New and Improv’d, Best Buddies, and Campus Cookies!

Being an outreach chair has been beyond an amazing experience and I am so sad that my tenure in this position is coming to and end in a few weeks. If you like working with people, exercising leadership skills, and learning more about networking, this would be an excellent position to look into and I highly encourage you to apply.  Applications are due this Friday at 5 PM!

~Natalie Hamlin, Outreach Chair Spirits & Traditions

Get To Know…Hospitality Chair

Did you know that Jason Derulo wanted Quiznos subs and 5 small white v-neck shirts?  Or that B.o.B. needed an ambiance created with candles in his dressing room at the last minute?  Or that Sara Bareilles eats very healthy, all organic foods?

Well, as the Hospitality Chair for Center Stage my main job is doing all the work for the artists’ hospitality riders.  I also am the main point person for show/tour managers and personnel on the day of show.  I start looking at the rider as soon as it is given to me.  I then put in the finance requests a week prior to the show.  I also hire runners from within the Center Stage committee to help me the day of.  Runners do exactly what their title entails – they run!  Or more so, they drive!  Whatever may come up the day of show, the runners must go get it.  The day of or the day before the show, the runners and I go shopping for everything on the rider.  The runners and myself work about 13-15 hours the day of show, but every minute is fabulous!  Many times we get to interact with the artists because we are responsible for all their needs and driving them around.  I am also responsible for getting the dressing rooms set up.  My job entails various things, but it is hard to pin point everything because problems and such arise on a case by case basis.

Being hospitality chair has really taught me a lot.  I know things about the backstage world that the audience never sees!  I also have had great experience in problem solving quickly.  There is so much work that goes into putting on a show and I handle a part of it.  And I LOVE IT!  UPB will be hiring for this position soon and so if you would like more info. Please contact me!

~Shahana Islam, Center Stage Hospitality Chair

Snow In Barcelona?

As Spring Break approaches, I can’t help but get lost in memories of some great adventures in Europe I had last Spring…

It was a very interesting semester abroad because everywhere we went on the weekends it would snow. Seeing cities like Amsterdam, Prague, and Berlin under a blanket of white is quite awe-inspiring but after two months of hiking through snow in the heart of every European city, one starts to get annoyed with the white fluff. That’s exactly why we chose to visit Barcelona during spring break.

Since it had snowed on every trip up until Barcelona, we were hoping for the famed Mediterranean weather. Unfortunately as we looked out the window of our landing plane, we found that Barcelona was planning a little surprise for us. Locals told us it was the first snow in seven years and worst snow in twenty-two years. At this point, I was ready to give up on touring the continent and wanted to fetch a boat to Morocco! Nobody else in my party seemed to like the idea though, so we checked into our hostel and dreamed of warmer weather. Luckily when we woke up the next day, all of the snow had melted and Barcelona was back to normal.

Barcelona continued to be full of surprises though, and the most striking memory of the whole trip was due to the snow. On the third day, we went to Montserrat, a monastery in the mountains outside Barcelona. In total, we took a 30 minute subway ride, an hour train ride, and a 30-minute cable cart ride to get to the monastery. After our two hour voyage, we reached a village covered in a foot of snow. We had set out that day to go hiking around the mountain, so we did exactly that. Five hours later, we decided we were too cold and our feet were too wet to continue. We completed our return voyage back down the mountain and decided to do something quite different… we went to the beach. While it was a little too chilly to get into the water, we did take off our sweaters and bought some takeout to sit and watch the waves roll onto the sand.

Never have I experienced such an amazing day before, and it was all thanks to the snow. I am really anticipating the memories that the snow will provide us this winter.

~Chris Shockey, Spirit & Traditions Decorations Chair

Wiz Khalifa Tickets SOLD OUT!

The Campus Consciousness Tour featuring Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller is SOLD OUT!

Many of you have questions and misconceptions of how our tickets were sold.  Hopefully we can help answer and clear up confusion.

In total, UPB sold 3,098 tickets for this concert.  911 tickets were allocated and sold online.  2,187 tickets were available and sold at the box office.

Students began camping out starting at 8:30 AM Tuesday morning, March 1st.  Throughout the day, students continually entered the line.  Just being in line overnight did not guarantee tickets.  We did not sponsor the growing line; however, we did provide, games, meet and greet give-a-ways, and showed the movie “Get Him To The Greek” to provide entertainment to everyone who decided to camp out.  Everyone is line was handed a green “Box Office” form.  The form did not guarantee tickets.  It’s only a form to fill out for the box office.  We hand them out to everyone in line to make sure they are filled out before you get up to the box office window to help speed up sales.  They are also used to attempt to help prevent people cutting in line.

Tickets went on sale at 8 AM.  As of 8:50 AM, all online tickets were sold out.  The last ticket in the box office was sold at 10:34 AM. As of 8:01 AM, the link on our website was working, and the website was up and running.  Due to the extremely large volume of people attempting to access the site and buy tickets, not all ticket requests could be filled.  Requests online were processed by an independent company, not UPB, and we had no control over those sales.

Students have also been asking about our 8 ticket limit and why only 3,098 tickets were available. In the past few years, we have had a limit of 8 tickets per person and we have never had an issue with it.  This limit was placed after a concert where people were buying up to 50 at a time.  We based an 8 ticket limit off of major ticket selling websites, like Ticket Master and StubHub.  We can reevaluate this number for future concerts.  As for a half vs. full Convocation layout, all of our concerts in the past have been half Convo.  We are not able to do a full Convo concert due to logistics.

We know a lot of students are upset about not getting tickets.  However, as for any concert at any venue, there are only a limited number of tickets for sale due to capacity. This is first fully sold out Convocation concert in the past few years.  It was also our fastest selling concert in UPB history.  We did not anticipate selling out so quickly.

Chances to win tickets are still available! Listen to Q101 daily for a chance to win tickets.  They are the only exclusive radio station with a very limited number of tickets.  We will also be giving out one last pair of tickets through a promotion after spring break.  Check back to our Facebook page for more info.

We are very excited and look forward to April 2nd!