Get To Know…Director of Center Stage

This year, JMU experienced something different. Instead of one concert in the fall there were three. So much more goes into this decision than the average student may realize. That is where my job comes into play. As Center Stage Director I work with our middle agent to find out availabilities and prices of artists while simultaneously surveying the students. The survey is so important because we truly look into JMU’s votes to decide who we can bring. This spring, I worked with the Center Stage committee going back and forth over choices on who to bring for this semester. After deliberation about an artist’s draw on campus, their availability,  their prices, and how that works with our budget, we can finally present a bid to the artist.

With our fingers crossed we wait for them to accept so we can bring to market the event to campus. As the director for Center Stage, I organize the ticket sales dates, order and design the tickets, and plan listening parties and day of show preparations. There are not many places on campus that a JMU student can receive hands on experience producing and promoting a concert.

Throughout the year I get to watch the process of choosing the artist to actually renting the Convo center, setting up the stage and lighting to finally watching the student body filter in excited for the show. This entire process has taught me so much about the music industry and how to promote a large scale concert. After this year JMU will have had 4 large scale concerts on its campus. Whether you went to Cartel, BoB, Sara Bareilles or you are going to Wiz Khalifa you can walk in realizing that this entire show came about through students.

~Angela Marino, Director of Center Stage

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Harry Potter Part 7 Premieres Tonight

In packing for my Thanksgiving break, some things are vital. Along with shoes, jeans and some hoodies I rummage my room for my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book. As the movie premieres TONIGHT I am ready to stop being a muggle student and put my wizarding best on. I have spent my time procrastinating with my favorite Harry Potter site, mugglenet.com reviewing pictures and watching trailers.  As a 21 year old JMU senior, I feel a little silly that I am still dressing up.  But these books have been with me since 4th grade I can’t pretend that I am not whole heartedly into it. I can barely hide my excitement and I know most of fellow JMUers are feeling the same. So judge away those of you who do not find yourself wishing they were at Hogwarts.

I will be at Fairfax Corner with my ticket and Ravenclaw tie patiently waiting for Hedwig’s theme to play and the WB logo to zoom onto screen. 12:01 am is approaching; get pumped!

JMU quidditch! http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=457749295023

~Angela Marino, Center Stage Director

Cash, Check, or Flex Only

It’s 5am… do you know where you’re daughter or son is?  If UPB is having a concert, there is a good chance they are sleeping on the Warren patio.  No joke, people take their concerts seriously here at JMU. Ticket sales occur once a semester maybe twice usually for Center Stage but this year things are different. UPB, Center Stage, and yours truly have worked out a way to have 3 concerts this semester, and each of these shows require a similar planning, marketing and executing processes.

One thing about concert planning that I have come to love has been the ticket sales.  Day before the sales occur Center Stagers set up lines on the patio for the faithful fans to camp in. When we leave for the night and return to our houses JMU students with blankets, pillows and tents in hand creep over to set up their beds. The excited fans arrive anywhere from 5 to 10 hours early to play games, watch movies or just sleep until the doors open at 8am. I arrive at 5 am when the sun is still asleep for ticket sales. Sleeping bodies and soft whispers greet me with my UPB umbrella as I wait patiently for the time to arrive. Fast forward to 6:30 am people begin to pack up their sleeping bags and rub the sleepies out of their eyes.  Forms required to buy tickets are passed out and they are clutched like they are golden tickets!

7 am: My marketing team starts going through the line to give away meet and greets. The campers quickly wake up and try to remember facts about artists to win the prize.

Finally, 8 am:  The large doors fly open revealing the ticket sellers. Students line up with their forms and cash, check or flex their eyes excited for the event occurring weeks from now.

~Angela Marino, Center Stage Director

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy

My summers have themes.

Summer of Freshman year’s theme: the pool.

I was a lifeguard for 4 years. Sunshine, swim lessons, whistle twirling, and diving boards filled the days.

Summer of Sophomore year’s theme: the music industry.

 That summer I worked as a Booking Agent intern at Live Nation in DC. I spent the summer running around Nissan Pavilion learning the ins and outs of promoting and producing shows at Northern VA’s largest venue, which is relevant because of my minor and what I ultimately would like to do in life.

Summer of Junior year’s theme: español

I’m pursuing a minor in Spanish (as well as Music Industry), and for the past 6 weeks my home was Salamanca, Spain. Each weekend had a different destination: Portugal, Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela, Madrid, Sevilla, Cordoba, Grenada, and Mediva. Nothing I have done thus far has compared to that experience. Living and studying independently with my JMU companions brought me to levels of understanding about other cultures and languages and their different dialects. This summer opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I can’t wait to see what else life has to show me.

Upcoming this year I will back to Center Stage for my 4th and final year. With the help of my stellar committee, we will spend the next year planning concerts that will excite the student body. Currently we are submitting offers to artists we want to entertain our stage in the Convocation Center and Wilson Auditorium…get excited- this year is going to be great!

~Angela

Grease Is The Word

UPB is having a Grease-filled evening, both showing the movie and having a 1950’s themed Late Night Breakfast. The 50’s were a great time for the country and particularly for some of the great music (that you can hear in the movie tonight!)

In the 1950’s music was transforming. Billboard only had 3 genres of music at the time: country & western, popular and blue grass. This was an America music industry without designated scenes throughout the country like Cleveland, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City and hundreds of others. Then one day, a Cleveland Disc Jockey, Alan Freed coined a phrase describing how this new music made him feel. He was talking about the song “My Baby Rock Me with a Steady Roll” and ranted on and on about rocking and rolling with a sexual connotation. The type of music he was speaking of came from blues and rhythm originally. Electric guitars, heavy base and lyrics about the youth took the nation by storm.

The new technologies coming out at this time, electric guitars, amplifiers, microphones and 45 rpm, revolutionized the industry. These new mediums allowed artists such as Nat King Cole, Ames Brothers, Tony Bennet, Fontane Sisters, Fats Domino and Elvis Presley to grow and become icons. Today the music scene has expanded and the billboard charts are endless with the amount of genres. Band’s today find it hard to categorize themselves. If Alan Freed was here today, he would be shocked at the thousands of bands who were influenced by the 45s he spun – but I’m definitely glad they do.

– Angela Marino

Team Edward

There have been debates in every century and of every magnitude. Nothing is off the table to be discussed. One mammoth of a debate is Twilight. After the final 4th book came out in 2008 teenagers and adults alike saddled up to one team that rivals the Team Angelina versus Team Jennifer times. It was Team Edward or Team Jacob.

No the decision was necessary for me when I read this series because it was always Team Edward. I know some of you may gasp but Edward was always the one for Bella. Maybe I am a sucker for torn lovers but from that first science class I knew it was meant to be.

Jacob is the friend Bella needs to balance her life away from Edward because occasionally she is obsessed. Jacob is her friend and it does not make sense to her for it to be anything else. Also Jacob is only 16 in this series! He is new to his abilities and new to his feelings. Don’t worry though Jacob finds someone in the end to make things interesting.

You can definitely find me on the Team Edward side of Grafton tomorrow at the New Moon matinee.

– Angela Marino