Monday, March 28, 2011

What Comedians and a Guy in a Balloon Made Me Think About

I just spent the past 6 days at the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) national conference previewing dozens of entertainers. From comedians to musicians to the spoken word to a guy who put himself in a giant balloon, it was quite a dynamic experience.

I was thinking of you guys a lot of the time and wrote pages of things that I wanted to write about this morning. So much happened this week that I just cannot choose one topic, so below are the three topics I really wanted to share with you this week:

1) APCA was started by these 2 amazing people – Eric and Jessica – and because of them colleges that do not have big budgets have the opportunity to afford to bring up and coming talent to their students. Typically college entertainment conferences like this one feature the kinds of artists that only big universities can afford (e.g. $45,000-$150,000). APCA allows for Colleges with more modest budgets to preview incredible talent and partner with other local Colleges to save money and be able to bring amazing artists that would be hard to afford otherwise. 

So this is just a thank you to Eric and Jessica, and to all my readers, realize that these 2 people started an entire movement that allowed for colleges across the country to bring amazing things to their campuses. Just 2 people can have a huge impact. Always hold fast to stories like that.

2) Another thing I kept thinking about was how much I learned from watching all types of performers. It is so engaging to watch people completely put themselves out there, and it’s simply fun to experience new things with new friends. As I sat there getting into a really great song and laughing with the people around me I thought about how hard it is for us to get community college students involved in events. Most of the educational sessions at the conference were about marketing.

Why is it so hard to engage community college students in fun? Often because you guys don’t live on campus, you have jobs, and once class is done you just get into the routine of going home. But trust me, at no other time in your life will people be trying to get you to come have fun for free.

Enjoy this while you can and go to your College entertainment events. And invite lots of people to join you. It’s about connecting with your peers and making College a full experience. Your challenge this week is to go to your College’s next entertainment event.   

3) The final thing I thought a lot about this week is what makes some entertainers stand out and others fall flat, even if they have similar talent. If you’ve ever watched American Idol you know what I’m talking about.

I came to a conclusion of 3 things that make entertainers stand out, and once I wrote it out I realized they are 3 things that make everyone stand out: 1) Humility 2) Focusing more on others than yourself 3) Enjoying the moment. The entertainers that really stood out to me and many of the other College’s seemed to be the ones that were just genuinely happy to be there, weren’t afraid to show us their true selves, were focused more on the audience having a good time than having a “good show,” and they seemed to genuinely enjoy whatever they were doing in that very moment. Not everyone came across this way, and for me these things make all the difference.

And not only for entertainers.  I guarantee you the best way for you to stand out in your life, in your school, in your club, in your future job, is to be humble, to worry more about serving others than making yourself look good, and truly enjoy whatever you are doing in that moment.

Have a fun week. Enjoy your moments. 

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