July, 2012 Issue

In This Issue

3 online articles from this issue.

Rock 'N Road Show 2012


The sixth annual Campus Activities Magazine Rock N' Road Show, thanks to Quinnipiac University and Coleman Productions, was a smashing success.

It was summer 2011 and we, the editorial staff of CampusActMag, weren't really all that surprised when we selected the winner of the Rock N' Road Show as Quinnipiac University, considering program advisor Steve Pagios had just moved over from The University of Akron, where in 2010 he provided enough Artist Report Cards for that campus to win the 2010 Rock N' Road Show.

The drive was long and cold, wind and rain whipping at your face every time the car door opens. A cool grey mist hung over the mostly rainy drive up from South Carolina, but after 16 hours on the road, broken by a motel night in rural Virginia, we were happy to be in Connecticut, where the campus was gorgeous.

QU has an interesting structure, with three neighboring satellite campuses within a few minutes of each other. "The 6,000 undergrads and 2,000 grad students are divided among those. Most students are residents, with freshmen and sophomores living on the main Mt. Carmel campus and the juniors and seniors concentrated on the York Hill campus," Steve says. "There are a fair amount of seniors who live off campus, but for the rest a good portion of students live on campus."

The student bodies that handle activities are divided too; for the purposes of this article we'll be referring to them mostly as one, but there is a distinction between QU After Dark, which handles most late night programming and the QU Student Programming Board, which puts on most other events. The campus averages 15-20 live events per semester, so there's something going on most weekends.

Any way you cut it, the campus has topnotch programs, from campus market staples from educational performers to major concerts. We sincerely thank them for providing us such a high Artist Report Card return rate and hope the weekend of free entertainment expressed that sentiment. Thanks of course to Coleman Productions and David Coleman, Marc Elliot, 61Syx Teknique, Mark Kroos and Bucket Boys for donating their time and talents as well.

Marc Elliot burst on to the campus activities scene just a couple short years ago in 2010 and has already become one of the most sought after diversity performers in the market. Spreading a message of "Live and Let Live," Marc has gone through life with other people judging him. He was born with Hirschsprung's Disease, a condition which left him missing much of his intestines and looking forward to a lifetime of enough bathroom visits per day to reach double digits. As if that weren't enough to contend with, as a young boy he began having volatile symptoms and was eventually diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. The stares, head shakes, comments and judgement he received from people who had absolutely no idea of his personal struggle when he would gnash his teeth, spout obscenities or have other "tics" led him to take action. After being kicked off a bus in St. Louis for using an involuntary racial epithet, Marc decided to speak; to try to educate people not only on his own personal situation, but to truly make people stop and think before they judge anyone without all the facts.

The message and his delivery have been well-received; so much so that Marc, after just a little more than a year in the market, was able to sweep the 2011 CAM Reader's Choice Awards for his categories, picking up wins for not only Diversity Artist of the Year but the coveted Speaker of the Year Award as well. "It has been an incredible journey so far," he says. "Every time I get on stage, I have to do a gut check to remind myself of how such a rigorous and sometimes seemingly hopeless journey has led me to this place where I cannot only love my work, but share my message and feel as if I am contributing to the greater good. I mean, I am a speaker on compassion, tolerance and diversity, and I am a white 27 year old male. If you saw me on the street, you wouldn't think for a second that I would have any special experience relating to any of those topics. But, that's exactly my message. You never know if the guy who cut you off in traffic just lost his job, the jerk in the grocery store line could have just lost a child. Live and Let Live, and never assume you won't be the next misunderstood person coming down the block."

What can we say (or need to) about David Coleman? Unless you're brand-spankin' new to the activities world as a whole (which is fine, calm down and read every issue of CAM you can find), you have seen The Dating Doctor live, or at least heard from someone who has.

He is the FIRST AND ONLY speaker to ever win Entertainer of The Year, a title he held just last year in 2011. How did he do it? Because David's show is so much more than just a lecture. It's an interactive walk through the topics of dating, relationships, and sex and David has spent the last 20 years learning, updating and streamlining his interactive multimedia show for students. He's spent large amounts of time learning the science, changing opinions and generational shifts that affect all of our relationships.

There is so much information in David's 90-minute lecture (which can often span well over two hours with Q&A, and he can do multiple shows without any overlap) that we couldn't possibly scratch the surface here, but his opening tidbit is a great metaphorical example of just how good the information in his show is, and how relatable it is to students. "I tell students, and this applies to everyone but is especially apt advice for new freshman in a completely alien environment, 'if you want to meet someone special (what I call your 'hmmm....' because that's the sound you make in your head when you see them), you have to be a fat penguin, because they always break the ice.' As we all know, that is the number one toughest hurdle to cross in meeting people and forming new relationships. So, once you understand your job is to be the fat penguin, then we start to discuss introductions, pickup lines and other ways to form new relationships." Of course, if you want to know more, you'll just have to see the show. Or, pick up David's upcoming book "Been There...Dumped That!" which will feature all of his most common Q&A's.

Picture of The Bucket BoysBucket Boys followed up David's performance with a wonderfully rousing and raucous display of percussionistic hedonism. And, the best part is they don't even bring most of the junk with them. Signs, trash cans, lids, highway water's all fair game to Vince Romanelli and Mitch Martin, two high school friends that decided to enter a talent show and made the rest history. "David and Brooke found us about four years ago and we have been working with Coleman Productions ever since," Vince says. "I feel like I can honestly say it was a trial run. One day she saw our act just when they had been thinking of opening an entertainment division of Coleman Productions."

"We were just doing our own thing at the time," Mitch replies. "We had a few scattered college dates just based on word-of-mouth bookings." Vince adds, "We had been doing the show for nine years by the time Coleman Productions contacted us, but had no idea this nebulous little market existed amongst activities boards."

The Bucket Boys play exotic cruises, corporate dates, special events, theaters, fairs, festivals and any number of other miscellaneous and sundry dates they can find but, they say by far their favorite are campus shows. Mitch elaborates by saying "We are 30 years old, we went to college...we're not that far outside of their spheres. We connect with them - it was only six years ago that we were in college ourselves and it is so much fun to connect with them and be a little rowdy."

Picture of Mark KroosMark Kroos is a guitar virtuoso that, instead of wowing crowds with dazzling displays on just one guitar neck, uses two. Mark plays a variety of acoustic, electric and vocal songs that amaze the audience in their intricacy. He talked with the audience, maintain an almost constant patter between songs.

The songs themselves possessed an intricacy not commonly seen; if our description of Mark doesn't wow you with his credentials try this; Mark was named by Guitar Player Magazine as the winner of their 2011 International Guitar Superstar Competition. "Rather than telling new people, 'I'm really good at guitar, you should book me," I can say 'Guitar Player Magazine says I'm their pick for BEST at guitar (laughs).'"

Not too shabby. Along with his impressive and captivating musical performance, Mark offers training and workshops, often booked through the fine arts departments. "I love the standard conference circuit, because I get to book my regular live dates, but the fine arts circuit gives me an opportunity to give clinics for the students. I love inspiring the students and I relate to them very well because we are so close in age."

61Syx Teknique rocked the house, not only with an impressive display of breaking, but with a much more involved and in-depth show than one would expect from a dance crew.

Keegan "Seoul" Loye is the voice of 61Syx Teknique and though the entire crew can be scaled as big as you want, five guys made the trip from Grand Rapids to Quinnipiac. The thing that separates this show from the small segments of BBoy you've seen on TV is the good ole' B&D, breadth and depth. There's history on dance, BBoy and the hip hop culture that is so inextricably intertwined with it.

"One of the most important aspects for us is having a firm and fundamental understanding of everything we do," Keegan says. "Technique is such a highlight, it's in the name and no matter whether you are talking about top rock, drops, footwork, freezes, or power moves, your exact form and technique along each step is the only way to excel. We teach not only some of these moves to students, but how the history of breaking evolved and how we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Like all art, the next big move was always inspired in some way by the one before it, so we pay homage to all the time periods and groups that had an impact on break dancing.

The group's show includes not only an interactive portion where students can get down on the floor and learn the moves with 61Syx, but also a medley of songs and dances that takes the audience along a live dance-a-thon from Soul Train through the South Bronx in the 80's into today's icons of modern dance like Usher and Jabbawockeez.

In case you were wondering, the 61Syx part of the name represents their home town area code in Grand Rapids.

Overall, the shows were great, the students had tons of energy, QU treated all of us like royalty and we want to issue a special thanks to QUSPB and QUAD. You guys know who you are. Thanks so much for all the hospitality, it rivals that of any campus we've visited.


We took it easy on the way home, heading back in through Manhattan, actually making a pit stop at Marc Elliot's apartment in Chelsea. He was on his way out, but was gracious enough to give us a place to park and a bathroom to use upon arrival and before we left the city, no small favor if you've ever experienced NYC.

Marc took us down to the High Line Park, a 1.45 mile walkway built on an elevated railway structure. Once we parted ways with Marc, we hoofed it up 8th Ave to West 43rd for a slice at Famiglia Pizza. We cut back over to the square, walking up on 7th to West 47th for a brief picture stop at the observational platform in Duffy Square before we headed back to Chelsea. Through the Holland Tunnel we went (once we drove in a circle around the entrance) and beat it back to the hills of Appalachia, stopping again at a small hotel along a remote stretch of I-81 in Northwestern Virginia.

Returning home to the piedmont of South Carolina in January made us appreciate our weather, but not as much as we appreciated the experience of the 2012 Rock N' Road Show.

Want to qualify to win a weekend of FREE entertainment for your school? Submit ARTIST REPORT CARDS on EVERY show you host on campus, no matter how large or small.