By Alycia Gilb
Last Wednesday, the College’s Union Board (CUB) finished out the “On Your Campus Virtual Tour,” a five-night series of online events headlined by popular artists and comedians. The celebrity headliners included Cheat Codes, an EDM trio; rapper Rico Nasty; alternative pop band The Aces; TV personality Jonathan Van Ness; and SNL star Chloe Fineman.
Patrick Riordan, a junior marketing major at the College and the live event coordinator for CUB, says the turnout at the tour has been great. Though the events were virtual, hundreds of students attended.
In order to make the tour run smoothly, Riordan and fellow board member Delia Noone — a junior marketing major at the College — kept in contact with their agent and the College’s legal team to make sure that contracts and paperwork were in order. Noone shared that CUB worked with an agency that helps colleges book events.
Noone’s favorite guest was Jonathan Van Ness, as he worked with CUB during her freshman year. “(Van Ness is) super nice, so it was awesome to work with him again,” she said.
Riordan said that Cheat Codes was his favorite event because he loves EDM music. He said, “An EDM show relies heavily on production with lights, animation, and audience participation, and although a virtual show isn’t the same, I really enjoyed it! They had great energy and were very personable and fun.”
The final event of the tour was a Q&A with Chloe Fineman and Jake Norwind. In attendance were more than 10 colleges, including Rutgers University and the University of New Haven. The comedian answered questions about her auditions for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), her experience with filming at home during quarantine and her favorite impressions. Fineman brought her comedy to the event, divulging that she owns around 150 wigs and that having a cold was her secret to a great Shia LaBeouf impression.
Fineman showed students that perseverance is the key to success, sharing her story about her audition process for SNL. “It’s not always a one-shot pony,” she said. The actress auditioned for SNL three times before booking the gig.
She also shared that a lot of her acting career has involved breaking out of boxes that the industry tried to put her in.
“I think wanting to be an actor had its own challenges because you’re put in these boxes,” Fineman said. “Breaking out of those boxes got me into comedy, but comedy is this challenge to find your voice.”
The SNL star was a hit with students, showing her funny side and being raw about past career challenges. Recently, her SNL skits have been in the spotlight, as she played Tiffany Trump in an episode just before the election.
The virtual tour proved to be a success. Riordan shared that CUB’s goal is to get students involved during their years at the College, and with Covid-19, the board had to adapt to the challenge to accommodate safe, virtual events. The student organization will be holding events throughout the year, including an upcoming bingo event with RuPaul’s Drag Race star, Alyssa Edwards.
“Hopefully our events give students the on-campus feel that we all miss so dearly,” Riordan said.