AU Students Flock to The Nest
On Saturday, Sept. 18, 2016, with the theme “Underground”, The Nest, under the direction of Jordan Jackson (senior, journalism and communication) and Khayla McDonald (senior, journalism and communication) was able to bring out many talents unknown to the Andrews campus. A few of the artists that night showed an aptitude for being able to write songs or poems or sing, receiving high praise from those in attendance, including Emmanuel Lapoterie (sophomore, communication, Spanish) who performed that night.
“My favorite part of last night was seeing the freshmen perform,” Lapoterie said. “I was just so incredibly hyped to see them because I feel like that’s the new generation.”
As the event kicked off, it seemed overwhelmingly packed with freshmen, but after hearing of all the talented freshmen performing and others who would be taking the stage that night, The Nest started to attract upperclassmen, bringing the Recreation Center Amphitheater to full capacity. McDonald, warming up the crowd, stated how packed it was in the Recreation Center Amphitheater, receiving a few chuckles from the crowd.
Jonathan Constantine (junior, nursing) opened up the night with a warm introduction followed by some soothing music to calm down the many voices in the room as people were still filing into the room. Johnny Baker (freshman) followed Constantine, singing Coldplay’s “Fix You”. Baker later asked the audience to join in on the chorus and bringing out their phones and wave their phones as one would lighters in the air.
“His stripped-down rendition of ‘Fix You’ stirred the soul, wrenched my heart, and blew my mind. Though his nervous plucks you could tell he was passionate about his craft and his performance,” Randall Ulangca (first year, Doctor of Physical Therapy) said.
Anna Gayle (freshman) brought her poem, “The Sound,” to life with her charismatic charm touching on the topic of catching feelings for someone. She briefly talked of how she never expected to feel “this feeling that can’t be explained when you’re with the person you love,” then transitioned smoothly to fear. She went on to say that “you will always worry of what may happen, but (you must) live in the moment and give up fear.” Many students in the crowd stated that they resonated with the poem.
“I liked how Anna told the story as if she could see it playing out in front of her, simply describing what she saw as if it were almost happening to her but still as a spectator to it all,” Ben Dietel (junior, architecture) said.
A second production given by Kenny Fraker and Adriana Santana, seem to have stood out, both having previous musical background. Santana has been singing since she was three years old and has sung solos for special music since then and Fraker has been playing the guitar for about six years. They performed “Stay,” by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko, and mixed in Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” in a harmonious melody throughout some of the song.
Two other performers that stood out were Lapoterie and rapper, Cameron Van Buren. Van Buren was asked to perform a poem but later requested, while on stage, to perform three of his original and often controversial rap pieces.
Van Buren (senior, communication) provided insight on his thought process leading up to and during the event, “My mindset leading up to the nest essentially was just confusion as to why I had been limited in what I could do as if I had somehow broken some rules beforehand,” Van Buren said. “Honestly I just thought of what artists I look up to would have done in that situation and I believe they would have also fought to rightfully express themselves freely. And it wasn’t just about me being able to express myself, it’s for anyone else to be able to, as well, even those who disagree with me. We need that safe space that The Nest offers.”
Lapoterie performed a provocative poem entitled “Sandwich Shop”. He started off his poem with the phrase: “I’m just your boy who works at your local sandwich shop” and continued to explore the topic of women and love and how he could offer the woman he desires at the sandwich counter all that she may want or need. In a seductive manner, Lapoterie ended his poem gracefully with the line “I’m just your boy who works at your local sandwich shop and how may I help you?”
Lapoterie received a standing ovation with a few whistles from the crowd.
Lisa Hayden (freshman, biology) closed out the night with her own original song entitled “Science Fiction.” Hayden reflected that she was surprised with the audience’s response to her performance and the overall success of The Nest.
“I was surprised by how positive the reaction of the crowd was,” Hayden said. “I have performed my piece before in other settings but this was different because it was in front of people I knew at Andrews. Beyond my own piece, I loved how everyone at The Nest was so positive and cheered each other on. It was a beautiful experience.”