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Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category

Bridget Depew
The Montgazette Staff

With all the talk of the general irresponsibility and self–centeredness of the millennial generation, there are a great many millenials who flip that narrative on its head. One in particular would be Noah DiMarcello.

A student here at Montgomery County Community College, Noah is a Communication major. He, like a lot of students who attend Montco, didn’t know exactly where his path would take him when he first entered the doors three years ago.

“I had no idea what to do. I started off as Liberal Studies, and I took the COM111 [class] and that’s what got me into it. I don’t want to write papers anymore. I’ve always been creative, and I thought, ‘How can I make a job out of that?’” said DiMarcello.

Like many of us, Noah initially allowed his fears and insecurities to prevent him from following his passion. But a lightbulb went on, and he realized he couldn’t let fear hold him back.

“A year ago when I first started coming up to the Blue Bell [campus], I saw the radio station and thought, ‘That’s really cool.’ And I thought I didn’t really have the confidence yet to do it, so I held off. I didn’t really know what to talk about.”

After struggling with where he wanted to go in life and how to get there, Noah said it just hit him. He gave himself a pep talk and garnered up the courage to tackle his dream.

“I was like, yeah, I’m gonna do it! I just marched in and was like, ‘Yo, I want a radio show, like now, we can call it Let’s Be Real.” And just like that, folks, Let’s Be Real was born.

Noah wants the show to be less about random happenings and more about a place where people can be real – with everything:relationships and even a place where people can be encouraged.

“I want people to share what they’ve been through and how they got out of it,” DiMarcello said. “I want to take what I’ve learned and share it with other people. I don’t want to get super deep, but deep enough to help others. Noah’s first guest was Carissa Mandracchia, a fellow Communication major here at Montco. Carissa, having shared the same struggles as Noah, said, “First of all, I want to support him because he’s my friend, and you need to support your friends, no matter what. Helping to contribute to this [was] awesome for me.”

Noah’s host name is Vee Nikitin. Not your average, run-of-the-mill name, so I had to ask its origin. Vee is short for Valentin. Noah DiMarcello, born Valentin Nikitin in Moscow, was adopted and brought over here to the United States as a baby. So this is a bit of a tribute to his roots.

I can’t think of a better way to talk about where you’re going than by acknowledging where you’ve been.

Check out “Let’s Be Real” every Thursday evening on MontcoRadio.com, 6-7pm.

 

Depew_LetsBeReal

Photo courtesy of Bridget Depew

 

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Photos by Erin Ilisco

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Justin Oakes
The Montgazette Staff

Stephen King has been hailed as the “Master of Horror” for generations, not simply because he has the ability to make us jump at every little bump in the night, but because his stories bend our minds and make us think about the world around us through the use of the horror genre. His epic novel IT is no exception to this.

IT follows the story of seven friends growing up in the 1950’s in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. They battle bullies, build dams in the creek, and oh, did I mention they have to fight off a demonic clown named Pennywise who eats children? After defeating Pennywise the first time, the children slowly forget about the wild summer and push the horrible reality to the back of their memories. But because Pennywise comes back every 27 years, the children, now grown up, decide that they have to come back to stop the clown once and for all. The story was later adapted into a 1990 miniseries but has again gained prominence in 2017 due to the first in a two-part series of films based on the book.

On the surface, the story seems like just another run of the mill horror story. But at a closer look, we find a delicately intriguing look at childhood, growing up, and taking responsibility in order to save lives. When the grown adults of Derry look back at the time that they had spent fighting Pennywise when they were children, they speak about all of the times in which the adults knew something problematic was going on, but were too afraid to talk about or do anything about it.

Now, more than ever, this message rings true.

This is happening right now. Too many people in the older generations refused to do anything about climate change. They absurdly cut regulations on Wall Street that hurt millions of Americans and crippled our economy, and they failed to truly combat inequality in a system based on oppression. All of these responsibilities have fallen on our shoulders. The adults knew that they couldn’t push problems to the side like the past generations had done. They had to stand up, fight back, and most importantly, change the things in the world that they thought needed to be changed.

When faced with the idea of having to stand up to Pennywise, most of the adults say they’ve gotten too old, and scared, that fighting just wasn’t worth it. But, in the end, they did what was right and proved that one must take a stand in order to create real change. One must have convictions based in moral obligations to society, regardless of how uncomfortable those truths behind said convictions may make one. One must not push problems to the side just because the problems are scary or uncomfortable, but rather act responsibly in order to save lives. Posterity looks to us to be the positive change. The fate of the world is resting on our shoulders. We must follow the words of, yes, Stephen King, if we want to leave a better future for our children.

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By Daniel Whitney
The Montgazette Staff

Stepping into the Fine Arts Gallery at Montgomery County Community College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, I was taken aback at how many people were in attendance at the Gallery’s Fall premier on September 13. After marveling at the works of art and sampling a fine cup of coffee, I met Arlene Reynolds, a Career Services department employee of the College and art gallery owner.

The 81-year-old owner of Creative Arts and Expressions in Philadelphia, Reynolds started her career in New York City. For six years, she singlehandedly covered The New York Times classified section as she worked through college as a journalism major. During this time, she attended countless art premieres, met numerous artists and journalists and met a few people she knew.

After regaling me with tales of her past exploits and adventures in the Big Apple, Arlene switched gears and shared a story that flabbergasted me. Arlene recalled a time when she was visiting her brother at a news casting studio in Chicago. She went through the motions of the basic meet-and-greet with all of the staff and reporters, and decided to slip off to the green room for some water and a moment of peace. She had no sooner sat down to rest her feet, when a very tall man approached her and engaged her.

In her own words, “I was sitting in the green room of this news station, and a very tall African American man approached me and, without any hesitation, began telling me about why blacks and whites should never integrate in schools. I was shocked; I didn’t know what to say. After a few minutes of [his explanation], a crew member approached and tapped [the] very outspoken man on the shoulder and said, “you’re on in 2 [minutes].” The man offered his hand and thanked me for listening, and quickly headed into the recording studio. After a moment of incredulous contemplation, I asked the crew member who the man [I had listened to] was. With a short smirk, the crew member looked at me and said ‘Ma’am, that was Malcolm X.’ So that was the day I met Malcolm X.”

I had heard of old men sharing war stories, but this woman surprised me with each new tale she unraveled for me. If I have learned anything from listening to Arlene, it’s that you should never judge a book by its cover. Beyond that, if someone ever offers to share a story from his or her life, it’s worth listening. Maybe one day you will be the one sharing your stories with a young, eager journalist.

Art Barn Gallery pic 1

Art Barn Gallery pic 2
Photos by Daniel Whitney

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Dominique Brown
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

Montgomery County Community College hosted its Spring Club Fair in Central Campus’ Parkhouse Hall.

Loud, crowded, and buzzing with energy; for any introvert or someone who suffers from anxiety, this is their worst nightmare. That was my first thought walking into this building. I used to stand in awe at how big the walkway use to be, how it was so spacious that I felt small in it. With the arrival of the Club Fair, the Hall never felt so small and tight, full of people, tables housing sweets, posters, and pamphlets to inform and promote the various clubs and activities. The atrium came alive in a terrifying new way that only the bravest of souls will survive. I wandered around and avoided eye contact at all costs trying to find just one table that didn’t seem completely intimidating.

As herds of college students young and old surrounded me, I began to lose myself in the bustle of a normal Wednesday afternoon combined with a social event that only happens once every semester. Finally, after bumping into a table and stumbling into strangers, I found an interesting small group talking quietly among themselves.

The poster said “Drama Club,” something that I will admit has been a past time for me, so with shaky legs and a rapid heartbeat, I cautiously approached the table, tensing up in preparation to be hounded, to take a pamphlet and sign my life away. The group smiled as they noticed me, warm and welcoming. I was approached by Jess Weligand, the Drama Club’s PR representative; she appeared shy, but I could tell she was putting forth an effort to be kind and helpful for her club. She asked me if I had ever been involved in theater before.

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Central Campus Club Fair — Photo by Dominique Brown

Of course I had, but I decided to see what kind of spiel she had in store. To my surprise, Jess began a simple conversation with me when she took note of my sweatshirt. We talked for some time about this and that finally, once we were both comfortable, I began to ask her  about the theater program and how the Drama Club is connected and works with the theater program.

Montco Drama Club has been around for only a short while but has put on over 40 plays!

Currently the Drama Club is preparing for their first ever short play festival, consisting of six different short plays directed by students. The theater program is behind the scenes, in a class offered to anyone but especially to theater majors in the Theater Production Workshop, or TPW, this is where the magic happens. The students build, light, design, and dress the set; along with making the costumes, managing stage sound and stage set the entire show! Everything you see is all by students; even the Drama Club helps out by raising the money for the productions and awareness that the play is happening. I was completely blown away by all that happens in such a small amount of time and that Jess Weligand, who was very much as timid and shy as myself, was here standing in front me telling all the amazing things she has accomplished with this club. As our conversation continued a new face joined us.

Kevin Sene is a small, high strung individual who can just melt your heart and instantly make you feel like his friend. He smiled a great big pearly white smile as he sashayed over eager to join the conversation. Jess introduced us and explained that the real reason she was so involved is because of Kevin. Kevin is more outgoing and free spirited than she. Everyone who meets Kevin instantly falls in love; he is a true leader and great friend.

After five minutes of chatting with him, I was shocked when I signed up to become more involved with the club. The Drama Club is a very inviting club, people of all sizes, shapes, and color come together and do something unique and creative that no other club does. They band together, get their hands dirty and produce plays for the whole community to enjoy. Everyone is very nice and encouraging, they are a team, even more so a family; they make sure they stress that there is no “drama” in the Drama Club. Everything down to what play they will do the following semester is all debated in a healthy discussion called “Reading Committee”, which meets every Monday at 4pm.

So, this introverted soul found a nice, peaceful table to hide out the storm of people and activities around her. I even made a few friends along the way. Club Fair actually wasn’t as terrifying as I originally thought. When you first enter the Fair, it seems to go on for miles, with all the bodies and tables that litter the walkway. It’s easy to feel small and lost in all the excitement. But as a great man once said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself!” so next Club Fair, I’ll be ready! With any luck I’ll be the one confidently approaching people asking if they have ever been involved in theater.

Montco Drama Club’s President Kevin Sene is the nicest most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met. He has a drive and a passion for theater that is unmatched by anyone!

The Drama Club meets every Wednesday 1pm -3pm. Feel free to stop by anytime for fun and games. All are welcome and all are encouraged to participate in upcoming events. See you there!

Kevin Sene Photo by Dominique Brown

Kevin Sene, Drama Club President — Photo by Dominique Brown

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Drama Club Table — Photo by Dominique Brown

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Fritz Petty
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

The Club Fair, an event held in Central Campus Parkhouse Hall’s atrium, was on Feb. 8. Many clubs, such as the Japanese Club, Montco Radio and the Chess Club, demonstrated some new skills that could help prospective students in their future.

The Japanese Club’s table at the Spring 2017 Club Fair was filled with fancy foods, paintings, antiques and unique anime books. Japanese culture is known for its versatility with producing amazing items.

The sight drew me in so I became interested in the origins of Japanese Club. My attentiveness led me to talk with a couple of its founding members, Kim and Shirley. Kim started the Japanese Club because she wanted to share her passion with other students and expose others to it’s sophistication. Kim didn’t find a club that kept her attention, which led her to making her own club.

Shirley also had a similar passion for Japanese Culture. She explained to me that she learned the Japanese language and can speak it fluently. She immersed herself in the culture by staying in Japan for a couple of days. Her experiences in Japan pushed her to join the Japanese club.

Overall, student clubs have a way of bringing out the best of an individual, which allows the members involved to grow, meet new people and make connections. The Club Fair taught me to get out of my own comfort zone and to be active in the community. When the next Club Fair comes around, I will join a club of my choosing.

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by Jack Wisniewski
The Montgazette Contributing Writer

Among the  Oscar Awards powerhouse and talk of the movie world  was “La La Land”, the latest critically acclaimed picture coming from young, yet established director, Damien Chazelle, who unsurprisingly won the coveted Achievement in Directing Academy Award. The film stars charming A-list actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone who encapsulate what it is to chase your dreams and live a wide-eyed life in the big city of Los Angeles.

Wonderful musical numbers throughout the movie show the feelings of these almost whimsical characters in a magical way as they fall in love while managing the chase for stardom. Kristen Walsh, a moviegoer, said, “ ‘La La Land’ is one of the best musical movies” she has ever seen.

The spontaneous songs and dances are the foundation for the film. The bright,  beautiful sets and production designs that earned the film an Oscar,  keeps  your eyes glued to the screen while songs of hope, love, and even disappointment fill your ears. The inspiring original score added another two Oscars to its collection. These elements of the film weave together perfectly to immerse you in the beauty and art on screen with a story that keeps you hooked.

Emma Stone, who plays the lead and half of the story’s love interest, pulled in her first Oscar win for Actress in a Leading Role by putting on a masterful performance as a down-on-her-luck aspiring  actress longing  to hit the big time. Emma Stone paired  well  with former Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling as they formed the relationship the story revolves around.

I found myself rooting for the blossoming couple through thick and thin throughout the whole film. These two were able to illicit connections with the audience  and anyone who has had or searched for love. Gosling’s talent on the piano and on the dance floor were impressive to say the least, while Stone showed acting range we have not seen from her in the past through her vocal cords and dancing prowess as well.

With so much going for “La La Land,” it was hard to find someone who did not like the film, but one moviegoer said that the theme of boy meets girl was not very original and that the musical numbers could have been more consistent throughout the movie.  Most moviegoers felt that the costume  design of bright dresses and dapper suits, combined with a throwback feel all set in present day L.A., create a totally unique film. The cinematography, which accepted the fourth of five Oscar wins, tells the story well through varied and innovative aesthetically pleasing visuals that help capture the emotions of the characters so that you, the audience, can interpret them accurately.

This film is fresh, entertaining, and inspiring. It deserves each Oscar nomination and win that it received. It was so good it was almost wrongly, but without question, accepted as the Best Picture winner during the infamous debacle at the Oscar Awards ceremony! I rate this film a strong 4 ¼ out of 5 stars.

lala land

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