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March 23, 2015

A Creative Cast: The Daemen Drama Scene

By Daniel Gertis

Setting: Wick Dining Hall
Main Characters: You and your friends
Action: Having a typical dinner. Or so you think. . .

Suddenly, images flash across the projection screens and actors run in with mikes. Is this a flash mob? Could be.Before you know it, you're in the middle of a play. You had no idea this was dinner theater.

The actors in the performance are part of Daemen's Creative Minds, a student-centered drama club. According to sophomore Syd Mangin, who recently joined the group, Creative Minds performs plays that college students can relate to, not only flash mob-style, but also in traditional settings. Themes include dealing with pressure, alcoholism,sexuality, and drug abuse. Mangin said that although they use some prewritten material, a lot of productions are composed by students.

“It's a nice platform for students to really express themselves,” Mangin said. "It's student-run and student-operated."

Moderator Dr. Robert Waterhouse is always happy to extend a helping hand for technical aspects, including backgrounds, props, or tapping into his expansive connections within the Buffalo theater community. Mangin says that while Dr. Waterhouse provides resources, the emphasis and final say always rest with the students.

“I try to offer guidance and support without getting in anyone's way,” Dr. Waterhouse said. “ I attend the occasional rehearsal and offer advice when asked, but otherwise think the directors and actors behind the productions should learn as I learned when I began directing as a university student: by jumping in with both feet.”

And this semester, the young directors and actors are “jumping in with both feet” to a Charlie Brown spinoff called “Dog Sees God.” After opening with the death of Snoopy, the plot follows the lives of the well-known Charlie Brown characters as they enter into high school and face the real world.

Mangin says it's “a real coming of age story” where “Charlie Brown's character is coming to terms with the way the world is.”

“(The play) might be called an unblinking stare at adolescence, especially its cruelties and vulnerabilities,” Dr. Waterhouse said. “The playwright, Bert V. Royal, has deliberately taken the 'Peanuts' gang very far away from their idyllic cartoon world. He wants us to simultaneously laugh and grimace at our younger, adolescent selves, and captures the comedy and tragedy of unsupervised American teens.”

Although none of the characters come out and directly say they are the beloved Charlie Brown cast, Mangin says a 2-dimensional set and the presence of the classic red dog house will tip off the audience.

Students involved in the production come from all different majors at Daemen, from psychology to physical therapy to animation, and of course, theater. Unlike theater programs at other colleges, Mangin says that no one is excluded.

“It's a great way to have fun and relax,” she said, and “a great opportunity to get rid of stress.”

With a dedicated cast and supportive faculty, there definitely are “so many good reasons” to become involved with theater, as Mangin said. And of course, as a college student, any type of stress relief is well received.


Derrick Rose, Gone So Soon

By Mopati R. Kuswani



Derrick Rose, a Chicago native, is accomplished. He is Mr. Basketball; an Adidas endorser; was named Rookie of the year; and an NBA MVP. Like few of us, Derrick Rose holds all of these accolades but doesn't get closure from these accomplishments. He is driven instead by one title he has yet to call himself: NBA champion. Derrick Rose is a young, humble, and focused professional who just wants to do his job well and stay out of harm's way, but harm always seems to find him.  


A former NBA MVP who was on his way to something much greater than most of us had ever seen, Derrick Rose has been recently plagued with the curse of injury- constant,inconvenient, and often discouraging injuries. Rose has been the bearer of bad luck ever since his first year as a professional basketball player. In one of his first games as an NBA player, Rose injured both his hip and hamstring. The following year, again in one the season’s early games, Rose injured his ankle, which caused him to miss a whole month of basketball. But the injury that turned the tables on Rose’s career happened in 2012, the year after his memorable MVP-winning season. Rose tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, which forced him to miss the entire following season. But unfortunately for him, the suffering didn't end there. After sitting out the entire 2012-13 season, Rose made a long-awaited return to the basketball court in October of 2013, only to tear a meniscus in the same right knee and spend the rest of that season and the next rehabilitating.

Rose himself marked the 2014-15 season as his return. He showed, for the most part, shades of his former  self during the summer of 2014 as a part of the gold medal-winning USA National team. When the NBA season started in October 2014, Rose and his team, the Chicago Bulls, had their minds set on making a long run into the postseason.Again, those goals were deferred when, in February of this year, he was once again the victim of another knee injury, a tear to the same meniscus he injured a couple of years earlier.



I don’t believe in luck, but as far as Derrick Rose’s injuries are concerned, he must have seen his fair share of black cats cross his path. I believe I speak for all basketball fans when I say I feel robbed. Robbed of not getting to witness one of our generation's best basketballers.

Many people don’t believe Rose will ever be the same again and his best days are behind him, but I am still very hopeful. Many don’t think Rose will ever return to be the Bull’s main man and lead them to a championship. If that is so, I definitely think he will achieve a rather comparable honor: basketball immortality and induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

So, on behalf of all basketball fans everywhere, I’d like to thank Derrick Rose for giving us some great basket ball and a few memorable seasons. Hopefully he can come back better than before.Thank you, Mr. Rose. MVP! MVP! MVP!


Perhaps You Can Thank Global Warming For All The Snow!

By Sara Hornung


Yes, warmer temperatures are finally upon us! But, remember about two weeks ago when the temperature got down to about negative forty-something because of that wind-chill?! Well, it is almost seventy degrees warmer now than it was two weeks ago! Though, walking around the halls of Daemen, hearing comments about the cold, one comment struck me. People seem to think that just because it’s cold justifies that global warming does not exist. Well, frankly, this is wrong.


A better term for Global Warming is climate change. Change can mean either hotter OR colder. Global warming could be triggering increasingly cold winters in some parts of the world; yes, even Amherst, New York. Researchers have discovered a link between rising ocean temperatures, and a huge pocket of cold air known as the polar vortex. It was discovered that as oceans heat up and melt the Arctic ice, warm air is released that destabilizes polar air and sends cold blasts into the atmosphere.


Unfortunately, Daemen College falls in this area of the world. We all know when that fountain in front of Wick is covered in snow. We also know when piles of plowed snow takes up all the parking spots! Well, if you would like to see less snow next year at this time, here's what you can do:

•Recycle (There are recycling bins all over Daemen’s campus.)

•Use less heat and air conditioning (Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.)

•Turn it OFF! (Don’t leave phone or laptop chargers plugged in when not in use.)

​With global warming being a growing concern, more and more people are taking steps to fight it. But, don’t be one of those people who thinks that caring for the environment is for other people, because the more you care, the more other people will care. At the rate climate change is going now, winters will continue to be brutal, and summers will get even hotter. So, next time you're bundling up for the cold, just know it may be global warming’s fault! And know that even though we are all busy with schoolwork, just one small change you make will add up, making an extraordinary impact.


Vince Marcellino -- Short Filmmaker; Creator of 'Project Official Vince'

By Brianna Zichettella
Snap! The clapperboard closes audibly, echoing across the forested service road. The board – traditionally used for syncing audio and film – is covered with looping black ink marking the scene number and, oddly enough, a lopsided smiley face. The actors have taken to snapping the board as dramatically as possible, but the real star is standing behind the camera.

Vince Marcellino, a Daemen College animation major, stares intently through his camera lens, trying to get every second of the action. Currently we are on the set of his short film, The Gift,a part of Marcellino’s ongoing, long-running endeavor: Project OV, also known as Project Official Vince. Although he’s only a freshman, Marcellino has branched out from his preferred 2-D animation into the realm of film. His YouTube channel, officially named Project OV but listed under his username,Vince Marcellino, currently hosts his short films. 

The Gift, one of Project OV’s most recent additions and its most-viewed video, is archetypical of Marcellino’s work. Succinct, meaningful,and filled with enough camera angles to simulate spectators on all sides, the modern remake of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is locally popular. 

“I was making popcorn in Canavan Hall’s lobby, and the RAs at the desk were watching videos on my YouTube channel,” Marcellino says, sitting cross-legged atop a washing machine. “It was surprising, but it’s good to get the exposure."

Marcellino started making films in middle school. Several years and twice as many discarded videos later, he has reached the point where he will finally confess to making them. 

“There have been many prior YouTube channels, but I refuse to admit to them.” Marcellino shifts slightly. The washer rumbles in response, almost curious about what exactly he won’t talk about.

Even if he won’t confess to making some of them, all of his work for Project OV exists within the common continuity of a massive, overarching universe. At first glance, the teenage scrooge from The Gift and the haunted blogger in Noah's Halloween Update have nothing to do with one another, but look closely and you may find parallels. 

“They’re all connected,” Marcellino assures me, smiling secretively in a way utterly incongruous with Canavan Hall's first floor laundry room, “but you’ll just have to wait to find out how.”
In the future, he hopes to turn Project OV into a filmmaking career.Barring that, he hopes to someday work for DreamWorks or Disney as a director or an animator. But for now, Marcellino has his sights turned toward his next project: an urban horror story (working title, Numbers) where two teenagers will investigate mysterious signals coming from an abandoned numbers station.  

“It will not end well,” Marcellino hints when pressed for more details. His smirk is worth a thousand words.



WNY Leadership Conference: 'Count Quality, not Quantity, of Experiences'

By Brianna Zichettella

This Buffalo morning started out like any other: a race against snow, slush, and potential hypothermia to be the first inside. Past the finish line, there were steaming cups of coffee, glazed doughnuts, and a couple hundred tired college student smiling around the University of Buffalo’s Student Union.  

​It’s early, earlier than most students would even think of waking up on a Saturday, but the chance to attend the annual Western New York Student Leadership Conference was worth it for the bleary-eyed and over-caffeinated students.

The building’s atrium was a mosaic of colors and logos from colleges and universities all over Western New York. Some students drove ten minutes to get here. Others stepped into busses or cars hours ago.

The quiet murmur of conversation became a definite roar as students were directed to the auditorium. Past the doors sat keynote speaker Kristin Skarie, international educator and president of Team works, a leadership consultation firm. Skarie, a warm, middle-aged woman, stepped on stage to speak about her life’s work: sustainable leadership. Nearly every student in that auditorium came to the conference expecting to learn about leadership skills. I don’t think anyone expected to have fun.

Skarie was a pleasantly animated speaker, as were the presenters of the multitude of programs offered by the conference. From making connections to childhood classics in Leadership Lessons from Disney, to screaming“SHITAKE!” at the top of their lungs in Improv (ing) Leadership, there was something for everyone at the conference. And all of it was highly interactive.

For my part, I planted basil seeds in water bottles and laughed about irony when the Introverted Leadership class was placed next door to the extroverted improvisers.

The conference was certainly a Saturday well spent, and I would definitely repeat the experience. However, I also learned valuable lessons during my time there, and most importantly, I accepted a dare.At the end of her address, Skarie offered a challenge: implement a new, sustainable habit in your life by March 14. Stop talking down to yourself, resolve to work with new and diverse people, or start counting the quality, not the quantity, of your life experiences. Anything will work, anything at all.

So, I pass on Skarie’s challenge to you. I dare you to spend three weeks sticking to better habits, 21 days of becoming a better leader, and 504 hours of self-improvement.

What are you waiting for?


Shakespeare Banquet: Music & Merriment on Tap!

By Annie Rose

On Sunday, March 29, the English and Theater departments are holding a Shakespeare banquet as part of a learning community with Dr. Marck and Dr. Waterhouse and their class. The banquet begins at 7 p.m. in the alumni lounge and tickets will be on sale in the Arts & Sciences office in DS 147. 

The banquet is a culmination of work by the students and will include performances of scenes from Shakespeare's MacBeth, musical performances, and a three-course Renaissance-themed dinner. 

I won't give away the surprises, but expect a spectacle for dessert, some light audience participation, and Scottish themed music! Daemen college has held banquets like this before, but not for the last three years. Dr. Marck says that this banquet has been so successful in the past that they had to turn away people at the door. Because space is limited, buy your tickets immediately! Prices are: Adults- $18.50

Residents with I.D.- $10.00

Commuters- $13.50

Seating is less than 50 seats this year so don't lose out and wait too long! Costumes are encouraged but not required. This is a very unique opportunity for some lively entertainment by talented Daemen students, and this also showcases the extreme talents of our food service employees. I've been told that the dessert they are planning has never been done before and is sure to wow and inspire everyone.



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