By Cheval John
Reporter, Vallano Media
Big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, etc. have the opportunity to host big names in the entertainment industry.
Huntsville, Texas had that special opportunity last night when Aziz Ansari and Nick Kroll were the guest of honor for the annual Sammypalooza event at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on the campus of Sam Houston State University.
Over 2,500 students, which the majority were in-coming freshman had the chance to experience these comedians, up-front and personal and left the show in awe what they witnessed before the beginning of the new semester.
It takes a whole lot of planning and getting it down to a key in order for these type of shows to be a success.
I caught up with Steven Begnaud III, Program Coordinator for SHSU's Department of Student Activities, to find out exactly how all of this came together.
Cheval John: How long did it take for these types of events to put together?
Steven Begnaud: It takes approximately 4-6 months. We started to brain storm of where we wanted to go and we had a list of people who we wanted to invite to perform. We had a contract solidified by July and then everything fell into place piece by piece.
You want to take things slow and be efficient in what you do. You don't want to forget something because when it come to these types of events, you want everything to fall into place.
Cheval: Talk about how you got Aziz Ansari to Sammypalooza?
Steven: Normally, we poll students and find out what they're into. But we ran into an obstacle this summer, so we used our best judgement.
The person who we book our events with really pushed for Aziz Ansari. It just so happened that Nick Kroll was also touring at the same time and they are good friends.
They gave us a package deal, so we definitely jumped at the opportunity.
Cheval: How important is social media?
Steven: Social media is really important. I learned that just by doing this job that you can get the best talent, but if you don't spread the word and I mean spread it like wildfire, people aren't going to show up.
Cheval: Do you think that Sam Houston is becoming like the big name schools due to these big name artists that comes here to perform?
Steven: That's kind of a worry we have sometimes. Maybe some people will get use to the fact that we always bringing in huge names and I can't gurantee that we will always do that.
It's not up to us, but up to whoever is touring and if they are available.
Cheval: How important is networking to get these types of artists?
Steven: It depends on who you book with. The guy that we work with is really good and he never lets us down.
He always gives us a good solid list of well-known people for performances that we can bring and that makes it hard to choose because the list is so good.
It's really the relationship that you have with the people that you work with and that what really helps.