The Virtual Program Provider Collective

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This is a comprehensive* alphabetical list of vendors, agencies, artists, coaches, and speakers who can provide quality virtual content to your schools and communities.

*Updated April 7, 2020

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Amped Events – Agency 

Nia Mcadoo – 888-683-4386

events@ampedevents.com

Novelty – Individually Mailed Stuff-a- Plush Kits

Make social isolation a bit more BEARABLE with our plush kits. We will mail you everything you need to make your own special friend. All supplies are mailed directly to your student’s home.

https://www.ampedevents.com/virtual-events.html

Arsena Schroeder – Music

arsena@arsenamusic.com

704-322-1007

Solo-Acoustic, Live-streamed Home Concert

https://www.stageit.com/arsena_schroeder/cabin_fever_solo_jams/71540

Bass-Schuler Entertainment – Agency 

Sue Boxrud

sue@bass-schuler.com

773-481-2600

Leadership Development, Trivia, Novelty, Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Wellness, Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist, Music/Performance, Poetry

We have a lot of options and adding offerings daily! We would love for you to check them out at the link provided.

https://bass-schuler.com/virtual-programs/

We love to get creative! Have an idea and want to talk through things? Great! Give us a call or drop us an email!

 

Book A Muslim – Agency

Syed Warsi – syed@bookamuslim.com
bookamuslim@gmail.com (775) 372 – 7462
Discussions, Diversity and Inclusion Workshops, Comedy, Poetry, Story-Telling
Looking for educational and entertaining programming? All of our speakers on our roster are available for virtual workshops and discussions.
See a speaker’s TED Talk that you just love? Host a watch party and invite the speaker for a live discussion! Here is a link to all the TEDx Talks and the speakers’ info for your ease
https://linktr.ee/bookamuslim < FREE LIVE EVENTS!
bookamuslim@gmail.com (775) 372 – 7462

Celebrate Muslim Culture

Syed Warsi | Agent | Book A Muslim

Brave Enough Artist Agency – Agency 

Shane Anderson

shane@braveenough.com

727-505-3653

Leadership Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Wellness, Music/Performance, Esports intramurals and tournaments

Private Virtual Concerts, Virtual Music Festivals, Esports intramurals and leagues, Virtual Speakers with personal Q&A sessions

www.braveenough.com/virtual

 

Christina Irene – Speaker 

ci@christinairene.com

717-576-7976 

“Invisible Disabilities Awareness” – 1 hour online workshop – Learn about chronic illnesses, mental health diagnoses, and other “hidden” disabilities (and why this topic is so important) through humor and moving vignettes. End illness shaming and implement strategies for both helping and coping. This is for everyone! [Also available: “Communicating About Hidden Disabilities,” “Inclusion and Universal Design,” and 90-minute customized programs.] Direct link: http://www.SplatEd.com

“Empowerment Through Verse: Sexual Assault and Gender Violence Awareness” – 90 minute online workshop – This program combines poetry readings, storytelling, education, a get-up-and-move activity, and the creation of a personal resource and inspiration booklet. Direct link: http://www.christinairene.com/wp/womens-issues/gender-violencesexual-assault-awareness

http://www.ChristinaIrene.com

Christina Irene is a former classroom teacher and stand-up comedian (and a current adventurer, elected official, and disabled business owner) who is passionate about advocacy and empowerment. Every program is packed with inspiration, laughs, surprises, and the tools to make dreams happen no matter the obstacles.

CoolSpeak – Ernesto Mejia – Speaker 

ernesto@coolspeak.net

888-300-1880

Leadership Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Wellness, Dealing with the stressors of change, Social Media, Parenting during these trying times

CoolSpeak tends to customize all of our programming to fit our client’s needs and objectives. However, if a topic is not within our wheelhouse we are the first to let you know.

Due to our unique customization offerings we ask that potential clients reach out to learn more about us. We have been in business for over ten years and do zero marketing because the proof is in the product. We wish each and every school the best of luck during these changing times. Be safe.

Dave Kelly – Speaker

America’s Student Leadership Trainer 

DaveKelly@GonzoSpeaks.com

404-403-1481

Leadership Development – Coaching, Workshops, and Review of Governing Documents (Constitutions, By-laws, etc)

https://davegonzokelly.com/programs/virtual-training-programs-during-covid-19-crisis/

15 years of experience speaking and training for college and university students on more than 300 campuses

 

Degy Entertainment – Agency 

Jeff Hyman

jeff@degy.com

732-818-9600

Health & Wellness, Music/Performance, Spoken Word, Comedy

Virtual Mental Health Fair, Virtual coffeehouse shows, Virtual comedy, Virtual spoken word

www.degy.com

watch Degy Social Media @degyent for updates!

Erika Gilchrist – Speaker

erika@theunstoppablewoman.net

866-443-6769

Leadership Development, Women’s issues

Live streaming presentations with real-time engagement, handouts, and Q&A.

www.theunstoppablewoman.net/live-streaming

 

Five Points Entertainment – Agency

George Hornick –  615-720-2843  george@fivepointsent.com

Live Streaming music & comedy through all virtual platforms.  Award winning performers you know and love can now engage the students through real-time streaming interaction!

https://www.fivepointsent.com/

 

Fresh Variety – Agency 

Laura Gilman

laura@freshvariety.com

603-396-6786

Leadership Development, Novelty, Health & Wellness, Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist, Variety performers, mentalism, comedy

*Michael Kent-comic, magician, smart@$* brings his 1 hr, hilarious, interactive, magic show- to your home! This live performance is recorded and can be broadcasted for up to a week to your student body. *Jonathan Burns- this guy has been showing off his whole life- now he live streams into your home and teaches you how to do it too! Stunts, tricks, pranks all taught by the hilarious JB! *Alexandra Catalano- this instagram influencer and Lifestyle speaker will engage with your students and faculty on topics like staying healthy when home bound, eating for stress, healthy meal prep, working from home and more! *Corey Craig- TEDex presenter and prime time tv superstar brings the community together by connecting us by our similarities and embracing our differences. Teaching us to come together -even from afar. *Jacob Mayfield- virtual palm and tarot card readings sent right to your inbox! He records a video of your custom reading

http://www.freshvariety.com/email/FV-VirtualEvents.pdf

 

Gage Paine Consulting, LLC – Speaker 

gage@gagepaineconsulting.com

210-355-9700

Leadership Development

Keynotes, workshops, and coaching (for individuals and teams)on multiple topics

Website: gagepaineconsulting.com

 

GP Entertainment – Agency 

Tim Moyer

tim@gpentertainment.com

315-859-1745

Leadership Development, Trivia, Novelty, Health & Wellness, Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist, Music/Performance, Motivational Speed Painter

Self hypnosis events to stay calm and find focus, virtual game shows and magic shows. Music entertainment as well

Please email tim@gpentertainment.com

Houla Entertainment – Agency

Lee Mayer – (865) 414-9266
Offering Music, Comedy, Spoken Word, Magic, Hypnotist, Music with The Voice and America’s Got Talent artists with Q&A about the shows, The Voice and America’s Got Talent Virtual Festival, Virtual Music Festival that students take a poll and the artists with the most votes cast are your festival performers, Virtual Comedy Festival, Virtual Spoken Word Festival, and Esports tournaments with cash winnings.
New artists added regularly. Please check us out!

How To Concerts – Agency

Jolene Chevalier
920.764.1200
Virtual concerts with some of your favorite national headlining artists, live cooking classes, musicians and comedians leading yoga, cooking, and instructional sessions, virtual drag bingo, drag queen make-up demos, instagram takeovers, and more.
We can’t wait to get creative with you. Got an idea? Is it a long shot and off the wall? Great! Let’s explore it!

Jason LeVasseur & The Rock Star Project®

Leadership Development & Team Building – Virtual event hosting and consultation.

jason@therockstarproject.com

336-918-1661

http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS – https://jasonlevasseur.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/virtual-events/

 

Jason Walsmith – Music 

jason.walsmith@gmail.com

515-664-3333

Music/Performance, Public Speaking, motivational, inspirational, corporate.

I play music and I tell stories.

 

John Rush – Music

The Human iPod  &  Acoustic Karaoke

616-510-7874  johnrush@johnrush.com 

The Human Ipod – The way it works is we have a venue where we have everything set up just like a live show with all the lights, speakers, cameras, and everything!!

We send them a song request playlist with over 80 Hours of music to pick from that John knows by memory!! They pick the songs and they create in the show live!!

This isn’t just somebody holding up a phone and streaming it online. It is a private show just for your students in full 1080p HD!! It is multiple camera angles with real-time interaction and engagement with your students!! They can talk to each other and with me during the show in real time!!

It can be a private page so only your students can access it or a public page to get the community involved!!

Acoustic Karaoke – Virtual karaoke show hosted by John Rush. We set up and organize a virtual karaoke show for your students. They get to sing and interact with their friends in real time! John can play and sing to keep the show moving and fill down times if needed.

This isn’t just somebody holding up a phone and streaming it online. It is a private show just for your students in full 1080p HD!! It is multiple camera angles with real-time interaction and engagement with your students!!

They can talk to each other and with me during the show in real time!!  It’s tons of fun and they become the show!!

https://johnrush.com/virtualshow 

https://acoustickaraokeshow.com/virtualshow​​​​​​​

Meghan Grace – Speaker 

meghanmgrace@gmail.com

804-822-5925

Staff/Professional Development

I am a generational researcher, speaker, and author with a primary focus on Generation Z. My keynotes and educational sessions are available in virtual/video settings for staff/professional development. My content is tailorable to fit the interests and needs of campus administrators, as well as faculty members.

Meghanmgrace.com

 

Neon Entertainment – Agency 

Scott Talarico

info@neon-entertainment.com

716-836-6366

Leadership Development, Trivia, Novelty, Music/Performance

Our virtual programs are designed for every student to interactively participate from wherever they are. These events use video technology to stream the live programs to your students including, virtual open mic night, paint social (paint class), escape rooms, team building, leadership training, and trivia game shows with cash prizes.

https://www.neon-entertainment.com/virtual-programs/

Full Roster of Programs: Cellphone Smackdown, Virtual Escape Rooms, Virtual Paint Social, Mike Fritz’s Build a Better Team, Mike Fritz’s Virtual Campus Engagement, Brian MIller’s Virtual Leadership, DropShip Make & Takes, Virtual Playlist Bingo, Virtual Open Mic Night, Alpha Art, Create-a-Creature, Virtual Free Money Game Show, Aaron Marus’ Book the Job.

 

Packed House Entertainment – Agency 

Trino

trinomagic@gmail.com

269-910-9379

Leadership Development, Diversity & Inclusion, Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist

Comedy Magician Trino Show and Magic Workshop

Mari Copeny aka “Little Miss Flint” Youth Activist

 

Peter Boie – Magician for Non-Believers

Peter Boie

info@peterboie.com

800-643-2924

Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist

Live stream magic show

www.livestreammagic.com

Video link: https://youtu.be/SuGd-nR7BtY

 

Rebelle Events – Agency 

Melissa Beer

melissa@rebelleevents.com

651-447-4944

Leadership Development, Trivia, Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Wellness, Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist, Virtual Esports Performances

Virtual Esports Open Gaming Tournament – variety of gaming options including Smash Brothers, Fortnite, FIFA, Madden, NBA2K, Rocket League and More – affordable series programming. Virtual Trivia from College Trivia Nerds – affordable virtual series programming. Custom Livestream Comedy Shows, Leadership speakers/programming, Team Building opportunities, Virtual Game Labs and more.

http://www.rebelleevents.com/virtual-programming-solutions

Rudy Currence – Music 

bookrudycurrence@mikechekent.com

803-517-7654

Music/Performance, Lecture/ Master Class/ Workshop

I am a Grammy award winning singer-songwriter, producer and musician. I offer online musical performances including multi-genre covers and originals, music workshops, and a master class  “The Next G.R.A.M.M.Y.” with learning outcomes.

http://rudycurrence.com/

 

Soundcheck Prevention Network – Substance Misuse Prevention 

Will Straughan

will@soundcheckprevention.org

828-280-2079

Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Wellness, Music/Performance, Campus substance misuse prevention

Will Straughan combines his story of drug addiction and recovery, with his career as a singer-songwriter and his global experience as a Prevention Specialist to support health-centered dialogue and decisions about alcohol and other drugs. Presentations are tailored to student needs and can include topics like: warning signs of misuse and how to help a friend, healthy leisure and stress management, campus stimulant (or other drug) misuse and study skills, and current trends, facts and myths about alcohol and other drugs. Virtual offerings can be provided individually or as a series of presentations to take place over multiple sessions.

soundcheckprevention.org

Please email or call to design your series of virtual presentations and discuss scheduling and pricing options. Thank you!

 

Strategies For Justice – Agency 

Terry Watson

admin@strategiesjustice.com

814-996-4113

Diversity & Inclusion

Virtual conversation with guests speakers that focus on race, disability, and law enforcement.

The speakers associated with BWMP LLC provide more than just information and education, but an opportunity to engage and have authentic conversations. We work with law enforcement, communities, college and university campuses, or a combination of all three.

Our speakers are ready to engage your community around the topics of race, ability, and law enforcement. They bring with them a diversity of experiences and stories that are meant to challenge perspectives and promote civil discourse.

https://www.strategiesjustice.com/mps

Check out our speakers and programs

https://www.strategiesjustice.com/about-our-speakers-and-programs

 

The College Agency – Agency 

Craig Heitkamp

craig@thecollegeagency.com

651-222-9669

Leadership Development, Trivia, Novelty, Diversity & Inclusion, Health & Wellness, Magician/Hypnotist/Illusionist/Mentalist, Music/Performance, Comedy

Using our Pro Level Zoom Video service and event preregistration form, we have trained our top performers the best way to present their talent virtually to your off campus and on campus students. Specially, our Speed Sketchers Virtual Caricatures, Virtual Mind-Reading Show and Virtual Magic Show & Workshop were designed and built with a virtual audience of home-based students in mind. Each event includes student participation where attendees can virtually raise their hand to “go on stage” with the act to have their caricature drawn, mind read, or to do a magic trick. Our event preregistration form helps to drive additional attendance by letting you promote the event far in advance and allowing interested students to signup and receive email reminders as the event approaches. In addition, once the event in complete, we are able to provide your team attendance analytics to help with your event evaluations.

http://www.thecollegeagency.com/virtual.html

To Go Events, Inc./Trivia Stream – Virtual Game Show

Brett Hornsby

brett@togoevents.com

737-218-0017

Trivia, We also offer target theme trivia shows regarding Covid-19/Coronavirus safety, Title IX, Alcohol Awareness, Black History Month, etc.

We have an incredible game show host run a 1-hour live-streamed game show on Twitch just for your students in which we give out $250 in cash prizes (included in our booking fee). We have thousands of trivia questions to choose from that we categorize into 10-question rounds. At the end of each round, the winner receives a cash prize (in the form of a Amazon.com gift card code). If desired, we have the ability to customize show themes to include educational material in addition to fun questions.

http://www.gameshowstogo.com/trivia-stream.html

 

 

Virtual Events & Workshops!

90584550_10157125654066169_643880297057746944_oLeadership Development & Team Building.

Connect with Jason to chat about customized workshops & events to best fit the needs of your organization. Virtual Keynotes – Virtual Workshops – Virtual Conference Host – Virtual Open Mic Host –  Virtual Music Performance – Virtual Event Consulting.

Contact Jason: http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

Spring/Summer 2020 – Jason is scheduled to host multi-day virtual conferences for associations, he is teaching singular and multi-day online workshops for schools, and is happy to connect with you to discuss programs that can best serve your community. If not available on the dates you need, he will be happy to connect with you and help you find the best facilitator for your event.

TESTIMONIALS –  for virtual program testimonials please scroll to the bottom of the page and look for “TESTIMONIALS”

 

Workshop Samples for Campus Clubs & Orgs… 

* Building The Band – Virtual Workshop 

Build your virtual presence!!! Grow your club membership!!! Leave a legacy!!! This workshop focuses on your current members’ role and responsibility in staying connected and engaged online. We will explore ways to collectively promote the organizations and their hosted events. Each individual club member has a role to play! Every individual member is an important “rock star in the band” and this workshop helps inspire current members into action. It’s time to promote the organization and recruit new members!!! #virtualengagement #teambuilding #virtualpromotion #legacy

* Passing The Torch – Virtual Workshop   

Set your organization up for continued success and PLAN your leadership transitions! In this session we will explore the best practices in planning and executing smooth virtual team-member transitions. Whether you are an experienced team player or the “new kid” you have an important role to play in the legacy and ever-evolving structure and legacy of your organization. This session will give you the tools to help your team succeed now and in the future! #successionplanning #teambuilding

* Keeping The Band In Tune – Virtual Workshop 

As a club member you are an influential “Rock Star Student Leader” within your campus community, virtually and “in person”. Your influence is even greater when your team is working together to accomplish your collective goal. This workshop will focus on strengthening the ties between your current club members, overcoming the pitfalls inherent to working and collaborating with a group, and exploring the best ways to keep your team engaged and involved. Effective teams – collective success! #rocktheband #teambuilding

* Turn Up Your Volume – Virtual Workshop 

 What is your personal Brand? How do you want to be seen in the world? This workshop will focus on YOU, the branding, the promoting, and the growth of your own online presence. Recruiters, employers, friends, class mates, and potential life partners will be looking at you online. So, how do you want to present yourself to the world? How do you want to be seen? What is your message? We will get to the heart of what makes you an amazing “Rock Star” and celebrate YOU, and you will be inspired to share your personal brand with the world! #yourock #personaldevelopment #personalbrand

* Hosting The Show – Virtual Workshop 

Plan and host amazing virtual content!!! This is one of the best ways to engage your current membership, invite and recruit new members, and to connect online! From the planning to the execution, this workshop will help club members work through the steps necessary to create, promote, and “host” a virtual event. #rockstarplanning #rockstarpromotion #rockstarshow

* For Advisors: Keeping The Band Alive! – Virtual Workshop

This workshop is designed for club and org advisors and the focus is on their important roles and responsibilities both on campus and online. Advisors will leave this workshop excited and connected to other advisors and will embrace the fun idea that they are the “tour managers” of their respective “bands”. We will also discuss the best practices in working virtually with transitional leadership. How can we best help our organizations stay connected before and after our student leaders graduate? How do we inspire new members to “take the reins”, accelerate their participation, and encourage them to take on new leadership positions? It’s all about keeping the clubs alive! #rockstaradvisors

Connect with Jason to chat about customized workshops & events to best fit the needs of your organization. Contact Jason: http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

Have you read Jason’s article on how to host a “Virtual Open Mic”?  https://jasonlevasseur.wordpress.com/2020/03/19/how-to-host-a-virtual-open-mic/

Contact Jason: http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

“The Virtual Event Ideas Community” – Facebook Group

Created March 15, 2020. Due to the influx of questions related to virtual programming, Jason created a facebook group for professionals in all fields to connect with each other to discuss how they were coping and programming and staff training in the new reality of “Virtual Connection”.

Please join the conversation! https://www.facebook.com/groups/499354504091393/

BOOKING:

At The Rock Star Project®, we have a “school spring pricing” structure for the virtual events that is different from our “on location” pricing. It is designed to make the programs available and more accessible to a larger audience as we are all navigating the current spring 2020 adventure. Don’t hesitate to connect and discuss options.

In the tradition of the college booking market we have “block pricing” for one virtual event, three virtual events with the same organization, and five virtual events with the same organization. We have the skills, we have the technology, and we are happy to help!

The more we know about your needs the better we can serve your audience and community. Please email to set up a time to chat and for a comprehensive list of virtual workshop possibilities and facilitators.  http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

Spring 2020 School Pricing for Virtual Programs: Contact for pricing. 

Single Open Mic or Music Show: $ –

Single Leadership Development Workshop: $ –

2 events (can include open mic): $ –

3 events (can include open mic): $ – (We recommend spreading the events out over different days – ex: “Three Tuesdays at 3pm” for three weeks, etc.)

4 events (can include open mic): $ – (We recommend spreading the events out over different days – ex: “Three Tuesdays at 3pm” for three weeks, and an open mic night on another date, etc.)

5 events (can include open mic): $ – (We recommend spreading the events out over different days – ex: “What’s on Wednesday?” every Wednesday at lunch time for 5 weeks)

Creating a “series” helps with workshop engagement!

Please check out the web site or read the blogs to learn more about Jason LeVasseur & The Rock Star Project®.

TESTIMONIALS!

American Camp Association  – “Jason was a wonderful host for our Virtual Open Mic Night, an evening activity during our annual camp conference. The event was originally going to be in-person and he quickly pivoted to offering an online opportunity when we converted to a virtual conference. Jason was easy to work with, was a clear communicator, maintained calm through small tech glitches, and ran a highly engaging program for all ages! While he was prepared to perform himself, he really encouraged others to give it a try – both with advance sign-ups and impromptu volunteers. I think some of our attendees who weren’t originally planning to perform were actually inspired to put themselves out there because of Jason’s energy, encouragement, and supportive persona. We’d definitely do something like this again with Jason as the host and emcee!” Kerry Salvo – American Camp Association New England – Director of Education and Professional Development

Eureka College – “Our Student Life Office at Eureka College had Jason booked to come to campus on 3/31/2020 for a Greek Leadership Workshop.  Once we knew our campus was transitioning to online learning in light of the coronavirus crisis, I contacted Jason to discuss our options. I was elated at his willingness to rethink and redesign what we had originally planned. Jason offered to speak not just once to our students; he was willing to coordinate and help us promote a 3 part online series designed to engage students outside of their classes using the virtual platform, Zoom. Our first session was yesterday with the goal of encouraging students to stay connected, giving tools and resources to do so, while physically away from campus.  I SO appreciate Jason’s creativity, positivity, resourcefulness, and collegiality!  Jason is responsive, flexible, and great to work with. I look forward to the next two sessions! If you are seeking a virtual or in-person teamwork and/or leadership program, I strongly recommend Jason LeVasseur!”    Shari Rich – Associate Dean of Students – Eureka College, IL

Simmons University – “Jason LeVasseur is an amazing campus partner to our Student Activities Office at Simmons University. He conducted an on-campus training for student leaders on “building their band”. Students really appreciated the workshop and now we will be hosting him for 5 virtual leadership programs before the close of the semester. Jason has a unique ability to engage with students and help them understand the importance of their roles and responsibilities. Above all, he knows how to highlight accomplishments and great teamwork. When we had questions, he consulted with our office in a virtual meeting. The topic was officer transitions within student organizations. The advice and tools he provided were more than substantial. We plan to use them for our organization and tailor them to our specific needs. Overall, Jason is a reliable source with many years of experience and has been a tremendous support for our office.             His work is transferable for any student-centered office. Once you work with him, he becomes a continuous partner and resource. We look forward to collaborating with him in years to come!” Shalaya West – Simmons University – Program Coordinator – Office of Student Leadership & Activities – Boston, MA

Ferris State University – “If you didn’t know that already, Jason LeVasseur Rocks! Ferris State has had Jason’s Rock Star Leadership Project on campus and now virtually too. At both, students connected with the content and had fun! Jason is down to earth, in tune with his audience, and flexible in his style. He was able to customize a unique presentation each time to meet the needs our students. Highly recommended!” –  Angela Roman – Director, Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services – Big Rapids, MI 

https://jasonlevasseur.wordpress.com/2020/02/19/nice-folks-saying-nice-things-testimonials/

Contact Jason: http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

 

 

 

How to Host a “Virtual Open Mic”

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 5.06.28 AM

I wrote down these ideas to share with “The Virtual Event Ideas Community” https://www.facebook.com/groups/499354504091393/

If you have any questions or would like recommendations on working with a professional show host or workshop facilitator, I am connected to many amazing and talented folks and am happy to share what I know – http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

Or, I can host your event! School pricing details at the end of article under Booking. At the very end of the article you’ll find a Testimonial. 🙂

How to Host a “Virtual Open Mic” 

As the host of a traditional open mic setting, I create a space where the performers feel comfortable sharing their talents and where the audience is supportive and positive. This is done by stating the expectations in the beginning of the event and repeating them periodically as the show is going on. It does not have to be done in a “follow these rules” kind of way but more through encouragement of the performers and “thanking” the audience preemptively for being a “great and supportive audience”. It is no different in the virtual setting, However you also have the advantage of sharing your expectations in the invitation email as well as using visual cues. I will explain those in the article.

I use “Zoom” so my references will be with that particular platform.

Here’s the stuff you really need to know:

**For the Organizers:**

ORGANIZER NOTES – When working with a professional MC and/or show host – Communicate with your facilitator (host) and agree on a date, time, and duration of the event. The virtual world gives us much greater flexibility with calendars. The host of your event will be able to provide a link for you (the organizations) to send out to your list of possible attendees and performers. Once they receive the link, the attendees will be able to join the event at the scheduled time. The reason I recommend allowing the guest facilitator to “host” is because they need to access all of the admin features of the platform order to help the event run smoothly.

**For The Show Host:**

HOST NOTES – Familiarize yourself with the platform and learn the features. Set up an experimental “event” with family and friends before you ever go “live”. The more smoothly you can navigate the platform the more smoothly the event will run.

HOST NOTES – Remember, this event is not about you showcasing your talent! This is a way for you to help showcase the talent of others and help connect and engage all of the attendees.

HOST NOTES – Get as much of the “talent” to sign up ahead of time so that you can share the order of performers as soon as the event begins. It is also OK to allow folks to sign up during the event if they are feeling inspired. Ask them to send you private message through the “chat”.

HOST NOTES – Like every open mic I have ever hosted, there are folks in the audience who want to perform but have showed up as an audience member first to “check it out”. Your encouragement of participation and additional sign-ups is part of your hosting.

HOST NOTES – “ZOOM-BOMBING” – I’ll have a link at the bottom of the page. It’s real. Pay attention.

**For the Attendees:**

AUDIENCE NOTES – Background Movement – Please do not walk around or drive while attending the event. You are in an audience. The movement behind you is distracting and takes the attention away from the performer. If you do need to move your camera please turn off your video while doing so. However, if your talent involves the movement of your camera that’s a whole different story and we are all excited to see it. It’s your moment to shine!

AUDIENCE NOTES – Please turn off any “sound” notifications on your device and computer. Avoid the pings! This is most relevant when you are the performer but it also helps everyone when all mics are unmuted.

AUDIENCE NOTES – You are there to support the performers. Be a great audience member. Remember, this is not a competition and you are not a judge. We are all here to have fun!

AUDIENCE NOTES – Mute your mic during the performances! This allows for the performer to “take the stage”. You can always hit the “react” button and give “thumbs up” or a “hand clap” as one of the features of Zoom.

AUDIENCE NOTES – Applause can also be shown visually by raising your hands in the air, “jazz hands”. Visual finger snaps are awesome (raise your arms and snap your fingers). If you want to jump up and down and dance as a reaction, heck yeah!

AUDIENCE NOTES – You can always leave your positive comments in the chat.

AUDIENCE NOTES – When to unmute? If you feel like making some noise at the end of each performance! Totally OK. But then be ready to mute your mic again for the next performer. If a performer is doing a sing-along then it’s “participation by invitation”.

AUDIENCE NOTES – If one of the performer’s sound is not coming through as beautifully as you would like, please do not make a fuss. Enjoy it in the moment and make the most of the situation. Your negative visual reactions to “sound quality” will be interpreted by the performer as negative feedback on their performance. Send the host a PRIVATE MESSAGE about your questions and concerns and always positively support the performer!

HOST NOTES – As the host you will be able to mute microphones individually and as a group. So, letting everyone know that you have that capability is a good idea and you will need to use it sometimes when it’s time to move on to the next performer.

HOST NOTES – Use a visual cue that says you are trying to quiet down the group. Try a colorful note card, a scarf, or stuffed teddy bear. Just use the visuals as cues and introduce them all at the beginning of the event. If chaos is unstoppable, just mute the whole group with one click.

**For the Performers:**

PERFORMER NOTES – Unmute your mic when it’s your turn to perform.

PERFORMER NOTES – Tune your instrument ahead of time!!!

PERFORMER NOTES – Karaoke? Have your song ready on youtube ahead of time and use the “share page” feature in zoom if you would like everyone to see the lyrics as you perform.

{Sometimes the background music is not loud enough so the host may ask you to “turn up” your own computer volume so the sound is louder for the attendees)

HOST NOTES – Use a brightly colored visual cue if there is a significant sound issue that needs to be addressed. It is OK to restart a performance!

PERFORMER NOTES – This is not a competition. The audience is not judging you. They are there to make a connection with you and have fun. This is new for you and it’s new for the audience, we all recognize that, now “take the stage” and share your talent!

To learn more about The Rock Star Project’s Virtual Events: https://jasonlevasseur.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/virtual-events/

Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville, TN, and is the most awarded music performer in the history of campus entertainment, the recipient of the “2020 NACA LEGEND” award, and the creator of The Rock Star Project® – Leadership Development & Team Building. He’s also a “virtual” keynote speaker, “virtual” workshop facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband,  father, and the creator of sometimes silly but mostly purposeful social media posts.  

https://jasonlevasseur.com/

“The Virtual Event Ideas Community” – Facebook Group

Created March 15, 2020. Due to the influx of questions related to virtual programming, Jason created a facebook group for professionals in all fields to connect with each other to discuss how they were coping and programming and staff training in the new reality of “Virtual Connection”.

Please join the conversation! https://www.facebook.com/groups/499354504091393/

BOOKING:

At The Rock Star Project®, we have a “school pricing” structure for the virtual events that is different from our “on location” pricing. It is designed to make the programs available to a larger audience. Don’t hesitate to connect and discuss options.

In the tradition of the college booking market we have “block pricing” for one virtual event, three virtual events with the same organization, and five virtual events with the same organization. We have the skills, we have the technology, and we are happy to help!

The more we know about your needs the better we can serve your audience and community. Please email to set up a time to chat and for a comprehensive list of virtual workshop possibilities and facilitators.  http://jasonlevasseur.com/#contact

School Pricing for Virtual Programs: Please Contact for Pricing. 

Single Open Mic or Music Show: ____________

Single Leadership Development Workshop: ______________

3 events (can include open mic): ______________

5 events (can include open mic): _____________

Please check out the web site or read the blogs to learn more about Jason LeVasseur & The Rock Star Project®.

https://jasonlevasseur.wordpress.com/2020/02/19/nice-folks-saying-nice-things-testimonials/

TESTIMONIAL!

“Jason was a wonderful host for our Virtual Open Mic Night, an evening activity during our annual camp conference. The event was originally going to be in-person and he quickly pivoted to offering an online opportunity when we converted to a virtual conference. Jason was easy to work with, was a clear communicator, maintained calm through small tech glitches, and ran a highly engaging program for all ages! While he was prepared to perform himself, he really encouraged others to give it a try – both with advance sign-ups and impromptu volunteers. I think some of our attendees who weren’t originally planning to perform were actually inspired to put themselves out there because of Jason’s energy, encouragement, and supportive persona. We’d definitely do something like this again with Jason as the host and emcee!

Kerry Salvo – American Camp Association New England – Director of Education and Professional Development

 

+++ HOST NOTES +++ “ZOOM-BOMBING” – read this article from PC MAG – https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-prevent-zoom-bombing

 

 

Recommendations & Testimonials – Nice folks saying nice things!

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 5.36.43 AMTestimonials & Recommendations for Jason LeVasseur. 

VIRTUAL OPEN MIC – Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, NH  “Jason LeVasseur is an incredible event partner to work with. As the host in our Virtual Open Mic Sessions, Jason effortlessly creates an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all that join in. While he has many musical talents, the ability to help and encourage everyone participating from around the country (and even the world) feel heard and safe, while keeping up the fun, energy, and momentum throughout the 2hr event is truly his super power.” Chantel Freeman – Senior Assistant Director of Online Engagement 

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE – Camp 4U Virtual Conference – Atlanta, GA “Jason LeVasseur was the opening keynote speaker and MC for our multi-day virtual staff training conference. When we pivoted from an “in person” to “virtual event”, Jason quickly became an integral part of the planning team and shared his expertise so that our event was a memorable learning experience in every possible way from start to finish. No detail was left hanging from meeting with speakers ahead of time to lining up video editing to ensure a quality recording. Jason reels in participants quickly by incorporating music, super chat, index cards for emphasis, and a good dose of energy to keep the audience engaged until the very last moment. I give Jason LeVasseur my highest recommendation and would have him back without hesitation!” Kim Aycock – Director – Camp 4U Conference – Summer Camp Staff Training 

VIRTUAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP – Ferris State UniversityBig Rapids, MI “If you didn’t know that already, Jason LeVasseur Rocks! Ferris State has had Jason’s Rock Star Leadership Project on campus and now virtually too. At both, students connected with the content and had fun! Jason is down to earth, in tune with his audience, and flexible in his style. He was able to customize a unique presentation each time to meet the needs our students. Highly recommended!” – Angela Roman – Director, Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services 

ON CAMPUS ORIENTATION – Augustana College – Rock Island, IL “Jason LeVasseur hit the ball out of the park! His engaging keynote inspired our new students to embrace their individual talents, get outside their comfort zone and thrive as members of our campus community. The message was powerful, fun and inspiring. We are looking forward to having him back in the fall.”  Ken Brill – Associate Dean & VP Student Life

VIRTUAL OPEN MIC – American Camp Association New England  “Jason was a wonderful host for our Virtual Open Mic Night, an evening activity during our annual camp conference. The event was originally going to be in-person and he quickly pivoted to offering an online opportunity when we converted to a virtual conference. Jason was easy to work with, was a clear communicator, maintained calm through small tech glitches, and ran a highly engaging program for all ages! While he was prepared to perform himself, he really encouraged others to give it a try – both with advance sign-ups and impromptu volunteers. I think some of our attendees who weren’t originally planning to perform were actually inspired to put themselves out there because of Jason’s energy, encouragement, and supportive persona. We’d definitely do something like this again with Jason as the host and emcee! Kerry Salvo – Director of Education and Professional Development

ON CAMPUS STUDENT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE  – Maryville University – Saint Louis, Missouri   “Jason’s leadership keynote is engaging and dynamic. He is able to blend high-quality content, music, and humor to deliver meaningful leadership lessons that inspire, motivate, and educate. He spoke at our regional leadership conference and many of the attending schools enthusiastically asked how they could bring him to their campuses. Highly recommended!” – Brian Gardner – Asst. Dean & Director Student Involvement 

ON CAMPUS SUMMER CAMP STAFF – Mass Audubon Wildwood Camp.  Rindge, NH “Jason is simply inspiring! He presented leadership in a new way that kept staff engaged for hours, by the end of his presentation all the staff felt as if they were part of “the band”.  His engaging smile and positive attitude was an excellent model for everyone.  I was most impressed at how he wove into the day talking points we sent prior to his arrival.  During his presentation he read the crowd extremely well and adapted what he did to the needs of the group. In addition, the live music was super motivating and refreshing!”  Becky Gilles – Camp Director                                   

VIRTUAL SHOW HOST  – DePaul University – Chicago, IL “While working from a virtual campus during the COVID-19 Stay at Home order, we hosted our annual dance marathon event, DemonTHON. We hired Jason as our emcee to help “through the awkward” and he was perfect in every way. He made the students feel comfortable, helped them with the transitions between activities, sang songs, got them engaging in the chat and in their homes, and would dance right along with the students. I would highly, highly, highly recommend Jason for any virtual events you may need an emcee for.”                    Courtney James – Director, Student Involvement 

VIRTUAL STUDENT LEADERSHIP – Eureka College, IL  “Our Student Life Office at Eureka College had Jason booked to come to campus on 3/31/2020 for a Greek Leadership Workshop.  Once we knew our campus was transitioning to online learning in light of the coronavirus crisis, I contacted Jason to discuss our options. I was elated at his willingness to rethink and redesign what we had originally planned. Jason offered to speak not just once to our students; he was willing to coordinate and help us promote a 3 – part online series designed to engage students outside of their classes using the virtual platform, Zoom.  Our first session was yesterday with the goal of encouraging students to stay connected, giving tools and resources to do so, while physically away from campus.  I SO appreciate Jason’s creativity, positivity, resourcefulness, and collegiality!  Jason is responsive, flexible, and great to work with. I look forward to the next two sessions! If you are seeking a virtual or in-person teamwork and/or leadership program, I strongly recommend Jason LeVasseur!”                            Shari Rich – Associate Dean of Students 

ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE – YMCA of Rock River Valley – Rockford, IL “What a great way to end a full day of learning. Jason was so much fun! I love how he weaves together music and an inspiring message to engage the audience. I felt like I was at a show that I didn’t want to end. I’m certainly thinking about how ‘my band’ is impacting our audience! I highly recommend Jason for any event!”  Michelle Polivka –  Vice President – YMCA 

STUDENT LEADERSHIP – High School Student Leadership  – Lake Land College – Mattoon, Illinois “Jason’s Rock Star Leadership Presentation was a perfect fit for our annual High School Student Leadership Conference!  College student members of the Lake Land College Student Government Association planned and facilitated the workshops and used Jason as the Keynote Address for the conference.  There were both high school and college students in attendance and it was exactly right to appeal to a mixed audience.  Jason does a great job of interacting with the audience using the perfect blend of humor, music, and quality content to leave the students with a beautifully-crafted leadership message they will remember.  In addition to the Keynote Address, Jason also facilitated a 2-hour team building session with various student groups on campus.  The activities he utilized for the team building were excellent and the students quickly built a rapport with Jason and were easily communicating and sharing with each other.  We have booked Jason for numerous performances over the years and he never disappoints, I would recommend him as a speaker or performer for your next event!” Valerie Davis Lynch – Director of Student Life

ORIENTATION – Grays Harbor College – Aberdeen, WA  “I have had the true pleasure of working with Jason LeVasseur on three separate occasions and each time Jason far exceeded my expectations. He has the ability to tailor his content to his audience allowing him to connect with anyone no matter the situation, using music, humor, and life experiences to convey his message. I will continue to invite him to our future events as both a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. I highly recommend Jason LeVasseur.”                              Aaron Tuttle – Director of Student Life

ON CAMPUS SHOW HOST – Ithaca College – Ithaca, NY  “This is the second year in a row that we brought Jason back to campus. I am still on cloud 10,000 – It was wonderful! Jason got students really comfortable to the point where we had student after student going up there on stage with him. Some students afterwards said, “where did I find the strength, where did I find the energy?” It’s because Jason was really really powerful and he knows how to inspire and engage the audience.” John Rawlins III – Director of Multicultural Affairs 

ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE – University of West Alabama – Livingston, AL “Jason’s a great keynote speaker to get your group inspired. He really engages with the entire room between playing his songs, breaking the ice, and really helping the attendees get to know each other. He’s a great person to bring out to any event that you have!” Jason Gardner – Student Activities Director & NIRSA Regional Conference Coordinator  (The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association)

MIDDLE SCHOOL – Cameron College Prep – Nashville, TN  “It was so awesome to see the kids so engaged. He played the guitar and the drums and he had the kids participating and singing along and even some of our quietest kids were singing in their loudest voices so it was fun to be able to see them use that energy in a positive way. Thank you, Jason!”                                Sanjana Ballal – Middle School Counselor 

SUMMER CAMP – Camp Timanous – Raymond, ME  “Jason’s leadership of the staff is superb. He connects well with the other counselors, motivates them to do their best work with campers, and helps them understand in a deep way the importance of our work with children. He is also patient and listens carefully and empathetically to campers and counselors alike. At the start of each summer, Jason holds motivational and team-building sessions with the staff to gear up for the arrival of the campers. The activities he creates are carefully orchestrated and a lot of fun. We always reach a point in the middle of the summer when the counselors start to drag. Jason is the one who steps forward to re-energize the group. His experience, his positivity, and his wisdom inspire the staff to do their best work. I recommend him without hesitation.” Brooks Moriarity –  Waterfront Director @ Timanous & Phillips Exeter Academy – Dean of Students – Exeter, New Hampshire

ORIENTATION – Indiana University –Kokomo, IN  “He’s very down to earth and I think that’s what’s different about him as a motivational speaker. He empowers the students to feel like they can make those “Rock Star” decisions every day because they have choices to make from the moment they wake up. I would highly recommend Jason for beginning of the year, orientations and first year experience events.”                                                                    Maria Ahmad – Coordinator of Student Life / Campus Diversity 

STUDENT LEADERSHIP – Westchester Community College – Valhalla, NY  “Jason LeVasseur has been a part of our club officer and advisor development day for two years, and has been pivotal in addressing student and advisor concerns when it comes to club and team dynamics. We choose to bring Jason back because of his ability to connect with and understand the diversity of our students and staff. He has an innate ability to make people feel comfortable while pushing them to be the best versions of themselves. This has been extremely helpful with our faculty and staff advisors. Being an advisor is purely voluntary, and Jason helps reinvigorate our advisors who have many required responsibilities to continue to empower our students to learn in the co-curricular.               Tiago Machado – Associate Director of Student Involvement 

ORIENTATION – Black Hawk College – Moline, Il “Jason is the most versatile person to work with from a student activities person’s standpoint. He has just been a pleasure to work with. He has an awesome message and that’s what was most important for us for this new student orientation.” Tiffany Hamilton –  Coordinator for Student Engagement  

ON CAMPUS – Central Michigan University – Mt. Pleasant, MI “From a programmer’s standpoint, Jason is the easiest guy to work with. He’s fun, he’s immensely talented, and he considers it an honor to come to your campus. He’s just a treasure for the college market.”                   Doug Kendrick – Asstistant Director of Residence Life 

ON CAMPUS = Albertus Magnus College – New Haven, CT “Jason was such an amazing performer to work with! He came to Albertus Magnus as a part of our programming board’s Welcome Back Week, and he was a huge hit with the students. Jason is very skilled at reading the room and connecting with the audience. He hosted an open mic night for us in our newly renovated campus center, and he was very adaptable throughout the night. Jason had such a positive attitude the entire time, even when working through some sound/tech issues. He even called before he arrived on campus, seeing if there was anything we needed from him. If you are able to bring Jason to your campus, I know that it will be a great time filled with laughter and fun!”  Dan Hurley – Coordinator for Student Engagement 

STUDENT LEADERSHIP – Pierce College – Puyallup, WA  “Jason has been one of the easiest vendors to work with. From the get-go he was offering ideas and input on an event we were doing for the first time ever. The event was a huge success and feedback from students was wonderful. The workshop was not only beneficial to the students from a leadership standpoint, but it was also very fun! His ability to weave together empowering students and having a good time is astounding. The students that attended the workshop left with new skills to implement right away in their organizations on campus. We’re definitely going to be working with him again in the future.”                                                                                            Kelsie Nabass – Student Engagement Specialist 

ADVISOR WORKSHOP – Springfield College – Springfield, MA  “Jason is extremely entertaining, making his session very relatable and easy to follow. I love how he uses the analogy of advisors being the Tour Managers of their student organization, allowing his audience to think a little more outside of the box when it comes to their day to day roles of working with students. I walked away from Jason’s advising session with a different view on how to begin my meetings with student executive boards. Rather than just diving into the work to get through the semester, having intentional conversations about what type of legacy they want to leave and how to recruit members in order to maintain that legacy are so needed for the success of the club. Jason’s passion for this topic is so apparent and authentic. 10 out of 10 would definitely recommend his workshop!”                                      Julie Koivisto – Assistant Director, Student Activities 

STUDENT LEADERSHIP – Eureka College – Eureka, IL “I heard Jason speak at an ed session at a Regional NACA conference. His energy was contagious and what influenced me to follow up with him to see if he’d be interested in doing a leadership kick-off for the spring semester. Jason was so easy to work with and even created the flier and video for us to use for the promotion of our event. I’ve only received positive feedback from the students who attended. I’d highly recommend him for a keynote/workshop and performance combo. We did an open mic night for the performance part which was a lot of fun. I hope to be able to bring him back in the future.” Shari Rich – Associate Dean of Students

ON CAMPUS STUDENT LEADERSHIP – Nichols College, Dudley, MA “We were lucky enough to have Jason for both a performance and workshops. From the initial phone call, Jason was incredibly easy to work with and made it clear he wanted the best for our students both during and long after his visit. He is easy to connect with and is a very genuine person. During his performance, he engaged well with the audience and provided a nice ambiance for the students during our Welcome Back Week. In his workshops, he kept the students engaged and challenged their thinking and points of view. He used fun anecdotes to get his message across, and his students have been implementing some of his tips and tricks already! Overall we really enjoyed Jason LeVasseur and would highly recommend him to anyone who is interested in effective and entertaining student leadership workshops, great music, and an overall enjoyable day!” Cole Manarky – Student Life Graduate Assistant 

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE – Simmons University  – Boston, MA   “This year we decided to change the way we deliver “leadership” opportunities at Simmons University. Keeping students engaged for 30 seconds, let alone 2 hours can be a challenge. To kick-off our semester, we decided to bring Jason to campus to bring his Rock Star training. It proved to be extremely successful because it allowed our students to work with someone they had never met and be “open” about the abilities, special talents, and challenges as unique as themselves. The mix of discussion, lecture, and music was a perfect mix for helping our students become comfortable in their leadership roles and bring others into the fold. We know this will set the tone for the rest of the year as our team continues this conversation with our students. We look forward to working with Jason again in the near future!”             Corey Zohlman – Asst. Dean for Student Engagement 

ORIENTATION – Carthage College – Kenosha, WI  “Finally after 10 plus years in student activities I had Jason on a campus of mine. It was worth the wait, but I also am kicking myself for not taking advantage years ago. Jason is as genuine as he is professional. We’ve had large ice breaker type events before but we have never had as many students be engaged as we did with the Rock Star Meet and Greet. We will definitely be bringing him back again.”      Lance J. Thompson – Assistant Director of Student Involvement – Campus Activities

ADVISOR WORKSHOP – Methodist University – Florence, SC “When I saw the e-mail about Jason’s presentation, something piqued my interest. Maybe it was his photo playing guitar with a contagious smile or the title and session description, “The Tour Manager: Keeping the Band Alive: Club Organization Advisor Round table and Discussion”…”this hour long session will include opportunities for advisor to share their joys, frustrations, and tips and tricks with working with today’s student leaders. Snacks will be provided just for you.” Okay, it was probably the free food and the fact that it was at 4 p.m. After sitting in too many uninteresting presentations (we’ve all been there), I did not have high expectations. Boy was I wrong! I was and am still (it’s been 7 weeks since he was on our campus) reflecting on Jason’s talk and presentation geared towards people like me, passionate educators with too much on their plate…trying to make the world a better place, one human at a time. It was so human and raw! One of the best I have seen in my decade of experience in higher education in the states and abroad!    Jennifer Ramos – Director of Study Abroad & International Admissions Specialist

VIRTUAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT – Simmons University – Boston, MA  “Jason LeVasseur is an amazing campus partner to our Student Activities Office at Simmons University. He conducted an on-campus training for student leaders on “building their band”. Students really appreciated the workshop and now we will be hosting him for 5 virtual leadership programs before the close of the semester. Jason has a unique ability to engage with students and help them understand the importance of their roles and responsibilities. Above all, he knows how to highlight accomplishments and great teamwork.    

* When we had questions, he consulted with our office in a virtual meeting. The topic was officer transitions within student organizations. The advice and tools he provided were more than substantial. We plan to use them for our organization and tailor them to our specific needs. Overall, Jason is a reliable source with many years of experience and has been a tremendous support for our office.                      

* His work is transferable for any student-centered office. Once you work with him, he becomes a continuous partner and resource. We look forward to collaborating with him in years to come!”  Shalaya West – Program Coordinator – Office of Student Leadership & Activities –

VIRTUAL EVENTS & WORKSHOPS

https://jasonlevasseur.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/virtual-events/

    

       

      

 

 

 

 

Thanks for Your Shoes!

Article written for Programming Magazine – Sept/Oct 2018

In the summer, I work as the program director of a residential summer camp in Maine. It’s located on a big clear lake and is beautiful. Counselors and campers live in rustic cabins, with the buildings connected by a maze of paths through the pine tree forest. All day, campers run from activity to activity along these trails, eager and excited to get from one event to another. They jump off big rocks and leap over tree roots as they scramble and race their friends to the next activity.

I was walking along one of the paths early in the summer and noticed one of our new campers walking slowly in my direction. He did not appear to be lost, as he wasn’t looking up and around, searching for direction. He was just plodding along, scuffing his feet along the path, looking down, and moving very slowly. He would kick a pinecone, pause, and watch it bounce until it stopped. He was in no hurry.

When the gap between us closed to a speaking distance, I greeted him with a big, “Hi Shane, where ya’ headed?” He lifted his arm out straight in front of him and pointed past me down the path and quietly said, “I’m headed that way.” Immediately, I knew something wasn’t quite right. After a brief conversation, I learned Shane was homesick and missed his dog and little sister. What a bummer. I knew exactly how he felt. I, too, had been a homesick camper my first summer at sleep-away camp. I had been “in his shoes”.

I told Shane the story about my first summer and my own homesickness and the things I did to help me get through. I talked to him about other counselors and older campers who had also been homesick when they were new campers. I let him know it’s OK to be homesick; it’s normal. I also talked to him about how helpful he was going to be someday helping out other first-time campers, as he was now an “expert” in homesickness. This made him smile.

Over the next few days, I checked in with him to see how he was doing. I let other older campers and counselors know about Shane and they all did a great job keeping him busy and having fun. Soon, he was bouncing along the path and running from activity to activity. Shane will be a great help next summer with our new campers as they experience sleep-away camp for the first time. He has now “been in their shoes.”

On your campus, in your residence halls, in your student center, walking across campus, there are students just like Shane. They may not be homesick but they may have some other challenge and could use your help and mentorship. After all, you are a student leader, an advisor, a counselor, a peer mentor, or one of the many other amazing people I’ve met through NACA®. That’s why you’re reading this magazine. It’s not your first day of summer camp!

But, you were once a new student. You overcame challenges and struggled through events. Your ability to share your unique story and connect with others is one of your most important jobs as a leader on campus. Your willingness to share your story with others is what makes you an influential life-changer to those you meet. You’re able to help so many new students simply because you have been in their shoes and are able to lend an ear or offer some insightful advice. You do not need a title, name badge, or a counseling degree to change someone’s life. You simply need to be yourself and be willing to listen to someone’s story and let them know they are not alone.

There’s a 98.7% chance you may have helped someone in a peer mentor role and not even realized it. Have you helped anyone find a tutor, make an appointment with the health center, register for classes or deal with homesickness? Have you given advice on time management or explained where to get a parking sticker? All of these actions put you in a mentor role. And the list goes on and on. You’re helping your friends and new students every day. You rock!!!

So, I offer up a big THANKS to you for giving back to your school through your service as a friend and mentor to those in your office or residence halls, in your clubs or Greek organizations, and even in the parking lot. You are influential everywhere on campus. Thanks for taking on that responsibility and accepting your role as an influential “I’ve been in your shoes” leader on campus. Keep up the great work!!!

Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville, TN, and is one of the most awarded music performers in campus entertainment. He’s also a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband, father, and the creator of “The Rock Star Project.” Visit www.jasonlevasseur.com.

person wearing red and white sneakers standing on withered leaves
Photo by Charry Jin on Pexels.com

It All Started with a Tambourine. 

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 10.33.04 AM
Article from Campus Activities Programming® Magazine’s “Curtain Call” –  January/February 2018 – National Conference Preview Issue 

T’was a Friday afternoon showcase at NACA® South in Winston-Salem, NC, and the band was an acoustic duo who had recently graduated from Wake Forest University (NC). I’d been introduced to them the previous year when they were seniors and I was a first-year student at the same college. I’d seen the band on campus many times as a fan, then played with them a few times as a percussionist, and then, in my sophomore year, they invited me to perform with them at their first NACA® showcase.

When they asked me to play with them, I had no idea what that meant. What was “NACA?” What did it mean to “showcase?” I didn’t have any clue how this moment would play a part in my future, my life and career. After all, it was “just” an afternoon showcase at a conference that was conveniently located in the town where I went to college. And, I was able to get to “the gig” and back to campus between classes!

On that day, I played the tambourine. I played the conga drums and shakers, too, but really it’s the tambourine that’s the most memorable. After all, that’s how I was introduced to the crowd. One of the singers said, “And this is our tambourine player, Jason.” And the crowd went crazy and cheered for me. They clapped and whistled and yelled, “WOOO!” It was my first showcase as a performer. Both the band and audience accepted me and made me feel like a rock star. It was awesome!

In that moment, I was younger than most of the students in the room, definitely younger than all of the grad students and advisors, but their response to me being there was unforgettably welcoming and inclusive. I was not being treated as “just the tambourine player.” I was being treated as “THE tambourine player.” It was personally uplifting to be recognized and applauded for my efforts. After all, I was the new kid. It was my first conference. But that big room full of people made me feel like I mattered and that was very important for the “new kid.”

I took a conference schedule home with me and flipped through it during my class and then looked through it again in my residence hall that night. It was then that I decided to go back. I wanted more! I wanted to see some more showcases! I wanted to meet more people! I wanted to go to educational sessions and figure out how to do “NACA” all the time. So, the next morning, I drove back over to the convention center and just walked in. It was 8 a.m. I had the whole day ahead of me.

It must have been a really good day, because I kept going back.

Fast forward 25 years: at this point in my NACA® career, I’ve attended hundreds of educational sessions and professional development luncheons. I’ve presented and co-presented and given presents to presenters. I have volunteered on a regional conference program committee – twice! I have showcased as a drummer, singer, guitar player, speaker, and even as a Master of Ceremonies.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to perform in every region and have even been selected to showcase at a few National Conventions. Not only that, I have showcased in regions that aren’t even regions anymore! I’ve performed both with a band and also under my own name. I have worked with over 2,500 different colleges and universities across the country. I have grown as a touring artist, a speaker, and as a volunteer. And, it all started with a tambourine.

It really all goes back to that first conference where I stood on stage and was introduced to a welcoming audience. I was included in the community. I was invited into the “we.” One of the amazing things about my experience is that “we” continue to strive to make sure our newest members feel welcome as they walk into any of our rooms, whether it’s an educational session, a banquet hall, or a showcase. “We” have done a great job of passing that same feeling along to new students and professionals. “We” want everyone to keep coming back and to get the most out of the experience. And the way we’ve done that is by encouraging everyone to “play their tambourine” – to show up and be themselves, to let their personality shine as important and indispensable members of the community.

As we head into the 2018 National Convention, let’s be sure to help our newest tambourine players feel like rock stars. There’s no telling what potential lies within each individual. Let’s encourage them and support them so they, too, can become part of the “we.”

It all starts with a tambourine.

Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville,TN, and is the most awarded music performer in the history of campus entertainment. He is also a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband, father, and the creator of “The Rock Star Project® – Creative Leadership Development Programs” 

www.jasonlevasseur.com

Career Sticktoitiveniss!

Article from Campus Activities Programming® Magazine’s “Curtain Call” –– October 2017

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Dear Mom, 

Thanks for the great advice you gave me when I graduated from college: “Your first job is not your dream job.” That was very helpful as I struggled through the challenges of being the intern, the grunt, the roadie, the gopher, and the lowest person on the team. It’s been awhile since I graduated and I’m now in a career I truly love doing work I enjoy every day.

Yes, there were times when I would’ve quit were it not for your sage advice. In the first few years, there were days I felt “more important” than the work I was doing, that I was somehow better than the job and deserved more. Well, with perseverance and commitment, I now have the “better” and the “more.” 

Thanks for helping me realize that attaining my dream job was going to actually require hard work and dedication and a whole bunch of tough days on the job. 

Thanks for teaching me how to stick to it! 

Love, 

Jason 

This is the letter all parents, advisors, mentors and teachers want to read. We want our children, advisees and students to discover and pursue a career that best utilizes their strengths and allows them to grow. We want them to enjoy their work and find fulfillment. But we also need them to know their first post-college job is not their “dream job.” Their first, second and third jobs are more often steppingstones to achieving their goals. 

When you get phone calls and emails from recent graduates who, just months ago, were club presidents and organizational leaders and are now completely mystified that they are making copies, fetching sandwiches, and doing data entry, encourage them to hang in there! This is what must be done in entry-level jobs. Even though they were top dogs last year, they now need to work hard and stick to it to achieve their career goals!

Let’s consider Carlie’s story. I met her when she was a first-year student at an Indiana school. She always wanted to get involved in radio. As a first-year student, she joined the campus radio club. She eventually got her own show and chose to major in broadcasting and communications. By her senior year, she was the head music programmer at her campus radio station and president of the radio club. She was a well-known, popular student leader. In the spring of her senior year, she secured a coveted paid internship at a major Top 40 radio station in Chicago. Amazing! 

Carlie started her internship in June, but quit it two months later! In a Facebook post on the day she left the radio station, she wrote, “They did not utilize my talent.” Seven years later, Carlie is no longer working towards her chosen career. She has a “job” in a field that doesn’t interest her. What if she had stayed at the radio station? What would her job be now? We’ll never know because she lacked “career sticktoitiveness.” 

Now, let’s consider Angie’s story. I met her when she was a senior and president of the student programming board at a rural Pennsylvania school. She was a hard-working, popular student leader. Her dream was to be the tour manager for a major music act. Upon graduation, she moved to Charlotte, NC, and worked as a waitress. After a few months of knocking on doors and showing up to interviews, she secured an unpaid internship at a major outdoor music venue. Her first “job” was being the assistant to the backstage production manager. She performed this role an entire year! But during that year, she met bands and tour managers, building a network of contacts. 

Angie made it a point to meet every single band and its management team. She let each of them know her dream of becoming a tour manager. In the 14th month of her internship, she was asked to be assistant to the stage manager for the upcoming Dave Matthews tour. She said, “YES!”

To date, Angie has toured the world with The Dave Matthews Band, NSYNC, Madonna, Guns & Roses and Justin Bieber. We last saw each other backstage in Nashville, when she was Imagine Dragons’ tour manager! She’s living proof of the great value of “sticktoitiveness.” Angie is living her career dream. 

What will you tell your students? How will you instill in them the value of perseverance and hard work? It’s never too soon to share your own stories of how you achieved your current position on campus.

“Your first job is not your dream job.” That’s great advice! Thanks, Mom!

Perhaps you’re currently in your first post-college job. Congrats! It’s probably not your dream job, but you’re moving in your chosen direction. Don’t quit! Persevere, work hard, and show the world the value of “career sticktoitiveness!” 

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Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville, TN, and is one of the most awarded music performers in campus entertainment. He’s also a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband, father, and the creator of “The Rock Star Project.” 

www.jasonlevasseur.com

Leadership Legacy or LEADERSHIP LANDFILL?

What Does YOUR Band Look Like?

Article from Campus Activities Programming® Magazine’s “Curtain Call” –  March 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 9.03.12 AMOnce upon a time, four friends formed a band. They became a band because they looked similar, all played the guitar, all sang, and all dressed in the same style of clothing. When they began playing together, they played the same notes, and when they sang, they sang the same words. They spent all their energy trying to be like each other, trying to sing like each other, trying to look like each other, and even trying to think like each other. The music they created wasn’t very interesting. It was bland. Boring. Emotionally, it moved no one.

Down the street, another group of friends formed a band. These four friends wanted to create something new and exciting. They came from different backgrounds and looked different from each other. They each played different instruments and wore different clothes, and when they sang, they sang different notes. They learned how their notes and sounds were able to complement each other. They discovered interesting melodies and harmonies and were able to perform the most amazing and beautiful new music. It was exciting and inspiring. And, emotionally, it was powerful and moved everyone.

What about you? What does your “band” look like? Who’s in your circle of friends? Who’s in your group, your club or your organization? Your band can be you and your roommates, your athletic team, your church group or your student activities committee. You are, most likely, in more than one band. Are your bands more like the first band in the story above or more like the second?

When you think of your different groups as bands, you can think of the individuals in each as your “band mates.” It also allows you to celebrate their unique contribution to the group. I call this the “instrument.” Bands are composed of different members, each playing their own instrument.

You also play a role in your bands; you bring a contributing instrument to each of them. Your instruments are your talents, skills and even your unique personality traits. You are an important member of all of your bands because of the instruments you play in each of them.

When you begin to accept your friends and colleagues as band mates, you’ll be able to see them in a new light, not just because they share your interests, but also for what they bring to the band – their unique talents and quirky personalities, and even their own ideas and beliefs. When you celebrate them for who they are and what they contribute to the band, you’re making your band better – better with different instruments in the mix!

It’s in the coming together of the different instruments, and allowing individual members to share their individual and unique contributions, that you’ll be able to create more interesting and exciting music! You’ll be able to accomplish more as a group when everyone contributes their individual strengths.

What about you? Are you a good band mate? Are you encouraging and helping your band mates play their instruments? Are you able to celebrate your friends for who they are and what they contribute? Are you encouraging your friends and colleagues to be great at their respective instruments and talents? Do you celebrate their sometimes-quirky personalities, their strengths and their unique gifts?

Or … do you just want them to be more like you?

In your different bands, you must celebrate your fellow band members. It’s possible you have a crazy combination of instrumentalists – with the loudest of “drummers” and the softest of “violins,” a “trumpet” and a “flute,” a “singer,” a “tuba player” and a “poet.” All these players make the band better, the tall and the short, the extrovert and the introvert, the social media guru and the gregarious promoter, the first-year student and the seasoned leader. They all have their own unique way to contribute to your group. Every member of your band is important.

To be a great band member, your goal should be to show up ready to rock with your band, ready to play your instrument, to be a positive force. Additionally, your role is also to encourage and elevate those in your group to be at their best, to show up ready to rock their own unique instruments. The more you encourage, the better.

What do you want your bands to look like? More like the first band in the opening story or the second one? Are you celebrating the diversity in your group and encouraging unique skills and talents? Are you helping your band? Are you making your band better?

Once upon a time there were four friends who formed a band … . What does yours look like?

Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville,TN, and is one of the most awarded music performers in campus entertainment. He is also a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband, father, and the creator of “The Rock Star Project®.” www.jasonlevasseur.com

Super Soaker or Super Hero? Your Network Can Save the Day! 

Article from Campus Activities Programming® Magazine’s “Curtain Call” – Back To School Issue  – 2016

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 8.53.37 AMA few years ago, at Minot State University in North Dakota, I was performing on an outdoor stage on the quad for a back-to-school activities fair. It was a beautiful sunny day and the fair was packed with new and returning students. Everything was going great until the automated sprinkler system turned on and began to shoot water in every possible direction. There were hundreds of students at the event and all of the tables were covered with giveaways and brochures. This was going to be a disaster!

What would you have done in this moment? Would you have known who to call to get the key or the code to turn off the sprinklers? How long would it take to soak all of the tables, the students, and the school’s new sound system? Five minutes? Twenty minutes?

Well, on this day, it took 47 seconds from the first little sprinkle to the shutoff of thousands of gallons of potentially drenching water. Thanks to Leon Perzinski, the quick-thinking and well-connected student center director, the disaster was averted. He knew exactly who to call. And Leon was not even coordinating this event! He was just stopping by to say “hi” to me. What if he had not been there and this had been your event? Would you have known who to call and what to do? 

How did Leon go from “just a guy walking by” to “super hero” in a few short seconds? What made this rescue possible? Leon’s network!!! Quite simply, Leon has taken the time and made the genuine effort to get to know everyone on campus! He knew exactly who to call. And, how did he get to know everyone and understand their roles and responsibilities? By networking right where he works, by meeting folks in other departments, by introducing himself to his colleagues and learning about them and what they do.

Even his decision to stop by and say “hi” to me was an example of his genuine efforts to stay connected to the folks he knows. Before the “great sprinkler fiasco,” I had worked with Leon and his students in the Union and we had become part of each other’s networks. We would see each other at conferences and chat about the new events going on in each other’s lives and careers. We had become friends. And, it was Leon who recommended me to the advisor who was coordinating the back-to-school fair. He was able to help a new colleague by making real connections. Leon was not only connected and well networked on campus, but was also connected off campus. And, because he is a super-networker and cares greatly about his campus, Leon’s off-campus connections were in place to help serve his own campus community.

Like Leon, I understand the great value of networking. I meet professionals and students on all of the great campuses across the country, at regional and national conferences, and even in professional online groups. Yes, you can build a network of colleagues on the Internet! Leon and I have been Facebook friends since August of 2010. But it all comes back to how you use your networks to serve your campus community. There are lots of great ways to meet and stay genuinely connected. These conference and online connections can help you solve problems, introduce you to new ideas, speakers and performers, and these connections may lead to great friendships!

But, I repeat, your network off campus can greatly benefit your network on campus. Before you build your off-campus community, though, you must begin to practice the art of face-to-face networking right on your own campus. Your role as part of the bigger team is incredibly important to the people with whom you work and you can better serve your campus community by connecting, engaging with, and understanding your own campus community.

How many different people come into play to make colleges and universities run smoothly? Have you taken the time to meet folks in other departments? Do you know the building maintenance staff? The groundskeepers? The security officers? What about the professors? Do you understand what they do in their roles? Whether you are a student, faculty member, administrator, or staff, it is important that you make a genuine effort to get out and meet as many people as possible. They may need your expertise someday soon. And, you will benefit greatly by being connected to more than just your office colleagues.

Will you know who to call when the sprinklers come on?

Be like Leon and become a super hero! Don’t soak your clubs and organizations! Network! Network! Network! 

Jason LeVasseur lives in Nashville, TN, and is one of the most awarded music performers in campus entertainment. He is also a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, summer camp counselor, husband, father, and the creator of “The Rock Star Project.” Visit http://www.jasonlevasseur.com. He is represented in NACA® by The Rock Star Project® in Nashville, TN – info@therockstarproject.com 

“Curtain Call” is a regular feature of Campus Activities Programming® in which performers or agents who are members of NACA share anecdotes that help illuminate their perspectives and experiences in the college market.