SpringFest acts please, weather disappoints

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Comedian and former “America’s Got Talent” contestant Drew Lynch purrs as he straddles a stool, acting as a cat during his performance April 6, in Carter Hall. Lynch’s comedy act was one of many events on campus for the annual SpringFest celebrations.

Photo by Alyssa Smith
Comedian and former “America’s Got Talent” contestant Drew Lynch purrs as he straddles a stool, acting as a cat during his performance April 6, in Carter Hall. Lynch’s comedy act was one of many events on campus for the annual SpringFest celebrations.

A softball hit Drew Lynch in the throat at age 20, causing him to develop a permanent stutter.

The aspiring actor’s dreams of starring in “Mad Men” or “How I Met Your Mother” went down the drain.

“After my accident, they all dropped me,” he said. “They all just said come back when you’re better, and I never went back, because I’m not better.”

Lynch took his adversity and turned it into comedy.

Students cheered Wednesday night as Lynch performed his latest comedy act in Carter Hall during SpringFest.

SpringFest is an annual campus-wide celebration of warmer weather that historically featured one main concert with a headlining band for students to attend.

However, from April 6 to 8, this year’s SpringFest featured smaller performances such as country artist Emily Earle, magician Mike Super and an after party with three Electronic Dance Music DJ’s.

‘A different experience’

Dylann Negron, a computer science major, said this was his second SpringFest at the university.

“Last year, I wasn’t actually able to make it to the big event at the end of the week,” he said. “But this time, they have three different main events at the end of the night, which makes it more available for everyone else to go to.”

While the three performances went on without major setbacks, inclement weather prevented outdoor events from happening, such as the inflatables and hot air balloon rides.

Senior Alex Hoffmann, co-director of SpringFest, said the committee hopes to reschedule the two events for later in the month.

“The fact that they didn’t happen during the week was a bummer,” he said.

Negron said he had been looking forward to the hot air balloons, which were planned to replace the zip-line from previous years.

“I think the hot air balloons are a lot cooler (than the zipline) because you go a lot higher and it’s just a different view,” he said. “It (would be) a different experience.”

Gregory Sondo, a junior computer information systems major, had a different experience when he was picked by magician Mike Super to have “Voodoo magic” performed on him Friday night.

As Super plucked a hair out of Sondo’s head and put it in the doll, Sondo began to feel things the doll did.

Super lit the Voodoo doll’s hands on fire, causing Sondo to feel heat on his fingers. The audience saw two black spots appear from the fire.

“I’m astounded,” he said. “First of all, I was impressed to be in the same place as him because he is (famous). But when he did the Voodoo or illusion on me, it was kind of scary.”

Super took a knife and poked the tailbone area of the voodoo doll, which caused Sondo to yell, jump out of the chair and run off the stage.

“It was scary, but exciting,” he said. “It was an awesome experience.”

‘I can make fun of myself’

As Lynch took the stage, he began to talk about a time he went to Target and an employee there named Margaret told him to calm down.

He responded with the question, “Do you want me to become as calm as a purring cat?”

He started purring into the microphone, dropped to the ground, straddled a nearby stool and then rolled around, causing Julia Johnson to laugh hysterically.

“The cat joke was hilarious,” the sophomore English major said, laughing. “I  didn’t expect him to get on the floor with a stool and kick around. It was just so funny.”

If Lynch returns, Johnson said she will buy the first ticket.

Lynch said he held his first comedy routine to get through the pain after writing his frustrations on a hospital napkin.

“I remember that the jokes weren’t great, but the audience was so into it because I was so emotionally vulnerable,” Lynch said. “Right then was when I made the decision that maybe I can do this, maybe acting is not my thing right now but maybe that’s a thing that comes around after.”

Lynch was runner-up in Season 10 of “America’s Got Talent” in 2015. Since then, he has opened for Bo Burnham and performs nationally. He also started acting again and sings.

Before his injury, Lynch said he used to let his problems consume him.

“I didn’t have compassion or empathy for someone else’s situation because I was so enamored with (my own struggles),” Lynch said. “I feel like when you come out and see stand-up comedy, even if you are hearing someone complain about their problems, it makes you feel better about yours.”

When it comes to stand-up comedy, Lynch said he feels he can just talk.

“Comedy is a brilliant vehicle, because if you say your problems first, you are taking away that power from other people,” he said. “I say I’m pasty, I’m short, I have a stutter and I have a space in my teeth, but I’m aware of those things and I can make fun of myself for them.”

Lynch said he used to think comedy was only about getting people to laugh.

“If I can go on stage and somehow change someone’s point of view or their perspective or they leave the room and liked it, then that gives laughing a deeper purpose,” he said. “You’re not just a clown, you’re not just Charlie Chaplin — not to discredit how brilliant he is — but I just feel like you’ve got to have a purpose with what your art is.”

No one wants to see someone on stage talking about how great their life is, he said. The reason he couldn’t do comedy before the accident was that he didn’t have problems fans could relate to.

“People identify with comedy because there is a commonality,” he said. “Something you both agree on.”

Instructor in the Intensive English Program Lisa Chamberlin gets a first look at “The Little Mermaid” inspired balloon art made by Flower Clown of the Something Fun and Different Entertainment Company Wednesday in University Center East. Balloon artists were one of the first attractions to kick off the annual SpringFest celebration.

Photo by Alyssa Smith
Instructor in the Intensive English Program Lisa Chamberlin gets a first look at “The Little Mermaid” inspired balloon art made by Flower Clown of the Something Fun and Different Entertainment Company Wednesday in University Center East. Balloon artists were one of the first attractions to kick off the annual SpringFest celebration.

It went ‘fairly well’

Hoffmann said SpringFest as a whole went fairly well, but not all of the events had the turnout he wanted.

“We got massively positive reviews (for) Drew Lynch, and (people) thought Mike Super was extremely talented,” he said. “Not as many people went to Emily Earle, but she has phenomenal talent.”

Hoffmann said next year’s SpringFest committee should work more on promoting the celebration as a whole.

“This year it was more setting up contracts and getting artists,” he said. “Next year’s group will probably focus more on promoting.”

Hoffmann said the weather may have put a damper on SpringFest’s impact, but he still thinks it went well.

“Overall,” he said, “I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback.”

Gabi Wy and Nick Leighty contributed to this story.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email