Former Nickelodeon Star and current Youtube Personality answers questions from Canisius Students
By: Steph Wetzel and Jenna French
Josh Peck, an actor, comedian and social media personality, spoke at Canisius College during an event held by the Student Programming Board (SPB) at 7 p.m. last Thursday in Montante Cultural Center.
The event, titled A Conversation with Josh Peck, came to a total of roughly $33,000, which also reflects the commission for the representative they worked with from Concert Ideas who helped to bring Peck to Buffalo by putting them in contact with his manager to go over the overall event. SPB had to appeal for these funds.
He spoke about his career, stars he looked up to like Kevin Hart and advice he offered to the audience. Students were able to send in their questions and ask him during the event questions like what his favorite “Drake and Josh” episode is or if he preferred bleu cheese or ranch and what his favorite football team is, which according to him was the Buffalo Bills.
“I’ve now done a handful of these college appearances and for me, first and foremost, it’s just a trip to be able to come and kind of get the college experience if only for one night because I didn’t have it on my own,” Peck said during an interview with The Griffin.
Following the event, SPB members and other students who won a contest to meet Peck were able to take photos and talk to the recent star of some popular Nickelodeon shows like “Drake and Josh” and “The Amanda Show.”
Peck said that it’s a great experience to be able to connect with students and people who are supporting him. He said he’s aware of the position he’s in that allows him to be in the spotlight and wants to be able to give others some insight into the industry. By traveling to different colleges, he can make students laugh before a stressful final and he’s happy to have this opportunity to make others smile.
SPB was initially planning on looking for artists who were available at the time; however, their advisor Rich Kennedy and their Chair Lauryn Saldana, thought it would be a better idea to do a poll to determine which artist came to Canisius.
They wanted to ensure that the artist that was chosen was popular amongst the rest of the Canisius community. Their response to the poll was positive and they determined it would be a good measure of which artist other students wanted to see. A few of the other candidates included Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and David Dobrik.
“YOLO. No, I’m kidding. No, I don’t. Do less. Do less,” Peck said as he explained his life motto.“I think, like, my whole life for a long time, I felt compelled to, like, add on and try and push and in quotes like ‘work harder, do more’ because I think I always sort of imagined I wasn’t enough and that I needed to sort of gather more resources, more personality, more skills in which that would be like attractive to the world.”
Once Peck entered his 30s and became a dad, he said he let go of the “tension” that has been built up his whole life by not overworking himself and having confidence in his abilities. For Peck, a new reality for him has entered his life once he became a dad, and he had to figure out how to balance family life and his career. As a parent, he has been able to learn new things and figure this balance out.
Saldana and Victoria Fish, special event planner, both had the opportunity to go on stage with Peck during the event. Saldana and Fish were able to spend some time getting to know Peck, run through the event and joke around with him. Saldana said it was a really cool experience and that she never was able to plan an event like this before.
“He is so down to earth and humble, and he’s such a dad,” Saldana said. “We asked him how fatherhood was going and immediately he whipped out his phone to show us pictures of his kid, again: so down to earth. After ten minutes it felt like we had known him for ten years.”
SPB is hoping to host another event similar in the future if they have the opportunity to. They have received nothing but positive feedback even from students stopping into the clubroom to tell them directly how much they enjoyed the event. They try to host three special events each semester in addition to the general events they typically plan as well.
They claim that although the event was free for students, each student pays student activities fees, meaning the event was paid for by students only it was paid for prior to the event.
“The mission of SPB is to ‘provide dynamic programming at little or not cost’ and that is exactly what we have aimed to do all year with all of our events,” Saldana said. “We love being able to put on large events like Fall Fest, Griffmas, Griff Fest – all which are free to students.”
Montante was filled to maximum capacity with students, and SPB said they are grateful for that. If the turnout wasn’t as great as it was, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to post similar events in the future.