Performers show off talents at festival

Cassie Buchman and Olivia Swenson-Hultz, News Editor and Assistant Photo Editor

Musicians, a juggler, and even a few celebrities, courtesy of an impersonator, made an appearance at this year’s Family Weekend.

Along with Family Funfest activities such as arcades and a screening of “Finding Dory,” entertainers could be found all over the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

In the Grand Ballroom, impressionist Brandon Styles came out on stage dressed as Ozzy Osbourne to the enjoyment of the adults in the audience.

As the night went on, Styles made more references and impersonated more celebrities and characters, such as Mick Jagger, Shakira and Napoleon from Napoleon Dynamite.

“Girls, don’t go too crazy for this one,” he said, donning a Justin Bieber wig and outfit.

While impersonating the singer, he sang Bieber’s song “Baby” while holding a baby bottle.

To portray Criss Angel, Styles picked a woman and a man from the crowd and performed magic tricks on them.

For one trick, Styles moved his arms around the woman, then touched a certain part of the man’s arm. When he asked the woman if she felt anything, she pointed to the same spot on her own arm.

To end his set, Styles moonwalked across the stage, imitating Michael Jackson’s moves in a curly black wig and the late singer’s signature sparkly silver glove.

Juggler and comedian Mark Nizer entertained the crowd with jokes and tricks throughout the night.

He said he has always wanted to be a juggler, and it is the job he puts on business cards and his tax returns.

“It’s why I’ve been audited every single year,” Nizer said.

He started out with balancing the ball on his ear.

“Don’t clap,” Nizer told the audience. “I can’t hear you.”

For one of his tricks, Nizer held a bunch of blocks in midair and made them spell out “Wow” and then, “Mom.”

“I know this trick doesn’t look dangerous, but I once broke a nail doing it — on the lady in the front row,” Nizer said.

For one of his more dangerous tricks, Nizer used two audience members to balance himself while he attempted to mount a very tall unicycle.

Once on the unicycle, he juggled apples and machetes while riding around the stage.

At one point, he pretended to throw a knife offstage. Thrown back to him was the knife and a plastic arm.

Nizer jokingly said Obamacare covers the first arm.

Kearsten Switzer, a sophomore English major, said Nizer showed incredible creativity.

Her friend, Kaasi Keen, visiting from Wilmington, said she liked his artistry.

“It was so exquisitely done,” Keen said.

Both women were excited to be pointed out in the audience during Nizer’s performance. Nizer made a joke about Keen being the only one clapping during one point and Switzer laughing loudly.

Musician and Eastern student Tyler Seawood, a senior music major, performed with from his EP “New Beginnings” in the 7th Street Underground of the Union.

Family Weekend was Seawood’s first time performing on campus as a solo artist. Seawood also performs on campus in the jazz ensemble and the jazz combo. This was the second time Seawood has played live with his current group, which consists of three music majors at Eastern, a student from Parkland Community College who studies social work, Quinton Peyton, a drummer, and Paul Johnston, a music professor who also directs the jazz combo band.

Jessica French, a junior music major, said the band is excellent.

“I saw them perform at Jackson Avenue Coffee shop, and they were amazing,” French said. “They are very hardworking.”


Cassie Buchman and Olivia Swenson-Hultz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].