The Official Blog of The Ohio Union Activities Board

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What is “Man Enough?”

Come on, man up.

You throw like a girl.

Take his man card away.

These are phrases we’ve all heard, phrases that are used in our daily lives in every day conversations. These phrases push genders into a small box, telling us that a woman can’t be masculine and a man can’t act feminine.

Justin Baldoni is here to change this idea. In his Ted Talk, he talked about the idea of toxic masculinity, and how he’s done trying to be “man enough” and has come to terms with the importance of embracing his feminine side. Women are not meant to be strictly feminine, while men are not meant to be strictly masculine; it’s okay to be both. In fact, according to Baldoni, we need this balance in our lives.

Baldoni’s job as an actor has pushed him to think more about the idea of masculinity. His roles as “Male Escort #1,” “Shirtless Date Rapist,” and more recently, Rafael Solano in Jane the Virgin, show this idea that oftentimes men are held to a standard of only being manly. No emotions are allowed, nothing that will tarnish their reputation of being a buff, strong, manly man. On the outside, Baldoni may represent this man, but on the inside, he knows it’s okay to feel emotional and to share his feelings and his love for his wife.

Baldoni hasn’t only been an actor, however. He’s the creator of My Last Days, a “show about living told by the dying” on the CW. He started the Carnival of Love in LA, which works to change how the community views and interacts with the homeless population. He also even launched an app entitled “Belly Bump” for pregnant women that puts together a time-lapse video of a pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy.

Baldoni clearly isn’t sticking to the male script: he’s living his life dispelling myths and stereotypes every day.

Come see Justin Baldoni on March 29 in the Archie Griffin Ballroom and see what “man-ing up” means to him.


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Redefining Masculinity with Justin Baldoni

Come join OUAB on March 29th as we welcome Justin Baldoni to Ohio State’s campus! Justin is a dad, husband, and successful actor. He has been featured in countless films and TV shows, and he is especially known for his leading role in the CW’s Golden Globe nominated comedy series, Jane the Virgin. He is on a mission to tackle toxic masculinity and redefine the concept of what it means to be “man enough.” He’s strived to live his life as not just a good man, but also a good human, and he’s encouraging everyone to do the same.

Justin has used his social platform to ignite a passion in others create real, positive change in the world. In fact, he started The WayFarer Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that works towards breaking the cycle of homelessness and providing support to people diagnosed with terminal illnesses. This organization’s mission is to celebrate life and transform the community by spreading compassion and love. Additionally, he co-founded and is the CEO of Wayfarer Entertainment. Wayfarer Entertainment’s purpose is to “create disruptively inspirational content to celebrate and elevate the human experience.” AMAZING! Justin not only founded Wayfarer Entertainment, but he also produces shows via this organization in order to help create socially aware content that positively influences society. His talk show, Man Enough, premiered online in late 2017. Man Enough is an un-scripted show in which a rotating panel of male stars comes together to discuss a wide variety of topics with the hopes of mainly confronting the idea of what it means to be a man today.

Get excited for this amazing event by watching Justin’s TED Talk, Why I’m done trying to be “man enough”. In this talk, Justin challenges men to look inward at what qualities make them a man and to use those to go deeper! He asks, “Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?” His un-relentless efforts at creating a dialogue to redefine masculinity have sparked fires in countless people’s hearts, and OUAB is so excited to bring this conversation to our campus!

Come celebrate life, work towards positive change, and redefine masculinity with Justin Baldoni on March 29th! Can’t wait to see you there!

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The Man Behind the Front Page of the Internet

Alexis Ohanian is best known as the co-founder and executive chairman of the popular social news website Reddit. Reddit, composed of many different subject boards called ‘subreddits,’ receives approximately 542 million monthly visitors, ranking it at as the #4 most visited website in the U.S. and #8 in the world. In order to prepare for Ohanian’s OUAB event happening on Monday, December 4th, we wanted to share with you some of our all-time favorite subreddits to check out before the event.


Did you ever know that Billy Joel never sells front row seats to his events so that he can give those seats away to random people so that the front row isn’t always just wealthy people? Or that roundabouts reduce fatalities from accidents by 90% as well as lowering wait times and gasoline consumption? These random facts are just a few examples of the type of content you can find on r/todayilearned. As this subreddit states, you learn something new every day, so why not share it with the internet?


Have you ever wondered what the daily life of a vacuum repairman is like, or wanted to ask any question to your favorite celebrity? r/IAmA is the place for you! In this subreddit, anybody can post about what life is like for them in regards to any part of their identity, whether that be where they’re from, what they like to do, or what they do for a living. Because of the diversity of this group, users can learn from other users’ experiences about what it’s like to be a Puerto Rican, an astronaut, or (yes!) even a vacuum repairman. Additionally, this subreddit often finds itself host to celebrity users such as Chris Pratt, Elon Musk, and Barack Obama, who listen and respond to users’ questions from all over the world.


Have you ever had trouble explaining to a child why they need to eat their vegetables or what the government does? And have you yourself ever had similarly existential questions regarding complicated topics but wanted an uncomplicated answer? Then r/explainlikeimfive is the perfect place for you. Everything from the way that snakes move to the origin of the universe is explained in simplified layman’s terms without containing any overly complicated jargon. You never know what you’ll learn next!

Make sure to get your tickets at the Information Desk in the Ohio Union and join us on Monday, December 4th at 7:00PM for OUABeyond Reddit with Alexis Ohanian!

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Who is Hurwitz?

Justin Hurwitz is best known for composing the score and soundtrack for the Academy Award winning musical La La Land. While La La Land became the break-out movie of 2016, Justin Hurwitz is still an up-and-coming composer in terms of Hollywood standards. With his OUAB event fast approaching, we wanted to give some more information about Justin using quotes from his best known movies La La Land and Whiplash.

“People love what other people are passionate about.” – Mia, La La Land

Born in California, Justin Hurwitz grew up in a creative family. His mother was a professional ballet dancer and his father was a writer, which would’ve created an artistic environment for Hurwitz to pursue his passions. For college, Hurwitz attended Harvard University. At a school known for its law programs, Hurwitz continued to focus on his passion for composing music and did not give up on what he loved most. In today’s society, it is easy enough to fall into a job that you are not happy in. Perseverance on Hurwitz’s part led to a passion for jazz composition. Now, Justin Hurwitz is one of the most sought after composer on the Hollywood scene.

“How are you going to be revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist?” Keith, La La Land

Before La La Land’s nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, it had been fourteen years since a musical had received that nomination. Hurwitz scores always include a strong jazz influence. Jazz can be seen as the boring elevator music that is great to talk over. But Hurwitz has reinvented the perception of jazz in modern films. Much like Sebastian and Keith hope to revitalize jazz, Hurwitz has used the repetitive beats and unique tangents found in jazz to create award winning scores and songs. The La La Land soundtrack was one of the best selling soundtracks of 2016, all thanks to Hurwitz’s distinctive approach to composing.

“I guess I’ll see you in the movies.” Sebastian, La La Land

While at Harvard, Hurwitz was fortunate enough to room with future director Damien Chazelle. During their undergrad, Hurwitz and Chazelle collaborated on their first movie together, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. This film would set the foundation to make Hurwitz and Chazelle as the director and composing duo to look out for. After the success of Guy and Madeline, the duo gained enough funds to create Whiplash and La La Land. Hurwitz knew all along that he wanted to be a composer and followed his career all the way to Hollywood and found great success.

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job”” Fletcher, Whiplash

Justin Hurwitz knows the pressure is on to produce another blockbuster movie after the incredible successes of Whiplash and La La Land. In 2018, Chazelle and Hurwitz are once again collaborating for the movie First Man. Based on his other movies, Hurwitz will bring a strong jazz component to the music of the film. Ryan Gosling is also returning to the lead role and one would hope that Hurwitz will write another song for Gosling that could again win Best Original Song. First Man has all the components to make Hurwitz an Academy Award winner once again.

Be sure to get your tickets at the Information Desk in the Ohio Union for OUABehind the Score with Justin Hurwitz on Thursday, November 9th at 7:00 pm.

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Attention! Real Scientifically Proven Facts About The Importance Of Movie Watching!

You know how adults always say we’re wasting our time with all the mindless television we watch and how we should be figuring out our lives or getting a job? (I know we are all technically adults at this point but you know what I mean!) Adultier adults make the assumption that the television or movies we are watching don’t contain thick plots that require us to keep track of complex relationships and hidden symbolism or character development! They don’t recognize how much can be learned from a story based on a significant historical event or one that attempts to shatter stereotypes and gender roles. Film is an art form that takes many shapes and has the power to imitate life and draw attention to the reality of the society we live in.

According to the Chicago Tribune, movies stimulate your brain and allow you to access emotions you otherwise may have forever shielded from the outside world and even yourself! Not only do films provide you with the opportunity for an emotional release but they allow you to escape the stresses of classes, work, student organizations, and basically all of your responsibilities for roughly 2 hours, as you embark on a motion picture adventure! Whether you watch a comedy to get a good laugh in, a horror movie to channel your inner adventure-seeker, or a romantic film to fantasize about your crush from class or remind you that loving yourself is the most important thing, movies let you hone in on other people’s lives and problems, relieving you from your own for a solid chunk of time.

What more convenient way to utilize this new knowledge than by going to OUAB’s Flicks For Free, which take place every Wednesday at 6 and 8:30 PM in the U.S. Conference Bank Theater! Here’s a rundown of the upcoming shows this semester to help you decide which movie to come and see!

On November 8, we will be showing Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s newest work detailing the World War II evacuation of trapped Allied troops from the beaches of France. Nolan tells this story through the perspectives of land, sea, and air providing audiences with an experience that seeks to mirror reality and showcase the many facets of the conflict. (And for all you One Direction fans out there, Harry Styles makes a brief, yet captivating appearance on the shores of a Dunkirk beach.)

If you crave chills up your spine and have an affinity for red balloons and yellow raincoats, then Stephen King’s novel adaptation, It, could be right up your alley! We will be showing It on November 15th AND November 17th in case you miss it the first day, so make sure to bring your friends or a blanket to bury your face into when the images on screen get your skin crawling a little more than you’d anticipated. This movie follows the haunting of a town’s outcasts as they are confronted by a shifting evil and their efforts to vanquish this wicked power.

To end the month of November, we will be showing American Assassin on the 29th. This film is for those of you who thrive on action and thrill. The story details the investigations of military and civilian attacks and the patterns that emerge as skilled government forces seek to put an end to these continuous conflicts.

And to celebrate (or mourn, if you’re a lover of learning) the semester, Kingsman: The Golden Circle will be coming to the Conference Theater! This sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service will satiate your spy action desires in a story of spy organizations coming together to defeat the enemies who ravage society.

So next time you’re going on hour five at Thompson Library on a Wednesday night, remind yourself of the importance of self-care and treat yourself to a free moving showing provided by yours truly! And if we haven’t already convinced you to attend, we always have sizzling buttered popcorn popping for you as you enter the theater!

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“…a fresh artistic vision for the four-time Grammy winner, a daring tapestry of music, vibrant imagery, performance art and stage design.” –Ebony

Esperanza Spalding, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, is a Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist and singer. She was exposed to Beethoven and Yo-Yo Ma at a young age, sparking much of her interest in music. She was raised by her mother and homeschooled for much of her childhood. Attending her mother’s jazz guitar lessons at a young age also had a great influence on her interest in music. Spalding taught herself violin and was playing for the Chamber Music Society of Oregon by age five. She also played the guitar, oboe, and clarinet, before discovering the bass in high school.

Spalding began performing gigs when she was fifteen years old. Having the chance to play with a variety of musicians helped her to grow tremendously. She completed her GED at sixteen years old and enrolled in Portland State University as the youngest bass player in the music program. She later received a full scholarship for Berklee College of Music with encouragement from her bass teacher. Upon graduation from this program, she was hired as an instructor by Berklee College of music at age twenty. She has recently been appointed as a professor at Harvard University to teach composition and performance.

Spalding released her debut album, Junjo, on April 18, 2006. Her second album, named Esperanza, was released in 2008 on Heads Up Records, followed by Chamber Music Society two years later. In 2011 she became the first jazz artist to win Best New Artist at the Grammys, beating out Justin Bieber, Drake, Mumford & Sons, and Florence + The Machine. She has stated, “The main way in which the Grammy has changed my life is that I keep getting asked how the Grammy has changed my life.” Spalding has continued to release many albums in the categories of jazz, jazz-fusion, bossa nova, and neo soul with lyrics in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Spalding’s most recent project, Exposure, involved a 77-hour recording session where she recorded and arranged an entire album while streaming it to Facebook Live. Only 7,777 albums will be sold, and none of them will be available digitally. This bold project outlines the creativity, spontaneity, and discipline possessed by Spalding that have helped shape both her music and career.

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Aaron Burr, sir.

“Pardon me, are you Aaron Burr, sir?” This line is now infamously known throughout the streets of the United States, thanks to success of the hit musical Hamilton. The original Broadway cast of Hamilton earned a Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy, and eleven Tony Awards, including the prestigious Best Musical of the Year.

Leslie Odom Jr. was a part of the original Broadway cast, playing the role of Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton’s rival and ultimately his murderer. Leslie Odom Jr. beating out Lin-Manuel Miranda for the actor of the year.

Odom has become a household name, even showing up in his very own Nationwide commercial. Students at Ohio State have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the award-winning Leslie Odom Jr. perform on October 22.

Leslie Odom Jr. is a Grammy and Tony award-winning singer and actor, best known for working alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. He also recently released a self-titled jazz album, further showing his great musical talent.

Besides Hamilton, however, Leslie Odom Jr. has carved out his own fame in both the musical and the television world. At age 17, Odom made his Broadway debut as Paul in the musical Rent. He also had a starring role in the television show Smash for two seasons and was later offered the leading role on State of Affairs, but he chose to pursue his role in Hamilton instead. You can see him on the big screen in Murder on the Oriental Express next month as well.

Odom’s vast experience and long musical repertoire will make him an amazing guest at The Ohio State University, and we are extremely excited to be hosting him. OUABackstage with Leslie Odom Jr. will be on Sunday, October 22 at 7pm in the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom.

If you’re a huge Hamil-fan, make sure to keep up with OUAB’s Twitter. OUAB is giving students a chance to meet Leslie Odom Jr. through a creative video contest. Submissions will be accepted until Thursday, October 19 at 5pm.

Until then, sit back, relax, and listen to the Hamilton soundtrack one, two, or twenty times through. Don’t throw away your shot on October 22!Christopher Boudewyns Headshot.png