You may be asking yourself, “Who’s that dashing young man in the image above, smiling in the Washington, D.C. sun with only a piece of Phillies World Series regalia to shield him from squinting completely? And is he single?”
Okay, so maybe you’re not quite asking that question, but at the very least your curiosity is piqued, no? Marital status aside, you’re still probably wondering, “Who is this guy? And where did Silagh go?” Don’t worry. Mrs. White hasn’t gone anywhere. But she has decided to put dangerous faith in a fresh-out-of-college hotshot who thinks he’s a lot funnier than he really is. So blame her if this whole thing goes haywire.
Welcome, friends. This is going to be fun.
My name is Andrew Daniels, and I’ve lived in the Lehigh Valley for the entirety of my existence. That’s 22 years and some odd months of residing in the birthplace of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, former teen idol, and the one-time home of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who used to beat up guys for a living but now just mostly plays the tooth fairy. I hail from the North Side of Bethlehem, though in the last four years I’ve lived on the South Side as a student at Lehigh University. (By the way, is it just Lehigh kids who refer to Bethlehem’s boroughs as “sides”? I swear I never heard of people using the labels until I arrived on campus in ’06.) I moved on from Lehigh a few weeks ago as a journalism major, music industry minor and an absolutely heartbroken graduate for having to leave that place. (Any undergrads reading this want to switch places? Please?)
At Lehigh I was the editor in chief of The Brown and White, where I made a concentrated effort to dedicate more coverage to the arts on campus and in SoBeth and take the focus away from publishing scandalous police reports of drunken escapades and “townie” troubles. Elsewhere in my collegiate career, I was an obnoxious DJ on WLVR, an A.D.D.-ridden drummer in some of Lehigh’s music ensembles, and an avid promoter and supporter of fun, totally non-educational but absolutely worthwhile events on campus, mostly having to do with concerts and sports and the like. I used my time at Lehigh wisely: I accomplished exactly what I wanted to do while cutting out the boring fat. My education and my social life were able to thrive together, and that’s just about the best thing I could have asked for.
Professionally, I’ve been able to combine my love of writing and the arts in a variety of ways. I was an entertainment reporter intern at The Morning Call, a publicity intern and creative management consultant at Media Five Entertainment, a staffer at Pulse Weekly, and best of all, the founder of my own successful music blog, Stark Online. Here’s a fun fact: Silagh was involved in the planning stages of Stark many years ago when a friend and I envisioned it to be an actual campus magazine to rival The Brown and White. Funny how things turn out.
Even though there’s just about nothing in the world that I love talking about more than myself, I should probably stop. If you want to know more about my background, my plans for the future and read a ton of superb writing clips, check out my personal Web site. (Feel free to hire me while you’re at it.) And if you want to know what I’m obsessed with at the moment, please follow me on Twitter and we’ll tweet for hours. Honestly. I love Twitter. I was a very early proponent of it and, excuse me while I get my elitist on, feel validated for championing it when everyone else was still rocking Myspace.
So, I still haven’t explained what I’m doing on this here blog. And to be honest, I can’t quite give you the answer yet. But here’s how I arrived here: After she took an interest in a project I did for a spring multimedia reporting class at Lehigh, in which two colleagues and I told stories about the arts in SoBeth across different media platforms, Silagh offered me a role this summer with ArtsLehigh. Long story short, I accepted immediately.
I really admire what Silagh and the other folks in this organization are doing, and it’s an honor to be included. Though my exact role on the team isn’t so well-defined, here’s the gist of it: For much of this summer, I’ll be doing all that I can from a social media standpoint to continue to get the word out about arts and entertainment on and around Lehigh’s campus. This includes a whole lot of blogging, tweeting, and being out and about. I’ll try to give my perspective — again, that of a young, dashing gentleman who happens to find the term “townie” rather endearing — on all that’s happening around here. I can’t promise you it will always work, but I can give you my word that I’ll be having a great time doing it. And that’s what it’s all about, ‘innit?
The first thing on my agenda? I’ll be blogging my way through much of this year’s edition of the South Side Film Festival, of which I happen to be a virgin. (For as long as I’ve been here in the LV, sometimes it’s pathetic how much I haven’t yet experienced.) It all starts tomorrow, so get excited.
With that, I’m signing off. If you’re still with me at this point, God bless you.
Here’s to a great summer,