Campus News

Antonio Watson '12 Parlays Campus Entertainment Experience into Hollywood Internship

Story posted October 07, 2010

Antonio Watson '12 keeps taking his life in new directions. Arriving at Bowdoin from Alaska, he immersed himself in various student activities, which led to his spending the summer working in Hollywood before taking off to spend the semester studying in Spain. Emily Neilson '11 writes about Watson's journey thus far.

Many might recall the excitement that bubbled through campus last spring when the famous dance team from MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, Fanny Pak, came to perform. The dance show required a tremendous amount of organization — especially from Antonio Watson '12, who led the Entertainment Board and worked closely with Student Activities.

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Antonio Watson '12 (center, rear) with the dancers from Fanny Pak.

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Watson came to Bowdoin by way of the QuestBridge Program, a non-profit organization whose mission is to link talented and motivated kids from low-income backgrounds to scholarships offered by many of the nation's prestigious institutions of higher education.

Watson remembers his enthusiasm for getting involved with Student Activities his first year. "Shortly after first-year orientation, I signed up for every activity imaginable," he says.

One of the extracurricular activities that caught Watson's eye was the Campus Activities Board. As it turned out, the club leaders were on the lookout for a student to fill the position of co-chair of the Lively Arts Committee. Watson took the chance, ran for the position and won the election as a first-year.

In his first term on the committee, Watson played a major role in bringing several large performance events to campus, such as the Kenyan drumming and dance ensemble, Jablali Afrika, and singer/songwriter/whistler Andrew Bird.

For the Fanny Pak event, Watson spent four busy months before the show ironing out the details, so that the big day would go off without a glitch. He was in constant contact with people critical to the show's production: Megan Brunmier from the Student Activities Office, Michael Schiff-Vierre and Joan Sand from Pickard Theater, a professional lighting company called Moonlighting Productions, Headlight Audio Visual in Portland and Watson's fellow Entertainment Board members.

When Fanny Pak arrived on campus, Watson spoke with the dance group's manager about the entertainment industry. "I mustered up some courage and asked him if he took on summer interns. He said that applications and my resumé weren't necessary because he had seen my ability to be organized and professional throughout the entire process," recalls Watson. A few weeks later, the manager called to offer him a summer internship with the group in Los Angeles.

Watson says he kept busy promoting Fanny Pak-related events through social media, assisting with event operations and tech rehearsals, and writing press releases and monthly newsletters for the group. He says the Lively Arts Committee and Entertainment Board gave him invaluable experience that opened doors and provided great memories.

"The amazing thing about Bowdoin is that we have the resources to do some pretty fantastic things," says Watson. "Bringing Fanny Pak was just a dream that I had freshman year and I was fortunate enough to find an avenue for it sophomore year."

Keep your eye out for this rising superstar — right now he's studying abroad in Madrid, but Bowdoin awaits the impressive events he'll undoubtedly organize when he returns to campus.

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