Indiana Daily Student

Entertainer to perform at Willkie

IU’s Black Student Union is bringing entertainer Justin Bland to perform at 7 p.m. today at Willkie Auditorium.

The show is called “The J. Bland Made Man Show,” which Bland said will feature new short films, comedy sketches, live skits and crowd participation. Bland said he has performed shows with his cast twice at Vincennes University and twice at Indiana State ?University.

“Our entire mission or goal for the show — of course we wanna make people laugh — is to motivate, inspire and encourage,” Bland said. “When people see us, they automatically assume that we got it made. They don’t really see the grind we put in, the people who tell us no. We want people to see ?positive.”

Bland said he created a production team to perform with him during his first year at Vincennes

“When I was in high school, I was doing theater,” Bland said. “I realized I had a passion for acting, so once I got to college my first year I didn’t have the same opportunities that I had in high school. So I created them myself.”

He said he made a post on Facebook about starting an organization and about five people showed up. They were called “LOL Ent.,” but changed it once they realized “LOL Ent.” was ?copyrighted, Bland said.

After the name change, the cast had their first show at VU because his adviser wanted him to do “something big” before he graduated. Bland said they came up with the idea to do a ?one-man show.

“We didn’t really know how to format the show,” Bland said. “We tried to sample from great shows that were already out there.”

Bland said the show was his most memorable, and it got a lot of love. From then on, Bland and his cast continued doing shows.

Darion Walker, Bland’s lead actor, said a few members of Black Student Union came to “The J. Bland Made Man Show” at ISU and told them they should come ?to IU.

“When you say, ‘Indiana,’ what’s the main college you think of when you say, ‘Indiana?’” Walker asked. “I’ve been a fan of IU since I can remember. I’m a huge basketball fan. I just wanna come to IU, throw a chair like Bob Knight.”

Senior De’Andra Golder, educational committee chair of BSU, said that after she saw the show at ISU she wanted to bring Bland, her cousin, to IU.

“I feel like it would be good for IU because I know he’s trying to expand the group of people he’s trying to reach out to, and I know IU’s a bigger campus, so I just wanted to do that, not only for the Black Student Union, but everybody on campus,” Golder said.

After telling BSU about Bland, Golder’s committee began working on finding a building and getting funding from IU Student Association to bring him here. Golder said BSU received a little under $1,000 to bring Bland here, which they used to book the building and pay for Bland’s appearance. They are still hosting a free show to ensure a lot of ?students come out.

Golder also said students should come to the show because it’s a good time and a good laugh.

“A lot of people are having tests this week, so like, it’s coming near to the end of the school year, so people need like a stress reliever — something that’s gonna lighten the load with their studies,” Golder said.

Walker also said this will be an incredible show for students to come out ?and see.

“This is going to be the most epic show that you have ever seen,” Walker said. “This is like Wrestle Mania, the Superbowl times three. Anything that you can imagine, you will see at this show.”

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