The Return of Josh & Josh

by Sarah Alli-Brown

Actor Josh Peck speaks to SIU students in the Student Center Ballrooms.

When I first heard that Josh Peck was coming to my school– Southern Illinois University– I immediately returned to my 10-year-old self. I vividly remember arguing with my brothers over the TV remote and what channel we were going to watch that day. I also remember the one show we could all agree on: “Drake & Josh.”   

So, when I learned that the actor who played Josh on the show, Josh Peck, was coming to the Southern Illinois University campus, I was excited when I was told I would get to attend the “Meet and Greet” and sit in the front row for work. 

I got my picture taken with Josh Peck.

A return to childhood

Attending this event with my fellow student workers was great for team-building and morale… it showed us we had more in common than we realized. And we weren’t the only ones excited– hundreds of students packed the Student Center ballrooms to hear Josh speak. You could feel a buzz of excitement in the air as we waited for him to arrive. And when he did, the crowd went wild for the entire time it took him to walk from the back of the room to the stage. Students were laughing with joy and screaming with excitement. It felt like we were all kids on the playground again just all having fun. 

Since most of us grew up watching Josh, it was interesting to hear him talking about how he liked to make people laugh as he grew up… and how growing up as a child star in the spotlight impacted him, “I was the big fat kid who would always crack jokes and being the center of attention because as long as I was funny it would take away attention from how overweight I was.”  

Josh Peck had SIU students cracking up in laughter.

Motivating students

Josh not only entertained us and made us reminisce about our childhood, but he also left us with a piece of motivation, suggesting that anyone can be a star, “If you have content or something that makes you feel, makes you laugh, make you cry, or anything in between, and you have a phone in your pocket and enough video power to capture what you want to do, there no excuse not to start. Be okay with being bad– consider it your research and develop a stage, there are no restrictions. Don’t let ‘hustle culture’ tell you that you need to be up 25 hours a day. You are in a perfect place to keep trying and completely fall on your face to learn and be easy on yourself.” 

By now, you’ve probably heard– NLE Choppa is coming to campus next week! I will be there, so stay tuned for my next blog post about the performance by the 20-year-old Memphis Tennesse rapper. 

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