Street: Your parents are both journalists. Has that influenced you wanting to be more involved with media?
Blue Bookhard: The short answer is yes. Since I was very young, I was exposed to all of the components of film and visual shoot. I would go with my Mom to cover the news at three in the morning when she was driving up to Brooklyn to cover some parade that was happening, or if there was a fire that she was covering as a videographer. And so from that, I learned my way around the camera.
Street: In the media space, do you have a dream job?
BB: I should preface all of this by saying that I really want to do marketing. I’m not actually interested in going into journalism, even though I do a lot of video work. A recent project I’ve been working on right now is that I’m doing all of the videos for Arts House for their show, like all of their creative stuff that they play during the show. I helped them edit their promos. I worked with all the dancers in Masala to coordinate a video shoot for their awesome pieces that they have going on.
Street: Can you talk more about UTV?
BB: UTV is the student–run television network that was founded decades ago now. Essentially the entire goal of the club is to be a hub for student video projects on campus. Any one of the dozens of student clubs on campus can come to us and say, 'Hey we need gear. We need lights. We need students who know how to edit, shoot, or who want to be on screen.' And we can sort of provide the resources for them to get that done. It’s fun because everyone really wants to cultivate the media community at Penn, and that’ something that isn’t really talked about that much.
Street: So someone can just come to you with a video project idea, and you can execute it?
BB: In theory, yeah! Yeah. You can say, 'I want to make a short film about Williams Café.' Like alright, awesome. We’ll figure out who can shoot it, we’ll give you cameras. I might be the one editing it for all I care. Like however it gets done, it gets done.
Street: Do you have any projects you're excited about?
BB: Maybe in the future we're gonna have a Penn Film Festival. That’s the goal for the future. Also, we’ve talked to the DP about doing an Amy Gutmann documentary. That project has been [almost] six months in the making, but it’s slowly progressing. And hopefully UTV will be one of the executive producers of that.
Street: Can you tell us about DJing for The Collctve?
BB: I’ve been playing the drums since I was five. So all of my passion for media and culture and videos comes from music, really. The reason why I even joined The Collctve was because I was DJing all of high school, and I got a bunch of gigs and made a lot of money. And then when I came to college, I joined a fraternity and I was like the resident DJ there. And then my fellow fraternity brother was like, 'Hey man, this is really cool. Let’s make a club for DJs.' And I was like 'Alright, sure.'
Street: A lot of people give DJs shit. How do you feel about that?
BB: A lot of people give drummers shit, too. So I get both, unfortunately. DJs are known for having really anal song selections and only liking underground indie music. I’m actually the DJ who’s like, if a person is coming to you requesting a song, it means one of two things. It either means that you’re doing your job wrong so that they actually have to request a song. Or it means that the people like your music so much that they’re thinking of songs that could be played that would make the night even better.
Street: What’s your favorite throwback to play?
BB: I have two, "Baby" by Justin Bieber, which is classic. Then "Gold Digger" by Kanye always shuts the place down.
Street: How did you come to be involved in a drummer in Bloomers?
BB: Arguably Bloomers is the reason why I’m known on campus at all, that’s the reason I’m in Friars, that’s the reason why I’m in Osiris, that’s how people know me—the drummer from Bloomers. I’m actually a sophomore transfer, so I came into Penn my sophomore year and auditioned for Mask & Wig wanting to do more music stuff when I transferred schools, and Mask & Wig already had a drummer at the time. Bloomers reached out to Wig because they were looking for a drummer. I auditioned for Bloomers. I got an email from Nina, the Bloomers Chair, on Thursday, I auditioned on a Friday, I was in the group on Saturday, we had a rehearsal on Sunday. Everything happened over the course of four days and now it’s been one of the coolest extracurriculars that I didn’t even know I could be a part of, but I’m the only male in Bloomers, so it’s a fun time. I always say that I’m the only guy in a sorority.
Street: Have you gained a different perspective being the only guy in an all–female space?
BB: Yeah. Comedy is an industry that is predominantly male and there’s so many qualms and so many questions and so many conversations about trying to involve women in comedy, and Bloomers tries to push that all the time. 'We need more females in comedy.' They have LaughtHERfest which is their festival that brings female comedians to campus and they have a fantastic following of people that are trying to push female comedians, and I just kind of get to sit there and observe it all.
Street: Who’s your favorite female comedian if you had to think of one?
BB: Vanessa Bayer. She’s my go–to. She was our inaugural speaker at LaughtHERfest and she has also brought up Bloomers in interviews before. She’s super funny and pushing the envelope in terms of what people can consider funny on SNL. She’s too much in the best way possible.
Street: There are two types of people at Penn…
BB: Those who know the Collctve and those who don't (Ed. note: Please go educate yourself now.)
Street: If you are what you eat, then what are you?
BB: I’m the Frontera Chicken Chilaquiles because I eat those things all the time. Or I am the Houston mixed bowl with avocado.
Street: What is one question we forgot to ask you?
BB: Why am I in so many senior societies?
BB: I like media. Bloomers has tapped into the performing arts hardcore, the Collctve has flexed the video production muscle that I love, along with UTV, hence the Kinoki stuff, and then with Phi Psi, I do their video stuff as the historian so that’s gotten me more involved in the Greek community. People know me as the guy who does video and I see a lot of people so I like to say that's the reason I got into Friars because I’m just, like 'Hey, let’s be social, let’s hang out and talk together.' So they all kind of fell together and now I’m in four senior societies. People call me the senior society slut.
Street: What do you think the value of them is?
BB: They’re all so different. Kinoki, for instance, is a very pre–professional society and it’s all about having a network out of college. Osiris is very much about building unity at Penn. Friars is all leadership, so I’m talking to people from across Penn’s campus. I probably would never have known as many athletes as I do because of Friars. Omega is all about Greek leadership, so that's pulling into a whole new community that I’ve never been exposed to before in my life. I think the reason they all exist and they’re all there at the same time is because they have different goals. And in the end they’re all just drinking clubs, right? They are fun. I want to say I met 80 more people over the course of two months just from joining them, and I don’t regret it at all.