Ten Questions with Homecoming Emcee Avery Williams
Last week, Homecoming 2012 announced that its emcees would be Avery Williams and Chrissy Bohn. Onward State had the opportunity to interview Avery on Friday. Williams, a senior majoring in aerospace engineering and Vice-Chair for Region II of the National Society of Black Engineers, discusses what motivated him to apply for emcee and what he hopes to accomplish in this position below.
Why did you want to be an emcee for Homecoming 2012?
I have always watched Homecoming from the back, and I never knew what it was about. I knew there was the parade and football game. I learned about more stuff like the Pep Rally and 5K, and I wanted to be involved. Someone suggested being an emcee, and I thought that would be exciting and funny. It’s my niche and how I can offer my abilities.
What was your favorite aspect of Homecoming 2011?
The parade was the best part. I knew a bunch of people involved with Homecoming and seeing them in there… the parade was the best event. There was also the Pep Rally and seeing friends run around during that.
I emceed for date auctions. As Vice Chair [of regional National Society of Black Engineers], I lead regional meetings in chants. I’ve never done a pep rally. I am super amped. So excited.
What are the benefits of emceeing with a partner?
I met Chrissy [Bohn] and we have similar personalities. We’re willing to make a fool out of ourselves and each other. Really quickly, you can feel isolated if you’re excited and no one else is excited. Having at least one other person knowing who will respond to your chants, it’s easier to put yourself out there. Her personality vives really well with mine.
Will you be in contact with previous emcees for advice?
I knew Katy [a previous emcee] completely outside of Homecoming. We’ve interacted with friends, but we haven’t talked about being an MC. She’s going to miss it. We have different personalities. I’m a lot more crazy and eccentric. People are going to be involved with me. Usually people spectate, but I want people to be involved with it.
What does “The Glory Echoes On” mean to you?
It is kinda perfect with the timing of it. With all of the… shenanigans in November, we know what we can do is good and positive. It reflects how amazing the university is. Homecoming has a sheer amount of tradition behind it and it puts Penn State University in a positive light.
Is it good or bad the Homecoming is early this year?
Timing doesn’t have that big of an effect. It will be more of a kickoff to the year. You get through a couple weeks of school. Then, it’s a pick-me-up for a lot of people.
What group or person are you most excited to work with for Homecoming 2012?
I want to interact with regular people. I’ve been a regular person for my first four years here and I haven’t been engaged [with Homecoming]. A lot of Homecoming is on stage and the parade. Most people just coming to watch. A couple hundred work on Homecoming but forty thousand watch. I want them to feel like it’s a part of them. Alumni, faculty, students. I want them to dance with me.
Which Penn Stater do you hope to emulate?
I want to emulate the Lion. He is epic and can walk in any room and the energy goes up tenfold. I don’t have floppy ears and tail, but I hope I can liven up the spirits. The biggest job of the emcee is to make every event exciting and touching as it possibly can be. A great emcee pair can make it better because they are excited with what they do.
Who has been your most favorite host of the Academy Awards, or of another awards show?
Kevin Hart. I do not remember what he hosted. Most hosts are stalling, but I wanted him to talk more. He made it very exciting. I forgot about the show and I remember him.
Engineers aren’t known as being flamboyant…
(laughs) Engineers are not just nerds. We are cool and we can dance. I can dance. I can really dance.