This story was written by Adrienne Fry.
Acting, faith, family and orange soda—VSU students got a blast from the past Friday night when ‘90s Nickelodeon actor Kel Mitchell took the stage for a Q-and-A.
SGA, the African American Studies Department and the Office of Social Equity teamed up to sponsor this informative Q-and-A-style lecture featuring comedian and actor/director Kel Mitchell.
Known for his leading roles in ‘90s Nickelodeon productions like “All That,” “Kenan and Kel” and “Good Burger,” Mitchell spoke about his struggles and triumphs in the entertainment industry
“In this business, you come into it as an actor, but there are so many other aspects—realizing what you’re doing is going to help others and inspire others—that speaks more to my heart than anything else,” Mitchell said.
The free event started Friday at 6:30 p.m. on the bottom floor of Jennett Lecture Hall with a welcome from SGA president Tyler Barker and Provost Hudson Rogers. After a short introduction from Dr. Rodgers, who attended in place of President William McKinney, there was a 90s trivia session.
During trivia, members of SGA handed out VSU memorabilia to students who answered correctly. Afterwards, videos of “Kenan and Kel” played on the two overhead projector screens.
Shortly after half past six, Kel Mitchell entered the room to the screams and applause of about 100 VSU students and faculty.
Students were eager to ask Mitchell questions and Mitchell was eager to answer.
When asked about his biggest goals for the future, Mitchell said, “I would say directing. I’m directing music videos. I directed a short film called ‘She’s Not my Sister.’ Definitely more acting, more producing, putting out more content. Basically continuing to help people through my work. You know, it’s not just about the money.”
Mitchell kept the audience laughing the entire time. At one point he even conducted a dance-off between Dr. Shirley Hardin and Derrick Carter from the African American Studies department.
Following the Q-and-A, there was a meet-and-greet with the actor. Mitchell stayed afterward for almost an hour to mingle, take pictures with, and sign autographs for students. The event ended around 9:15 p.m.
According to SGA president Tyler Barker, this event had been in the works since late August. SGA senators officially voted in favor of hosting and allocating $1000 of their budget to this event at the Sept. 22 meeting.
The event’s purpose was not only for entertainment. There were also educational goals in wanting to bring Mitchell to campus.
“[We wanted to] to enlighten those who are interested in mass media, theater and communications…to give them a chance to talk to a professional and get that insight you don’t get everyday,” Barker said.
The lecture hall was not completely filled like Barker had expected. He sent an email advertising the talk to the entire student body the day before. There were also advertisements on main and north campus in addition to various messages on social media.
Mitchell also did a stand-up comedy show Saturday night at VSU’s Continuing Education building. Tickets were $15.