Offerman utilizes his diverse talents

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Nick Cocorikis

 

On Saturday, Oct. 25, the Illinois Wesleyan University Shirk Center was the place to be. Around 8:00 p.m., Nick Offerman, popular for his role on Parks and Recreation, not only performed a hilarious comedy act with multiple songs and personal stories, but also gave students advice for their college experiences and futures. Approximately 600 students and guests attended the event.

Offerman’s act, entitled “Full Bush,” incorporated a wide range of stories from his time at college in Champaign-Urbana to vacations he and his wife have taken. Throughout the show, there were many references to Parks and Recreation and his character on the show, Ron Swanson. Many aspects of Offerman’s personality and lifestyle actually became a part of Ron Swanson and have since been incorporated in the show, soon to be entering its seventh and final season on NBC.

Throughout the performance, Offerman not only described but showed the audience his wood working abilities. On stage, he brought out a guitar and a ukulele. The ukulele he made himself from scratch, and his talents don’t stop there.

He went on to talk about the making of chairs, tables and even canoes as a professional wood craftsman. He has worked with wood and tools since he was a boy and still does to this day because, not only is it a useful skill, but also a change of pace from his life as a Hollywood actor. He said it’s a good way to bring back memories of his home and the Midwest.

Woodworking also tied in to his advice for students as they enter the real world. Offerman told students to find something they love and that can make them money. As a struggling actor in Chicago in his early years, Offerman always had woodworking to fall back on as a means to support himself. Even though he doesn’t need the money from woodworking anymore, his passion for it continues to grow.

While woodworking is one of his strong suits, singing is not. His unique voice and laugh, however, helped his singing abilities when it came to goofy songs about trips to islands off the coast of Portugal, a remix of Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” and of course “Bye Bye Little Sebastian.”

Although most IWU students enjoyed Offerman’s act and love his role on Parks and Rec, some found the performance to be too vulgar and, at times, uncomfortable.

“I thought his dry humor didn’t please the crowd at times. I think he’s a better comedic actor than standup comedian,” said sophomore Steven O’Neil.

Overall, “Full Bush” was a mixture of surprising musical performances, comedic—though sometimes awkward—jokes and several pieces of advice that the IWU student body seemed to enjoy.