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UIC Student to Host Second Talk Show, Live on Campus Tonight

Jeremiah Paprocki can walk the walk, but can he talk the talk?

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) junior will host his second talk show Monday– on campus, live in front of an audience, which will later be filmed, edited, and distributed on social media.

The show is free to the public and will take place in the Illinois Room of Student Center East (SCE) from 6:30 to 8 pm. Paprocki estimated around 80 people attended the previous show. It is called “The Late Night Flame.”

Paprocki currently announces athletic events for nearly every sport at UIC and has recently begun announcing basketball games for Whitney Young and Mather high schools, but his dream is to establish himself as a TV personality or a talk show host.

“My passion for broadcasting came about when I was a kid – around sixth grade,” said Paprocki. “I would always mimic broadcasters from Chicago and I took it into high school and figured out it could be a career. Like I could get paid to use my voice? That’s lit.”

The show is structured for the host to monologue, followed by three guest interviews that are limited to UIC students and alumni. The last guest may often perform and close the show, which is similar to the structure of a network-level talk show, according to Paprocki.

Attempting to bridge the gap from his sports experience, he added the monologue will allow him to “warm up the crowd, do something funny, and explore a comedic side that I probably never thought I’d have.”

Folks can expect to watch the show via a link that will likely be uploaded to the show’s social media within the upcoming week. Follow Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles @latenightuic, or the @UICLife YouTube channel.


Paprocki alongside the guests of his first show including Prevail Bonga (right of Paprocki), and Caleb Brookman (far right)

The project has been organized by the Center for Student Involvement in conjunction with the Creative and Digital Services (CDS) department. CDS is currently working to edit the video taken from the first show in late January.

“Initially, we agreed to do three shows on a kind of test run basis, to see how things go,” said Wayne Odle, creative lead and senior web developer for CDS. “From there, they would make the decision if they would like us to continue supporting the project or not.”

CDS is filming, editing, and advising Paprocki at no or little cost to the university or to the departments at hand. Although, the group has had to change rooms where they planned to film when customers outside of UIC, for example, booked that space.

“We’re playing that by ear and different space means different things in regards to production. So we take it in stride. We’re pretty familiar with most of the locations here on campus, so it’s just a matter of making the necessary adjustments to have a successful show.

“If the university departments commit to the show on a longer-term basis, it will be given more priority in terms of holding a desired room and acquiring additional resources if needed,” said Odle.

He noted that the show is in its early stages and could change in the way that it is distributed beyond YouTube, depending on how the show progresses and how it makes sense for audiences to view it.

The collaborating departments are also promoting the show with social media and newsletters, and CDS has created graphic work that was printed on retractable banners to stand outside and inside of the show while it is being filmed.

“He came up with the idea for what he wanted to do. We talked about what that would look like and gave him some takeaways that he could incorporate. After we did that, he was pretty much off to the races with getting his content written, and he would come back and bounce those ideas back on us to see how they flowed,” said Odle.

Odle and Jeff Warner, a digital imaging lead with CDS, have encouraged and advised Jeremiah but have not required him to make certain decisions as they ultimately want Jeremiah to be able to call the show his own.

“We told him we’d be brutally honest with him. He’s taken any critiquing in stride and done what he’s needed to do to improve,” said Odle.

But Jeremiah said the show went as planned and he wasn’t very nervous at all, recalling his extensive background in media broadcasting and watching late-night TV from a young age.

“Now that it’s my own, there’s a level of responsibility that’s like, you have to make it right, so that’s pressure I put on myself. But at the same time, I also know it’s mine so I’m kind of comfortable doing it.”

As a sophomore in high school, Paprocki remembers asking to audition so he could read news over the PA system during his homeroom class.

“I came out of the first announcement and they were like, ‘this is yours, keep it until you graduate.’ That was my first taste of the broadcasting world, and it was an honor because looking at it now, it really helped in a big way. It kick-started everything.”

Paprocki became more comfortable in the position and developed a personal style with a unique introduction and outro. The next year, he began announcing basketball programs other than varsity boys’, because he played on the team.

During his junior year, while he was announcing a girls’ home opener, Paprocki was approached by a referee who told him he was good enough to announce for college games. That referee knew folks who broadcasted and worked at UIC and asked them to give Jeremiah a chance.

By March of that year, Jeremiah had announced his first collegiate baseball game. During his senior year, he began to consistently assist and broadcast several of the major athletic programs at the university.

“I wanted to go to school here because I figured I already had my foot in the door,” said Paprocki. “By the middle of senior year, I was asking my bosses and I told them I would like to come here, I’m just waiting on my application process.”


NOTE: THE LOCATION HAS BEEN CHANGED TO THE ILLINOIS ROOM IN SCE

But while Paprocki is living his dream, he says he appreciates the platform that is potentially being created for future students, and also for the guests of the show who can receive recognition.

“It’s very hard to get yourself out there in Chicago, so if you have something backing you like a university, you might be a performer or a singer, you know, and you don’t get booked for concerts or small gigs, or you have to always show up for an open mic to get yourself out there. There may not even be a consistent open mic. Here’s a show that can get you in front of cameras and even YouTube, once it gets posted in the post-production, and that will always be there for you.”

Prevail Bonga is a sophomore student-athlete at UIC who interviewed with Paprocki on the first show. Bonga said she largely chose to talk about her identity such as misconceptions and assumptions people carry about student-athletes, her involvement with homecoming court, and her involvement as a Vice President of Collegiate 100, which is an African American organization at UIC.

“One of the biggest things I’ve been trying to show people is that while I love being a student-athlete and I’m extremely proud of that…I also wanted to make a point that, that’s not only who I am,” said Bonga. “I can do more than just jump or sprint.”

Bonga works with Paprocki for the men’s basketball program, doing promotional work and helping to organize on-court activities in between the game.

“The talk show really gave me an opportunity to share who I am, you know, the full me…I feel like when I shared my experiences, a lot of people were able to connect with me,” said Bonga. “I feel like people were able to relate with me and that’s what UIC needs a lot more of.”

Students also help to create the show, like Caleb Brookman, a junior who creates all of the music that is played throughout the show from a shuffle playlist.

“We wanted to give a little style to it. You know how talk show music is usually jazzy and real lo-fi and chill, but for us, we were like, let’s change it and put our own elements into it – what we listen to and what our generation listens to.”

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