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Behind the Bruin: "The Emcee"

Mazzerina on stage at Country Showcase, Braden Simmons

It’s another busy Saturday as prospective students stream into campus to see Belmont University on Preview Day. 


Daniel Mazzerina stands front and center, microphone in hand.  


He cracks a few jokes, entertains families and explains the run-through of the day.  


And of course, tells his name, major and hometown. 


In true Towering Tradition fashion.  


But that’s just the beginning. 


At around lunchtime, he goes and changes out of his bright red “We are BU” T-shirt, opting for a more formal button down. 


Because it’s not just another preview day - it’s also a Belmont showcase night.  


“Belmont has very graciously... found opportunities where I can be my pure self, as opposed to me being some version of myself,” he said. 


And his pure self? An avid listener, supporter and enjoyer of music – whether it's the tunes of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen or a little-known Belmont band. 


“In high school, I was the kid with the band. And then as I'm sure many people know, when you get here, you're no longer the kid with the band. That’s everybody,” he said. 

Mazzerina soaking in the sun, courtesy of Daniel Mazzerina

In Durham, North Carolina, Mazzerina was a performer playing at different events with his band of friends. 


He formed a comfortable community and so, when the time came to leave for Belmont, he wasn’t convinced it would be as great as high school had been. 


“I didn't want to leave my home, my friends and my family in the life that I had built there. I wasn't too eager about the opportunity to build a new life,” he said. 


But he seemingly did build a new life.  


One full of house shows, concerts and writer’s rounds.  


Mazzerina seems to have found himself as a key player even if he doesn’t play as much as he used to.  


“Doing things like showcase has given me the opportunity to still be really invested and to still be an active supporter of other people and their talent,” he said. 


But talent doesn’t have to be only on stage. 


“If you're going to have the privilege of being handed the mic to talk to 1000 people, you better take the time to talk to one,” he said. “You can't just go up in front of a whole room, speak to everybody and let the people give you the cheap applause.” 


Part of what he loves about his daily walks to class is bumping into someone who recognizes him from a showcase. 


“Depending upon how determined I am to get to class on time, I might stop and talk for a few minutes,” he said with a laugh. 


Mazzerina is generally known as an extroverted individual who’s always willing to talk and go out, although he’s also quick to point out he has a threshold. 


“I am just a little bit introverted at times,” he said. “I don't recharge by going out for the night. I recharge by staying in.” 


This may also include a secret escape to a fifth-floor study room in the Janet Ayers Academic Center, he said. 


Whether scrolling through his phone backstage, holing up in a study room in the JAAC or staying in his room listening to the newest comedy podcast while vacuuming, Mazzerina finds his alone time to be a valuable necessity to avoid burnout. 


But even after these recharges, he still finds fun in going out to house shows and keeping up with the latest in local Belmont music – especially the individuals that make up the bands. 


He attempts to go to as many shows as he can even if that means he sometimes overbooks himself. 


“There's actually a term in our friend group. It's called a ‘Dmazz maybe.’ What that means is ‘I want to say yes, but I don't know if I can yet. So, I'm gonna give you a ‘Dmazz maybe,’” said Mazzerina’s sophomore year roommate, Trent Yatsky. 


But what’s clear is his care for artists and their work, which seemingly translates to his job as an emcee.  


Instead of focusing on himself when he gets backstage, Mazzerina first goes to the other stage performers, checking in to make sure they’re comfortable and ready.  


“How are the artists looking? As long as they look generally happy, we're cool,” he said. 


After checking in with the musicians for the night, Mazzerina goes and finds a quiet space to recharge before hitting the stage and getting the crowd amped. 


“I eat dinner, and I usually go sit on a couch for about 30-45 minutes in just dead silence and scroll through my phone,” he said. 


While in a position that requires knowledge of bands, sponsors and improvisational skills, he navigates the stage as comfortably as a rocker navigates their guitar. 


“He makes it seem effortless. When he has a conversation, he's also very intentional with his words,” said Yatsky. 


Mazzerina finds ease in his on-stage roles because he doesn’t have to put on a facade – he's just himself. 


“It's not a role that's super high demand in the sense of being a face of it. I'm allowed to be myself on stage and off stage, on campus and off campus. I can be myself everywhere I go,” he said. 


He is also comfortable being himself on campus, where he may run into more than a few of his friends he’s made through his variety of activities. 


“One time we were leaving class and walking around the lawn, and he pulled out his sunglasses right as we leave the building. We're walking around, and I think every single person on the lawn probably knew who he was and said something to him,” said music business senior Sydney Pike. “I felt like I was walking around with a presidential candidate the way he's greeting people and waving.” 


The same energy as seen on stage.  

Mazzerina with the crowd at the R&B and Hip-Hop Showcase, courtesy of Mackenzie Boyd

 “What Daniel shares on the stage is also who he is,” said Bailey Wise, the producer of this year’s pop showcase. “Maybe a little bit less like, announcer-ish, But he's the same person on and off. It's very genuine.” 


When on stage he’s also known as more of a diverter of the spotlight, shouting out the entirety of the crew at least once a show. 


“Aside from information we give them, it's totally on him. I think it's so cool that he does that every time,” said Wise. 


As he finishes scrolling through his phone at around 6:45 p.m., Mazzerina begins to walk back to the stage. 


It's showtime. 


Mazzerina waits for his cue. 


As the lights begin to fall and the spotlight hits the stage, all of the crowd's attention focuses on one face. 


“Good evening, Curb Event Center!” 

This article was written by Braden Simmons

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2 comentários

hyundai glad
hyundai glad
23 de abr.

And his pure self? An avid listener, supporter and enjoyer of music – whether it's the tunes of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen or a little-known Belmont band.  geometry dash


Shawn Reed
Shawn Reed
14 de abr.

Awesome life to lead! Anyone who thrives by being themself has a true talent. Love how Dmazz rolls!

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