Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Many Flavors of Charlie Peppers

By Nicole Weber

Double majoring in newspaper journalism and theater, and a double minor in gender and Women’s studies and English, Charlie starts his days off with morning runs and loves to procrastinate by dancing in his room.

Charlie Peppers is always on the run and with him running for Student Association president this year he is all the more busy. But what else is there to Mr. Peppers besides academics?

A fan of superheroes, RPG, role-playing (computer) games, and the Matrix, Peppers said his three favorite superheroes would have to be Buffy, the Flash, and Shadowcat. When defending that Buffy was a superhero, Peppers said, “She has super strength, can endure a lot of pain, has died twice and lived for eight years as a slayer when slayers usually only live for one year.” Peppers admits his in-depth knowledge on Buffy has come from his obsession over the show. “I can tell the episodes by the number. I’ve been watching it since the second grade,” Peppers said.

Peppers created his own RPG, “Future is Ours,” as a senior in high school. The game has nine followers from around the world, and of course … the game was inspired and based off of the Buffy “Universe”.

Being a fan and major in theater Peppers is involved and will be performing in the classic piece “Waiting for Godot” in the basement of Myers from November 12th to the 14th. Peppers is casted as ‘a boy’ who is the messenger of Godot and the link between the two main characters “Estragon and Vladimir and Godot.

Peppers’ love for theater has inspired him to apply to NYU’s theater program for graduate school. Peppers also has two plays that, inside his head, he has already sketched storyboards for. “Plastic Ego” which will be about toys and “Wonder Waitress” which, surprise, will be about a superhero waitress.

Brooklyn bred, and Brooklynite, Peppers has been living in Crown’s Heights for 20 years with his parents, his cat Penny, siblings Chanta, 23, and Aaliyah who is seven. In a recent article with Cardinal Points on his campaigning to be S.A. President, Peppers tells a personal story about living in a mostly Jewish neighborhood and experiencing a hate crime against his family.

Peppers has built thick skin.

Belonging to two marginalized groups being an African American and openly gay, Peppers said he feels that he can tell how other people from marginalized groups are being treated, and how they must feel. Peppers also feels he has good empathy, and that his intuition is strong.

Considering himself an optimistic person, as he agrees with many other people who believe so as well, Peppers says he isn’t an ignorant blissful person. Peppers said he was taught the value of the dollar and the ethic being the work that made the dollar. Peppers favorite color and how he dresses changes with the mood of his day. His sense of fashion: Peppers says has matured into a majority of crisp collared shirts and jeans; growing up from his younger collection of comic superhero t-shirts.

Peppers initial interest for his major in journalism, came from the love of writing. “People become an art project,” Peppers comments on reporting. “Take that artwork and lace it with prose,” is what Peppers says he loves to do with his reporting.

Peppers decided to declare a gender and Women’s study minor based on his belief that “every man should be a feminist”. “I love my mother, and the thought of anyone belittling her the way I hear other people talk to other women boggles my mind,” said Peppers.

One woman in Peppers’ life is best friend Jenna Manders. Peppers recounts for how himself and Manders initially met; saying it was a little embarrassing for him. “I slammed my finger in a door, and I was shaking my hand jumping around and she thought I was doing a dance,” Peppers said. Peppers says he considers Manders one of people who helped him except his orientation a lot more than he already had.

“I was in Macomb walking down the hall and I thought he was doing the ‘Hot Walk’ dance (a dance for a song “Hot Walk” where the person is shaking their hand so to snap one finger into another), so I started dancing with him and then we just started talking,” Manders said.

Manders said he initial ‘click’ with Peppers was definitely a factor toward her being there for him when he came out. Manders said how she showed Peppers an article titled “Nature of Harm and Arguments” by John Corvino which explained reasons why people are prejudice toward gay people through the perspective of being the prejudice person. Manders adds that she has seen growth in Charlie’s acceptance of his orientation in the past few years.

Regarding the future Peppers says he would want to be a “porn star”, but all jokes aside, Peppers said he would really love to be an actor. “Comedy is a little to natural for me, but I would love to do Broadway (big fan of drama), but I would need to learn how to sing first,” Peppers said. For the near future Peppers hope to go to NYU for grad school while having an internship or an externship/job at a newspaper or magazine.

Ten years from now, Peppers hopes to have the same attitude with life, and to be healthy. Peppers would like to direct, create or act in a play and have people moved by it. Peppers also said he would like to be an advocate for the gay community.

“Treating everyday as if it’s a video game. New day, new level,” Peppers said is his attitude on life and what keeps him positive.

“I want him to be as successful as he wants,” Manders said. “His positive attitude affects people and his social skills can take him anywhere,” Manders said. “I hope he’s top journalist or a writer for GQ,” Manders predicts for Peppers future.

Dream job: Writing for the New York Times or writing comic books.

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