Bouye directs Spring Sing
Friday, February 29, 2008
By Tracy Corcoran
Senior Josh Bouye has not only led a hectic life by directing Spring Sing, but he has also learned new things about himself and about being a leader.
Bouye was born and raised in Edmond, Okla. and has been attending Oklahoma Christian University since 2002.
Last April, Bouye found out he would be this year's Spring Sing director and has been working on creating the show ever since.
"This semester, I've pretty much decided I'm in a relationship with Spring Sing because it takes over all of my time," Bouye said. "When I'm not doing stuff with my hosts and hostesses, I'm doing stuff with my choreography team. If I'm not doing stuff with them, I'm doing stuff with the clubs. If I'm not doing stuff with the clubs, then I'm making sure the costumes and marketing are getting there."
Spring Sing is taking over almost every day of Bouye's life this semester.
"I go to sleep doing Spring Sing, and I wake up doing Spring Sing," Bouye said.
Senior Allison Harmon, Bouye's assistant director, said the combination of his experience and passion for Spring Sing is what got him the job.
"He's got experience," Harmon said. "He was Alpha's director for two years, and he just absolutely loves shows like this. He's seen Spring Sing since he was born, and he has always wanted to be this part in a show."
Harmon said Bouye came up with a great theme, and the judges who chose him as a director liked both his experience and his idea for a theme.
Harmon said Bouye has been really easy to work with and describes him as being a boss anyone would want to have.
"He's really easy going, in terms of working with everybody," Harmon said. "He's not uptight about things, but he's pretty organized and knows how to get things done without being overbearing and being the kind of boss you don't want to have."
Delegating is one of the most important jobs any director has.
One of Bouye's classes has taught him practical skills he has been able to apply to being Spring Sing director.
"I'm taking a class this semester called Recruiting and Training Volunteers, and it has actually helped me out a lot," Bouye said. "I've learned even though you're a director and you're leading these people, doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself."
Bouye said one of the qualities of being a good leader is realizing you can't and shouldn't have to do everything yourself.
"If you try to do it all yourself, it's not going to get done," Bouye said.
Harmon has noticed Bouye's delegation and said he does a good job of letting others do their own jobs.
"He's really easy to work with," Harmon said. "I think something important about being director is understanding how to let people do their jobs—letting the tech guys do what they know how to do and letting the ad people do what they know how to do. He's really good at that and not taking over their jobs when they know what they're doing."
Being Spring Sing director has not only improved Bouye's leadership skills, but it has also given him a confidence he said he would never have gotten if he were not the Spring Sing director.
"One of the things I've realized is that I do have the leadership qualities," Bouye said. "I've realized my own strengths and weaknesses. It basically pushed me to do things that if I weren't Spring Sing director, I'd never think I could do."
The position has even given Bouye the chance to meet more people on campus.
"Working with all the people, I've developed some really good relationships through all of this," Bouye said. "I've gotten to know club directors I probably wouldn't have known."
While Bouye has had a lot of fun putting Spring Sing together, he admits he does get stressed out more than he should.
"There are always the little tiny things that will get you stressed out," Bouye said. "Just things like, 'Is this costume going to show up, is this song ready for my host and hostess to perform or can the band do this?', which they can because they're amazing, but I still stress out about that."
Bouye said focusing on the little things helps to get them done, but he admits he probably shouldn't stress out about them as much as he has.
Sophomore Spring Sing hostess Meagan Martin said even if Bouye gets upset, he always apologizes and keeps them encouraged.
"He gets stressed. Everyone gets stressed," Martin said. "If he freaks out or yells in front of us, he always apologizes. He calms down and says, 'Sorry about that guys,' or 'Sorry if I was rude, you guys are awesome, keep it up.' He's just like anybody else. Everybody gets stressed and freaks out, but it's okay."
Bouye not only encourages those he works with during practices and rehearsals, but he also sends out e-mails to remind them how much he appreciates all of their hard work and efforts.
"He's been very encouraging the whole way," Harmon said. "I've gotten e-mails from him saying, 'You're doing a great job. I really appreciate all your work and it's going to be a great show. Thank you.' He's sent those to most people."
Prioritizing has kept Bouye's life balanced. He also has a flexible boss at work, which has made it easier for him to focus on school and Spring Sing.
"In my classes, I'm actually doing better than I thought I was," Bouye said. "It's just prioritizing and saying, 'This is for class and this is for Spring Sing.' I have a really good boss at Randy's M&Ms and they let me work on Sunday nights and gave me Monday through Saturday off and starting last week, until Spring Sing is over with."
The store has given Bouye three weeks off and is going to let him return to his managerial position.
"They've been really understanding, so I really haven't had to balance work into it," Bouye said.
This year's hosts and hostesses have choreography, which has never been done before. Martin said the audience will love the change.
"I think it's going to be awesome because it's Broadway and Disney and musicals, and everybody loves musicals," Martin said. "There is choreography which has never been done where hosts have full out choreography and a choreography team. I think the audience is going to love it because it's very upbeat. It's going to be the best."
When Spring Sing is over Saturday night, Bouye said he won't know what to do with all of the extra time he will have.
"I'll be glad all the stress and everything that has been snowballing is over with, but I have had a lot of fun," Bouye said. "I have amazing host and hostesses who, when we come to practice we just have fun together. They practice and they get down into it, but they still have fun with me. I guess I'll be sad to see it end."