The person in the Petey suit is probably not who you think it is

By: Kyle Ferrara

Features Editor

There’s a new Petey in town. Well, there’s a new person in the Petey suit at least. On the condition of anonymity, the new heart and soul of Canisius athletics sat down with The Griffin to discuss the beauty of Buffalo, dancing, and alter egos.

Petey Griffin: Can I ask you some questions first?

Kyle Ferrara: Of course.

PG: What have you fallen in love with in Buffalo?

KF: Over the summer, my girlfriend and I went down to Canalside handful of times. One Wednesday we went down there and there were Salsa lessons going on—

PG: Salsa with Sarah—

KF: Yes! And I loved it. And we were pretty good at it, too. We just had a blast. I really wish that I would take more advantage of what’s down there because the waterfront is such a hidden gem in this city.

PG: It’s unfortunate because, as college students, we’re so busy. We are stretched like silly putty, and not enough people really get to go into the city. And this is a problem because there are so many events, and there are so many different groups in Buffalo that want to meet us, and a lot of the events and a lot of the people are older people, and they need youth to come in and show them what our generation is actually like. I feel like there is a big divide between the new generation and the old generation. We have to be that bridge.

KF: So what are some ways that our generation can bridge that gap?

PG: You just need to go. You need to stop making up excuses. We need to stop being lazy, stop pretending like we’re too tired, which we are, but life is tiring. You’re always going to be tired. You might as well get over that now. Stop being lazy and just go. People from Buffalo who actually know the city, we have to be ambassadors and have to take ‘friend-fieldtrips.’ Go to whatever event, museum, party, fundraiser, exhibit. Honestly if you pick up Gusto or Art Voice, there’s like 50 million things to do in Buffalo. You just have to go, and not be afraid to talk to people. People are afraid to actually engage in conversation. They just stick together.

KF: You want them to branch out from each other.

PG: Yes! I will go up to people and talk to random people. If we’re at an event, we’re all here for a reason. We’re all here for whatever this event has to offer, and we all have that in common. We can all talk to each other, but when we talk to people, it’s almost like you’re always asking someone out on a date. Like you have to be smooth or else they’ll be afraid. And it’s that fear of rejection from them and then the fear of someone talking to you and actually caring about what you have to say [stop people from doing it].

KF: But you just said you’re not good at conversations, that you’re awkward.

PG: Usually when I go to an event—an art show, dance class, whatever—I know that those people have taken the time out of their day to come to this event. And that shows that they are willing to put in effort to be part of a community, to get to know other people. So if I talk to someone, I might have the chance of making a great connection.

KF: What are the some of the things that you are passionate about?

PG: I like to dance. And I teach dance.

KF: When did you start teaching?

PG: Last year, but I was the PRAISE dance leader at my church when I was 13. So that’s when it really started. I remember when I was a kid that I would play school with my sisters. And I used to have an alter-ego and she would make us do boot camp.

KF: At what age did the alter ego go away?

PG: My alter-ego is very much still alive. So when I was younger I had four alter egos. Now in college, I still have them, but it’s more developed and it makes more sense. I used one today, her name is Red. This morning I was so tired. I didn’t want to go to dance class, didn’t want to go to school, catch the bus. And there are a lot of things going on right now for me. I called Red—it’s not crazy! I called upon Red—she’s extremely focused.  She just does tasks without thinking about it. She’s like, ‘Do work. Feed your 12 pets.’ I’m very emotional, so I have to change my perspective. It’s like pretending to have a character to play. Having an alter ego is like being a character for a scene.

KF: When you’re Petey, are you one of you alter egos? Or are you yourself totally?

PG: When I am Petey, I am not an alter ego.  I am myself, but my most energetic and most excited and most loving self. And I have to give the gift of excitement about life to everyone else. So I just want to give my energy to other people and just know that it will radiate throughout the room through Petey’s image. I’m not shy about performing. That is when I’m my most honest and vulnerable self. There aren’t any layers. There aren’t any alter egos. When I perform, it’s sincere. It’s me being vulnerable, allowing other people to see my emotions and expressions and all that jazz.

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