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Faith and Hollywood: The Chris O'Donnell Story

The excitement in Robsham Theater Thursday night was palpable as students trickled in. The event promised performances from Sexual Chocolate and Juice’s Christian Rougeau, MCAS ‘18. Undoubtedly, though, the audience was most looking forward to hearing from Chris O’Donnell, a graduate of the Carroll School of Management, best known for his roles in Scent of a Women and the television series NCIS: Los Angeles.  

The Agape Latte Beanpot, the highlight of Agape Latte’s "Espresso Your Faith" week, began with a comic dance routine, which combined Sexual Chocolate’s unique style of dance with the down-to-earth sense of humor shared by the group’s members. Rougeau followed with a display of his award-winning talent on the violin by covering popular songs in an impressive and engaging performance.

After these BC-rooted performers had sufficiently wowed the audience, it was time for the keynote speaker to take the stage. Chris O’Donnell began a laid-back, humorous narrative of the path which led him to Hollywood success—success which grew from the undying support of those around him and his motivation to follow his goal in life. O’Donnell highlighted the importance of determination, citing it as the source of his success at an early age.

Although he said that his education at BC had very little to do with his journey through Hollywood, O’Donnell clearly valued his time on the Heights, saying that he was determined to finish his degree despite a full acting career.  

Conspicuously absent from O’Donnell’s talk was a focus on how his faith helped him on his journey, the central theme of Agape Latte and the idea on which he had been expected to concentrate. By the end, O’Donnell seemed to recognize this, and he attempted to introduce the theme within his last couple minutes. He told the audience that faith had always come before everything else to him, and that a connection to Jesuit education had played a significant role in choosing Boston College; however, the idea seemed to be more of an afterthought.

The Beanpot, as expected, was an entertaining, well-organized, memorable highlight of Agape Latte’s week and gave students a reprieve from the stress accumulated over the first five weeks of the semester. If the audience did not strictly feel that its faith had been strengthened or recognized by O’Donnell’s address, it was at least made aware of the incredible talent which BC students (past and present) offer to the world at large. All three performers spoke very humbly of their achievements, and it became clear to the audience (especially in the cozy, laid-back atmosphere of the theater that night) that these were simply regular students who wanted to share their talent with the world.  

 

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