Call Pat Blute, CC ’12, on a random Wednesday evening, and you may find him amid crazy background noise running First Wednesday Travel Trivia at Village Pourhouse. It’s one way that Blute, also well-known for his Bwog video series “Bwog Weather” and “HardCore,” allows his humor to make a name for himself around campus.
He is taking on his next challenge as the writer and director of “Spears,” a production that tells the story of the New Testament through the music of Britney Spears.
In his work and personal life, Blute said that he tries to keep it light. For Blute, that attitude has grown out of odd life experiences—in high school, he won a free trip around the world.
“A lot of the way I try to engage with people is just to be open to anything and everything,” Blute said. “I don’t know how to take life too seriously.”
Blute will do anything to capture what he called the “hardcore Columbia odyssey.”
“I believe in turning something totally boring like weather into something extravagant,” he said. “In the videos, I’m painting, making omelets, I jumped into the Hudson.”
Blute has been very involved in the entertainment scene at Columbia over the past four years, from acting out a cultish COÖP leader in the Varsity Show to producing a short film for the Columbia College Senior Fund.
“I dodge around all different arenas of the creative world. I’m comfortable both on stage and behind the camera—I try not to pigeonhole myself and have tried out all different capacities to be the best at what I do,” Blute said.
Although he came up with the idea for “Spears” five years ago, Blute wrote the script while taking a semester on an island off the coast of Australia. “I would listen to my iPod every day … and just going through the random shuffle, some Britney would come on and it would be like, ‘You know what, that project that I came up with years ago, that just seems relevant right now,’” Blute said.
Even the faculty is excited for the performance in April. “My inclination is to think that anything Pat does is awesome, but the fact that it’s a commentary on the gospel somehow … just amuses me,” said Christia Mercer, professor of philosophy and chair of Literature Humanities, who appeared in Blute’s HardCore videos.
Regarding the five-year gap between conception and production of the show, Blute said, “Believe it or not, it took a really, really long time and a really, really overcomplicated analysis of what this could be and what this show would stand for.”
Blute—who was raised Catholic and had always been interested in history—is aware of the show’s potential for controversy, but hopes the show will be refreshing. “It is an extremely tasteful piece and it is an extremely respectful piece, and it’s also a piece that will leave you engaged in the type of conversation and thought that you would expect from a Columbia production,” Blute said.
To Blute, “Spears” is just the latest chapter of a performing career that began at the age of 10. Since then, he said, his main outlook on life has been “being open to whatever comes your way ... and love whatever you’re doing. Love what it is. Love everyone that’s a part of it.”