Tag Archives: Kelsey Janser

Hot Guy Panel Member Seventeen Magazine Connor Ellison

The Ellison Experience: An Inside Look at Seventeen Magazine’s

Hot Guy Panel Member Connor Ellison

By Kelsey Janser

Connor1 connor2


He’s tall, blonde, and handsome, but this member of Seventeen Magazine’s Hot Guy Panel has extreme intelligence, modesty, and a groundbreaking business vision to accompany his good looks.  Connor Ellison was born and raised in Los Angeles.  The California native loves his west coast home because of the climate: “The weather is always constant and a good temperature.  I love it because I am such a cold person in general.” By that, he means he easily becomes chilled, because this guy has a huge, warm heart.  Connor has a younger brother who is almost 16, and the two are extremely close.


Connor was a member of the 2013 Hot Guy Panel in Seventeen Magazine.  The casting process started out similar to any other.  “My agency contacted me about applying.  It was a pretty average process, at least for the first round.  I sent in some photos and answered a few questions.”  Each round, however, became increasingly more difficult, and the entire ordeal took roughly four months.  “I just kept thinking how lucky I was when I made it past another round,” Ellison recalls.  He even more vividly remembers the day he discovered he had officially made it onto the panel.  Connor’s mother explained that if he had an incoming call that day from the corporation, it meant he had made it. “I received a call in the middle of biology class, and as soon as I saw the call was from New York, I immediately started freaking out.”   Pretty soon after the call, Connor was flown out to the New York headquarters to meet the staff and rest of the panel.  The headquarters were within close proximity to Central Park, and before he knew it, Connor and the others were centered in Central for a photoshoot.

Although Connor enjoyed his time on the panel as well as modeling, he has several other passions he hopes to pursue.  Some of his favorite activities include camping and backpacking.  Connor recently achieved the ranking of Eagle Scout, a 14 year-long process, and hopes to go backpacking in Europe this summer with all his newly acquired equipment.   He also loves attending music festivals, which is where he and a friend first got their company’s idea.  This 18 year old launched his own company in 2013, The Afterglow Experience, which specializes in selling glasses that alter the way light is perceived, perfect for any concert or music festival.

Connor’s future is so bright, he needs to invest in a pair of his company’s shades.  Currently finishing his senior year at the all-male Catholic Loyola High School in LA, he plans to attend Loyola University in New Orleans in the fall.  The university awarded Connor a scholarship to continue his business while there, where he will also earn his MBA in a five-year program.  For more information and updates about his business, you can follow Connor’s company on instagram (@theafterglowexperience) or twitter (@afterglowexp).


CD Review: R.A. The Rugged Man

by Kelsey Janser


R.A. The Rugged Man is a New York Hip Hop/Rap artist who started his music career at the age of twelve. Just this past April, he released his second album Legends Never Die. The album includes seventeen songs that skillfully address controversial topics that concern people of all ages. Although the concepts he addresses in each song are done so in a vulgar manner, they are also brought up in a witty and humorous way that makes people stop and think about the issues that plague the world. To some, his music could be insulting, but to most, the issues he discusses are real. R.A. The Rugged Man keeps incredible time with the beat in each of his songs, and delivers his lyrics at lightening speed, while still being able to be understood. His song “Learn Truth” has a very good beat and lyrics that flow effortlessly. The song is filled with record scratches that are classic to this genre of music, but also includes a brief yet beautiful melody on piano. For fans of this genre or artist, you won’t be disappointed.

Maroon 5 Review

by Kelsey Jansermaroon 5

“…But tonight I’m gonna hold you so close.” Yes please, Adam Levine! The Grammy winning band, Maroon 5, started their North American tour with special guests Neon Trees and Owl City in mid February and continued throughout the spring. They visited the BB&T center March 29, and blew the crowd away.

The concert’s events opened with Owl City, an electronica band run by singer/song writer Adam Young. The Minnesota native started in 2007 and eventually signed with a record label in 2008. His playlist of the night included his most popular songs, “Fireflies” and “Good Time.” He was lively and enthusiastic throughout the performance and reinforced how sincerely grateful he was to perform for the audience that night. After he finished his thirty minute set, the curtains closed and did not re-open for another half an hour.

When the curtains finally parted ways however, Neon Trees took the stage by storm. This alternative rock band from Utah first caught the general public with the playing of their single “Animal” on the radio. The single is part of their album, Habits, which was released in 2010. They performed hits from Habits as well as their new album, Picture Show, released in 2012. The February 2012 hit single “Everybody Talks” can still be heard on the radio. The band has been together since 2005 and clearly work well with each other. Lead singer Tyler Glenn is filled with passion and was born to perform. Their thirty minute set was exciting and had a majority of the audience singing along to the catchy music.

Despite the incredible performances by the preceding bands, the crowd was waiting and ready for the main act: Maroon 5. When the curtains closed on Neon Trees, they seemed to remain closed for an eternity. Just when everyone wondered if Maroon 5 was even going to show up, the lights went out and everyone began to scream. Sound effects of coins being dropped into a machine and then a phone ringing got the crowd even more impatient: Maroon 5 would be opening their set with the song “Pay Phone.” Maroon 5 is an extremely well-known pop/rock band from California. Their most recent album release, Overexposed, contains several songs that are playing on the radio.

The band, however, played popular songs from all their albums, including a beautiful acoustic version of “She Will Be Loved.” The crowd was almost louder than Adam; EVERYONE was singing. All three bands were fantastic and made the night one to remember.

Music Reviews

These Hearts “Apology Rejected” music review

by Kelsey Janser

These Hearts is self-described popcore band. Popcore is a genre that has recently emerged and blends pop with hardcore/punk rock. In fact, the song contains a pop melody well matched to the lead singer’s pleasant voice that is occasionally interrupted with bursts of screams. The lyrics are hard to hear due to the style of the song, but if read by themselves, are beautifully written and full of meaning. The periodic outbursts were off-putting to me, but may not be for those who accept and enjoy all aspects of this genre.

Close Your Eyes “Digging Graves” music review

Close Your Eyes is a melodic hardcore/Christian hardcore band whose songs often contain the theme of faith. Although the lyrics and music video of this song are not overtly Christian, the message expresses a desire for earthly harmony and good will. While I enjoyed the song, the music video did not enhance the overall experience, nor did it seem to support the lyrics’ message. The music, however, was absolutely worth listening to and motivates me to hear more from this band in the future.

Wheely Speedy

Wheely Speedy
By: Kelsey Janser

kelsey skateboard
Transportation comes in all shapes and sizes, but a seemingly effortless way to glide along the sidewalks in style is via longboard. Longboarding started in 1959 in Hawaii and has appeared to become exponentially popular over time amongst people of all ages. I was fortunate enough to interview Miami event promoter Jonathan Strauss about UltraSkate, a spectacular skating event he and local Miami longboarder Andrew Andras put together that took place on January 7th and 8th at the Miami Speedway.

At the start of the interview, Strauss exclaimed that it was “an awesome day for boarding, barely a cloud in the sky.” He later added that if weather conditions became less perfect, however, “it’s just another challenge the skaters would have to face. This event is taking place rain or shine. The only way we would pause is if a thunderstorm occurred.” The timers of the 24-hour long event would be momentarily paused and the skaters would wait for the storm to pass. For the time being, though, the skies looked clear and rain-free.

When asked about his involvement in longboarding, Strauss declared that he had “always been part of the skating scene” but broke into the longboarding scene within the last few years and ended up creating the International Distance Skateboard Association (IDSA). The IDSA provides the standard regulations for distance competitions and functions, such as UltraSkate.

The overall concept of a longboarding timed distance competition has existed for years, but this is the first time it has really been developed with the whole community in mind. Strauss loves the idea of longboarding because everyone can participate: “We have skaters from all over the world, as well as people of all ages. We have a kid that just turned 7 today and he is going to try and skate 80 miles by the end of the 24-hour time frame.” Strauss and Andras invested roughly a year of planning before everything fell into place. They reached out to the Miami Speedway but felt it was a long shot. “We contacted six or seven other venues, some way out in the everglades, but we weren’t really getting anywhere.” By fate, persistence, and maybe even a dash of luck, Strauss came into contact with a former professor and through him was eventually able to secure a date at the Miami Speedway. They also received several great sponsors, such as Vitaminwater, Red Bull, Muscle Milk, and local BBQ restaurant Shorty’s.

Everything was a success. Strauss and Andras not only received a lot of support and participation from the community, but Andras ended up becoming the new record holder for the furthest distance longboarded in 24 hours. He broke the former record by more than ten miles, and skated a total distance of 261.8 miles.

Whether you are up for breaking a world record, such as the skaters at UltraSkate, or simply wish to cruise along the coast, Strauss encourages people to try longboarding. “Extreme sports are always hard,” comments Strauss, “all we want is to have people skate.” Visit their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/events/340826882677725/ for more information, pictures, and videos of UltraSkate 2013.