Most students find summer jobs in the classifieds. Daron Vaught’s came to him.
Appalachian Mountain Studios tapped Vaught to host its game show, “Back to the Woods,” after seeing Vaught on EHC-TV’s YouTube channel.
“I really underestimated EHC-TV’s presence on YouTube,” Vaught said. “I never thought a potential employer would look to YouTube.”
What was Vaught doing on YouTube?
Mocking common elements of text jargon like LOL and LMAO in what is called a “rant.”
“I can spell y-o-u,” Vaught says in the rant. “And a-r-e.” (View the rant here.)
Vaught’s other rants included expressions of his frustrations with students dragging snow into a classroom building last winter, the risk Dairy Queen takes inverting frozen desserts before serving customers, and the media’s recent obsession with MMA sports.
For Vaught, a mass communications and English double-major, the rants were a chance to break free from the restraints of straight news reporting.
“The nature of news is kind of cut and dry,” Vaught said. “I like to get at least some thought of mine out there. The Rant gave me the opportunity to express myself a little bit. It’s a lot of fun.”
“Back to the Woods” producers contacted Vaught this summer. “They said I fit the bill of what they were looking for,” Vaught said.
Vaught soon found himself in a Damascus studio joking with and jibing the show’s contestants in cut-scenes and segues in front of a green screen.
The show, which saw eight duos compete in a trio of races, had been filmed earlier.
Ribbing strangers was a challenge. “I never met any of these people and was being asked to joke about them,” Vaught said. It was the first time he’d read script from a prompter that wasn’t his own and his only experience with a green screen.
With career aspirations in sports journalism Vaught soaked up all he could from the experience. “It was really enlightening. I would’ve done it for free.”
With the work behind him, Vaught has returned to his college routine. He’ll be hosting EHC-TV’s Sports Interview and he’s a middle infielder on the College’s baseball team.
He’ll find the time for a rant or two, too, he said.
Show producers contacted him later in the summer to say they’d found a distributor and the show should be airing soon. When it does, Vaught expects, he’ll have a small fan club watching.
“The guys on the team have taken to calling me Bob Barker,” he said smiling.