Dangui Lands Gig as PiperTV Anchor
By Kelly Saavedra
Opportunities abound for students who want to make the most of their time at Carnegie Mellon University. Just ask Sunny Dangui, who recently began hosting PiperTV, a new social media video series from the Pittsburgh campus.
Dangui was raised in an artistic family that encouraged her to create and to share her creations with the world. She was first introduced to the power of visual storytelling as an undergraduate at Colby College in Watervillle, Maine, where she double-majored in Spanish and Theater and Dance, while also working in the college’s communications office.
“That was where I learned about digital cameras and editing software, and I began considering a career in the media and entertainment industry,” she said. “Over quarantine last spring, I started appreciating the arts and entertainment even more because that was basically what was keeping us sane.”
Dangui is now pursuing a master’s degree in entertainment and industry management in CMU’s Heinz College. Her desire to tell stories for CMU’s social media team led to a serendipitous discovery.
“I really enjoyed my time working in communications at Colby, so I applied to work for CMU’s social media channels,” she said. “My supervisors happened to be developing this new IGTV series, and since I come from a theater background and I love making videos they just asked me if I wanted to be the host of it, and of course I said yes!”
For PiperTV, Dangui is interviewing students, showcasing the exciting projects they are working on and highlighting upcoming events. As the weather gets nicer, she would also love to share with the audience some of her favorite places to go in and around Pittsburgh.
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She says the whole experience is helping her develop useful skills for life after graduation, such as memorization and public speaking.
“Memorizing the script seems to be helping me with memorizing other things on the spot, which would be a great skill to have in practically any industry,” she said. “And whether you pursue a role as an onscreen talent or not, public speaking can always make you stand out.”
Given the limited resources available in the pandemic, she’s also learning how important it is to make the most of what you have.
“If I'm able to pull a set together in my room, I think I will be able to make do with anything,” she said. “There will be so many cases in the real world where you will be under-resourced, but you don't have to wait for the resource to appear to reach your goal.”
Dangui says her biggest challenge is maintaining the right balance between her excitement about the story she’s telling and the stillness necessary to make a good recording.
“The earbud is plugged into my phone, and its wire is tucked under my hoodie, which limits how much I can move,” she said. “There have been so many times when I’ve yanked my phone off the stand in the middle of a recording because of this wire-y situation!”
That’s show biz.