Jon Cozart

Senior Biological Sciences Lecturer, Dee Silverthorn, practices with UT Student, Jon Cozart, for UT’s own rendition of “Dancing with the Stars.” All L event proceeds will go to support Texas 4000’s ride to Alaska. 

Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

Ballroom dancing can take a lifetime to master, but three UT students have learned it in only a few months. These students will be judged tonight on their newly acquired skills at the second-ever “Dancing with the Stars: UT,” an event hosted by Texas Ballroom and Texas 4000. 

The competition is structured like a scaled-down version of the television show where a celebrity performs with a professional dancer and is then judged by a panel. Each participant must learn a social dance, such as the two-step or swing, and a ballroom dance, such as the foxtrot or cha-cha.

All the event’s proceeds will go to Texas 4000 to fund the members’ ride to Alaska for cancer research. In addition to the dance competition, the event will have social dancing and performances by various student dance groups. 

“Each star has to do two dances, and for each of the dances, they have a Texas Ballroom officer or member who is going to teach them a routine,” said Caroline Suh, one of the professionals and a Texas 4000 alumna. “Dancing with the Stars: UT” will feature four “stars” and seven professionals. The stars are UT students Mina Ghobrial, Jon Cozart and Jennifer Sunshine Garrison, as well as senior biological sciences lecturer Dee Silverthorn. The professionals are officers and members of the UT Texas Ballroom club. 

Similar to the TV show, most of the UT competitors are ballroom dance novices.

“This is my first time doing any kind of real ballroom dancing,” said Garrison, who is also a part of the UT improv group Giggle Pants. “I mean, I have probably faked doing ballroom dancing on the stage during a show at some point, but this is true technique-based ballroom dancing.”

The only dancer with real ballroom experience is Silverthorn, who has been dancing since she was a child, and performed with dance companies in Charleston, S.C., and Mobile, Ala.

“I grew up in New Orleans and everybody took ballroom dancing,” Silverthorn said. “In the sixth and seventh grade that was the standard thing to do, and I’ve danced other ways — jazz, modern, ballet — a lot my whole life.” 

Suh said the student stars have natural dancing ability, but even so, it can be a challenge to teach them choreography on top of learning the dances themselves.

“What’s really hard is having to teach them all of the basic technique and then having a routine on top of that in like four months,” Suh said. “It’s not as bad as the real show where they do a new dance each week.”

Grasping the basics of ballroom dance, including steps, rhythm and choreography, can be difficult. Cozart said allowing himself to make errors was a learning process in itself. 

“Being comfortable with somebody enough to screw up and drop them and understanding that it’s OK to fail, was the biggest challenge for me,” Cozart said. “Just getting over that mindset, I should be perfect.”

Contestants on the real “Dancing with the Stars” wear elaborate costumes that are intentionally flashy, and the stars for UT’s version will be no different. They are borrowing competition attire from members of Texas Ballroom for the event.

“I just got the dress for [the foxtrot] and it’s way over the top,” Silverthorn said. “It’s hot pink and regular pink with layers in the skirt and big sleeves. The top is totally covered in sequins and rhinestones.”  

The stars and instructors have been putting in two or three hours of work per week into their routines, but Garrison said learning to dance is worth the effort. 

“It can be challenging at times. But once you get [the dance] down, you feel so good that you did it, and you see the progress as you’re going along,” Garrison said. “It’s something that I hope I won’t ever forget.

Campus Characters

Radio-television-film senior, Andy Young, right, is the writer and director of "Keith and Heath," a puppet-comedy musical. 

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

For the past few weeks, two faceless hand puppets have been scattered around radio-television-film senior Andy Young’s home.  

“They are currently in my living room sitting on my couch,” Young said. “It’s the scariest thing.” 

Young is the writer and director of a short film for his undergraduate thesis film production class. The short, titled “Keith and Heath,” is the story of identical twin brothers whose relationship is threatened when they fall for the same girl. Young describes it as a “Sesame Street” version of reality. 

In collaboration with fellow radio-television-film students Jon Cozart, voice actor, and Rachael Teague, producer, Young is planning to begin official production soon with support from project backers and the film community. 

“When I first wrote ‘Keith and Heath,’ they actually weren’t puppets,” Young said. “I was running auditions for ‘The Crime of the Century,’ and the first actor who came in was named Keith, and the next one was named Heath. So that was it. I spent the whole night giggling and writing this script. And I always wanted to make a film about identical twins. I thought if they’re puppets, they can easily be made identical.”

When it came to casting vocal talent for the puppets, Young had one particular friend, student and entertainer in mind: Cozart. 

“That’s what’s great about the [radio-television-film] community,” Young said. “You have friends, but you can also collaborate with each other.”

While Cozart spends his time on campus as a member of Gigglepants, UT’s short-form improv group, he may be more well-known under his YouTube moniker, Paint.

Since seventh grade, Cozart has been scripting, filming and editing videos, such as “After Ever After,” in which he parodies the lives of Disney princesses with original songs.

“I never thought I’d be a musician, but I just lucked into it,” Cozart said. “It’s really strange because you make videos online, and it’s this different world, but then you get recognized.”

Young explains that, after working on a previous project together, he and Cozart became mutual fans of each other’s work. When asked to play the voices of both the puppet brothers in “Keith and Heath,” Cozart jumped at the chance. 

“There’s a lot of people in film school who have these ideas, but you have to find people who are organized and actually put in the work.” Cozart said. “The amount of talented people is ridiculous, but the amount of people who actually accomplish the things they want to do is so different. [Young] is the kind of guy who will jump at this and make it work.”

While funding is often the biggest burden of making a student film, “Keith and Heath” quickly gained a following much larger than Young ever expected.

The “Keith and Heath” Kickstarter page started with an initial fundraising goal of $4,500. Within just 24 hours, they raised more than half that amount. The support of Cozart’s subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook friends boosted the numbers to eventually reach and exceed their initial goal by nearly $2,000. 

“Every dollar that goes into the film is going towards getting a better composer, better production value and getting more people involved in the film in general,” Teague said. 

The students hope that, with the increase in funding, they will be able to hire more specialized crew members. Perhaps the strangest part of the hiring process, Young explained, is locating available professional puppeteers and puppet costume designers in the Austin area. 

“That’s been a big challenge,” Young said. “There is a puppet community in Austin. But it’s like finding where ‘Fight Club’ is.” 

Teague, who met Young through the undergraduate thesis class, said that, as soon as she read his script, she knew she wanted to produce “Keith and Heath.”

“[Young] sent the script and the music and basically set up this whole world,” Teague said. “My whole mind-set on film is that, if I’m going to watch something, it has to be something I want to get lost in. I don’t want to go back to the real world. I want to stay in the film world.”

According to Teague, “Keith and Heath” is expected to premiere publicly sometime in May, featuring a full cast of humans and puppets — plus an original score. 

In the meantime, Young, Teague and Cozart simply hope that every aspect of the film will come together smoothly. 

“You can stack everything up, and it can all go incredibly,” Cozart said. “But, in the end, you really just have to make a good movie.”


Photo Credit: Olivia Kwong | Daily Texan Staff

UT is more popular than Beyonce. At least maybe on Twitter.

Among Texas’ universities and colleges, UT-Austin has the highest Klout score. Klout is a company that analyzes a person’s or company’s social media influence and engagement by providing a ranking between one and 100.  UT-Austin’s Klout score may be higher than that of any Texas institution, Texas business or Texas celebrity — at least I can’t find anyone higher. Even Beyonce's klout score is two points below UT.

It’s easy to contend that Klout may not be the best way to rank social media popularity and influence — Beyonce has 7 million more followers than UT-Austin, and her Klout score is based solely on her Twitter account while UT-Austin’s is based on several of its social media accounts.

But it’s hard to argue the UT-Austin Twittersphere and social media landscape isn’t a buzzing, fun and interactive place to be. After all, the University has won awards for its social media work.

With that said, here are 10 UT-related Twitter accounts every UT student should be following:

1. @UTAustin:
@UTAustin is the mother ship. It is the main, official account of the University. With more than 46,000 followers, this Twitter account has a lot of reach.

Drew Carls, UT’s digital content coordinator, manages and runs the @UTAustin twitter account.

“The purpose of this account is to share the news of the University as a whole,” Carls said. “Everything from research to athletics, and just shed light on all the great things going on.”

Carls also engages with people talking about UT, and he helps answer questions.

2. @hwbrands:
H. W. Brands has authored more than 25 books. On Twitter, he has authored more than 200 haiku. The UT history professor uses Twitter to write haiku about history. But if you are studying for a history test, it is probably better to actually go to class than just read Brands’ Twitter feed.

3. @JonCozart:
In March, radio-television-film sophomore Jon Cozart’s “After Ever After” video quickly went viral. Cozart was already famous on YouTube for several of his other videos, including “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds.” But in just two weeks his newest video parodying Disney princesses got half the number of hits his most popular video took more than a year to get. Cozart promotes his videos, and also provides the occasional funny quip.

4. @UTAustinPolice:
A majority of the University of Texas Police Department’s Twitter messages have to do with Campus Watch, the daily crime report sprinkled with sarcastic jokes. But this Twitter account also sends out breaking news updates when something big happens.

5. @thedailytexan:
I would be amiss (fired?) if I didn’t recommend The Daily Texan’s Twitter account. The Texan’s Twitter was active during both the bomb threat and presidential debates last fall. Following the Texan’s Twitter is a way to follow breaking news and to keep up with what the Texan is writing if you do not visit the website every day.

6. @HoracioUgeo:
In an effort to improve transparency, Student Government President Thor Lund and Vice President Wills Brown have kept an active Twitter presence by sending Twitter messages about every meeting they had and every accomplishment they met. It remains to be seen if Student Government President-elect Horacio Villarreal and Vice President-elect Ugeo Williams will duplicate this feat.

Regardless of whether they can match Lund and Brown, Villarreal and Williams are the student body’s new representatives. Students should follow them — they will be involved in a variety of things impacting the campus.

7. @BobMetcalfe:
Bob Metcalfe is a UT-Austin professor who co-invented the Ethernet cable and has an encyclopedic knowledge of startups and entrepreneurship opportunities. Anyone who enjoys tech news would enjoy reading Metcalfe’s updates on tech and startup news.

8. @utstudentaffair:
UT’s Division of Student Affairs oversees many student resources on campus, including the Division of Housing and Food Service, University Health Services and the Student Events Center. Assistant Director of Student Affairs Joshua Cook, who runs the Twitter account, said he makes sure students are aware of all the services UT has to offer students. He also engages with students.

“It’s a way to work with students and show that we’re listening to what they’re saying and what they’re doing,” Cook said. “It’s a way to let them know that they’re important and part of this family.”

9. @GagePaine:
It’s hard to find administrators on Twitter, but Gage Paine, the vice president for student affairs, is an exception. Student affairs is focused on engaging students and getting them involved with programs at UT. Paine said while learning the best ways to use social media takes time, Twitter has worked for her.

“I get a picture of things students care about … and I follow all sorts of offices and other folks on campus,” Paine said. “So it helps me pay attention to what is going on on campus.”

10. @electrolemon:
In the interest of full disclosure, Demi Adejuyigbe does work for The Daily Texan. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recommend him. With more than 6,000 followers, Adejuyigbe is rising to celebrity status on campus. A photo of Adejuyigbe has even been seen on Tosh.O. His tweets will add some comic relief to your Twitter feed and a few chuckles to your day.

Jon Cozart sings darker, more satirical tune with new video

Jon Cozart, a UT sophomore studying radio-television-film,  is signing a bit of a different tune with his newest YouTube video, which is quickly making splashes online.

The video, called “After Ever After”, is a song that explores the misfortunes that fall upon Disney princesses after their happily ever after endings. The video, which premiered online Tuesday, has already be featured on several different media outlets, including Huffington Post Comedy. The video has racked up more than 200,000 hits in less than two full days and, as of Thursday afternoon, the single was also number 2 on iTunes’ comedy chart. At number 1 is “YOLO” by the Lonely Island.

Cozart is famous in the digital world for his musical YouTube videos. He hit it big online with his “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds” video, which has more than 12 million views. Cozart transferred to UT-Austin from UT-San Antonio last Fall. In an interview with The Daily Texan in September, Cozart said he would like to keep making videos but he had to find a way to balance his school work. His YouTube channel has been silent since late July, but Cozart has been teasing and talking about a new video on his Twitter account for months.

In “After Ever After,” Cozart takes the happy, disney fairy tales and spins them with a dark twist. Cozart goes into gruesome detail about the lives of Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”, Jasmine from “Aladdin”, Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and Pocahontas from “Pocahontas.” The video is also ripe with satire, with Cozart referencing modern events, politics and history.

Ariel’s kingdom is suffering from BP’s Oil Spill and mankind’s mistreatment of the ocean’s ecosystem (“China men feast on Flounder's fins, plus the Japanese killed all my whale friends”). Aladdin has been wrongly imprisoned by the CIA for intense interrogation (“Bush was crazy, Obama’s lazy, al-Qaeda’s not in this country”).  Belle faces possibly lynching (“But the charges laid on me of beastility could wind up getting me thrown in a cell”). And Pocahontas is decapitating Europeans as her people die from disease and invasion (“Have you ever held the entrails on an English guy?”).

Every scenario is presented in a sarcastically cheery acapella performance, similar to Cozart’s other videos. But the dark humor and political satire makes this video stand out from his others. While “After Ever After” has Cozart’s style and technique, this video is showing a new side to the YouTube star.



RTF sophomore Jon Cozart, the creator of “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds” is a YouTube celebrity with more than 227,000 subscribers on his channel, “Paint”. Cozart said he while he is not as crazy as his character on his YouTube channel, he does bear some resemblance.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

While his name is not nearly as well-known as his most famous video with 10 million views, Jon Cozart has made a splash into the world of fandom with his YouTube channel, Paint.

In July 2011, Cozart released the video “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds.” It is what it sounds like: a musical video that sums up the seven-book and eight-movie plot of Harry Potter in a mere 99 seconds. The video went viral online instantly and launched him into the world of online fame.

Cozart, an RTF sophomore, transferred to UT-Austin this year from UTSA through the CAP program. He said since transferring to UT-Austin, he has already made more friends than in the two semesters he was in San Antonio.

“San Antonio was not kind to me, you could say,” Cozart said. “I prefer it here. The classes are just a higher level. It’s more challenging, but it’s more rewarding.”

Cozart said he has already been recognized three times since transferring to UT.

“It always shocks me that people recognize me from the Internet,” Cozart said. “They just approach me and say, ‘Are you Jon Cozart?’ and I say, ‘Yeah,’ and we have a conversation. It’s really cool.”

But often, fans may be surprised to find Cozart’s personality in real life is not as wacky as his YouTube channel’s character. He is more mellow and calm outside of his videos.

“It’s more difficult to be sporadic and spontaneous when I don’t have a script,” Cozart said. “I’m a theater kid at heart — I have to act. Of course, there is some level of my personality that is like that.”

Cozart’s YouTube channel Paint has more than 220,000 subscribers. Paint had around 7,000 subscribers the morning “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds” launched. By the evening, it had more than 12,000.

“I had been producing YouTube videos for six years, and I had always tried to see if I could make a viral video, if I could tap into that market,” Cozart said. “I thought, ‘I’m a Harry Potter fan, so I might as well try to dive in.’”

It took more than two months to create the concept, record and edit “Harry Potter in 99 Seconds.” In all of his musical videos, Cozart makes the beat and sings the words to his songs and then mashes the audio recordings together. Because he is a one-man band, Cozart’s videos often have many levels of audio. His most recent video, “Lord of the Rings in 99 Seconds,” has 20 layers of audio.

“I don’t know anything about recording – I record it and that’s it,” Cozart said. “That’s what I’m doing in college, I’m hoping to learn how to edit music and how to record myself, to make it easier.”

But Cozart does not just include multiple layers of audio — he often also includes multiple layers of video. Cozart often doubles in his productions, appearing as multiple characters. In one video he plays twins who are fighting over a current/ex-girlfriend. In his Harry Potter video, he plays both the singer and the a cappella musician. While Cozart is certainly not the only YouTuber or filmmaker to do this, his split personality technique is one of his trademarks.

“It’s not a very complicated technique,” Cozart said. “Basically you just film half of it, split it in half and then film the other half. It is difficult when you have music, because it’s just really hard to lip-synch.”

Cozart said it became more difficult for him to keep the channel updated once he started college.

“I had a tough time juggling work, school and a social life,” Cozart said.

Another barrier for Cozart has been the realization that his YouTube channel is his job. Ever since the Harry Potter video went viral, making videos is the way Cozart makes money to help pay for his education and living expenses. He sells his songs on iTunes, where they have been featured as the most sold comedy song.

“I’ve had a harder time coming up with an idea and making videos because now I have an audience to maintain,” Cozart said. “There is a lot of pressure. Because it’s my job, I have to keep that audience. It hinders the creative process for me.”

Cozart released his Lord of the Rings video this past July. It currently stands at almost 700,000 views. Cozart said he knew the video would not be as popular as the Harry Potter video was, which hit one million views soon after its release, but as a Lord of the Rings fan, he had to pay tribute to one of his favorite stories.

Part of Cozart’s success and another one of his trademarked techniques is his ability to ride on the waves of the Internet’s fandom. For example, he released his Harry Potter video the day the final film came out.

“Fandom is a huge thing on the Internet,” Cozart said. “Fan fiction and things like that have huge followings. Any way I can throw myself onto the wave is good for me.”

Which brings Cozart to his next project: “Twilight in 99 Seconds.” While he cannot guarantee that he can make the video while he is a full-time college student, Cozart said he would like to release a video summing up Twilight’s plot when the movie premieres in November.

“With the multiple personality thing, I think I want to make a Twilight in 99 seconds, and have one of me like Twilight and the other me not like Twilight,” Cozart said.

Cozart is not a fan of the popular vampire series by Stephenie Meyer. He said he went to see the first movie and has had nothing to do with the series since then.

“There are lot of people passionate about it, so I think it will get me views,” Cozart said. “It will appeal both to the people who hate it and the people who love it.”

Printed on Thursday, September 20, 2012 as: Painting a YouTube masterpiece