Note: In an effort to maintain a professional Internet presence for future employers, the source in this story wishes to remain anonymous. Animal House throws what some view as “nuisance parties.” Due to a previous article about the guys, a member of the House last year was asked by a potential employer about his involvement in the shenanigans. Throughout the rest of the story, the source will be referred to as Jon Blutarsky, referring to the name on the Animal House promo Facebook account.
What started out as a group of Bobcat boys who knew how to throw a poppin’ party turned into a small business venture last year. Local businesses reached out to the fellows to advertise on their highly-trafficked social networking pages. Although the majority of the House already graduated, Jon Blutarsky, a fiftth-year meteorology major, kept the business alive during the 2014-2015 school year.
“We changed our name to Animal Cage Productions. We’re more business-oriented now, more organized…It’s almost a professional party-planning business,” Blutarsky said.
In recent months, Animal Cage Productions freshly constructed the Twitter handle, @AnimalCage.
Since the move from 68 Stewart St., the business has increased its influence on the people of Athens in numerous ways. Currently, it’s more of a solo operation because Blutarsky does most of the work himself and his friends help out when they can. They have expanded their promotions from last year; instead of just selling t-shirts and promoting hookah lounges, this year Animal Cage Productions teamed up with clothing companies, DJs, apps for smart phones, campus fraternities and local bars. They also promote local artists, such as Nathan “NB3” Bodiker, handled @TheyCallMeNB3 on Twitter.
“We advertise apps on our social media [accounts] that we think would be useful for our followers,” Blutarsky said. “We’ve also thrown launch parties for clothing companies. We’ve done stuff for Purple Planets and 24/7 Dreams. We throw it, they fund it.”
Recently, Animal Cage Productions promoted a “Thirsty Thursday” event for Red Brick Tavern by hiring a DJ and advertising the event. It was the biggest Thursday night of the month for the popular local hang-out.
In addition to advertising and party planning, Animal Cage Productions still sells t-shirts, sunglasses, #Fest tickets and OU necklaces. The available products are posted on Twitter where students often reach out to Blutarsky. He meets up with them on campus in a timely fashion and sells them quality products at a competitive price.
The business of party planning isn’t all fun and games, however. Blutarsky puts an immense amount of effort into planning each one of the events.
“It takes a lot of planning. I have to hire a DJ, set up the lights, get the “party supplies” and orchestrate the clean-up. I’m still working even when the party’s going on,” he said.
So why does he do it? He has a few reasons.
“I just like meeting new people and giving them a good time. I feel like I’m adding to the Bobcat experience in my own way. I just want [everyone] to love it here, too.”
Entertaining Bobcats with his infamous get togethers is not the only way Blutarsky likes to connect with fellow students though. The philanthropist also likes to give underclassmen a place to come together with other Bobcats and seek advice from upperclassmen.
Above all things, Blutarsky stresses the importance of keeping your word when embarking on a venture such as this.
“People won’t trust you or want to build relationships with you if you aren’t reliable,” he said. “If you don’t follow through and make it happen, it will never work.”
The future of Animal Cage Productions is still up in the air. Unless it turns into a more lucrative business opportunity, Blutarsky will likely pass on the torch to another Bobcat willing to take on the stress of the job.
Perhaps a new group of current freshman Bobcats, collectively known as “Get Skurvy,” will help fill the Animal House void in the coming years. Handled @GetSkurvy on Twitter, the new guys on the block document campus ragers and post them to their social media accounts.
Regardless of what happens in the coming year, Animal House hopes to be remembered for throwing the best organized and most fun parties on campus.
“We’re open to everyone,” Blutarsky said. “It’s a way of bringing together the Bobcat community; we all come together, then party.”