Getting Strange at Sacred Heart

“I screamed with joy when I found out that Gaten Matarazzo was coming to campus,’’ said senior Alexa Gallerani. On Sept. 27, Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin in “Stranger Things,’’ visited Sacred Heart University for a question and answer panel sponsored by Student Life and hosted at the Edgerton Auditorium.

Tickets were on sale for $5 from Sept. 20 up to the day of the event.

Students stood in line for hours in order to be able to purchase tickets for this event.

“Tickets were on sale at 1:30 p.m. the first day and I arrived at 12:30 p.m.,” said sophomore Allie Pesek. “The hour-and-a-half wait line was definitely worth it because he is one of my favorite actors.”

Sophomore Sierra Sailor shared the news with her family back home.

“The first thing I did was tell my parents, as we share love for the show ‘Stranger Things’,” said Sailor. “Gaten’s personality shines through his real-life interviews and other projects he has worked on previously.”

“Stranger Things” first aired in 2016 on Netflix, and since then, Matarazzo’s performance in the show has given him over five award nominations, such as the IGN award for best dramatic TV performance and the Saturn award for best performance by a younger actor in a streaming series.

During the event, students were given permission at the end to get in line and ask Matarazzo any questions.

“I was a little star-struck when he came out on stage. I had no questions going into the event, but other students definitely came prepared,” said junior Samantha Katz.

During the Q&A, Matarrazo let Sacred Heart students in on some information that was a surprise to many in the audience; he was born in the same state as Sacred Heart.

“I was in total shock when he revealed that he was actually born right here in Connecticut, raised in New Jersey, and now resides in New York,” said Katz.

Students like junior Rachel Pesce were thankful that the university made this event happen and were excited to learn about how different Matarazzo’s life is compared to her own.

“The cool and most special thing about Gaten Matarazzo is how he is just around our age,” said Pesce. “It is unbelievable that his career took off at the age of 9 and his first ever job was having a role in a drag show.”

“Seeing Gaten on stage was an unforgettable experience,” said junior Emily Haddad. “‘Stranger Things’ is a show near and dear to my heart because I like to think that I grew up with characters themselves.”

As the panel came to an end, students took out their phones to record what some students considered “the ultimate moment” of the event.

“Every single person in the audience went straight to filming the best part of this event,” said Haddad.

One of the final questions of the night was asking Matarazzo to sing “The NeverEnding Story” from “Stranger Things.” Although he mentioned it was not something he usually does, he did it with the help of an unnamed Sacred Heart student.

“I can happily say that I got to witness Gaten Matarazzo sing on stage ‘NeverEnding Story’ with a Sacred Heart student,” said senior Alissa Brandl. “He [Matarazzo] seemed nervous, but his singing was fantastic.”

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