Behind the mic: Myles Bell on the announcements


Photo by Charlotte Comrack

Simon Holland, Editor-in-Chief

Q: When did you start doing the announcements?

A: My anniversary is February 28, 2022. I did the announcements for the annual BSU Black History Month door decoration competition. And then Mr. Bargeman just called me back in the room and was like, hey, we need someone to do the announcements, would you like to do them? And I was like, yeah. And that was it.

Q: Did you do it? 

A: Yeah. After that, I did every day. Every school day.

Q: Were you immediately embraced when you started or was there pushback on your informal style?

A: Everybody that was important embraced it. Of course, there was some pushback. I mean, like, yeah, there was talk. But none from anybody that mattered.

Q: Your personality always comes through when you do announcements. Where does that come from?

A: I’m a storyteller by heart. I’m a talker, that is the way I’ve always defined myself. I feel as if I’m just talking to the entire school, right? Like we’re all just having a conversation together. That personality is more like how I talk to a friend. Anybody I come across, that is typically the conversation, the persona, that you’re gonna receive. It’s just what’s natural.

Q: How do you use your voice outside of the announcements?

A: I’ve done speech and debate for six or seven years. That’s kind of where it came from. So I’m no stranger to public speaking; I’m completely unafraid of public speaking. And then, of course, I do theater. I mean, I’m a talker, right? When I was little, I couldn’t speak. I had trouble speaking for longer than the average child has trouble speaking. So I think I was maybe two and a half years old and my parents were like okay, girl, come on, like, let’s get it started. I wouldn’t budge. And so they took me to speech therapy. And I learned my words slowly but surely. My parents always joke that I never shut the h*** up after that. I couldn’t talk for so long so now I’m trying to make up for lost time. 

Q: Do you feel like you’ve contributed to a sense of school community?

A: I do. The announcements get people talking at different levels. I think there’s certainly something about the announcements because it is like a major broadcast system and unites people. Everybody can hear it, everybody can talk about it.

Q: What do you wish you could say on the announcements?

A: There are definitely certain times when I get so caught up in the announcement. It’s such a natural way of speaking for me that I almost slip sometimes when I think something’s funny. It may be inappropriate to laugh at it being funny. It certainly is funny. 

There is a persona I have that I think that the intended purpose is certainly to cut through professionalism, to lower the air that we keep in this building around the way students engage. I think the announcements as I like to do them cut through that air, kind of lets people take a deep breath, relax, and remind them that the school can still be fun. There can still be some elements of humor, comedy, realness, that at some points we lack. I think that I would like to show more of that and sometimes there are times when I can’t. 

Q: What do you think is your favorite announcement that you’ve given?

A: April Fools’. Never going to top it. April Fools’ was so, so good. And I’m actually getting anxiety about how I’m going to do April Fools’ this year. 

Q: Could you remind us what you did? 

A: So last year, I got on the announcements in April. It was one month after I got the job because I had started on the last day of February. 

I got on the announcements, and in a very sad and grim and solemn voice, I’m like: “I thank you all for the opportunity you gave me the position I have, but I must say I am done doing the announcements.” And I hung up. I just hung up the phone and that was it. And I waited maybe like 15 seconds I got back on and I was like “kidding, guys. You can’t get rid of me.” It was just a fun little joke. Girl, I opened my phone. I had like 50 messages from people being like that is so sad. What happened? I was like, Oh, y’all thought I was serious? The second step was my birthday. 

Q: What did you do for your birthday?

A: I played happy birthday for myself and then I wished myself a happy birthday. And I think the exact words I used were “the most magnificent person to grace this building,” or something along those lines. I don’t even think I did like any actual announcements that day; I think I really just talked about myself. It was a great day. Sorry, it’s my birthday.

Q: What was your goal with the Black History Month announcements?

A: I can speak to Black History Month because I am also the Co-president of BSU. We came up with those quotes, just as a daily reminder that this is Black History Month and every day is centered around Black history. That was not something we wanted to lose sight of during that month. Certain quotes that best amplify the Black voice, the Black experience, and the Black thought that happens throughout the world; throughout this building. 

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.