Tuchus on top: a Q&A with pageant-winning NJBs
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If your bubbe is verklempt because you’ve been dating schmucks instead of menschs, look no further than freshmen Grayson Levien and Spencer Olesky. Quit your kvetching, have the chutzpah to talk to them yourself and look at their cute little punims. Stop being a schmendrick and read The Tulane Hullabaloo’s interview with campus’s number one Nice Jewish Boys. Oy gevalt!
Josh Axelrod: How do you guys know each other?
Olesky: We just met in college. Turns out we both grew up in New York City but never met and then met within the first couple weeks of school.
Grayson Levien: We had like a core group of friends and then we just got really close really quickly, kinda weird, but it’s nice obviously.
Olesky: We like hanging out. Sports, nice Jewish boys, the usual.
Jordan Figueredo: How would you define a nice Jewish boy?
Olesky: Someone who’s respectful, very caring, always looking out for other people.
Levien: You won, I don’t know.
Olesky: You came in second.
Levien: It was close. A nice Jewish boy is someone who cares, you know, wants to put themselves out there. I would say a nice Jewish boy is generally the outgoing, bubbly-personality kind of [person] that when you see them, you know who they are. You know it’s an NJB when you see them.
Olesky: I’d also say: Stays true to their Jewish roots. You gotta have a good sense of humor, personable.
Levien: You gotta be Jewish if you wanna be an NJB.
Axelrod: How do you feel like you embody that every day on Tulane’s campus?
Levien: Oh man … it comes naturally, which is good. It’s just, you gotta just walk around — I try to have a smile on my face — smile at people I know, say hi. It’s not difficult, you don’t have to go out of your way to do stuff like that. I feel like I do that every day because it’s who I am, it’s my personality.
Olesky: I’d say, the way you interact with people and how you choose to present yourself.
Levien: A big part of it is you don’t have to put up a mask to be an NJB, that’s your core being. It’s just who you are.
Olesky: Stuff you can’t really teach.
Levien: Good one — it can’t be taught.
Axelrod: We’re dying to know how you came up with the talent.
Olesky: We were really lacking on ideas. I was searching up funny stuff to do, like just anything — for hours — and I saw a video of these two guys dancing, not really with a ball, but just doing some interpretive dance and it just kind of hit me. I was like, we have to do this.
Levien: We have to dance.
Olesky: I knew we were doing an interpretive dance, and then Gray had a bouncy ball in his room, and we kind of went from there. We were like, this is hysterical, this is the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever done. People are either gonna love it or think we’re the weirdest kids at Tulane, and we’re gonna have to transfer.
Levien: Both are fine outcomes though, so it’s fine.
Olesky: It was a good risk, it ended up working out.
Axelrod: How did you figure it out — did you just start crawling under his crotch one day?
Levien: No no, it’s just when the ball’s in between you, the ideas start flowing. A lot of charisma, a lot of chemistry there.
Olesky: We were just like how can we be the funniest we can be, how can we do the most ridiculous things and still do it well. We wanted to make sure we executed it perfectly.
Figueredo: How do your parents feel about this?
Olesky: They are probably more happy than I was; my whole family was ecstatic. I mean they were all watching the live stream and going nuts. My grandparents saw it, and they loved it.
Levien: I got like a hundred texts after. I was in a group chat with my mom, my dad and my grandma, and they were just commentating on the whole thing and people’s performances. It was good, my parents loved it.
Olesky: They were proud of us. I think every parent thinks their child is a nice Jewish boy, but luckily, they have confirmation. Now it’s decided.
Figueredo: Are you going to be in the Urban Outfitters NJB calendar this year?
Levien: Is that a thing?
Olesky: I think we’ll probably be contacted. We haven’t been contacted yet.
Axelrod: Just waiting on that phone call?
Olesky: We’re just waiting for our agents to be contacted. I’m sure if there’s one this year, we’ll try and get in it.
Levien: My people will contact their people. We’re also trying to get on Ellen.