In high school, I was a self-proclaimed drama club nerd. I was cast in a variety of school productions and played a colorful assortment of characters, from a delusional pregnant girl to a singing nun. I held an e-board position in my show choir, sang solos in Chorale, and generally loved performing onstage. I figured my love for acting and theater would follow me throughout my college career. It did, for my freshmen year, at least. I was inducted into the Kappa Beta cast of Alpha Psi Omega, Gannon University’s theatre honors fraternity.
And then…nothing happened. I got swept up in the rigorous courses pertaining to my major and other extracurricular activities. Performing took a back burner to my inevitable future as an occupational therapist. While I’m still a member of APO (Alpha Psi Omega), I never audition for any shows, partly because auditions always seem to be whenever I have a night lab, and partly because I don’t think of myself as good enough to actually be cast in a production (everyone, do a group “awwww”).
I never intended to be in Gannon’s Fringe Fest, a theater extravaganza the university hosts annually. I probably made up some excuse not to participate, whether it was due to scheduling conflicts or a simple lack of interest. Then, one night over winter break, I received an urgent text from fellow APO member Mike Fujito. He was directing a sketch comedy show and one of his actresses had to drop out of the performance. He frantically asked me if I was interested in taking her place and performing. Deciding that he must have been pretty desperate if he wanted to contact me, I agreed without knowing anything about the show or rehearsal schedule.
I didn’t hear much about “The Sketch Comedy Show” until I returned to campus for the first rehearsal. There, I was handed a script and informed that the cast had actually written the sketches themselves. The show itself consists of a handful of comedic sketches with varying types of humor, from dry to dark and silly. My favorite part of acting in this show is the fact that it’s so easy to figure out what the playwrights had in mind when they wrote the sketch — they’re standing right next to me!
Even though the cast had a specific vision they wanted to create when they wrote each sketch, it’s easy to add your own spin to a character or story. I think that’s what I like the most about comedic acting. The writing itself is funny, but the whole thing really comes together when the actors put their flair on a sketch and make it their own.
Working with a talented cast, handling props and completing a successful rehearsal all reminds me of the love I had for theater in high school. I loved hearing and seeing the audience react to a character I portrayed. It made me really happy when I prompted an emotion in another person. I’m excited to be the reason people laugh when they see the show.
As much as I love being known as “That OT Girl Who Writes the Blogs” here at Gannon, it’s refreshing to revisit something I loved so much in the past. Admittedly, it’s also really cool to be recognized on campus because your face is on a poster advertising the show. For those that are interested, “The Sketch Comedy Show” will be taking place on February 17 and 19 in Palumbo 2005 at 8 p.m.