Every Thursday evening at 7 p.m., laughter can be heard in the Manwaring Center as students gather together to learn about the art of comedy and to workshop their own jokes.
“When someone thinks of a stand-up comedian, it is always about how it is supposed to be funny, but it has to grow,” said Bruce Otteson, a senior studying communication. “That’s what these workshops are all about”
During the week, members attend workshops, practice jokes and come ready to learn the art of comedy, according to the Stand-Up Comedy Workshop Web page.
“These workshops help those who want to audition for groups like Joker’s Krewe or Academy of Comedy and helps them to learn if their jokes are funny or not so they can integrate that into their sketches which they use during their auditions,” said Kelsey Anselmo-Wright, a freshman studying communication.
Anselmo-Wright said Jokers Krewe and Academy of Comedy are campus-based comedy groups that students must audition for in order to join.
Anselmo-Wright said although the workshop’s focus is to help those who want to join stand-up comedy groups, they are for those who want to learn and grow as an audience member of a potential comedian.
“We’re not asking everyone who comes to be a stand-up comedian right on the spot,” Otteson said. “Most of the time, we really do need an audience.”
Aselmo-Wright said students should come because it is always something new to try.
“All of my jokes are stories,” said Sophie Clark, a freshman studying English. “I see the funny side of life. When I look at a situation and I think it’s interesting, I like sharing my perspective on it because it makes life funny.”
Anselmo-Wright, the student manager of the comedy workshop, and Otteson, the assistant manager, show clips of famous comedian’s sketches at the beginning of each meeting so those attending are not only learning from each other, but are learning techniques from well-known comedians.
Anselmo-Wright said she admires the techniques of famous comedian Brian Regan.
“For me, it’s Brian Regan and how he takes humor and blows it out of proportion,” Anselmo-Wright said. “His speech and then reference them to see if people would get it.”
Students must use clean language, be chaste and respectful to others both on and off campus, according to the BYU-I Honor Code.
“A stand-up comedian is all about finding out what is funny and what you can laugh about,” Otteson said. “More importantly, you can share that laughter with everybody else, especially here at BYU-I in the most appropriate of ways.”
Otteson said life is always better when a person can laugh and share humor with others.