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Student stand-up show was a success

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Combine life experiences that range from partying to student cooking habits and you have the De Anza Actor’s Ensemble stand-up comedy show.

Drama instructor Hester Schell’s actor’s ensemble class put on the show Wednesday, March 7. It took place in Studio B of the Broadcast Media Center.

It was also recorded and broadcast live via campus channels 12 and 13 and was shown on television in the cafeteria.

In forty minutes, five stand-up comedians took a stab at a televised performance. Some of Schell’s students played the part of the camera crew.

The purpose of broadcasting and recording the show, according to Schell, was to let people know what the Actor’s Ensemble does and to try out a new form of performance. For many of the student actors, this was their first time at taping for television. Kenneth Padrón hosted the comedy show and introduced first actor Wesley Hofman, one of the student comedians, who said he was a bit nervous before getting on stage, but quickly lost that feeling once he was on air. Hof-man’s routine, among others, included jokes on his prominent Adam’s apple.

He said one of his books on comedy suggests using a physical feature and turning that into a comic bite.

The topics of the other student comedians ranged from student cooking habits to shopping for toys, and parties.

According to the comedians, most topics for sketches come from everyday life experiences.

Brian Salswasser showed the difficulty of enjoying a home-made burrito, while Jim Hassan focused his routine on an exodus to a toy store.

A journey of another kind was presented by Jason Schachat, who focused his bit on a guy’s night out in Berkeley.

“I usually feel funnier,” says Schachat, who admits being slightly nervous before getting on stage.

Performing for television and in front of a big audience was “an entirely new experience” for Schachat. He said that he also gets his material from personal experience and just “edits it and puts it into this big chutney.”

Going out to party was also the topic of Lena Reyna’s piece, in which she related her experiences of a night out in San Francisco with a bunch of gay friends.

Silas Parker, an 18-year-old De Anza student, says Reyna’s energy and her timing made her his favorite performer. He says the idea of putting on comedy for a live audience is a great idea and should find more support at De Anza.

Parker sees a lot of potential in comedy and says it is great for the Bay Area, where many companies feature murder mystery dinners as part of their social business gatherings. Schell says the show was a success and hopes to repeat the live stand-up comedy show in the future.

The next performance for the De Anza Actor’s Ensemble is on Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m. Tickets are free, but you need one to get in. For reservations, call Schell at 408-864-8872.

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