North Texas Daily

Students, organizers prepare for comedy festival

Students, organizers prepare for comedy festival

March 04
22:47 2015

Kelly Benjamin / Staff Writer

Students and organizers are gearing up for the first-ever UNT Comedy Festival.

The festival, which will take place tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. will features student comedians looking to gain experience and practice in front of an audience.

Communications senior Cotton Hensley said his comedy beginnings from age 10 led him to become a member of the UNT Improv Club, a group of on-campus comedians.

“Whenever I came to college, I looked at OrgSync and I put in comedy and UNT Improv was the first thing that came up,” Hensley said. “I was surprised to find out it wasn’t a stand-up club, and then I realized it was a lot like ‘Who’s Line is it Anyway.’”

Hensley said he pitched the idea to UPC with Improv Club president and creative writing senior Jason Pollard, and after an email exchange the plan was set in motion.

“The steps that go into this are kind of tedious, actually. We weren’t expecting it to be that big of a deal,” Hensley said. “We knew what we liked in shows, because we’ve all grown up basically watching these types of comedy shows and we cherry picked what we liked out of ideas.”

Festival coordinator Jose Rodriguez said he’s working to put the event together since last semester.

“Usually as UPC we plan a semester ahead,” Rodriguez said. “It pretty much comes does to contacting and having the performers that you want coming and performing, handling the marketing and the timeline for the event.”

Pollard said he enjoyed the process and setting the festival up has always been one of his goals.

“It was really exciting,” Pollard said. “Something I wanted to do for the last couple of years and I never got the chance to put the pieces together until this last semester.”

Hensley said the UNT Improv Club will play a big part in the festival as a way to prepare for upcoming competitions.

“We’re going to nationals here in Chicago in a couple of weeks,” Hensley said. “This show is sort of like a warm up for the competition that’s going to be in Chicago.”

Local comedian and English senior Shane Sigali said he enjoys comedy as a coping mechanism for life.

“I think comedy helps people during the escalating things that people tend to over-exaggerate in real life,” Sigali said.

Pollard said the community of the event is what really drives his motivation forward to shape his craft.

“It’s really uniting in a way,” Pollard said. “People laugh at stuff because they can relate to it, whether it’s emotionally or physically. It’s kind of nice to have people all in the same room laughing at all the same stuff. It just reminds us that we’re all human.”

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