Making crowd laugh on cue, relieving stress

T'Nerra Butler, Verge Editor

Previous members of the organization Hello Dali acting out a scene. The group does improv comedy in front of a crowd of about 35 people every two weeks.
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Previous members of the organization Hello Dali acting out a scene. The group does improv comedy in front of a crowd of about 35 people every two weeks.

Imagine being an actor and not knowing what lines may come next.

Come to terms with the fact that lines come as they please in any given order.

The registered student organization Hello Dali! thrives off of that very thing, improvising.

The improv comedy group has been around for decades, and Eastern’s very own gets a chance to present their audience with improv games structured around getting students to chuckle, giggle and flat-out roll on the floor.

No agenda is set going into a show, Rico Torres, acting caption for the organization, said. The one-hour shows include games that ask for audience participation.

The group gets together and makes stuff up as they go, off their heads. Torres said when his mother attended Eastern, the RSO was around.

“Hello Dali is one of those things that can survive,” Torres said. “It’s adaptable and people like watching other people struggle when they’re on the spot.”

Jessica Knell, a member of Hello Dali, said the vision for an organization such as this one to come to life probably originated with eager students looking for news ways to be creative.

She said when trying to define what the organization is, the best thing to think about is the show “Whose Line is it Anyways”.

Inspiration, in short, comes from each other Knell said.

The best kind of an audience is an open one Torres said.

He said the most challenging thing about improv is drawing blanks mid scene.

“We try to have practices to keep that from happening as much as humanly possible, but it’s going to happen,” Torres said. “We completely change the scene if that happens though.”

Awkward stares, tapping feet and a somewhat clueless audience as a result of being stuck in a scene, are curable.

The team tries to set aside time to bond as a way to know each other inside and out on stage.

Being one on stage helps to do and say things that might resonate with another actor and help make the show a great one.

“A part of being in an improv group is knowing the people around you,” Torres said.

A go to way of easing nerves is dancing the duo said. Before each show their group shakes out their nerves to warm up for a comical show.

The job that has been bestowed on the students is to make an unsuspecting crowd laugh. Knell said this job means more than a cackle at a joke.

“Laughter gives you a break,” Knell said. “College is stressful and we’re always struggling. Just to be able to sit back for an hour and watch people are goofy helps.”

Torres seconded that thought and said comedy shows like theirs give students time to unwind.

“If you can just walk into a place and forget your problems for an hour, I think that’s sort of freeing,” Torres said. “It’s almost therapeutic.”

The organization aims to have shows every two weeks, during the evening.

T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]