Comedian busts guts during Friday show

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Comedian busts guts during Friday show

Comedian Sam Jay performs as part of the first University Board comedy show of the year in the 7th Street Underground of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Comedian Sam Jay performs as part of the first University Board comedy show of the year in the 7th Street Underground of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Comedian Sam Jay performs as part of the first University Board comedy show of the year in the 7th Street Underground of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Comedian Sam Jay performs as part of the first University Board comedy show of the year in the 7th Street Underground of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Domonique Hill, Contributing Writer

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Coming from Jimmy Kimmel Live and MTV, Sam Jay took on a smaller stage Friday during her comedy show at the 7th Street Underground in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Jay said being a successful comedian is overwhelming.

“I’m here from just doing open mics with $2 in my pocket, just from being myself you know,” Jay said. “So yeah, it’s overwhelming.”

Jay started doing comedy six years ago in Boston. After two years of performing, she knew comedy was where she belonged.

“It was like, ‘Oh, this is the thing that you have been trying to figure out how to feel about everything else,’” Jay said. “You just feel it automatically.”

She said consistently doing comedy is the best practice.

“If you are always doing it, then you are always ready,” Jay said. “You never have to get ready.”

In addition to always being ready, Jay said it is important for her to incorporate what she feels into her jokes. She said she wants to approach comedy from a “human place” and not a “preachy place.”

“I’m a person living this life, just like you are and I try to come at it from that perspective,” Jay said.

When Jay takes the stage, she said she is always trying to connect with people because it really helps her.

“There is definitely a level of therapy to it, where you are working out your own demons up there,” Jay said. “That’s the whole thing — you are just trying to connect with people at the end of the day.”

One of the students she connected with was junior English major Isabella Garza.

“I thought Sam Jay hit on touchy topics which made it relatable,” Garza said. “She was hilarious.”

Dallas Lancenese, the University Board’s comedy coordinator, said he was surprised that over 80 people came out to enjoy the show.

“I only planned for maybe 30 people to come out,” Lancenese said.

Lancenese said Jay’s honest approach to difficult topics kept the audience engaged.

“Those topics can be really touchy,” Lancenese said. “I have seen acts that don’t keep the crowd interested and everyone’s just like, ‘I am not coming back.’”

Lancenese said he was glad Jay was able to perform as the first comedian of the year.

“The fact that right away, she hit hard and she’s like, ‘This is what I am talking about.’ Everyone got into it right away and she just kept hitting hard,” Lancenese said. “It was really all on her. She did a really good job just keeping people interested.”

Although Lancenese said he enjoyed himself, he still paid attention to the audience to make sure they were doing the same.

“I’m enjoying myself too when she’s talking, but also I have to like think, like, ‘OK, what jokes are hitting and what jokes are missing?’”  Lancenese said.

While Jay is satisfied with where she is now, she gave some details on what is next for her career as a comedian.

“My Comedy Central half-hour comes out in October. I’m recording my album for Comedy Central in two weeks in New York,” Jay said. “I will be on the road for a bit. I’m on a MTV show that’s possibly getting picked up for a second season. I’m just trying to stay busy.”

 

Domonique Hill can be reached at 581-2812 or ddhill.eiu.edu.