Last Friday, I had the opportunity to coordinate a stand-up comedy night here on campus that was well-received by many students.
The Gannon Comedy Knight took place at the Gannon Knight Club.
You probably saw some of the posters around campus or were even at the event.
Performing that night was Armand Kassam, Nick Humes, Nick Sorensen, Brian Bowersox, the Rev. Shawn Clerkin and myself.
Being the first comedy showcase included with the Gannon Fringe Festival, this was an experimental endeavor.
We didn’t know how well-received the event would be; if anything we thought it would be a crowd of about 15 people, including my parents.
In the days leading up to the show, I worked with Clerkin to set up the event. Clerkin booked the Knight Club and I made the posters.
The next couple of days were spent spraying the campus with the posters — walls, elevators and urinals. If there was a blank space on a wall, a poster was going on it.
Once I finished my distribution of propaganda, I worked on promoting the event through social media.
I contacted all my campus friends in my major and Sorority and Fraternity Life.
The promotion of the show was going so smoothly that I thought nothing could go wrong and the show was going to go off without a hitch.
When I first arrived at the show, all the other comics on the bill were sitting at a table in the front.
The five of us were just waiting until the start of the show at 9 p.m.. As the time grew closer to the show, we started to get nervous about the turnout.
The only people at the event so far were a couple people from the theater and my parents.
The turnout at first was so minimal, I was nervous that the other comics were not going to be able to perform in front of as large of an audience that I promised.
It was at this moment we thought the show’s turnout was going to be poor.
However, we would be surprised to see hordes of people funneling into the event at the last minute before it began at 9 p.m..
At around 8:55 p.m., people started coming in.
So many people arrived that we didn’t have enough seats to accommodate the large crowd.
The size of the crowd grew so much that we had to open standing room in the back of the venue.
This was something I had never seen before, not only at one of the shows I was on, but at the Knight Club as well.
On top of the size, the overall vibe of the audience was amazing.
The crowd was receptive of the jokes, showing they were listening.
On top of that, when engaging with the audience, they were also active.
Through this whole process of promoting and producing a comedy night, I learned how much work is needed to successfully pull off a show, not only in terms of good comedic material, but in the promotion and setup of the event.