Welcome to 33rd and State

By Brynne Ramella 

According to my parents, I bounded down the stairs one Sunday morning at age 11 and asked them, “Have you ever heard of this show ‘Saturday Night Live’?” I remember being entranced with the show the night before. As I watched it, I thought to myself, “I wish I could write like that.” And that is the moment I fell in love with comedy.

Over the years, I never did much to pursue that love, but I have always remained a fan. Last year, I discovered a new way to keep up my love of comedy. You know how they say, “Those who can’t do, teach?” Well, I don’t do comedy, but nothing is stopping me from writing about it.

For a journalism class assignment last year, I profiled one of the presidents of Marquette’s improv comedy group, the Studio 013 Refugees. I sat in on hours worth of practices and shows to complete my project. I got the opportunity to watch hours of improv comedy and learned how the process works. I was completely immersed in comedy. I loved it – so much so that I came back the next semester to do another project on the group. Over the past year, I was around the Refugees so much that people were asking me if I was a member of the group.

A few days after I finished my most recent project with the group, I was sitting in a coffee shop, feeling bummed that I was done with all my work with comedy. A member of the improv group walked into the coffee shop and told me that some of the Studio 013 Refugees had taken the initiative to form Marquette’s first sketch comedy group – 33rd and State.

This brings me to my main point. Naturally, I completely forgot about whatever I was doing at that time and brainstormed potential journalism stories profiling the beginning of this group. I settled on a blog series.

The group officially launched in January, so I am going to be along for the ride. I’m writing for people like me – those who love comedy but aren’t directly involved in the creation of it.

Between now and 33rd and State’s first show in April, I will be writing about specific topics pertaining to the creation of a sketch comedy show. From scouting filming locations, to the process of acquiring props and costumes, to the finals days before the show – I’m going to cover everything I can.

I have been watching hours on end of “30 Rock” to prep for my official immersion into sketch comedy next week. Yes, that is the excuse I’ve been telling myself. But really, as I officially start these blogs next week, please send kind thoughts to this group because some of its members have been dealing with me for a year now.

Brynne Ramella, a journalism student at Marquette University, is a guest blogger for MilwaukeeComedy.com, documenting the start-up of Marquette’s sketch comedy troupe, 33rd and State. This is the first in her series of reports.

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