Studio Box is ‘Improv’-ing FSC: improvisation group brings laughs without a script

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Photo by Ryan Phillips

Kati McCabe

Staff Writer

On Friday, January 16th, Jonathan Timpanelli and the rest of the Studio Box crew prepared for their debut performance just outside the Thrift Alumni room.

Jonathan has been dreaming of this moment since his freshman year. As a junior now, he’s finally making his passion a reality.

“It really began back in August, even though I’ve been collecting the paperwork for almost two years, and I was finally ready to start it,” said Timpanelli. He said he was really excited about all the interest this year, especially all the freshman theatre majors.

Timpanelli only ordered 100 chairs for the performance, and only 58 people RSVP’d via Facebook. But there was a lot of talk around the school about the show, so just to be safe Timpanelli put out an extra 50 chairs.

As it turns out, he was right in putting out those extra chairs as almost 200 people were in attendance at the show. Many were standing, but they didn’t seem to mind as soon as the laughs started.

FSC Student Austin MacIntyre raved about how it was a “great show”.

Before the performance, audience members were asked to write phrases on pieces of paper. Once they were collected, the popular hip hop song, “Turn Down For What” rang loudly throughout the room. Performers then rushed out through the audience, taking selfies with those seated in front of the stage, before heading to the front to begin the show.

“Of course I get nervous. My palms sweat and I can’t stay still but I’m also really excited.” Alex Cwiok, member of Studio Box says. She’s been a fan of stand up comedy ever since she can remember, and has been performing for smaller audiences her whole life. “I think I’m a generally funny person but this is way harder than just being funny. It takes practice and a humble ego when nobody laughs.”

“The definition of improv is acting without a script. Yes, it can be hard but once you have an audience and get connected, it gets a lot easier because we play off each other,” Timpanelli describes his feelings toward Improv Comedy. “Its something funny, laughter, everyone is so stressed at school, that this is just a good thing once in a while where people can just relax.”

They practice twice a week, Sunday 9pm to 11pm and Thursday 11pm to 1am. “It’s the only time we can all come together,” Timpanelli says, “Even though it is all improvised, there are still things we have to go over, like initiating the scene, just makes it all easier.”

For Timpanelli and his group of comedians, this isn’t just a performance group. He has guest speakers from the Sak Comedy Lab in Orlando, and colleagues from Universal Studios coming to speak to the students this semester.

“We’re actually planning a trip to see Amy Poehler at the UCB Comedy live stage in New York City.” Timpanelli and the rest of the crew at Studio Box are very excited for the coming events of the semester.