Fake it ’til you make it

West High’s Comedysportz team sheds light what they hope to accomplish this year

West Highs Comdeysportz team met at The Establishment to discuss their goals for the season.

Photo used with permission from Cynthia Safford.

West High’s Comdeysportz team met at The Establishment to discuss their goals for the season.

Zack Misner, Features Editor

Throughout the ages, people have needed humour to give them a break from reality. This humor used to be found in a jester who either makes the royal laugh, or ‘off with their head!’, but now West’s Comedysportz team is here to provide it.

Most people aren’t exactly aware of what Comedysportz is, but luckily the members of West’s students have all of the answers.

“Comedysportz is an international organization of different improv clubs across the country, two in England, and one in Germany. They do competitive improv comedy, and you can basically find this entertainment anywhere. There is one in Quad Cities as well,” IJAG instructor Cynthia Safford said.

Comedysportz at West is basically a team that competes with other schools within the area. During these competitions, students will be given a scenario or object that they have to work with to create a story line or a scene. Even though the word comedy is thrown around a lot, making people laugh isn’t the only goal in mind.

“The main goal is teamwork, and it is always a big plus to make the audience laugh. It also gives people the chance to be an actor, and use their leadership and teamwork abilities to really make a good show just like any other play or musical,” senior Robert Greeve said. “Communication is a huge part of everything because if you cannot properly communicate with each other, then you will mess up the scene and embarrass yourself and your team. If you miss a small detail like someone throwing a plate, and you don’t pay attention or just ignore it, then the other person becomes lost and so does the scene.”

The skills learned in Comedysportz help the games to run smoothly, but why exactly are they useful? Well luckily Safford has the answer that is needed.

“The skills you develop in Comedysportz translate to your actual life because you learn how to communicate better with people, how to work with others effectively, and how to trust your actions. Also, the concept of just going with the flow can be translated to your life as well because you can’t control what happens in your life all of the time,” Safford said.

While these skills may be appealing things to learn, it may not exactly be what intrigued people initially about Comedysportz.

“I like acting and improv, so I figured that this could expand my acting skills and allow me to work off of a script to have more fun with thinking on my feet. I hope to eventually become an actual Comedysportz member, so this is the first step to achieve that goal,” Greeve said.

While Greeve has been part of drama all four years here at West, improv was a different type of acting which seemed appealing because of the freedom that it granted him on stage. Little does he know that he was quite the influence on the lower classmen who auditioned and joined for this year’s team.

“Robbie has been a big influence on me because he is super funny, kind, and knows how to work well with people. Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten so interested in [Comedysportz],” sophomore Austin Peckenschneider said.

Peckenschneider is far from the only one influenced by an upperclassmen.

“As an eighth grader, I was recruited to be part of Oklahoma here at West, and because of that I ended up learning about Comedysportz through the upperclassmen involved. Also I always liked the idea of improve so I tried out and joined,” freshman Eli Benson said.

While Benson and Peckenschneider are just picking up the craft, and Greeve is a veteran, they all still know that no matter how experienced you are, you must remember the most basic rules of Comedysportz.

“The best piece of advice I can give someone who might want to join, or is already in it, is that the golden rules of Comedysportz are ‘never say no’ and ‘fake it ’til you make it’,” Safford said.