14 juni 2019

Student Groups and Bad Jokes

Warning: the following post contains shameless self-promotion

The stage was set, the snacks were laid out, and the drinks were cheap; the Open Mic Night for Storytellers and Poets had come around again. Even though this was only the second time this event has run, the VU 3D Debatcentrum was full of not only familiar faces, but a few new ones were thrown into the mix.

The evening was a chance for students to showcase their stories, poems, and creative writing works by reading them out to the room—whilst the audience could showcase their ability to drink the bar dry. We heard heartfelt poetry and exciting short stories, all the while being entertained by the talented students Silja and Luc who co-hosted the night. As you may have guessed, I spoke too on this evening. My five minutes of fame and glory was a comedy routine made up of anecdotes from home, and I think it went fairly well. Because I was doing standup, I received immediate feedback on my work; when you’re standing at the front of a room telling jokes it’s pretty easy to know what worked—and what didn’t.

My five minutes of fame and glory was a comedy routine made up of anecdotes from home

Glossophobia is the term for strong fear of public speaking, and is experienced by approximately 25% of people, whilst up to 75% of all people experience some degree of nervousness when it comes to speaking up. I fall into the latter category, but I couldn’t resist getting up to speak behind the microphone. The idea of making people laugh for a living is a novel one; but only when the Open Mic night came round did I realize that just like any career, you’ve got to put the hours in—and sometimes that will mean standing in front of 30 people who are not laughing at your jokes. Thankfully my set was a decent success and the jokes landed, but as I think ahead to more evenings like this one, I should brace myself for those inevitable moments of awkwardness. It’s like a layover in France—just one of those necessary evils.

What really stands out from this evening is that students conceptualized, organized, and pulled off this whole event; isn’t that quite something? At the VU you are sure to find an association or group that interests you; and if not, you can start it yourself. You’re bound to end up with a group with whom you can bond over common interests. Like a bad joke on stage, it’s just bound to happen. You may as well relax.


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