Arguably the best thing that has ever happened to me happened about a month ago: I made it into the HYPE! Mime Troupe at Tufts! We’re the only collegiate troupe in the Boston area and overlap with the other comedy troupes here, such as Cheapsox (improv), Major: Undecided (sketch comedy), The Institute (filmed sketch), Traveling Treasure Trunk (children’s theatre). Miming is totally new for me. I had a little crash course in technique, thought up a skit and picked music (I was a cooking show host – think Rachel Ray – who had to save face despite some kitchen disasters), and auditioned. No one in Hype! was a mime before joining although some background in theatre or athletics is helpful. Basically our semester goes like this:
- Auditions for new mimes in the first week or two
- Rehearsals twice a week where we play some wild mime games (like Mime Telephone) to practice the technique
- Start skit-jamming (someone brings in some raw idea – music they’d like to hear in a skit, an image, a ridiculous character, a hilarious situation – and we play around with them)
- Long day: 30 skit proposals, 8 hours, 4 pizzas, and 1 container of caramelized pear ice cream later, we vote on the line-up for our big show
- Various smaller shows where we perform skits that we’ve done in the past (for example, last night we mimed out the Olympics and the Dawn of Mime at Cheapsox’s Laughs of Love comedy festival)
- Lots and lots of rehearsal
- Our big 1-hour, mind-blowing show! This year, it’ll be April 26th at 8 PM. I’ve already invited my sixty closest friends and family.
I never would have guessed that I’d become a mime in college. But sometimes you get really, really lucky. Hype! has rounded out my life at school really nicely; I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing a creative, performance outlet. Not to mention that we are a mighty fun group, if I do say so myself. Just ask anyone at last night’s intermission, when we started a pumpin’ dance partay. If you can’t be a mime, you might as well dance with one.
Planning has been going very smoothly for this night of nights. This year’s event (marking the beginning of our fair University) will be bigger, better, and involve even MORE cupcakes! We’re moving it to Fletcher Field and inviting local alum as well as booking the runner-up in Tufts’ Battle of the Bands to perform. Mechanical bull, nuff said. TUSC has broken up into a few committees to make this extravaganza happen. Dining Committee is seeing to it that the dining hall serve Jumbo-sized hot dogs and Elephant Ears that day, and they are taking on the colossally important task of ordering all those free cupcakes. Advertising Committee is handling fliers, t-shirts, and the cannon.
Relay for Life
One of my best friends here has been very involved in the planning of this charity event, and I was glad to lend my support as a team member. I’d never done a group fundraiser, and I can now personally attest to how motivational those “Only This Much Left Till We Achieve Our Goal!” temperate-gauge-things are. Relay raises money for the American Cancer Society while putting together an enjoyable and moving night for the whole community. The best part of the evening was the Luminaria ceremony. It’s pretty powerful to hear one of our peers talking about his battle with cancer and to see the sheer number of people who relay for someone they know fighting the disease. The gravity of the night – which had been more fun and games (yes, I brought Uno) before – became clear then. Those moments when I could see the support – like two people walking arm-in-arm on the track in silence – made all the fundraising very worth it. Relay at Tufts has already raised about $79,000, and donations keep coming in. It was a great way to spend a Friday. The Gantcher indoor track felt like a very comfortable retreat, complete with sleeping bag bonding and late night burritos, from 6 PM – 6 AM.