LOL chooses new members

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    By Tiffany Olsen

    After 20 hours of training spread out through a 10-week training program, a dozen BYU ?Funshoppers? performed Wednesday in hopes to make their audience laugh out loud.

    Funshoppers proved their comedic genius at Wednesday?s performance where current Laugh Out Loud members choose new Laugh Out Loud cast members.

    ?The philosophy is that you can learn and learn in a practice room, but until you really get on stage with a live audience you haven?t learned,? said Kenny McNett, the Laugh Out Loud Funshopper coach. ?The whole semester is an audition. Every week we are looking to see if they are going to be a good addition to the team, that will make the audience want to come back.?

    McNett said Laugh Out Loud?which started over three years ago as 23 Skidoo? started funshops because the club wanted new recruits and this was an opportunity to give students a fun way to experience improv.

    ?Workshops?or Funshops, as we call them, because they?re not work, they?re fun? are pretty standard in comedy industry and improv because that?s how you get into the comedy circuit, is you do workshops,? McNett said.

    Cast members from BYUSA?s Laugh Out Loud improv comedy troupe trained six males and six females over the past fall semester for the performance. Although there have been multiple women associated with the group, since Laugh Out Loud?s beginning, for some odd reason, there has been one female in the cast at any time.

    ?It?s nice because the whole theatre world seems to revolve around boys, it?s so hard for girls to get into it and it?s easy for boys, so it?s nice to get into improv where you?re valued for being a female,? said Kimberly Dunn a Laugh Out Loud Funshopper.

    Both male and female Funshoppers began the semester with varying levels of background experience in improv. While some said they had no previous experience in improv, others learned by watching ?Whose Line is it Anyway?? Some took drama in high school and one started his own improv group when he was a student at Southern Virginia University.

    ?When I came here, I was really looking for more people I could have chemistry with,? said Rob Hickman, Funshopper. ?You do come here and have fun, you make friends and then once you start developing that relationship by being with each other so often, you realize a kind of chemistry that you have and how well you can work together.?

    This semester?s Funshoppers went beyond the weekly two-hour practice.

    ?What we actually did for this show was that David Hutchison [a Funshopper] organized study groups,? Dunn said. ?So we could get together and give each other feedback.?

    Though finding chemistry and learning how to work together in improv presented challenges for Funshoppers, their talent proved well at Wednesday?s performance.

    ?At the beginning [McNett] said, ?Don?t try to be funny, just do it, and the funniness will come,? and it does.? said Courtney Montrose, a Funshopper.

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