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Mackenzie Thomas

Comedic Arts: Mackenzie Thomas, Senior

March 18, 2021

My distaste for my major has become more clear since the pandemic hit. Maybe because I have had more time to dwell on it and think about things, but oh my god, it’s been so weird and crazy. I love comedy, but this comedic terrain that’s going on right now with Zoom and everything, is not the comedy that I know, not the comedy that I love. 

I did an improv class over Zoom for a requirement. It was half online and half in-person, and this class made me cry on several occasions. It was one of the most frustrating experiences I’ve had in an Emerson class. There would be ten-feet boxes taped on the ground and everyone had their own box and then our teacher would get wheeled around on a cart by her husband. If you’ve seen an improv show or you’ve done improv, you’ll know that it is impossible to do improv frozen in a ten-feet square. That was horrible. I’m not a wonderful improviser to begin with but that did not make it any easier.

I wish our teachers didn’t hold such a high expectation for us to be ‘on’ and funny. There’s people dying and you want me to do improv? Everyone’s lives are shifting so rapidly all the time because this pandemic is this unseen variable that happened to all of us. The expectation needs to be lowered a lot. I’m sorry that I don’t want to do improv games like Zip, Zap, Zop when there’s a pandemic happening and people are dying. The last year has not been built for our major and I think the major exists under a very specific pretense at Emerson. 

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