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Theater students establish a comedy culture on campus

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One theater student set out to pursue his dreams as a stand-up comedian and along the way, opened doors for other aspiring comedians, actors and comedy writers to present their talents to an audience.

Garrett Buss, theater sophomore, organized the Texas State Comedy Association his freshman year to create a space to practice comedy on campus.

Buss began filling campus walls with flyers for the Texas State Standup Club, posing as an established organization to attract potential members.

“I just printed out a lot of flyers that said ‘we want you as members’—it made it seem like it was a club that had members already,” Buss said. “I didn’t think anybody would want to join if they knew it was just me putting up these flyers all the time.”

Buss’ vision began to form its foundation once he started to receive emails of students curious about the comedy association.

“I would respond like ‘Yeah, we’ve been a club forever!’” Buss said.

To Buss’ surprise, the first official meeting was a success, packed with students who were waiting for a comedy club to join at Texas State. One of those students was Lexi Morris, theater sophomore.

Morris saw the flyers Buss put up and was encouraged to join by her friends who knew she aspired to one day work in comedy.

Morris, the current sketch comedy chairman of the Texas State Comedy Association, described Buss as a natural leader who can easily capture a room’s attention.

“As soon as he came in, you knew he was the person we were all waiting for because it seemed like everyone got happier. Everyone was throwing jokes at him,” Morris said. “He knows how to stay on track, but he also knows how to be funny and keep everyone entertained.”

Starting out as a group of approximately 20 students, the comedy association became a close-knit group led by Buss. As the club began to grow, three subgroups were established: sketch comedy, improvisational comedy and stand-up comedy.

Jordan Pilkenton, psychology sophomore, is the current chairman of stand-up of the Texas State Comedy Association.

When Pilkenton first joined the organization, he wanted a place to rehearse stand-up, but the comedy association became more than an extracurricular activity for him.

“We started to get pretty close, hanging out and writing together,” Pilkenton said. “We have writing sessions where we tell each other jokes that we’re working on.”

Buss, Pilkenton and Morris each describe themselves as a comedy trio, bouncing ideas off of each other and being a constant source of encouragement for members of the group and one another.

Going into its second year as an official student organization, the comedy association hopes to make a bigger name for itself on campus.

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