Arts in Action: You live. You learn. You laugh.

By Ella Smith

From “Cracking Up” to “Scared Silly,” Cedarville’s very own comedy org Love to Laugh (LOL) has the campus in a riot of laughter. While over three hundred people came to their first show of the year alone, few people see the hard work, creativity, and teamwork that goes into putting on new and unique comedy shows that keep people laughing.

Although all of LOL’s shows are improv there is still a lot of practicing that goes on behind the scenes. The org meets for two hours every week to discuss past shows, what did and didn’t work and working on making future shows the best they can be.

“We practice. We talk about it. We learn,” said Payton Burdette, a junior broadcasting and digital media major and the president of LOL.

They also make a point to try new games with a variety of different aspects to them such as improv games that involve pre-written prompts, audience involvement or even props. 

“Our goal is to have one game in each show that the audience has never seen before,” said Burdette.

Not only is there a lot of skill involved in making funny prompts and skits, choosing which games to do and finding creative ways to make people laugh, but there is also a lot of logistical work going on behind the scenes of each show. They have to find a theme for each show and come up with a correlating title that captures people’s attention. Then they market the show through posters, emails and Instagram. There is also the task of picking a date that will be convenient for people as well as finding props and outfits to wear. 

LOL often improves their comedy by giving each other feedback

Another important part of LOL improving at comedy is their ability to embrace embarrassment and to rely on each other. Learning to be uncomfortable and not take yourself too seriously can make all the difference when you’re trying to improve and improv.

“Improving at improv also involves taking a big step out of what you’re used to and what you’re good at. Trying to make yourself better at the niche sections and relying a lot on other people as well because you can grow as much as you want but if everyone else is not improving with you the whole quality is not going to go up,” said Andrew Adkins, LOL’s vice president. “I love watching someone do something extremely funny because I know that most of the time I couldn’t have done it and I get to celebrate that with my friends and get to watch their accomplishments.”

This team dynamic is what allows the individual members and the group as a whole to improve. They not only help each other grow at improv but they have a good time at practices and get to know each other as friends and not just fellow org members.

“It’s fun to make people laugh but one of my favorite parts of LOL is the practices. Getting to do improv with my friends and getting to learn,” said Burdette.

Even when a joke doesn’t make the whole crowd laugh or doesn’t get the response they expected, LOL focuses on the little triumphs, learns from experience and takes it as an exercise in not taking themselves too seriously.

“If you make a really stupid joke someone out there is going to laugh. You don’t have to make everyone laugh,” said Katie Williams, LOL’s treasurer. “It’s the friendliest audience you can get.”

Overall LOL focuses on allowing people to laugh without feeling guilty. They are committed to keeping their shows clean. They keep this goal at the forefront of their minds both in practice and on stage.

“Our goal is to always have clean shows. We want to make sure everything we do on-stage is honoring to God,” said Burdette.

At the heart of LOL is a desire to improve, a light-hearted spirit and a passion for making others laugh. They work hard to give students a relaxing break from studying and give them something to laugh at and enjoy. At the end of every show you can be certain; you live, you learn and you laugh.

You can see LOL live at their next Christmas-themed show, “Not So Silent Night” on December 1st in the Recital Hall.

Ella Smith is a sophomore professional writing and informational design student as well as a writer for Cedars. She enjoys a stack of good books, a warm cup of tea (with a fair bit of honey,) and cuddling with her dogs.

Photos by Julia Mumford

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