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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student organization offers comedic relief


While some people have a hard time coming up with jokes on the spot, actors of Freudian Slip make it their job to do so.
Freudian Slip, which started in 1992, is a group of A&M students who love improvisation.
A lot of people are funny when they quote stuff, but thats not what we do, said Austin Faulk, senior biology major and president of Freudian Slip.
The groups improvisations are original performances.
We make up our own stuff, Faulk said. Its an interesting type of humor thats more quick and witty than calculated and rehearsed [humor].
Without a script imrov groups use the audience to create a show.
What we do in a show is have a basic gist of what we want to do, then the audience tells us what to do next, Faulk said.
Faulk said one example was when in a previous show, the improvisation team walked on stage knowing three things: the show would be a mystery, there would be a detective and there would be a crime. Then from suggestions from the audience, the fate of the show was decided.
Freudian Slip does shows on campus in Rudder Forum and Rudder Theatre. They also travel and perform for organizations as entertainment, in addition to taking trips cross-country.
Every other year, we take a trip to Chicago, the improv capitol of the world. Its where SNL people started, Faulk said, referring to the citys legendary Second City improve comedy school.
Faulk said the trip not only brings the team closer together, but also offers learning experiences for the actors.
While a majority of the group has a performance background, Freudian Slip members are pursuing different careers.
Its all across the board with interests and majors: Im bio, theres business, engineers, communication, everything, Faulk said.
With a wide range of personalities, Faulk said the humor is hardly stale.
Jillian Landers, freshman telecommunication media studies major and new member of Freudian Slip, said even though everyone comes from different places on campus, rehearsals are a blast.
Everyone is crazy funny which makes it hard to keep a straight face, Landers said.
But Freudian Slip doesnt accept just anyone. Faulk described the audition process as rigorous, with the club allowing only 15 members. Faulk said Freudian Slip looks for dynamic individuals who are willing to commit to the club.
When I first auditioned, there were about 60 people trying out, Faulk said.
Faulk said he believes humor is compromised of topics the audience can connect with and recognize.
For me, the funniest stuff is when you can relate to it, when its a situation that can totally happen, but is taken to the extreme, Faulk said.
Yet different people have different views on what is funny and what is not.
Justin Fullerton, senior international studies major, wrote and acted in What Are You Really? a short sketch about the subtle racial slurs that go unnoticed in everyday life. Fullerton presented his piece in the A&M Student New Works Festival in February.
In 1992, Freudian Slip would regularly sell out in Rudder Theatre. Today, Faulk said few people on campus have even heard of them. In competition with comedy online or on television, Faulk said there is something different about seeing comedy live, especially improvisation. He said the distance between the audience and performers makes a difference, creating a more engaging and enthralling atmosphere than anything a viewer could get from a screen.
Justin said comedy is the point at which everybody, no matter where they come from, can sit back, chuckle and say Now, thats funny!
Landers agreed, saying that the best humor is the least expected and natural.
Landers said the best comedy isnt forced, and that comedy is really just a different way of looking at ideas and adding new ridiculous information.
Comedy can be found in the little things, like squeaky desks in classroom, people tripping and pretending nothing happened, the wind blowing in Academic Plaza and taking out the people holding banners, or a Corps guy having a nightmare during history, Landers said.

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