Comedian interacts with audience, brings laughter
Comedian Jessica Kirson performed her stand-up routine at the New University Center Theater on Saturday.
Digital media junior Tabia Jarrett, the comedy and speaker chair for the Student Program Board, said members of SPB attended a National Association of Collegiate Activities convention, where they find most of their acts on campus. The conventions are held on a regional level in the fall and a national level in the spring. The regional convention was where they found Kirson.
“I looked up some of her stuff online, and she is really good,” Jarrett said.
Despite the small attendance, the audience enjoyed Kirson’s puns and stories, along with her interaction with the audience.
“They were a great crowd,” Kirson said. “Sometimes small crowds are a hundred times better than a huge one. They were great, they were fun. They laughed at everything. I had a really good time.”
Daryl Fowkes, a recent St. Thomas graduate with a master’s degree in liberal arts, read in a local magazine that Kirson would perform. Although he does not attend the University, he visited the campus specifically for Kirson.
The last time he saw her was in the summer of 2007, in Kent, Conn. Fowkes was a yoga teacher and lent his services during the weekends at Club Getaway, a camp for adults, which was where he saw her for the first time.
“I just look forward to seeing her live for the first time in seven years,” he said.
One of his close friends, Drew, eventually became her assistant on certain cruise lines.
“I don’t know if Jessica would remember me from the audience,” Fowkes said. “I have known her sort of vicariously live through my friend who has been working with her throughout the years.”
Although he is unsure whether his friend and Kirson still work together, he knows they’re still in communication.
“Hopefully I get to talk to her,” he said.
As for her material, Fowkes said he likes anything in which she mentions New York. “I’ve lived there for seven years, so that’s why I relate to her — New York people.”
Nutrition freshman Rose Fineberg had never heard of Kirson before, but said her friends, who found the event online, dragged her to the show.
“She had me laughing the whole time,” Fineberg said. “She was great. She was really funny.”
“I went for a master’s in social work, and now I’m a traveling clown,” Kirson said in her routine. As for how she made the career change, she said it began with a six-week comedy class.
“I took the class because I was panicked to get up in front of people,” she said. “At the end, you performed at a comedy club, and I did in New York City, in front of 300 people, and I just fell in love with it.”
Kirson stressed on and off stage that humor all comes from pain. As for the master’s in social work, she originally planned to be a therapist, like her mother.
“I decided to do the same thing, except I don’t have to listen; I just talk,” she said. “Isn’t that amazing?”
Currently, Kirson is on a college tour. Additionally, she has her YouTube channel, “The Jessy K Show,” as well as private events, clubs and cruises.
She recently made her film debut in “Cliques,” written and directed by Nick Cannon. Comedians Kevin Hart and George Lopez also costar in the upcoming film.
“We’re waiting for it to come out,” she said. “I’m not sure, hopefully soon. It was filmed a year ago. I had a great time.”
In the past, the SPB had actor and motivational speaker Aaron Jackson and slam poet Lauren Zuniga. It is now planning for the next semester.
“If you have any other interests or ideas about comedians or speakers, you can always come to our office,” Jarrett said. “We’re all friendly, we’re all students, so we can relate to each other.”
For more information on upcoming SPB events, visit its Facebook page.