With her palms slightly sweaty and a strange feeling in chest, freshman Abigail Escamilla takes deep breaths in order to calm herself down. Despite her nervousness, Escamilla is confident in her abilities and carefully made her way to the Open Mic stage.
Always a talkative child, Escamilla’s first encounters with comedy came from watching comedians on the television.
“I would laugh and crack up watching Mr. Fluffy and Kevin Hart,” Escamilla said. “My mom didn’t really get it, but she supported what she knew. I had so much fun watching those shows.”
Escamilla’s enjoyment of watching comedy shows quickly evolved, and she soon found herself recreating them for her friends and family to watch. At the age of 10, she began sharing her hobby of performing with her best friend Adrien.
”We had the best time making the funniest little skits ever,” Escamilla said. “You would just see two kids running around.”
Escamilla’s passion and comedy skills grew with her. As she went about her day, she found herself forming new jokes subconsciously and quickly writing them down to adjust once she got home. As Escamilla and her comedy skills improved, her friends and family encouraged her to perform her comedy.
“My dad introduced me to the idea of performing by showing some of his favorite shows and I usually performed in my bedroom with my little brothers.” Escamilla said. “My friends encouraged me to do the open mic.”
Escamilla was naturally nervous when Open Mic Night arrived. She was, however, confident in her comedy material, and when the time came, she delivered her jokes as she had practiced.
“It was a really fun experience,” Escamilla said, “I was so nervous and anxious. Like I’m a pretty funny person, but you still get nervous. It was really cool to see people’s reactions to my jokes and how my friends supported me.”
Escamilla has not had the opportunity to perform her comedy publicly since Open Mic Night, but that does not mean her enthusiasm has waned. Escamilla, in fact, started setting goals for herself and her comedy in order to improve her future performances.
“I want to try to be more clear and concise with my jokes because I’m really unorganized,” Escamilla said, “You can look through my books and you’ll see one joke here, at the end of the book, there’s another one, and the third page will have another one.”
Escamilla hopes to perform stand-up comedy at another event before the end of the school year. If everything goes well, she hopes to pursue it as a future career as well.
“Everyone has a certain method for their comedy,” Escamilla said. “Some people use it as a coping mechanism, and some people do it just for fun. For me, comedy has helped with some pretty tough stuff in my life. It’s better to make jokes and laugh through it because I know there’s going to be people who are going to understand and get it. That’s the better part of comedy.”