Mary Perry is a fourth-year junior with a major in communications and a minor in philosophy. She is president of The Drexel Football Team, a comedic club at Drexel.
Triangle Talks: When did you join The Drexel Football Team?
Mary Perry: I joined the Football Team in the fall of 2012.
TT: Why did you join the Football Team?
MP: I attended a performance and decided I needed to be a part of what was happening on stage.
TT: Give a brief explanation of the atmosphere within the group.
MP: The group is a hodgepodge of odd (and we like to think fun and charismatic) personalities. Practices get really loud/weird depending on the collective mood. Doing improv together creates a unique type of bond!
TT: Who can join and how can they join?
MP: Any Drexel student can audition to join the Football Team. We just held fall auditions and welcomed new member Tristen D’Abreau! We also usually have auditions during spring term. The best way to stay updated about auditions and other events is to follow our Facebook page.
TT: What is your favorite memory from your time in the Football Team?
MP: My favorite memory from my time on the Football Team is the night of my first show. I was super nervous, but it was an exciting and rewarding experience and having other people on stage with you relieves a lot of the tension. My best friend and I were lucky enough to join the team at the same time, which made our first show that much more fun. It’s one of those nights I think I’ll remember for a really long time.
TT: What are some ways you wish to improve the group?
MP: I think the group is really great as it is! Being a group of comedians oftentimes means we’re a bit disorganized, but I feel like I’ve been on top of things for the most part. One new thing I’m working on this year is a big event to celebrate the Football Team’s 10th anniversary; it was formed in 2005 and I’m the lucky president who will be around for 2015, so keep an eye out for a big show with lots of surprises in the spring!
TT: How did you become interested in comedy?
MP: I guess I’ve always just liked being funny. I didn’t really think about performing it until I auditioned for the improv team but I have a lot of fond memories of cracking jokes with my family and making weird videos with my friends.
TT: Do you think you are funny?
MP: I think I’m pretty funny. I probably wouldn’t be able to get on a stage to make people laugh without a little bit of faith in myself.
TT: What kind of jokes do you find the funniest and what kind doesn’t humor you?
MP: There’s a pretty wide range of things I laugh at. I watch and enjoy a lot of dumb [Vine videos] but can also appreciate more intelligent stuff. Sometimes the smartest people produce the best comedy. The only jokes I hate are the ones that are racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive in a way that disregards the personhood of the people being mocked. Some may say a joke’s just a joke but I tend to hear that most often from cisgendered white men who would benefit from checking their privilege. This isn’t an “all men” generalization. There are plenty of hilarious, smart white dudes … then there’s Tosh.0. Personally, my favorite comedians are women. It takes all kinds.
TT: What’s the hardest thing about being on stage and constantly having to make up new material for people to laugh at?
MP: The hardest thing about being on stage is the moments that I get caught up in my anxiety and can’t get out of my head. A good improv performance for me is one that I finish and immediately have trouble remembering. My best jokes are the ones that come out of my mouth before I think about them. Del Close, the godfather of improv, had a No. 1 rule that I like to repeat: don’t think.
TT: Where do you come up with your material?
MP: Most of my material comes from being different characters. When I’m not being myself, it’s easier to think in creative ways.
TT: If you could perform at any venue, where would it be and why?
MP: I don’t really have big stage dreams. The theater I’d most like to perform in is one that’s pretty accessible. It’s the Upright Citizens Brigade’s black box in [New York City]. UCB was started by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts in the ’90s. They had a sketch show together but primarily UCB is a place where comedy is performed and taught. If I ever move to New York I’ll definitely be taking classes there.
TT: What other activities do you take part in on and off campus?
MP: I’m also a part of Students Advocating Feminism and Equality (SAFE), which is a really awesome, important, supportive group on campus! Other than that I have three part time jobs that keep me busy in addition to my classes and Football Team responsibilities.
TT: What are your plans for the future?
MP: I’m not really one for planning. I have some ideas about what I’d like to happen but who knows. I’ll definitely always keep performing.
TT: What is your spirit animal and why?
MP: I think my Patronus might be a moose but I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to confirm that.
TT: If your life was a movie, what would it be titled?
MP: “Speak with Mouthwash Angel.” I got this from a name generator. Seems as appropriate as anything I would come up with.
TT: What type of candy best reflects your personality?
MP: Maybe a big variety pack of candy that you’d get near Halloween, but one of the nice ones. No Smarties. There would be Starbursts and Dove chocolate and other things. Also you’d have to eat the whole thing in one day.
TT: If you could spend time with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
MP: I’d like to chill with Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Kristen Wiig and Reggie Watts. They’re all alive and cool and funny and smart. I also think Andy Kaufman is still alive and I’d like him to let me know.
TT: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
MP: World peace, free food forever and the ability to fly.
TT: The best part about Drexel is …
MP: The best part about Drexel is living in Philly with all of my friends.