So this guy walks into a university

Did I tell you I quit a pretty decent job?

Well, I did. After two-and-a-half years at IBM, I decided I’d be happier walking to school everyday than driving my favourite car to work. I was THIS [] close to a brand spanking new Mazda 3.

Rhodes University accepted me, so I figured I’d give journalism a shot. I had no idea I’d be allowed to take drama as a subject as well. What a life choice.

Drama at Rhodes University is basically a congregation of the largest amount of eccentrics I’ve encountered. A crazy person’s wet dream. Ok, that was a bit graphic, but you get what I mean.

For the first time in my life, going absolutely nuts was part of a curriculum. This was going to be a blast. And it turned out exactly that way.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a case of people going buckwild, but the expressive leeway was like nothing I’ve encountered.

2010 proved to be a dry year in terms of my comedy (yes, my fault). Hardly any gigs.

Even in the holidays when I was back in Johannesburg, I didn’t get up to much. The longer I went without performing, the more intense the fear of getting back into it.

It was extremely frustrating, considering the talent I know I’ve been blessed with.

I chose drama as a subject purely to develop my understanding of performance and to aid my all-round abilities.

Acting was completely new to me and I slowly learned the ropes, garnering attention for my comic presence at auditions.

I’ll admit I didn’t make much of a mark in my first year of study, but I made it my personal mission to take a more agressive approach (performance-wise) in my second year (2011).

My debut comedy performance at University came about randomly: I was elected on to my residence committee, which meant we went on a leadership camp in the beginning of the year.

I performed a skit I’d formulated in my first year for some of the guys and they hounded me to show our hall secretary. She then asked me to do something for the hall’s welcome dinner.

Our residence hall has about 300 people in it. The welcome dinner had our Dean of Students in attendance [now there’s a chance for building rapport].

I opted for my favourite performance form – stand-up. Armed once again with Judy Carter’s tips, I based the entire set on the dining hall experience.

It was my very first standing ovation [insert emotional tears here].

“This is it,” said my heart to my mind. I knew that I had to capitalise more on this.

After that came comedy skits that I recorded for Rhodes Music Radio (our campus radio station). The reception for those was also pretty cool. That was one of the most creatively stretching things, since we had to think carefully about the format of each of the sketches. Radio is also a completely different game, comically.

The aim now remains for more stand-up performances to come at more regular intervals. Rhodes is a potential goldmine of stand-up opportunities.

We’re the kind of university where everyone knows everyone. We’re in a small town, so people hang out in the same places. I can tell you right now that at this point (2011), there are virtually zero comedy spots in the area. Who am I NOT to change that?

A scared man (at the moment).

Dreams, I can tell you, can be one of the most intimidating things. I’m still trying so hard to work around my fear of failiure / success. I need to fight harder.

Lowell Lundstrom was right in saying:

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”

Mine are huge – and I tremble. I really can’t stall now.



7 thoughts on “So this guy walks into a university

  1. Can I just say that you’re AMAZING Tyson! I’m gonna call you out and say that you did make quite the mark last year, people would ask me if I knew “that funny guy man, (said in a black accent) that Tyson guy”. You know what, I take it back! It wasn’t a mark, it was more like a stain…that makes no sense what-so-ever !! ANYWAY!! Even though we weren’t in the same tutorial groups, I still felt intimidated by you. Yeah, you that good !

    I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll be UBER big once you leave this place!!! 🙂

    Keep doing what you doing Tysie, (are comments allowed to be this long? I’m kinda not familiar with blog etiquette…cough) got made love for you friend!

  2. I’m very rapidly becoming a fan of this blog. you’re incredibly eloquent in your expression, and comical – which i like a lot. this makes it such a pleasure (and a breeze haha) to read your thoughts…so to speak. keep it up.

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