Personal anecdotes and laughs echoed at CREA Café on Monday evening during the performances of 8 university students. Moderated by one of the founders, Lara Ricote, about 60 people attended the Comedy Crea Open Mic for free.
Twice a month, Comedy Crea gives students the opportunity to perform their 5-minute stand-up routines.
After discussing the idea with fellow classmates, 23-year-old Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics student Benedetto Zurlo, and his friends- Lara Ricote, from Mexico, and Tiberiu Radulescu, from Romania- decided to create Comedy Crea, a stand-up comedy show that would serve as a means for students to express themselves.
On December 10, 2018, their first show was performed in collaboration with CREA Café. Ever since its creation, the organization has found a way to attract a large audience and maintain a full line-up.
Yesterday was the first time Jannick Hamberg, 24, performed in English. The UvA psycho-biology alumni has been doing stand-up comedy in Dutch for the past 2 years and a half, for which he won the audience vote at the Leeuwarder Cabaret Festival finals last week.
“A lot of my friends from the Dutch comedy scene were also doing English gigs in Amsterdam and often told me that I should try that too,” Hamberg said. “I was talking with a friend […] and she told me I could have a spot on this night if I wanted to, to try it out. So I did.”
Overall, Hamberg is satisfied with the audience’s response. “The audience was sweet and fun from the beginning,” he added.
“[Comedy Crea] is very open for people who want to try out” said Zurlo. Between the performances, a break gives the audience the chance to write their name on a piece of paper and put it in a hat. One name is then drawn to give that person the opportunity to perform.
For Zurlo, who also performed on Monday, Comedy Crea gave students interested in stand-up comedy, the opportunity to try their hand at it in public. “Other people were interested in doing [stand-up comedy],” he said. “And because of this, I imagined: if there are some people interested, how many more are interested but don’t have the time to organize themselves to have a platform to do it?”
Even though the event consistently fills up, the organizers have failed to raise enough funds. “We only got 5 euros”, said Zurlo, keeping his hopes up. “We want to get a community of people who can learn from it,” he added. With the donations, Comedy Crea aims to invest in a good recording system and a tripod to create snippets of the shows.
The next show will be held on Monday, February 18.
- Content Manager (Fall 2018)
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Isabel Bonnet is a 21-year-old second-year student in communication science at UvA. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Amsterdammer. Before its creation, she worked as a photo editor at the Independent Florida Alligator and did an internship at Le Monde.