A huge thanks to Pittsburg State University for the kind words in their newspaper, Collegio. See the original here.
Mid-terms got nothin’ on Alysia WoodCarol Anne Smock reporter Updated Mar 10, 2016
Mikaleigh Wilson – Alysia Wood, comedian who uses her job to fight rape culture and destigmatize mental health issues, performs in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom in the Student Center. She helped kick off Safe Spring Break Week on March 7th.
Laughter and a few naughty words filled the Crimson and Gold Ballroom, Tuesday, March 8, as students took time from the craziness of midterms to enjoy the jokes and anecdotes of comedian Alysia Wood.
The event was put together by the Gorilla Activities Board, Interfraternity Council, and Gorillas in Your Midst as part of Safe Spring Break Week. Wood focuses on using humor and her own life experiences to help fight rape culture and stigmas against mental illness.
“I got into comedy pretty much like most comedians do, I just went to an open mic and tried it and loved it,” Wood said. “I get my ideas just going through life – I think for me, a lot of stuff comes from confusion and anger, if that makes sense, so talking it out is my way of trying to make sense of it or plead my case, but sometimes it’s just a funny story or an idea.”
The comedian definitely had plenty of stories to keep the audience entertained, including a priceless retelling of her older brother’s inability to flush a toilet.
“I was home for one week, and for some reason my brother and I had to share a bathroom, and that’s when I discovered that he has unlearned the toilet flushing skill,” she said. “He said he would stop, but the next day I came home, there was stuff in the toilet and I lost my freaking mind.”
Wood’s particular choice of words in the last part of that quote may not be appropriate for this context, but the added display of vulgar yet emotional frustration she showed over a mundane yet completely relatable scenario left the audience holding their sides from laughter.
Another story Wood told was about the time when she defied her doctor’s orders to refrain from drinking alcohol while on her medication. Five drinks and a few blunts later, she says she remembers hiding behind a tree in her yard pretending to be a ninja before ending up the hospital.
Wood described the doctor that came in to check on her as the man of her dreams as well as a result of her definition of Murphy’s Law of Attraction: When an attractive person is present, you happen to be doing something unusually unattractive.
“The hot doctor story was pretty funny,” said Caila Sparkes, sophomore in graphic design. “I thought she was a really good comedian and overall it was really funny.”
Throughout the act, Wood incorporated life lessons such as avoid drinking water in Mexico, don’t drink while on your medication if your doctor says so and don’t be afraid to listen to yourself.
Wood adds that as a comedian, her job is not only to relay a message, but to establish connection. This, she says, is her favorite part about being in comedy.
“Usually when I’m talking to students I’m connecting, there’s something unifying about laughter,” she said. “This is my first time here and I’m really excited to be here, and even though I had a wide variety of viewpoints than the audience, I still feel like there was unconditional love from all of them, which is what I need so I can grow as an artist.”
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