Comedians crack up Cabrini

By Kerry English
November 13, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

Students gathered in Jazzman’s on Friday, Nov. 7, and watched as contest winner Sarah Frazier and three other students competed before friends, peers and a professional comedic panel of judges in Cabrini’s stand-up comedian competition Funny Fest.

Junior Jake “the glamazon” Verterano, senior Billy Bacovin and junior Sarah Frazier all took the stage with high hopes of winning the competition. Senior Mike Balka was a late entry but performed with the rest of the contestants.

Hosted by James “The Wingman” Holeva, brother of event organizer and Cabrini student Jessie Holeva, the night was meant to showcase talent and give the audience something to laugh about.

Professional comedians Jason Pollock, Katie Pidge Decker and John Poveromo were on hand to judge the competitors on originality, delivery, stage presence and most importantly, their ability to make the judges and audience laugh. They gave each comedian a critique at the conclusion of their performance highlighting their positive and negative moments.

“I’m in the mood for a laugh,” Jeremy Ukranski, junior accounting major, said. “Jake is performing so it’s got to be good.”

Marc Zubricky, senior computer science major, believed his roommate Bacovin had a good shot at winning. “I saw he was practicing all week so hopefully it will be good.”

Hearing her friends say “you have to sign up or else” was all the convincing Sarah Frazier, junior psychology major, needed to enter the contest. Besides performing herself, Frazier was also looking forward to seeing what the other competitors were going to bring to the table.

Bacovin was the first of the evening to take the stage. The majority of his jokes poked fun at Cabrini as well as real-life situations.

Joking about the ghost town Cabrini tends to turn into on the weekend and the showdown between places to eat in was humor everyone could relate to.

While they did advise Bacovin to work on his transitions, all of the judges seemed to be pleased with his performance. “You have a really great stage presence,” Pollock said.

Balka took to the stage second hoping to win the crowd over with his unprepared act. Balka decided last minute he was going to perform. The overall criticism for Balka was if you want to do comedy, you have to have something prepared.

“I do think you have a sense of comedy and if you work on it you could do real well,” Decker said.

Frazier might have been on third but she was the first and only female performer of the night. Taking the approach of making fun of herself and opening up about her family was what ultimately won her the competition.

“You took very personal issues about your family and made it funny,” Povermo said about Frazier’s performance.

Decker spoke to Frazier about the obstacles that come with being a female in the comedic world. “It’s going to be hard being a woman and doing stand-up, but definitely, definitely go for it.”

“For those of you that don’t recognize me because I’m wearing clothes, I’m Jake Verterano,” was Verterano’s opening line for his performance. Being the closing act of the night, he knew he had to hit the judges with everything he had.

Verterano joked about his fat friend’s eating habits and his lifestyle, he was crowded by fans going into the event.

Verterano had the whole room cracking up, by incorporating his love for pro-wrestling and referring to his mother as well as himself as a “glamazon,” “If you can make fun of yourself and your life it brings everybody in,” Decker said.

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Kerry English

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