Photo courtesy of minneapolis.happeningmag.com
This is the latest installment of our Bulldog of Butler series. We hope to highlight the many people on this campus. Click here to read more stories about your fellow Dawgs.
Bulldogs of Butler:
First female stand-up performer of Crown Point High School
Do you want to laugh hard enough that it hurts? Do you want to be distracted from your upcoming Biology test? Lucky for you, there’s a stand-up comedian among us Butler Bulldogs. Get to know Shannon Rostin and you’ll laugh for hours.
Name: Shannon Rostin
From: Crown Point, Indiana
Major: Strategic Communications and English with a concentration in Creative Writing
Involvements on campus: PR for Love Your Melon, BUDM, Coffee House Committee
Fun fact: Shannon performs regularly as a stand-up comedian.
Photo courtesy of Shannon Rostin
The Butler Collegian: How did you get involved with stand-up?
Shannon Rostin: I accidentally walked into an improv audition and was too thrown off to leave. It was a pleasant surprise. My high school’s stand-up show needed 10 minutes to be filled, so I volunteered. After, I began performing once a month as a senior in high school. During the past two years, I’ve been doing regular open mic nights and events on Butler’s campus.
TBC: Do you perform regularly at Butler?
SR: I try to do different open mics every week around Indy. Indy offers so many opportunities every night of the week. I write out a lot of my material for Indy shows, but will edit and polish material to prepare for a bigger show on campus. It’s a great feeling to be able to laugh at yourself; others will pick up from your confidence and laugh with you.
TBC: What are your favorite topics to talk about during stand-up?
SR: Social issues! I love being able to talk about gender equality as a female comedian because I can add a different, eye-opening perspective. I can share events that happened to me that others may not have gone through; I can help listeners appreciate new truths.
TBC: Do you always write out material before or do you enjoy improv?
SR: If I see that a crowd’s reaction isn’t reacting positively to my prepared material, then I’ll think of new topics and jokes on the spot. It’s all about making others laugh; nothing makes me feel better than knowing that I succeeded at connecting with my audience.
Rostin loves making others laugh. She hopes to inspire listeners to seek change for the social issues she jokes on. Photo courtesy of Shannon Rostin.
TBC: What has been your favorite memory from doing stand-up?
SR: Recently I had my first major heckler, which is anytime someone’s yelling from the crowd or interrupting my set to share their feelings or opinions. I was at a pub doing an open mic and this guy came on the stage to hug me; I learned how to react to this unplanned memorable event. Also, nothing compares to my first time performing. It wasn’t my best time, but I realized that these weird thoughts I’ve been thinking my whole life could make people laugh. I’ve been growing, learning more about myself, and learning how to reach out to others more and more everytime I perform.
TBC: Why did you pick Butler for college?
SR: High school theatre was the epitome of awesomeness; I peaked at that prime time. It’ll never get better than that, yet I realized I could find a school that would satisfy my interests. I knew that I wanted to write; when I toured schools, I loved Butler and knew its creative writing program could strengthen my current writing skills. Strat comm seemed a blend of journalism and subjects I enjoyed in high school. With Butler, I knew I could do everything I wanted to do and still get a job. Since coming to Butler, especially during on-stage performances, I’ve learned how to be more confident in my own skin.
TBC: Do you have any advice for someone trying to get involved with stand-up or improv comedy?
SR: Everyone should learn how to appreciate their bad bombs as much as their good sets. The best feeling in the world is killing a joke and having an audience burst into laughter, but a couple times I bomb a joke and won’t get the reaction I want. Those are the most memorable moments because you can only go uphill from there. Keep trying and don’t give up.
TBC: If you were a first year, what’s one piece of advice you should know?
SR: Follow your dreams. Find your people and let them support and advocate for you. Be you. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism and getting out there because you’re not going to find yourself unless you scare yourself.