DePaul’s new league of funnymen, Jamonella
Published: Friday, May 18, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Since its inception last year, Jamonella has accumulated a dozen members. The group consists of everything from Spanish to film students. Some of them see improv as a lifelong passion, others just find it a fun way to express their creativity.
The group's Facebook page describes itself in this way: "We are a DePaul improv troupe founded last September. Originally a group meant to attend Chicago improv jams, our talent quickly ballooned to such a shocking magnitude that Second City had no choice but to reserve Saturday nights at midnight for us. Our show will be a mixture of improv and sketches. Mushrooms and rock cocaine will be distributed throughout the performance at no extra cost."
To get a sense of what this crew was all about, I attended one of their biweekly practices and their show at Second City, which happens every Saturday till June 2.
Tarryl Benedetto, Jamonella’s creator, is very proud of his crew. He explained that the tenets of the group, beyond providing entertainment for themselves and viewers, are honesty and determination. Encouragement and trust are also key. With only 12 members, each one is vitally important.
The group is part of DePaul Improv and Sketch Comedy, DISC, which puts on various events around campus. Other collaborators in this student-run organization are Quarter Life Crisis and Kosmoceratops.
In a tight circle, each member listed seven things in a category provided by the previous person. Then they went around yelling out outlandish statements.
“The Southern Elephant Seal is the largest carnivore!”
“Tarryl is wearing mismatched socks!”
In the next game the ends of two uneven lines acted out random scenes, each piggy-backing off the previous. The scene ends when someone claps.
At the show, the group plays longer games and the humorous situations develop further. One game highlights the progression of family reunions at various points in time. Another includes side characters that ad-lib in at any point in the game. The rest of the players must roll with whatever is added to the scenario.
Jamonella will be performing at Second City, Saturdays at 12 a.m., until June 2.
Ian "Obese Navidad" Abramson; Tim "Funky Koolaid" Barnes; Tarryl "Calories" Benedetto; Cameron "Stick Bug" Ciesil; Eric "Moose Knuckle" DeCamp; Aida "Know-Why-She-Can't-Stop-Laughing" Delaz; Daniel "Dinner for One" Feeney; Alex "You-Must-be-This-Tall" Furlin; Zack "The Swan" Galvin; Isabelle "Diversity" Johnson; Ian "Eyes-to-the-Ceiling" McCulloch; Meagan "Token White Girl" O'Donnell; and Matthew "Pretentious Last Name" Quattrocki.
Inhibitions and filters don’t exist, but absurdity and tomfoolery do. If you’re looking for a good laugh on a Saturday night, come check them out.