Last week, Major: Undecided, Tufts’ oldest and award-winningest sketch comedy group, put on a Sketch Show In A Day. That’s right-- an entire show cycle, all done in 24 hours. Either you’re really impressed, or don’t know what I’m talking about. Regardless, allow me to explain.
Major: Undecided is a group that anyone at Tufts can join. We do sketch comedy, which means we write funny sketches, rehearse them, and then perform them (note: it’s not improv. One more time, for the people in the back: it’s not improv.). You don’t even have to audition to be in the group, which is part of where our fun and easy-going vibe comes from-- that, and the amazing people who choose to dedicate their time to putting on show after show of side-splitting material for the Tufts community.
A normal show cycle looks a little like this: We have two weeks to write sketches and get ready for Sketch Pitch, which happens on a Monday. At Sketch Pitch, any sketches that people have submitted are performed for the group so that we can cast an informed vote on which pieces will be in the show. That Friday, we decide on a title for the performance, normally something absolutely absurd and completely unrelated to the content of the show (past titles have been “Major: Undecided Fights Its Weight In Rats”, “Major: Undecided Presents: The Spaghettisburg Address” and “Major: Undecided Presents: A Sensual Evening With Guy Fieri”). On Saturday and Sunday, we hold auditions which anyone can attend for specific roles in the sketches we’ve selected. Everyone who comes to auditions gets a role. Over the course of the next week, we hold independent rehearsals with our directors and artistic director to get the sketches going in the right direction, and the week after that is our Show Week. During Show Week, we have rehearsal every night from 9:00pm onward, during which we do at least one run-through, until Friday night, when we perform the show for an incredibly packed audience that probably breaks some fire codes (shh). After the show, we party like it’s 1999 in celebration of a successful show cycle.
Imagine fitting all of that into one 24 hour period.
There’s no need to imagine, because we did that.
If it sounds crazy, you’re right. The Major: Undecided Sketch Show In A Day was the most exhausting and rewarding thing I’ve done since I got to Tufts. I wrote ridiculous sketch comedy from 9pm to 3am, we pitched the sketches to a room full of friends, we cast the show with our actors until the sun rose, and then we all went out to get muffins (as pictured in the cover photo of this post) before sleeping for a mere two or three hours-- at which point we had to wake up and start rehearsing for the show that was to occur that night.
The delirium we faced was like a drug-- disorienting and reality-altering. I read a study once that said driving while sleep deprived was more dangerous than driving while drunk or high. Based on the sheer delirium I felt all throughout the day after I was up all night writing, I can say that I believe it. The days blur, time becomes a societal construct, and the need for food becomes constant but muffled. You get to a point where you don’t even know how to sleep. You start laughing at things that aren’t funny. My friend fell asleep on the toilet (okay, fine, the friend was me). The laughs turn into sobs. But like the good kind of sobs, you know?
Even though the process was mind-bending and physically destructive, the end result was beyond anything we ever could have hoped for, and way worth the sleepless night that preceded it. We packed the show; there were people in the aisles and students watching through the windows (okay, maybe I imagined that part). There were no hiccups in lines, tech cues, or lighting, and every joke was well received. It was unreal that we put on a show in that incredibly small amount of time, but also that the show was so funny-- the pride we all felt was overwhelming. Each and every person poured their heart into the show, and it made me so happy that I could almost ignore the fact that by the time I went to bed on Saturday night/very early Sunday morning, I hadn’t slept for real in nearly 43 hours.
Major: Undecided (or majors, as we call it) is my family here at Tufts. I never would have thought I’d come to college and get into comedy-- I was much more of an academically focused athlete in high school-- but now I can’t imagine what my life here would be like without it. Majors has taught me how to laugh, how to cry, how to make others laugh, how to make others cry (mostly from laughter), and how reach people in ways I haven’t been able to before. If you currently go to Tufts, I encourage you to come to our next show on March 4th (check out our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MajorUndecided/) and come to our meetings if you want to get involved, every Monday night at 9 in the Crane Room. If you’re a baby jumbo, remember Major: Undecided and consider joining in the fall. Even if you’ve never done comedy before, we’d love for you to check us out! Come, laugh with us.
The cover photo of this post was taken by Katlyn Kreie '19, a beloved member of Major: Undecided.