Page 9 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 16, 1989
Student in humor's
BY KRISTIN PALM
MOST people try not to mix business with pleasure.
But LSA senior Peter Berman's business is pleasure.
The student comedian, a regular at the U-Club's
Laughtrack, was recently chosen as one of four finalists
in the U.S. College Comedy Competition, one leg of
which was held at the University. The competition
travelled to 100 campuses in all.
Berman is spending the week in Daytona with ex-
penses paid by the sponsors of the competition. He
competed in the finals on Monday and tomorrow will
fly to Los Angeles, where he will be a guest at the
taping of Comic Relief III. Berman sees the competi-
tion as a stepping stone in his already burgeoning ca-
reer because it will put him in touch with many key
figures in the comedy industry.
Not that he is a stranger to a great deal of these
people now. Berman has performed with such well-
known comedians as Jay Leno and Judy Tenuta, and he
has been seen at LA's Improv, Catch a Rising Star in
Massachusetts, Daytona's Penrod's and Ann Arbor's
own Mainstreet Comedy Showcase among other pres-
Berman says the Comedy Competition is different
than many of his other gigs because the crowd is
mostly made of students - the same people with
whom he interacts each day, and he said this can be a
"What can be more intimidating than telling jokes
in front of your peers?" he said.
As for his chances in the contest, Berman said, "I
really consider I won already," because of the opportu-
nities that will stem from his already placing well.
"They picked me as one of the four funniest people in
the U.S. If I win, that's great."
"I think my main thing is to have a good time and
perform to my ability," he said. Performing to his
ability, said Berman, revolves largely around his rap-
port with the audience.
"The key to my act," he said, "is I try to be very
likeable. I don't want my audience to feel like I'm
talking down to them. I want my audience to feel like
it's one big party."
Berman said the key to evoking this feeling from
the audience is to not be offensive. He may single out
a member of the audience and iake that person the tar-
get of a joke, but he said he does not slam individuals
"If I'm going to poke fun at something, it's going
to be myself," he said. "If I offend somebody I want to
know why. I think comedy is very subjective but one
thing you can do is not offend."
When he is offstage, Berman said he takes his
experiences with his friends and roommates and turns
them into material for his act. However, he said, one of
his recurring offstage experiences stems from his act
and his presence on stage.
"People want me to be funny 24 hours a day," he
said. "There is not this conscious effort to be on 24
hours a day."
However, he added, this does not mean his stage
persona is completely different from his everyday de-
meanor. "I don't get up on stage and go from Peter
Berman, me, to Peter Berman, comic," he said.
Another problem Berman said he has encountered is
what he calls the "Pretty Girl Syndrome." Like the
pretty girl in high school that everyone is afraid to talk
to, Berman said, people sometimes seem wary of ap-
proaching him because they have seen him on stage.
However, he also speculated that he may be guilty of
the same thing when he encounters famous comedians
at the taping of Comic Relief.
This may be more of a problem in the future as
Berman becomes more visible as a comedian. Parts of
the competition will be aired on MTV, and he is
booked at comedy clubs through next December. He
may be soaking up the Daytona sun in peace right
now, but from the looks of his resume, it won't be
long before his face is too well-known for him to go
out in public unescorted.
If this does occur, this competition is sure to be re-
garded as a major career building block. In Berman's
own words, "What a break!"
Continued from Page 8
On Friday, he'll haul out The
Whole Shebang. Although the
showing doesn't start until 7:30
p.m., Jacobs plans to start setting
up at 5 p.m. because of the special
preparations necessary. They includ'ii
setting up extra speakers, to provide.
a surround-sound system, as wella3
other as yet-unknown treats.
So just what is The Whole She-.
bang? It's a system that Jacobs has
developed of using identical prints
on two projectors, but intentionally
not synchronizing the images, so.
that the audience is visually en-
grossed, but at the same time aware
that what they are seeing is being-
Both nights are sure to offer an
interesting experience, and more im-'
portantly, a rare look at non-com-
mercial cinema from one of the more
important experimental filmmakers
of our time.
KEN JACOBS will show his works
tonight and Friday night at 7:30 in
Lorch Hall. Admission is free.
Just kidding about the other 32
The Friars will perform their 33rd annual Best Concert Ever
Saturday night at Rackham Auditorium. The Friars (from left, Andy
Feyerick, Wayne Sweezy, Sven Larson, Milton Chang, Jim
Brunberg, Pat Woodman, Bernd Brandle, and Mike Behm) are
known for their a capella versions of songs from the 180s to the '40s
and beyond. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4, and are
available at the door or in advance at the Michigan Union ticket
+tANN ARBOR POW WOW±
r The Native American Student Association and Minority Student Services are co-sponsoring the
17th Annual Ann Arbor Pow Wow, March 18 & 19 This event has consistently hosted one of the
largest celebrations of Native American dancers and singers sponsored by a state university in
the Great Lakes region. Many Indian artisans and craftsmen from as far away as New York
Florida, Oklahoma. Arizona, South Dakota and Canada will be displaying and selling autnentic
,, Native American made merchandise. Come join us and share the experience.
SCHEDJLE OF EVENTS
ANN ARBOR POW WOW: Contest all categories Last years prize
moneynand honorariums over $9.000. Special categories Men and
Women Traditional 45 yrs. and over. Grass Dance and Jingle Dress.
DATE: Sat. March 18. 1-4:30 p m and 6:30-10 p m
Sun.. March 19. 1-6 p.m.
PLACE: U-M Coliseum, corner of Filth Ave and Hill St
ADMISSION: Adults $6/day. Seniors ano chtdren $3/day.
Weekend pass $10. Family rates $15/day groups
and students 50% ot.
CONCERT: Joanne Shenandoah: Her music presents a diverse
lineup of1traditionaidIndian sounds and contemporary
GE Goand Systems Is offerifng
FR + 9 .
eyand the .
NASA's Second TDRSS Ground Terminal (STGT) in White Sands,
New Mexico wilt soon be built to receive cals from space. At GE
Ground Systems Department, our misskn is to develop inrvative
Ada software for satellite control and communication 0ppltctions.
To help us complete this mission, and others like it, we are recruiting
graduating seniors from some of the nation s leading coJaeges and
universities. GE Ground Systems Department will provide a com.pr
hensive training program in software development techniques usedon
its programs, This is your opportunity to learn and participate in
innovative and complex software development. programs.
Candidates for these positions should be graduating with a bachelor's
degree in one of the following disciplines: Computer Science, Math,
Physics, Astronomy, Information Systems, or Aerospace/ Computer/
Electrical Engineering. These positions are based at our facilities
in Valley Forge, PA area.
At GE Ground Systems, we know that a great tomorrow is built today.
Our compensation and benefits programs are among the finest in the
world. And the opportunities for professional growth and development
are out of this world.
If this sounds like the kind of challenge you demand in your career,
forward your resume to: Susana DiLuccio, GE Ground Systems
Department, 780 5th Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406.
An equal opportunity employer
FRI. March17 8:00p.m.
The Ark, 637 112 S. Main St.
$9.50, $8.50 for students and members
David Siglin, 761-1451, or Michigan Union Ticket Office
AMERICAN INDIAN LAW DAY: SPEAKER: John Echohawk, Executive
Director of the Native American Rights Fund and named in the ranking of
America's 100 most powerful attorneys.
Date: FRI. March 17 1-00-4:00 p.m.
Place: U-M Law Quad, Hutchins Hall
Reception: Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Excellence and Tradition
CONTACT: MICHAEL DASHNER
Student Services Associate
2304 Michigan Union
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1349
ELECTION POLL SITES
Bell tower side
by Mug; in front
of Ride Board
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