By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
This time of year is quite stressful. Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and enjoy a night of comedy? Well, lucky for you, we have the perfect event for laughs on campus!
Fishbowl is an open mic event that was started in February of this year. So far, it has been a success. The event takes place every two weeks, where anyone can tell true stories about their life with no judgment.
This idea started when sophomore graphic design student Johnny Perreira, the president of Fishbowl, went to a similar event in Providence. At this event, which was once a month, people would put their names into a fishbowl, and whoever was picked was up next to tell a true story about themselves.
Perreira couldn’t find anything like this locally, and decided to start up a similar concept at UMass Dartmouth. In addition to Perreira, there is vice president Michael Kilbride, who is a sophomore mechanical engineering student, treasurer Jordan Vongsithi, who is a sophomore graphic design student, and secretary Jillian Yates, who is a sophomore English student.
“Fishbowl is inclusive and nurturing. It helps with a person’s own humility, and can even help someone with public speaking skills.” Perreira says. Yates attests to this, saying, “I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did in the beginning. It’s hard to not feel intimidated among your peers, but there’s no judgment here at Fishbowl.”
Others members agree with this as well, with Michael Killbride saying the Fishbowl is a “judge-free zone,” and Jordan Vongsithi telling The Torch, “The Fishbowl isn’t a club. There should be no pressure. We just want everyone to be inclusive and have a great time.”
Walking into the event, the room is quite inviting. There’s a sheet where everyone can put their name and email, and if they want, they can check off if they want to tell a story, and if they want to be recorded.
Although it is offered and encouraged, there is no pressure to tell a story, or to participate in any way other than listening and enjoying the performers.
As the event begins, Vongsithi introduces himself to everyone, and tells the audience some simple rules before the storytelling begins.
He tells the audience that there will be no bullying, that everyone needs to be respectful, each story should not go over ten minutes, and that each story can be recorded and put on to YouTube, of course, with the storyteller’s consent.
Once the rules are set, the hilarious stories begin!
At the event on Thursday, April 20, some of these stories included: getting stuck on the highway in a clown suit with a car on the verge of explosion, peeing on a tree while making direct eye contact with a neighbor, getting extreme heartburn from food poisoning in physics class, and getting thrown into a spider ball pit, while being extremely terrified of spiders.
It’s like stand-up comedy, except all these stories were true, and in the moment, they probably weren’t as funny as they are now.
Normally, since Fishbowl met last week, they wouldn’t meet until next Thursday. But, since we’re almost at the end of the semester, the team has decided to have an open-mic event this Thursday, April 27!
The theme for this week is prom, so if anyone has some hilarious prom stories to tell, or just want to hear others’ embarrassing stories about prom, go to CVPA 352 at 5:15 p.m. to enjoy the fun! And if you would like to keep up with the group, visit them on Facebook at UMD Fishbowl, and to find them on YouTube, search “Fishbowl UMD.”