The Media School

Bloomington comedy scene reflects MeToo movement, moves toward greater diversity

April 19th, 2018

Grace Brase, 19, started performing stand-up comedy in February of 2018. She performed at Bear’s Place for the first time in late March. She experienced her first memorable heckle there as well.

“After I had gone, this guy who was like 40-years-old or something … goes on, and he points to me and goes, ‘Oh, I loved Amy Schumer tonight,’” she said. “If he had meant it as a compliment he would have come up to me and went, ‘Oh, you remind me of Amy Schumer,’ but he had to go and try to make a joke out of it.”

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Mat Alano-Martin uses rocker past to turn Limestone Comedy Festival into one of the nation’s biggest festivals

March 29th, 2018

Growing up in Borden, a town in Southern Indiana, Mat Alano-Martin loved music. He got his first drum set in the fifth grade and soon switched to the bass guitar. He listened to classic rock, metal and punk music. He played with bands and went on to manage several others.

Alano-Martin first ventured into professional music after he graduated college about 20 years ago.

“I played in bands and poured my heart and soul into it, basically all throughout my early 20s to mid 20s,” he said. “We would go on a 10 to 14-day tour, and not make any money, and in fact lose money, but we had a great time, and it was fun doing it.”

After about 10 years, his talent for touring with and managing rock bands turned into a new passion-comedy.

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Overcoming anxiety to interview strangers

March 27th, 2018

Getting the courage to talk to people for stories has always been one of the hardest things for me. As expected, I was extremely nervous to do this story.

I saw a couple who I thought I should approach and hustled towards them, but they ducked into a restaurant before I could even introduce myself.

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Bloomington residents say better marketing is needed for successful local comedy scene

March 1st, 2018

The Bloomington stand-up comedy scene is a mystery to residents, according to random interviews conducted on Feb. 13, 2018 on North Walnut Street and North College Avenue.

Three residents said the stand-up scene could benefit from better marketing. The same residents also said they don’t consume comedy regularly which can have an effect on how interested they are in comedy overall. They said that the comedy clubs should focus on bigger names to get those who might not be familiar with stand-up comedy to attend more local shows.

Penni Volz, 57, a Bloomington native who lives in Indianapolis, said marketing would help get her into the comedy scene, as she is unaware of who is involved and what is going on most of the time.

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On the Beat – Arts & Entertainment

February 15th, 2018


January 22, 2018

Jason Zinoman, The New York Times

Netflix announces new 15-minute format for stand-up specials amid accusations of “racial and gender bias” from comedian Mo’Nique. The new specials highlight up-and-coming comedians rather than those who have platforms. Filming is expected to take place in Atlanta.

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Bio: Kat Spence

Kat Spence
Kat Spence is a sophomore at Indiana University majoring in journalism and minoring in Gender Studies. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, she spent her formative years attending concerts, playing softball and reading every National Geographic she could get her hands on. She has recently been hired to work as a communications intern this summer at Midwest ISO in Carmel, Indiana. She enjoys spending her free time making music playlists, journaling, and working on her amateur photography hobby. In the future, she hopes to work in an environment that allows her to flex her writing, photography and videography skills.