Vienna Teens Give Comedy a Shot


(Thursday, January 11, 2007 8:10 AM EST)

Move over, Adam Sandler. Take a seat, Margaret Cho. Vienna's middle school students are taking over the stand-up comedy scene.

Local students had the chance to try their hand at live stand-up at the Club Phoenix Teen Center's first-ever comedy “open-mike night” on Jan. 5.

“We try and do something special for the seventh- and eighth-graders every month, and comedy night was a creative thing we thought they'd enjoy,” said Elizabeth Moss, a supervisor at the center.

There was a lot of response from people who wanted to attend the event, as well as from those who wanted to give stand-up a try, she said.

The comedic acts ranged from simple question-answer jokes (“What did one chip say to another chip?” “Let's go for a dip!”) to “yo momma” cut-downs to political rants.

Gavin Campbell, one of the hits of the evening, shared that Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia are his favorite comedians, and that he tried to model his act off their work.

“I didn't really copy what they do,” he said. “But I took their themes and used my own enthusiasm.”

Rachel Andrews, one of the comediennes of the evening (there were two), didn't plan in advance on taking part in the event, but used improvisational techniques when she was on stage.

“I hadn't decided on performing,” she said. “But I have a lot of jokes, and I've been told I'm funny, so I thought I'd give it a try.”

Andrews is one of a number of students who does service work for school by selling snacks at the center's food counter, the “Candy Bar.” The center also has a lounge area, a big-screen TV, a jukebox, pool and ping-pong tables for teens and pre-teens to enjoy.

In addition to the entertainment systems and fun evening activities such as karaoke nights and dances, the center also has an after-school program that provides help with homework, book clubs and sports and fitness activities.

“It's a safe and positive atmosphere to be in after school,” said Moss.

The Club Phoenix Teen Center serves students in sixth through 12th grade and is located at the Vienna Community Center.

For information on upcoming events for teens, call (703) 255-5736.

A number of Club Phoenix Teen Center regulars took to the stage last week to perform comedy routines.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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