JILLIAN SCHULZ• [email protected] • Zach Eichten performed stand-up during his Washignton, D.C. internship. He had no previous experience before, but felt that the trip allowed for him the ability to try stand-up.
By Katarina Podewils
This past summer, students from CSB/SJU participated in a Washington, D.C. internship program run through the Political Science Department. During this time, one student decided that this would be an opportune time for him to try his hand at stand-up comedy. SJU senior Zach Eichten was this same student.
Eichten performed at a bar called the Chinese Disco in Georgetown. The venue hosted weekly stand-up shows, and Eichten performed five weeks during his 12 week stay in D.C.
He discovered the venue by first watching an open mic-night.
“I saw that some of the comics were really good, and some were okay,” Eichten said. “I told myself at the time, ‘I can do that. I can be okay at this. If these guys can do it, I can do it too.’”
In order to participate, Eichten had to bring a minimum of ten guests to see his first show. Before his first gig, Eichten extended an invitation to other CSB/SJU students on his trip, and they came to watch.
During his shows, Eichten described how it was hard to judge how well he was doing.
“What you don’t think about is once you get on stage, you can’t see the audience because the lights are right in your eyes,” Eichten said. “I could see the front row of people, and that was it. So I used those people as my metric to see how I was doing.”
Eichten stated that he has always enjoyed comedy, but he needed a change of scene in order to have the confidence to try stand-up.
“Two summers ago when I was working in St. Paul, I wrote a bunch of material and never did anything with it because I lived there and I was nervous to run into someone I knew,” Eichten said. “By going out to D.C., this seemed like the opportunity to try it out.”
In addition, Eichten attributes his story-like comedic bits to comics like John Mulaney, T.J. Miller and Pete Holms.
“I especially like story-like bits,” Eichten said. “I don’t do shock value jokes.”Eichten states that he hopes to continue performing stand-up on campus if given the opportunity. He also hopes to try stand-up at one of the open mic-nights available in St. Cloud.
Lastly, Eichten offers advice to other students interested in stand-up on campus.
“If you have jokes, you can always try,” Eichten said. “If you fail, who cares. Those twenty people who saw you are not going to care two days from now.”