Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Oral Performance/Hitchcock

On November 19th, we went to see a debate of Christmas vs. Hanukah. Coming into the debate, I thought that it wouldn’t really be that entertaining. I expected a group of amateur comedians saying corny punchlines in addition to jokes that no one really understood. However, it showed me that oral performance really takes a lot of work and truly is a form of art. The comedians had to appeal to us so we would like their performance and vote for their side. It’s almost identical to how pitchmen sell their products at fairs. In my personal opinion, the comedians weren’t really that funny other than the first male from the Hanukah team. Overall, the debate was entertaining but didn’t reach my expectation of “comedy.”

On December 6th, we watched a movie about Alfred Hitchcock and the making of his movie, “Psycho.” I expected to see a boring documentary about a old director who had a lucky movie. But what I got instead was an entertaining story about a man trying not only to direct a hit movie, but also manage other aspects of his life as well. The movie gave me insight as to how much work and effort directors/producers have to put into their productions. It showed me that it took a combination of perspiration and inspiration to make a movie, a true definition of art.

After the movie we went upstairs to see a stand-up comedy show. I noticed that stand-up comedians often use jokes that make fun of themselves to get laughs from the audience. I believe this is because usually people laugh at other people’s minor sufferings. The technique usually worked because throughout that night, whenever a comedian would make fun of themselves the audience would be in an uproar. Maybe it was also because half of them were drinking, but I’m fairly certain it was because of the technique.

Overall these two visits showed me that oral performance takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It requires a combination of inspiration and perspiration. Due to this, I believe oral performance is the best definition of art.



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