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Bryan Valencia is a creative writing major, dance and journalism minor at Knox #

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Bryan Valencia '15

Writer, actor, and producer at Comedy Well Done

Major in Creative Writing, Minors in Dance and Journalism

Valencia's experience inside and outside the classroom helped him secure a job with an entertainment studio in Chicago, Illinois.

Bryan Valencia is a creative writing major, dance and journalism minor at Knox

How did you spend your summers while at Knox?

The summer before my senior year, Sportsman’s Cove lodge in Ketchikan, Alaska, was in need of a chef, so they called me and within three days I was up in Alaska working. I was the executive sous chef, but I was also the head chef for all the staff meals. I would help the master chef with all of the guest prep and the dinners for the guests, and at the same time, I would be doing the meals for the staff of 35.

How does this job influence your future plans?

I think I needed this just to validate the fact that I don’t want to be a chef. Ultimately, I’d like to find my way into comedy. I was able to do stand-up comedy for the guests at the lodge, and that was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

Each meal we get to introduce the menu for the day. I didn’t introduce the menu for a couple of weeks because it was the chef’s job. And then one day she was really busy, and she tells me, “Okay Bryan, I need you to stall, kill some time.” So she sends me out there, and I’d been doing stand-up for a couple months by then, so I introduced myself and I started talking about the menu but working in my own stand-up. And my boss came in and was like, “That was probably the funniest thing we’ve ever had at the lodge, I want you to do that more.”

So by the end of the season, I was doing 10- to 20-minute sets for the guests almost every day. I had to come up with new material every day. It was a daunting task, but it was able to push me to a new appreciation, not just for the environment I was in, but for what I wanted to do with the knowledge and experience I had gotten here at Knox.

How has Knox impacted you?

I came to Knox thinking that I was going to be an engineer, took some classes and realized it was impossible for me to sit still and do logic and math. Then I found my way into the dance program at Knox. I had never danced before coming to Knox -- everything I had done was martial arts or wrestling or soccer. Being able to combine this into a creative outlet helped me channel my creative energy and my willingness to perform and helped me understand who I was as a performer and a student. The ability to collaborate and see outside of myself and the writing I did here will pertain directly to my job as a writer, producr, and actor at Comedy Well Done.

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#Knox helped me realize the potential I have to bring joy to people.

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Printed on Friday, February 24, 2017

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