The 8th Floor Alumni Weekend

11 April 2015. Columbus, OH

I looked around the room at the 30+ people playing the warm up Kitty in the Corner. Everyone participating was at least 18 years old and having an incredibly fun time.

I was the oldest person in that room (by just a few weeks). I was also one of the reasons they were in that room to begin with.

I was in Columbus, OH, having returned for the 8th Floor Alumni Weekend. The 8th Floor, an improv comedy group me and 5 other friends started while at The Ohio State University, was still going strong. One of the many traditions, along with others like music making you lose control and unique birthday celebrations, was that every year there was a reunion weekend where as many of the groups’ alumni return for socializing, practicing, and performing.

As one of the founders, I try to return as often as I can, not just to see old friends and group members, but to also to check in on the group.

This was the 11th year of the group’s existence as the premier improv comedy group on Ohio State’s campus, and while we never really imagined it getting this big, we selfishly wanted the group to survive as long as possible. After all, it’s part of the legacy we’ve left at OSU.

The whole thing started while playing Halo (the video game). My best friend wanted to start an improv group… so we did. We started as 6 friends practicing in the basement of Residence Halls. By the time I graduated 2 years later, we were a cast of 16 performing twice a week at a black box theater on South Campus.

5 of the 6 founders.

5 of the 6 founders.

After the founders left is when the group really took off. Some very smart people came into the group and got them performing at Freshmen Orientation. Immediately every on campus knew who the group was. Now, 11 years later, it was one of the established things to do on campus, with shows selling out 150+ seat auditoriums.

Tonight was about celebrating that history. In just a few minutes we’d head upstairs to the theater in the Union, where we’d do long-form sets as teams mixed of all generations of the group.

But for the moment, kitty was in the corner, and he went that way.

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