Say comedy buzz-words such as "Saturday Night Live," "Comedy Central" and "Second City" in front of stand-up comedian Emily Dorezas, and you'll see her eyes light up. The senior psychology major at Frostburg State University dreams of one day hitting the "comedy big time. "
"I want to support myself by performing comedy someday. So I'm planning on working as a bartender for the next 10 years," she says with a laugh.
Dorezas' big break may come sooner than she thinks. She recently was chosen to serve as a special election night correspondent for Comedy Central's "Daily Show with Jon Stewart," the nightly news parody on the cable network. As part of her prize package, Dorezas will fly to New York City for a six-night stay and act as the live online correspondent from Comedy Central's "Indecision 2000" election-night party. She will also show up in clips during the TV show's election-night coverage.
Dorezas auditioned for the gig at a local wine-tasting festival. She was selected as one of four finalists who were later voted for online. The stand-up walked away with 43 percent of the online vote, by performing a little campaigning of her own. "I put up posters in the FSU computer labs. And, also, I have a lot of friends who are bored at work and could get online and vote for me."
Her audition included reading cue cards with a "late-breaking bulletin" about New York GOP Chairman William Powers verbally attacking Hillary Clinton. Dorezas ad-libbed a line about her grandfather carrying a photo of Powers in his purse and challenged Powers to answer "why." The improv was not new to Dorezas, who has been doing stand-up for about a year. She spent the summer in Chicago bartending and performing at open mic nights at the Windy City's comedy clubs. She frequently takes a break from her FSU studies to travel to Chicago and perform.
"I haven't been there in awhile. I'm starting to have comedy withdrawal," she says of her act that she adapts to her audience. "It can be racy. I do some observation." But she's deliberately no Jerry Seinfeld, the king of observation comedy. "I stop myself every time I want to say, 'What's the deal with…?'"
Growing up in Elkton, Md., Dorezas, who was voted "Most Likely to Host a Late Night Talk Show" in high school, was inspired by comedians Bob Newhart, Eddie Murphy and Ellen DeGeneres. She has attended two tapings of "Saturday Night Live" and will try to see another "SNL" show when she's in New York this week. She will also be taking her 8-by-10 head shots with the hopes of doing some stand-up at Manhattan comedy clubs.
While in the Big Apple, she is looking forward to meeting Senator Bob Dole who serves as an election analyst for Comedy Central. "He should be there (at the party.) I don't think he's doing anything else on election night."
With all the attention, the funny lady is taking a very serious approach to her career.
"I'm prepared to pay my dues. If my big break doesn't happen on election night -- that's all right. I'm just going to go and have fun and not get caught up in the 'celebrity' of it."
Fame, fortune or otherwise, Dorezas plans to move to Chicago after her December graduation. Will she include her alma mater in her comedy act?
"I already have," she quips. "There's loads of material."
To see Dorezas' winning audition, log on to www.comedycentral.com/indecision2000/ and clip on the hypertext "More Video Clips."
"The Daily Show" airs on Comedy Central weeknights at 11 p.m. Election-night coverage begins at 10 p.m.
For further information on this release, contact:
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Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303