In the Light: George Karamanoukian


Senior George Karamanoukian

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, George Karamanoukian came to Colgate with an open mind. Although both of Karamanoukian’s parents attended Colgate University, the transition from Cincinnati to Hamilton was jarring at first.

“I was sort of thrown off the first few months here by the fact that everyone was from West- chester and Boston and Connecticut. They all knew each other so I was like, ‘Oh I have no idea what to do,’” Karamanoukian said.

During his freshman and sophomore years, Karamanoukian played rugby, which was a positive experience until shoulder injuries regrettably caused him to stop. Around this time, one of Karamanoukian’s friends approached him about joining Colgate’s comedy improvisation group, Charred Goosebeak.

“‘Hey man you need to come try out for Charred Goosebeak.’ And I said, ‘What? Charred Goosebeak, what is that?’ ‘It’s an improv group.’ I went and I auditioned, and the rest is history as they say. I loved it,” Karamanoukian said.

Karamanoukian was able to turn his shoulder injuries into an opportunity for getting involved in other aspects of life at Colgate. Comedy is something that Karamanoukian had always been interested in during high school, but had been limited from participating in due to conflicting schedules of soccer and lacrosse with the fall and spring theater seasons.

Through Karamanoukian’s experiences with Charred Goosebeak, he has learned valuable skills which translate to everyday life.

“Improv has taught me how to listen. A lot of people say that’s a big tenet of improv. You really do learn how to listen and respond, which is a skill that can be translated into anything you want to do,” Karamanoukian said. “Sketch comedy teaches you how to write collaboratively with someone and work through different ideas that you may have.”

Karamanoukian is a Philosophy and Film and Media studies concentrator. His education has taken him as far as Scotland during his semester abroad junior year, studying in a Philosophy program at the University of St. Andrews.

One thing Karamanoukian has learned during his time at Colgate is that you shouldn’t limit yourself to one thing.

“At Colgate, where’s there’s so many different opportunities, I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice to stay limited to a single aspect, whatever that may be,” he said.

Karamanoukian’s story at Colgate demonstrates how setbacks, no matter how tough they seem at the time, can turn into opportunities if you have the courage to try new things.

Contact JP Haley at [email protected].