Tatianna Marku: Reflecting on ETC as an Alumna


Andrew Choi, Staff Writer

“I think comedy brings people together in ways that are really important, especially when you’re so busy with everyday life and just need a moment to stop and do something that you actually enjoy doing.”

With this thought and a passion for comedy, Philosophy concentrator Tatianna Marku ’20  joined the Experimental Theater Club (ETC) during the Fall of her senior year. ETC is an underground sketch-comedy club run completely by students that showcases sketches and content every semester. 

“I wanted to join [ETC] for a while, but I was always a little bit intimidated about the audition process because I didn’t know if I had what it took to make the group, or if what I wrote was funny enough, or if the way I performed wasn’t funny enough,” Marku said. 

While working with ETC, Marku helped write and perform a variety of sketches, with her most memorable sketch showing her performance as a feminist magician at a kid’s birthday party.

“There was a lot of glass ceiling talk, I asked a little kid: ‘Do you have a dollar’ and when he gave me a dollar, I gave back 78 cents. Then I tell the kid ‘How does the wage gap feel now?’ It was filled with that kind of stuff,” Marku remembered.

Emulating a small family, ETC was both a comfortable and creative outlet to Marku and also an opportunity to write about things in life that weren’t exactly happy or exciting. By offering a different perspective or making light of a situation that wasn’t quite positive, being able to make people laugh was one of Marku’s favorite parts of ETC.

“More than anything, it’s just a necessity to be able to laugh about something that bothered you at one point… It is an important skill to be able to laugh about disastrous things that can go on,” Marku said.

When writing her sketches with other members of ETC, the main priority was to make sure their comedy was relatable to Colgate students. Although it is impossible for everybody to feel a connection, Marku and ETC attempt to make sure their comedy is as relatable as it could be.

“I wanted anyone that watched it — someone affiliated [with] Greek life, someone who isn’t, someone who majored in physics and someone who majored in philosophy — to be able to relate to a lot of the things that were being said. Sometimes we did struggle with that, finding that balance between ‘Should this be in the show because it talks about day-drinking at a frat, or should it not be in the show because many can’t relate to it?’ There’s a fine line there, and we definitely flirted with it, as it’s difficult to make everyone happy, but that sense of inclusivity was very important to us in curating the show and writing in general,” Marku said.

ETC helped Marku build confidence and allowed her to meet new people while trying out different sketches. Whether it was from acting as a magician, or performing as Penelope Cruz hosting a cooking show in a Spanish accent, making people laugh was paramount for Marku.

“Comedy is an awesome way to connect with people, and I think being able to communicate in a way that makes you approachable and relatable is important. Like I said, I think that comedy is able to bring a lot of people together, and if you’re able to make someone laugh, you already have potentially a friend. So in many ways, it just opened up my eyes to the possibility of ‘hey maybe I can make someone laugh every day,’” Marku said.