When you think of improv comedy, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and if it’s not “Whose Line,” I’m curious what it is–your high school’s troupe, perhaps? Either way, chances aren’t too high that your first thought is of our very own NDSU comedy club, but it should be!
To Be Determined, or TBD, is NDSU’s one and only improv comedy club. While they’re best known for their monthly improv shows, TBD also occasionally puts on sketch comedy or standup shows. If you’ve been wondering for two years, like me, what it takes to become a star improviser, fear not! I now have the answers for you! This week, I spoke with club president Baylee Miller, equipment manager Selah Mueller, and publicity coordinator Diego Price to get the scoop.
Note: While Miller and Mueller both use multiple sets of pronouns, for clarity’s sake I will refer to both of them with she/her pronouns for this article.
As it turns out, there is not a rigorous gauntlet of Herculean trials required for entry to the club. In fact, all you have to do is show up–something I plan on doing in the near future. TBD meets every Monday and Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm in Minard 116, and anyone is welcome. If you aren’t ready to get right into it, that’s okay, too. People are also more than welcome to come and watch practice, or participate in only a few games. “You choose your own level of involvement,” says Miller. “TBD is for anyone and we mostly do it for fun.”
Equipment manager Selah Mueller first joined TBD in an attempt to become more active on campus but quickly found that it was a group she just wanted to come back to. Having grown up homeschooled–something she and I share–Mueller is no stranger to feeling like an outsider in school-related situations. TBD, however, immediately made her feel welcomed. As something of a home for outsiders of all kinds, the members of TBD do their best to welcome anyone into the club.
“We always make sure to introduce ourselves and get everyone’s pronouns,” Mueller said, before Miller added, “We want it to be a comfortable environment socially as well as in scenes.”
TBD is a great place to hang out, play, and laugh, but it’s also a great place to meet people. “TBD is easy friends,” Miller says with a laugh. ”I immediately found a new friend group.”
With flexible attendance and participation–you can come to every rehearsal and do nothing but watch for the whole year if you want–TBD is a relaxed and fun environment. In addition, no improv experience whatsoever is required.
Miller has been improvising for upwards of six years now, having started in high school, but publicity coordinator Diego Price only started improvising last fall when he joined TBD.
“Selah joined halfway through last year and is already one of our star improvisers,” he says. “I would encourage anyone who wants to come and check it out–it’s a very sweet and welcoming environment. It’s hard to not want to come back.”
Miller also noted that TBD is a place she can go at the end of a rough day and always leave feeling better than when she came. “We’re always down to vibe,” says Mueller. “How can you feel bad when you’ve been laughing the whole time?”
And I will tell you guys–I spent the majority of this interview laughing uncontrollably. They didn’t ask me to say this, but these guys are funny. I met two of the three interviewees for the first time literally that day when we sat down to talk, and I immediately felt at ease. It was like joking around with old friends, even though I was the outsider in the group.
In addition to practices twice a week, TBD also puts on shows roughly once a month. The cast changes for every single show, so everyone who wants to gets a chance to perform. The next show is on October 7th, at a location to be determined (see what I did there?), so even if improv isn’t your own cup of tea, come support your friendly neighborhood improvisers! This interview was a delight to conduct, and I’m so pleased that I get to tell all of you about this club.
If you have more questions I didn’t answer here, you can email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find them on MyNDSU. In addition, TBD has an Instagram, YouTube, and Discord server you can check out.