By Cherise (LaPine) Threewitt '04
"For some reason, I felt most comfortable when there were 500 people staring and laughing at me, stuff that would make an average kid sick to their stomach," says Julia Colasanti. This senior has earned a reputation on campus for her ability to light up a room, whether the audience is her volleyball teammates or total strangers.
Colasanti, a native of Northville, MI, chose St. Mike's because of its environmental science program, volleyball, and its proximity to Bentley University, her sister's school. Colasanti says her family has always supported her various pursuits.
"My family is far from perfect, but we always find a way to laugh at our flaws and get through the tough times," says Colasanti. "[People] in my family, even my grandmas, are always ready with a witty one-liner on the tip of their tongue, so you need to be funny just to keep up."
As a child, Colasanti developed a serious interest in theatre; in high school, her focus shifted to volleyball.
"Ironically, it was my senior volleyball banquet that got me back into performing and comedy," explains Colasanti. "I procrastinated writing a captain's speech for the banquet, but somehow, I cranked out a hilarious speech right before I walked out the door. Afterwards, one of my coaches told me that I had great timing and I should do comedy, so I did."
When Colasanti first arrived at St. Mike's, she felt that she'd found her place, which she calls "the happiest school in America." She loved the small campus, tight-knit community, and mountain scenery.
Colasanti couldn't dabble in open mic nights in high school simply because clubs don't admit minors, but an open mic night at the Dion Student Center, with encouragement from her teammates, got her hooked.
Now she enjoys performing in front of friends and family when she visits home, and finds inspiration in her hobbies' similarities.
"Being on the court during a volleyball game and being on stage at a comedy club might seem different, but for me, they feel the same," she explains. "Both are places where I can free my mind and forget about everything going on in my crazy life. A lot of comedians you see at open mic nights don't take comedy seriously because it's supposed to make people laugh, but the best comedians are the serious ones. It takes a lot of work and time to craft a joke."
After graduation, Colasanti plans to return to the Midwest, with her sights set on Chicago. It's a great city for aspiring journalists (another area of Colasanti's studies) and a haven for comedic talent.
"I would love to get to the point where I can use comedy as my main source of income and travel around performing," says Colasanti. "It's a difficult industry to break into, but so is college volleyball when you're 5'2" like me. If I focus enough and work hard enough, I really do think I can make something of it."