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Everyone needs a good laugh now and then. BU freshman Lindsey Polevoy believes that comedy goes further than just a laugh though: it can bring people together in an unprecedented way. Polevoy, an aspiring Film and TV and Advertising major, stated she’s been a storyteller ever since she was young and has wanted to pursue a creative career for a long time. Below, Polevoy talks about why comedy TV resonates deeply with her and her first time performing stand-up comedy.

Q: Tell me about your major. What made you decide to study it?

A: I became interested in the Film and Television major because I’m a huge fan of comedy TV –– I’m a little bit addicted to it. It’s what helps me get through hard times and has always been a constant for me. A couple of years ago, I got really into analyzing TV; I found a website with a bunch of pilot scripts, and I spent so much time reading them. I found it so interesting! 

Meanwhile, for the Advertising major, I’m really interested in it for similar reasons, because the creativity involved in it is super amazing –– like how a lot of people work together to really understand consumers and what makes people tick. It’s fascinating how people will collaborate in an advertising setting, and that’s what I’m looking for in a career.

Girl posing for a picture outside
Original photo by Emilia Wisniewski

Q: What about comedy TV draws you in as opposed to other genres?

A: I really enjoy the feeling that comedy brings to just allow people to sit together and laugh. It’s something that is very good at bringing people together and allowing us to feel joy and a sense of humanity because what it boils down to is that we are all human. Being able to laugh together as humans makes us understand that we are one-in-the-same. Another thing is that it’s always been comforting, and I can never get enough of it. With drama, for example, I have trouble sitting down and binging a series for hours, plus it can make me stressed out. But I can always rely on comedy to lift my spirits and just make me happier. 

Q: What are some creative avenues you have taken, comedic or otherwise?

A: In high school, I got really into playwriting, and I’ve written for about four plays. I discovered a passion for writing creatively, telling stories about characters, and describing who they are. Along with that and trying to write a TV pilot, I also wanted to explore other mediums of comedy. One of the things I did was join a stand-up club. I figured, why not try it? 

Why not give it a go, work through it, and challenge myself? Even though I might not do great the first time, the second time, or the third time, practicing something and putting my mind to overcoming a challenge will allow me to become better at stand-up. 

I took a little bit of a risk and put my name down for one of the next open mics. I watched some of my favorite comedy routines, dissected them and wrote down transcripts, and highlighted how comedians like John Mulaney build up tension — like when you think a joke is going to go one way, but then he surprises you at the end. 

There’s a lot of technique that I was unaware of before I joined the club, so I found myself learning about that and joke-writing, which is helpful to know for writing comedy TV. I spent a lot of time working on that routine, which was about a boy I knew in high school, and I really enjoyed it. It ended up being a great experience for me to just put myself out there, and getting on stage and trying my shot was rewarding in itself.

Q: You’re very analytical in your approach to understanding comedy. Has that always been something you’ve done?

A: I’m very analytical in general. So when it comes to a situation, I always take a deep breath, back up, and look at the whole picture, then narrow in and make some type of structure or organization to it. I think some people think that someone going into any type of art field has to be spontaneous, but don’t realize that there’s a lot of practice and technique that goes into it, as well as understanding the craft on a theoretical and emotional level. 

For comedy, some people might just be naturally funny. But being naturally funny in the moment is different from being funny on the page. I learned a lot of that from listening to podcasts and learning about the different tracks of storytellers. To be a good comedy writer or a funny comedian doesn’t just mean you have to be funny –– there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into it.

Q: What are your plans for the next few years at BU and after graduation?

A: I’d like to say I’m open-minded, but I know that I’m an extreme planner. I basically have a Google spreadsheet of the classes that I want to take and my next four years planned. Going forward, a lot of it has to do with just making sure I can get everything for my double major, but also preparing myself with the skills to succeed in a future career. 

My dream career would be a showrunner for a comedy TV show, which is basically the head writer that oversees other parts of production, like casting, directing, and the vision of the show. I would die to be a showrunner, but I’m also very drawn to advertising, and I would love to learn more about that and see if it’s a possible path for me. Paths can easily be changed though, so I’m trying to be open-minded and just try to explore. 

Regardless of whichever career path she chooses to go down, Polevoy knows that the key to life is laughter! Next time you’re feeling down, focus on the humor of it all: a little goes a long way.

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Class of 2025 journalism student at Boston University. Loves listening to music and exploring the city, and pet every dog that goes by.
Amille is a senior at Boston University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English. Her passions include travel, cooking, and creative writing; when she isn't testing new recipes and working on her first novel, she's spending time with pets and making memories with family.
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