Women in Power: Ilana Saltzman

Meet the co-founder of Muhlenberg’s SIT Stand Up Comedy Group and founder of the After Hours Show:

Name: Ilana Saltzman

Age: 21

Class Year: 2018

Major(s)/Minor(s): Media communications major, with a minor in creative writing

Campus Involvement: President of MCA (Muhlenberg Comedy Association). Produces various freelance videos, including the Class 2018 senior kickoff video.Was previously involved in SIT, After Hours Show, and the improv group Damsels in Excess. However, Ilana has decided to focus her creative attention on Berg Buzz, which is a website that describes all of the events/information/important updates happening at Muhlenberg. She builds and oversees four committees: Design, Production, Writing, and Social Media.  

Hometown: Livingston, New Jersey

Fun Fact: She’s a twin.

Favorite food from the Dining Hall: Cuban Sandwich.

How do you de-stress during the weekends? Refusal to do any work on Saturdays.

What inspired you to create the After Hours Show/SIT? I wanted to create a larger outlet for comedy, that went beyond theater. I love improv and stage sketch, and I think there are great groups in the theater association. But, I wanted to bring in new styles such as stand up and television sketch. I spoke to my friend, Emma Rosenthal, and we wondered, why don’t we create a stand up comedy group? So, we decided to do so.

As for the After Hours Show: I’ve always wanted to write for T.V., and wanted to create skits similar to those found on the show, SNL. I knew it would be a crazy challenge, and it was a challenge. We had a wonderful semester with the After Hours Show, and I’m hoping it continues in the future. I am going to pass on the torch to Lizzie Roswig, and I know she will do great things with the show.

How has stand-up comedy played a major role in your life? It feels good to open up to people, and the majority of them are people you don’t know. Stand up is a powerful platform to really address problems happening in society and your personal life. It’s both relatable, and brings in a new perspective. It’s much better than listening to a sad song. We as comedians are able to take a horrible subject, and view it through a humorous lense, and we are hoping as a community to laugh about the situation.

How do you feel like you’re a great female role model on campus? I’ve never considered myself a role model. I think it can be difficult for someone to consider themselves as a role model. However, I feel like I’ve done a lot at Muhlenberg, and I’m proud about what I did. I believe that if you are proud about your accomplishments, you are a leader. Anyone who is proud about their accomplishments can be a leader. I’m proud that I was a founder of three organizations on campus. I’m proud that, sophomore year, I attempted to find a website called Small College Confessions, hoping it would turn into a student controlled website for comedy and improv-everywhere type social experiments. It never continued due to busy schedules. It was successful, then failed. But I’m proud about that. Everything I experienced whether it was failure or success or building groups and leading people ultimately prepared me for BergBuzz. It was all worth it. I am a leader, because I am not scared to try things, and to take the dive in order to go into something. Even if no one wants to be a part of the group, I will still proceed to trust that I can get it done, and it does. Things might not work out smoothly, but I can look back and said that I did it,  and my team and I were able to do it.

What do you recommend to students interested in creating an organization on campus? Do it. If you are thinking about it, get up, and walk over to the student life suite and talk to the staff members. If you are thinking about it, you clearly want it. If you ever have second thoughts and begin to doubt yourself, don’t. You can do it. You made it to Muhlenberg, you survived high school, and literally even middle school, so it’s possible to start a club.

If you could perform stand-up with any famous comedian(s), who would it be and why? Ellen Degeneres because she has clean humor,  and Joan Rivers (if she were still alive), because her style is the opposite of mine. She is so raunchy and I never kissed until 21 so it could be a fun contrast.

What inspired you to come to Muhlenberg? At first I wanted to be a teacher. I also enjoyed film, video work, and comedy. When I toured at Muhlenberg, I heard there were five comedy troupes, as well as a great film program. They also have a great education program. It was the only college I toured that included all three things I wanted. I realized quickly, though, that I didn’t want to pursue education, and the rest is history. Now, I’m doing media communications and creative writing.

Any inspirational words for other empowered women? Don’t ever look behind you. Move forward!