Name: Blake Rutledge
Hometown: Coppell, TX
Major: English and Spanish
Minor: Film Studies
Relationship Status: Taken
Favorite TV Show: 30 Rock
Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes of Wake Forest’s favorite comedy troupe – the Lilting Banshees? This week’s Campus Cutie fills us in. He’s friendly and super involved on campus – meet Blake Rutledge!
HC (Her Campus): So what can you tell us about your experience as a Banshee?
BR (Blake Rutledge): Being a Banshee is really fun. I think the best part of it is that you’re part of a family, and you’re a family that works together toward a common goal. We meet three times a week to get together and write. It can seem like a big commitment but you get to see what all your work has added up to [in the end]. I don’t think I’ve had that much fun before – just being in a group of friends who are laughing all the time, and then also making other people laugh, which is kind of our main goal.
HC: For those who have never been to a show before, could you tell us a little more about what the Banshees do?
BR: I think it’s a lot like Saturday Night Live. It’s sketch comedy, so it’s all written – not improvised. We usually have between 11-13 sketches, and they can be about anything – whatever we pitch and whatever ends up being funny. A lot of it has to do with Wake humor, but a lot of it is humor that comes from anywhere, like history or literary references.
HC: Do you have a favorite sketch?
BR: My favorite sketch was one called “Nobel Prize High School.” It was all of these famous scientists presenting their science projects – so there was Newton, there was Darwin, there was Schrödinger, and I played Freud, who was the gym coach. It was really, really funny. But my favorite part about that sketch was that on stage we all had these big beards, and during the sketch they kept falling off. So it was really funny because everybody’s character kept breaking.
HC: How did you get into being a Banshee?
BR: I heard about them before I even came to Wake. If you look up Wake Forest online the Banshees are one of the things that come up. I remember looking at it and thinking it was something I could really see myself doing. When I got to Wake, I went to the show during [freshmen] orientation, and I fell in love with it. It was so funny, and it looked like the people on stage were having so much fun – you could tell they were all really close, and I think I wanted that. I came out and auditioned, which was a really crazy process. But somehow it just worked out and I’m so happy that I did it.
HC: That’s awesome! I hear auditions are pretty selective. Is that true?
BR: Yeah, a good amount of people tried out. Probably between 40-50 people tried out, and then when I joined, five of us got in.
HC: I’ve seen those posters around campus with the funny memes on them. How do you guys come up with those?
BR: So we actually weren’t allowed to post jokes on our signs for a long time, but we just got them back for this [last] show. We usually have fun sign-writing sessions. We’ll get together in a classroom, pull up a Google Doc, and just play music and hang out. It’s more about hanging out and just being together than focusing too much on the end product.
HC: Sounds fun! What’s one of your favorite jokes?
BR: “Because if your parents ever told you that they don’t have a favorite child, it just means it’s not you.”
HC: Do you have a favorite comedian?
BR: My favorite comedian is this guy named John Mulaney. He writes the Stefon sketches for SNL, and his stand-up sketches are really funny.
HC: Do you think you’ll continue with comedy after you graduate?
BR: Some people in the Banshees are very, very serious about it, and I love comedy. I don’t know if I’m going to pursue it – just pure comedy – but I would love to find a way to incorporate writing, especially humorous writing, into what I do in the future.
HC: What are you involved with outside of the Banshees?
BR: I’m involved in RUF [and] Greek life – I’m in Lambda Chi Alpha. I’m involved in the student advising program – I’m on the student advisory leadership council where we train new student advisors. I’m a co-chair for the 1834 Student Giving Campaign. I was also a co-chair for Project Pumpkin in the fall, and I was on the Morale Committee for Wake N’ Shake.
HC: Wow, that’s a lot of stuff! What do you like to do when you have free time?
BR: I like watching movies and staying active. I recently started going to the CRUX. I’ve gone on some Outdoor Pursuit trips, which have been really fun. They’re a really fun way to stay in shape but also to make new friends. Some of my friends and I are going on a mountain biking trip soon.
HC: So with all the things you’re involved in, how do you find time to stay on top of everything?
BR: Sometimes there’s not enough time (laughs). But I think it’s worth it. I think at Wake, if you really want to do something, you’ll be able to drop whatever you’re doing to go do that.