Artist Spotlight

Abby Seeber is a senior creativewriting and theatre double major here at Valparaiso University. After graduation, she hopes to become a comedy writer. 

“I think as soon as I heard that the word ‘comedy writer’ was a job, I said ‘oh I want to do that sounds exactly what I want to do’. So I tried to cater the majors available to what I wanted to do,” said Seeber. 

Seeber came to Valpo as just a creative writing major, but later added the theater major after becoming involved in the theatre department.

“So I ended up adding the major, and then taking specific English classes like scriptwriting, or dialogue development so that I was learning that sector that I wasn’t necessarily getting from theatre and that I wasn’t necessarily getting from English,” Seeber said. “It was that little hybrid in between space.”

Seeber talked about her love for getting involved at Valpo, and all the activities she participates in.

“Ever since I’ve gotten here, [I’ve] loved doing anything I possibly can to keep busy, and those things are typically theatre or comedy related in nature,” Seeber said. “I’m in the theatre fraternity... I’m the producer of VUDU comedy, and this is my second year as producer... I also try to participate in English-related things, like WordFest or the Lighter, and then I work in the admissions office and the IMC [Integrated Marketing and Communications] office.”

According to Seeber, VUDU was one of the most influential of these organizations. She enjoyed having a space to laugh during the week as a part of this organization. 

“It’s the best thing ever, and it’s just people that are so happy to be there. They just want to make each other smile, it’s just the most supportive group to learn from and learn with and my college experience would not be the same without VUDU,” Seeber said.

Following graduation, Seeber wants to continue with her path in comedy, and has been accepted into a summer program for more in depth training. 

“Right now, I am, as of June 14, going to be starting a program at Second City in Chicago, which is a school for improv and comedy training. I’m going to be there for about six weeks in Chicago, learning from the same people who taught Aidy Bryant, before she went to SNL and things like that. So I’m accepted for that right now, I am over the moon excited to get started,” Seeber said.

Another thing that Seeber was able to participate in on campus was TEDx, giving a talk on arts advocacy and the importance of the performing arts. 

“Last year, I submitted a proposal to TEDx, to write, or to do a TED talk on arts advocacy, and it wasn’t accepted, but I didn’t have a fully fleshed out idea. I didn’t know what I was going to do, I just knew it was a pressing issue that we needed to talk about,” Seeber said. “So we came back this year, we were told the theatre department was doing a teach-out for its theatre majors, and I [knew] I needed to resubmit this arts advocacy TED talk. It’s affecting me now, it’s affecting the people I know.”

Seeber did not give up, working to come up to revise her proposal to meet the requirements of TEDx. 

“So I tried again, and they said, ‘we like it- tweak it.’ And then the next round happened, ‘we like it- tweak it,” Seeber said. “So I just kept slightly editing it so that it fit the format, because [TEDx] kept saying that, they rightfully said, that TEDx is not an advocacy platform- you need to have an idea. So the idea I had was to have a national advocate for the arts that’s in a cabinet level position, in the president’s cabinet, who fights for arts and culture, but also promises to ensure that there is funding allotted towards it.”

As a student in the arts, Seeber gave advice on following your dream path, that can be applicable for many different people on whatever path they’re on.

“I think the best advice would be to not listen to the outside noise, because you know your path way better than anyone else,  and no one should degrade your talent or your ability just because it’s not the most fiscally responsible move. You should follow the path that fulfills you, whether it’s safe or not,” Seeber said.

If you would like to nominate someone for an Artist Spotlight feature in The Torch, please email torch@valpo.edu

 

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