I’m a student, moonlighting as a comic

Student Spotlight
Justin Dressler, fifth-year microelectronic engineering

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Justin Dressler, right, a fifth-year microelectronic engineering student, will battle to be the “Last Comic Standing” Jan. 14 in RIT’s Ingle Auditorium. Here he sings song parodies during an RIT Comedy Troupe show with member Tyler Stasierowski.

Equipped with his go-to one-liners and a microphone, Justin Dressler will battle against RIT’s funniest people to be the “Last Comic Standing” on Saturday night. The free show, hosted by College Activities Board, will be held 10–11:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in Ingle Auditorium.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from Duncannon, Pa. It’s just north of Harrisburg.

Q: Why did you decide to come to RIT?
A: I was really interested in computers and nanotechnology in high school and RIT was first college in the country to have a bachelor’s program in microelectronics.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing?
A: My work in semiconductor cleaning procedures at my last co-op was included in a provisional application for a U.S. patent, meaning in a few years I could be listed as an inventor on an actual U.S. patent.

Q: What types of things are you involved in around campus?
A: I devote a lot of my time to the RIT Comedy Troupe as club president. We try to host several two-hour shows per quarter. Next week we will perform at the 2012 Badge of Honor Association Ball, which honors fallen police officers from western New York. I also split my time working at University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics and on a farm owned by family friends.

Q: For those who may not know what the RIT Comedy Troupe is, explain it in one sentence.
A: We are a student-run group dedicated to teaching, learning about and performing standup, improvisational and sketch comedy.

Q: How did you get involved with the RIT Comedy Troupe?
A: My First Year Enrichment professor, Jeff Spain, informed me about the troupe. When I signed up, they let me do the opening standup in a show that same week. The troupe is a great forum to express your ideas, opinions and creativity in a unique way. You also just have a good time and laugh.

Q: What is it like participating in “Last Comic Standing”?
A: This will be my fourth year, having missed last year’s competition. I haven’t made the top three yet, but I enjoy it every time. Every year offers great competition and a few surprises as well. Two years ago, several amateur comedians came from all over western New York and blew us all away.

Q: Do you have a favorite comedian?
A: I listened to Mitch Hedberg a lot growing up. I’m sure I channel his one-liner delivery when I perform. I’m still trying to find my own style.

Q: Will you continue comedy after graduation?
A: I’d love the opportunity to entertain larger crowds for the rest of my life, but the comedy business is extremely cutthroat. I’m optimistic RIT has prepared me for a career, but maybe I can still moonlight as a guy who thinks he’s funny.

Q: Any advice you would give to other RIT students?
A: Education is your foundation for building a future, but it takes on innumerably more forms than just books and classrooms.

Scott Bureau covers student affairs for University News. Contact him at sbbcom@rit.edu with “Student Spotlight” suggestions.