I’m a student, moonlighting as a comic

Student Spotlight
Justin Dressler, fifth-year microelectronic engineering




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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.