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Announcing the masters of ceremonies

Preparing for an act out of this world

By Caroline Shapley | Echo

Junior Will Kercher and freshman Zach Winters take their masters of ceremonies duty very seriously, copiously preparing the best jokes for the big night.

From script writing and thoughtful planning to rehearsing, the 2018 Airband masters of ceremonies’ (MCs’) plan is to take the audience on a trip that is out of this world with laughter.

Junior Will Kercher and freshman Zach Winters are not only a host comedy team, they are also roommates.

Kercher participates with Taylor University’s improv comedy show, Rice Pilaf. He has vivid memories of attending events with entertaining MC’s that made a lasting impact.

Kercher noticed the advertisement for Airband MC auditions and went to back to tell his roommate his interest in trying out. To their surprise, both of them had separately considered trying out. It only seemed fitting to try out as an act together.

“We balance each other out pretty well, and we know each other pretty well because we live together,” Winters said. “We know how to work together.”

Putting compatibility to practice, Kercher and Winters put in endless work to prepare for the fast-approaching auditions. The theme of 2018’s Airband show is outer space-related, and the comedy duo kept that in mind when planning their material.

Outlines and goals in mind, they broke it down and had individual brainstorming sessions. The two revised together. Planning jokes is serious business, and they practiced a script read through together and sharpened up their acting skills.

“We typed up scripts, so we have transition skits typed up and our whole plot for the night,” Winters said.

Nerves didn’t begin to set in until about 10 minutes before their 9 p.m. auditions on March 1. The turnaround from auditions to announcements was less than 24 hours, but it seemed to take longer.

When they were informed they had been selected as Airband MC’s, excitement ensued for both of them.

“Will was napping, and I woke him up by yelling,” Winters said.

They picked a theme of humor that lends toward quality and good jokes for a crowd and a theme that allows lots of different directions. The comedy duo wants to keep the attendees surprised by whichever direction they end up taking on stage.

The Airband show will be a combination of a genre variety of choreographed music skits encompassed in an outer space theme. In recent years, the themes have ranged from camping trips to a night at a carnival.

So what should the audience expect this year?

For the grand show, Kercher and Winters have a fully planned script rehearsed, but they do not promise to stick directly to it.

“Being that we’re the characters writing the script and the people writing the script, we won’t feel tied to a script,” Kercher said. “It will certainly be there, at least for the structure. It will be scripted — except for when it’s not.”

Kercher and Winters are excited to have a large degree of creative freedom for what their acts and skit transitions can include.

While the audience is there for entertainment, the comedy hosts are planning for audience participation during the show. A tool for successful hosting that Kercher has observed from attending other events is for everyone to feel involved in the performance. He plans to incorporate that into the show.

The comedy hosts asks those planning to attend to bring along their social media engagement tools.

“Hope you’re ready to land the most out of this world Airband performance this world — this universe — has ever seen,” Kercher said.

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