MC Spotlight: Patrick Brady ’11 and Andrew Schlager ’11

Phillipian Arts sits down with this year’s Grasshopper MCs, dynamic duo Patrick Brady ’11 and Andrew Schlager ’11, and talks faculty impersonations, fatal fears and faux accents. Why did you want to be an MC for this year’s Grasshopper Night??PB: I hadn’t really thought about it until I read the audition announcements. Andrew and I thought it would be fun to audition, but we didn’t think we’d get it. Traditionally, the job usually goes to Seniors. What did you do for an audition? AS: We threw around funny songs and scenes and skits. We had a bunch of ideas, but we wimped out ten minutes before the audition and decided to wing it. We improvised for about 45 minutes. The Producers kept saying “Are you done?” and we’d be like “One more scene, one more…” It was fun. How did you come up with ideas for your skits? PB: First, we wanted to include a musical theatre tribute, as we are both staunch fans of that beloved genre. Second, we knew we wanted to employ a Barbara Chase [Head of School] and Paul Murphy [Dean of Students] impression. That’s always a crowd-pleaser. Both Andrew and I are from Massachusetts, so we spontaneously developed Boston accents and a liking for Dunkin’ Donuts and made that into a sketch too. Was it difficult to incorporate this year’s theme, “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” into your sketches? AS: That was a real challenge. We had to think of it in layers. For example, if we needed a skit that was funny, introduction-like, appropriate for families and one minute long, the theme of Crimes and Misdemeanors was just one more thing we had to think about. If the skit didn’t meet the criteria, it was a no-go. It made things difficult, but helped us think outside the box. Are you nervous about anything? PB: I was definitely nervous at first about impersonating faculty members. But apparently Mr. Murphy and Mrs. Chase are OK with everything, so that eased those fears. What is it like working with each other as MCs? AS: I think we’re a good creative team. We think alike, with similar views and a similar sense of humor. That helps a lot. We’re just here to have fun. Other people ask me why I’m not freaking out about not having time to do work with all the rehearsals this week. They’re stuck in their rooms studying, and I’m here, imitating people on stage. Why would I have a problem with that? It is your job to make the audience laugh., but is it hard to keep a straight face yourself? PB: Absolutely. My biggest fear is probably that I won’t be able to keep a straight face on stage. A lot of our sketches are just improvisation outlines. The rest is left up to our own whim. Who know what will come out of Andrew’s mouth that will crack us up? Hopefully, we’ll be able stay in character for the real show.