10 Question with Dori Rosenstrauch ’23

Dori Rosenstrauch ’23 is a Senior from Houston, Texas. She currently lives in Whitney House and is the Co-Head of Intersectional Feminist Forum (IFFo) as well as the founder of the Stand-Up Comedy Club, and a senior board member of Philomathean Society. Rosenstrauch has also been Theatre Department Producer.

  1. If you were shipwrecked on an abandoned island and had all of your human needs taken care of, what would be the two things that you would bring with you?

I would definitely bring a Kindle or just anything that’s not going to be easily damaged but has access to a lot of books… And then, I’d say some sort of writing utensil, because as I said, I’m 100 percent a chatterbox, and if I had nobody to talk to, I would go insane… Maybe I’d come up with some really brilliant comedy material that I never get to tell anyone else, but at least it’s there, and it exists. And I can also make lists that way. I’m a big fan of lists.

  1. Why did you start Stand-Up Comedy Club?

Stand-up comedy has been a really big thing in my life for a while. I had always loved watching stand-up comedians, and I love to laugh and [make] other people laugh. When “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” came out, I was star-struck because she’s very witty and someone who I see a lot of myself in. Her being a Jewish woman was also a bonus for me, that kind of representation was important. Not that Jews need more representation in comedy, we’ve got quite a lot. But, to be a Jewish woman in comedy, that was something different. The show felt like home. So I started doing comedy in very small ways, but it wasn’t until eleventh grade that I decided, “Oh, this is something I want to do in high school. I want to do this properly,” and that’s when I started the club.

  1. Have you felt that your experiences in theater-related activities, like comedy and producing, have overlapped with each other and possibly enriched your experiences?

Absolutely. Having experience both as a performer and as a producer mostly just makes things easier. For the Jewish Student Union, they brought in a comedian and I [could help with lighting and sound] and things like that. It just makes me a very effective unit, to be able to produce anything that I myself am performing. I think it’s been great to be able to see both sides of that because I love performing and I have for years, but it’s also wonderful to get to explore what it is to make the performance happen and behind the scenes.

  1. What was your most memorable debate or comedy act?

At the beginning of this year, Stand-Up Comedy Club did a comedy showcase with DramaLabs, and that was [so fun]. It was the first show that I’ve put on at Andover… that was entirely stand-up comedy. It made me really happy to see something like that come into fruition, because it is what I had wanted for the club since Upper Fall, and that was [great].

  1. Why did you decide to join IFFo?

My mentality freshman year was just to sign up for as many clubs as possible, which is kind of a problem for me now because I keep getting emails for these clubs. But [the idea was] to sign up [for] as many clubs as possible, just try it out and see if something sticks. And IFFo was one of the things that stuck for me… I suppose the club attracted me for how much I could learn from it. I learn every week from the people who come to the club, from doing research to run the meetings, and…from my fellow board members. It’s just a wonderful place and a wonderful community.

  1. What is something that you’ve always wanted to learn and why?

I feel like I want to be a better fiction writer. I do write fiction sometimes, but I’m not wonderful at it, and I don’t have the discipline to do it often enough to create something massive. I also really wish I knew Spanish at this point. I’m from Texas, so we were taught Spanish… I’d already been learning it for six years when I got here, and then I did another two years, and now I haven’t taken it since Lower year and have probably forgotten everything.

  1. How has the pandemic affected your experience at Andover in general?

Lower year is just blank for me, just, nothing really sticks about that year… I really feel like I had three years instead of four, but I am also very glad to have missed Lower year out of any other year, because Senior year would’ve been terrible online for obvious reasons, Upper Year would’ve just been very difficult, and freshman year… it [would have been] so hard to meet people and to do all the exciting things that happen with going to a new high school, where you’re living with all of your classmates, and I just think I kind of got the best of a really bad situation.

  1. If you had the ability to make one change at the school, what change would you make and why?

I think a lot of the culture here surrounds who is the most burnt out, who can take the most on their plate and be the busiest at every time. And I’m not going to say that I’m immune to it, because of the things I’m involved in and it does take up a lot of my time. I think that it’s important to be involved in extracurriculars here at Andover because there’s so much to offer, and you can meet so many amazing people and get to do so many amazing things, and absolutely, you should be involved. But I think people often overextend themselves and wear it with pride, that they aren’t getting enough sleep, or that they’re generally overcommitted and highly stressed out, and I don’t think that that’s productive for us. I wish people celebrated being involved in the things they love, while still having time to sleep and rest and spend time with the people they care about.

  1. Who or what do you think keeps you motivated in a difficult day or week at Andover?

Absolutely my friends. [My friends and I] have been together for a really long time. I was lucky enough to meet my favorite people on this campus my Freshman Year [or they came in as new Lowers] and just haven’t had to do a lot of digging. I know that everyone can be there for me when things are difficult and I know that I’m there for them… Especially my roommate, she means a lot to me… We’ve been living together for three years and we do our weekly — well, we should do weekly, but we don’t — Friday night lie-downs, where we lie down on our carpet and listen to music and talk about the week. She’s always there when I need her, even if I need someone just to laugh with me or tell me that my shirt doesn’t match my pants or just anything.

  1. What is one piece of advice you wish someone told you when you first came to Andover?

Enjoy the little moments. I think sometimes this place is so rushed and so crammed and you don’t have time to breathe… you don’t have time to exist and relax, so I would say, take [those small moments]. Even if it’s right after you wake up on the weekend, before you start doing your work, give yourself five minutes just to be cozy and stare at the ceiling. Or, when you’re walking to dinner, and the sun is setting, and it’s really cold and you wish you could just get there already, appreciate how beautiful this place is, and listen to music. Romanticize it, have a main character moment, whatever you need. Find time to enjoy some of the minuscule aspects of life here.