We love to hear from alumni about their time at ComArtSci! Jeff Witzke, a 1992 Communications graduate, shared his memories as a student and how his experiences at MSU led him to an exciting career.
Twenty-seven years ago, I walked into Studio E of the ComArtSci Building looking to sign up for auditions for this Student Sit-Com I had heard about in a class the day before. The simple action of walking through that door changed my life.
I met people like Greg Harrison, Steve Van Wormer, Scott Grayson, Patrick New and Peg Natkowski — they were the creative driving force of a budding multi-cam television comedy - written, acted, directed and produced by students, in their spare time, for ZERO credits… but for 1000 laughs.
I was welcomed aboard and quickly became one of the actors and writers, and by the time I ended my three years on The ShoW… I was co-head writer, co-star and co-producer of this little show that could and did!
What I learned and the friendships I made is what gave me the courage and blind-ambition to move to Los Angeles seven days after graduation and try to make my way in Hollywood!
And what blows all of our minds… is not only is that television show STILL being made to this day, it just shot its 100th episode!
This spring, I had the honor of not only being there for the live studio audience taping, but to be a part of ShoW: 100. What an absolute blast to jump back in time with a group of dedicated creative folks all focused on one goal – bringing The ShoW to life! I was blown away at how hard the current curators of this comedy work to keep people laughing out loud.
From Skyping into the writer’s meetings helping work in some fun Alumni cameos from the original 1988 cast, to rehearsing in studio and solving last minute problems on the fly with the current cast – it reminded me of all that ComArtSci did for me, and probably didn’t ever really know. It allowed me to DO… to CREATE… to TRY and to FAIL (because come on… it’s a bunch of college kids scrambling to make themselves laugh). But the byproduct was a passion that can’t be taken away. A seed that was planted in 1989 that continued to grow and blossom… And fast forward to last fall, I had the honor of working on a different multi-cam Sit-Com: “The Big Bang Theory”. As I walked into that soundstage (passing legend Bob Newhart… not to name drop. Oops. I guess I did) - I thought to myself… “Yep, I’m home. This is where I belong.” Thanks Telecasters. Thanks ComArtSci. Thanks MSU.
Jeff Witzke currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is an Actor, Teacher, Writer and head of Spartans In Hollywood, the Alumni Entertainment Industry Networking Group.