Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Brent K. Simonds

Second Advisor

Maria A. Moore


This documentary investigates hardship and identity through humor. The film shadows the lives of three individuals who are all going through a watershed experience with their identities ranging from changes in their family dynamics, gender, or environment. Participants will be writing and performing a stand-up routine in front of a live audience that focuses on a story about their identity. The film underscores how, or if, the sender’s use of humor helps them cope or achieve closure. The film does not explore the audience’s reaction to humor. Using in-depth interviews with each comic, the film centers around the sender, highlighting the intrapersonal impact communicating through humor has on them. The scope of topics within the interviews include recounting their adversity, understanding their coping methods, discovering their humor style, and reflecting on their comedy performance in the context of their hardship.


Imported from ProQuest Cashman_ilstu_0092N_10983.pdf


Open Mic CC_1.mp4 (1103500 kB)

Page Count


Included in

Communication Commons