Life & Style

Kick back and watch as Julia DiCesare takes over

Kick back and watch as Julia DiCesare takes over comedy

The television, radio and film senior is taking the local comedy scene by storm one laugh at a time.

Portraits of stand-up comedian Julia DiCesare, a television, radio and film senior.
Portraits of stand-up comedian Julia DiCesare, a television, radio and film senior.

From the big screen to the small screen to stages in between, Julia DiCesare has tried them all during her time at Syracuse University.

But it’s the comedy stage where the 22-year-old is finding her groove one laugh at a time.

DiCesare has found herself centerstage hosting or performing her stand-up act on several venues this year including The Playground student-run comedy nights and this semester’s University Union-sponsored Kickback Comedy night at the Schine Underground.

DiCesare’s start in comedy at SU began during her freshman year as a sketch writer for Live From Studio B!, a student-run late-night sketch comedy show. After a stretch of writing for others, DiCesare decided to take a “leap of faith” and try stand-up for herself last spring at The Playground.

“I was like, OK, it’s going to be now or never,” DiCesare said.

With a nerve-wracking debut behind her, DiCesare committed herself to weekly sets at The Playground for the rest of the semester. As summer arrived, she branched out to New York City and Los Angeles comedy clubs while also honing her skills in a Chicago improv class.

“I was just trying to get as much experience as possible,” she said. “It was making me so happy.”

Julia DiCesare portrait
Surya Vaidy
Portrait of up-and-coming comedian Julia DiCesare.

While comedy is at the forefront of DiCesare’s plans, the television, radio and film senior has been picking up plenty of more industry experience as a full-time employee at American High, the Liverpool-based film production company. There she works as an actor, writer, and editor, which, according to her, is simply what “being a member of the cast” entails often three or more
days a week.

DiCesare said American High has been another avenue for her to meet and collaborate with other aspiring comedians including fellow SU student Aidan Micho, who, with his brother, produces the popular Krab Video series across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

Micho considers DiCesare a “big sister” and said the duo have developed good chemistry through working together.

“We’ve gotten to know each other’s comedy styles and figured out how to write a joke for the other person to act out,” Micho said.

DiCesare said the quick connection she made with Micho and the bits they’ve developed over the course of a few months is indicative of how supportive SU’s scene has been.

“The comedy community on campus is a pretty small circle,” DiCesare said. “It’s fun because we’re all pretty familiar with each other’s comedic styles and jokes.”

@julia.dicesare What a good sport #standupcomedy #comedy #roast #fyp ♬ original sound – Julia DiCesare

That tight community also has led to bigger opportunities for DiCesare like hosting the Kickback Comedy Night in October.

DiCesare first applied to be a comedian for the show, however, she was quickly asked to host the event.

Ruby Mendelson, a co-director for UU’s Performing Arts team, said DiCesare’s sets at the Playground and appearance at a previous UU comedy show dubbed “The College Chuckle,” made her an easy hosting choice.

“She has never failed to make me laugh,” Mendelson said. “My co-director and I love her in American High shorts and knew she could do it.”

DiCesare said the Kickback Comedy night was a success, drawing in over 100 students for more than two hours of seemingly non-stop laughter.

With the Playground as one of the only local opportunities for students to do stand-up, DiCesare said events like Kickback Comedy are important to provide student comedians the chance to perform and improve.

“Every opportunity to do stand-up is a step in the right direction.”