Campus Gaming Event: RECON Comedy Show

While we are all taking steps to maintain our health, as a graduating senior, I want to reflect on my time at Miami and the wealth of opportunities to explore that I was afforded while there. One of those opportunities was an event called RECON, which was hosted by the League of Geeks and took place on the weekend from Friday, Feb. 21st to Sunday Feb. 23rd. It was a weekend-long event filled with games, prizes, shows, and cosplay. Despite RECON being a yearly event, this semester was my first time attending. I had always wanted to go to these events, but due to not having anyone who was interested this type of event, I always put the wish aside. However, this year, I am happy that I went. While I was there for only a short time, I participated in various video games, board games, arts and crafts, and watch the numerous cosplayers dressed as characters from my favorite shows. It was truly a sight to see. Everywhere I looked I saw people of all shapes and sizes laughing, taking pictures, and playing games as I waited for the main event. A comedy show involving three “geeky” comedians, Larry XL, Mikey Mason, Violet Gray. As I entered Wilks Theatre, I was unsure of how interested I would be in the show. While I do have interest in the realm of “geek”, I can be considered uncultured in that respect. I am happy to report however, these three comedians were excellent.

It was clear after listening to the MC of the night, Larry XL, that he is clever yet wacky. With the audience’s non-stop laughter, Larry XL told the story of his hilarious adventures at home, while traveling, and even during RECON itself. Nevertheless, he also stood on that stage with a message. A message that hit close to home as an African American male myself. Larry spoke of his youth, and his experience as a “black geek” and how it shaped him to be who he is today. More importantly, however, he spoke of his journey of discovery to find his own happiness and self-confidence in an atmosphere that can drain it. In and outside the black community, it is not uncommon to be expected to be an athlete, to focus on sports, and to avoid things that make you seem “soft.” Societal pressure to be who everyone expects you to be is harsh, and Larry spoke about the pressures he faced as a black youth who liked Dungeons and Dragons and cosplay. For someone such as me, who does not fit the mainstream views of expectation, Larry’s message was encouraging. To be happy in one’s self.

Larry, however, was not the only one who came with a message. Violet Gray brought her unique comedy chops to the table with her own style. Violet’s demeanor was a vast contrast from the other comedians as she came to the stage dressed in all black and a mood that can only be described as deadpan. I must admit I was interested in this quirky approach, and Violet did not disappoint. While her demeanor was stoic, her words were wild and took the audience by storm. From calling out members of the audience to sexual innuendos, Violet Gray left no stone unturned but did so for a reason.  As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Violet had her own message to share. Still in a stoic deadpan state, Violet shared her journey navigating through her life of self-consciousness and self-awareness.

Our third comedian, Mikey Mason, quickened the temp of the room through song and dance. Utilizing another peculiar style, Mikey Mason had the room laughing in thunderous roars with his upbeat songs about his girlfriend, Battle-Star Galactica, and his own interpretation of the identity of “white trash.” As a self-described “progressive redneck oddity,” Just as Larry and Violet, Mikey had his own message to share. Mikey’s songs were more than just self-deprecating jokes, they told his journey in a manner that empowers himself and others. In just that one song the atmosphere of the audience had changed. He had them captivated, and soon they were all singing his catchy tune.

For my first comedy show, these comedians, along with RECON, have definitely made it an interesting and fun experience. More importantly, however, it brought a much needed informative clarity to our student body. While each of these comedians’ styles of comedy were vastly different. Their message was the same. Self-confidence and happiness come from accepting who you are and accepting others for who they are.