Cyclone Spotlight: Ethan Peterson


Ethan Peterson

Cole Komma

Ethan Peterson, junior in performing arts, began his fourth semester with the student improv troupe Grandma Mojo’s Moonshine Revival. With just a simple nudge from a classmate to audition, Peterson began a journey that would leave audience members grinning and laughing the night away.

Q: How did you first hear about Grandma Mojo’s?

A: Chris Tedford was an existing member of Mojo — he’s still in it now — was in my script analysis class. And we were having debates and stuff in that class. He came up to me after class and said, “Hey, we have tryouts on Monday for this improv troupe; you really need to come.: And I’d done improv in high school, but I kind of gave up on it because I hadn’t heard about any opportunities here.

Q: What were the auditions like?

A: I’d say a long process, but it’s not draining on anyone because a lot of people show up most times, and you want to try and give everyone the chance to play fairly and what not. And having callbacks along with two other guys, and then we got to be in the group.

Q: What was your first performance like?

A: My first performance was actually two days after I made the group. And it’s so interesting because it’s so different then what you would expect. In a Mojo’s show, we basically say, “Hey, tell us something about your day.” That’s what it is. And whatever spark goes off in somebody’s head, a scene comes out of that. And it can sometimes be weird, messed-up fun and spectacular in a scary sort of way. My first show… it was just terrifying. It’s such a brand new thing. Long-form improv is the way we play, so there isn’t a ton of structure. I don’t think I came in very often my first couple shows, but once I got closer to the group and more comfortable, I’ve been in a lot of scenes since then.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in a scene?

A: We had an old member; Colin Morgan, and I think the number of times I almost kissed that kid is uncanny. I’ve taken my shirt off multiple times including our last performance. Last week, Adam and I played a scene about euthanizing Blue from “Blue’s Clues” because he was 10 years old. And it was so weird and sad, but so funny at the same time… I don’t think I’ve never done anything normal at Mojo’s.