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Alumnus Eric Arriola ’11 Brings Comedy to MMC Writing Class

April 26, 2019
  • Eric Arriola '11
The actor and comedian returned to campus to lead a workshop on writing and performing comedy for CAST Director Monica Colbert’s spring WRIT 102 seminar.

Arriola’s workshop for this semester’s Writing Seminar II: Persuasion and Influence focused on “comedic performance” and its process, including writing, preparation, practice, presentation, and communication. Colbert thought using comedy-as-text would free students of hyper focusing on rigid academic content. Instead, her students could focus on honing skills of oral discourse. This is where Arriola came in. “Comedy provides the perfect platform to allow students to practice audience engagement, voice projection, eye contact, tone, pace, transition, and staying focused and on topic,” Colbert explains.

Arriola has worked in a number of different capacities in the television and film industries, including commercials with comedians Rob Riggle and Donald Glover for Ad Council and MTV, respectively. He currently serves as the Pricing Administrator for a prominent re-distribution company in New York City. 

On top of his professional work, Arriola is constantly weaving his creativity into passion projects, particularly through his channel @Hrtv24 or writing musical comedies that he performs online and for live audiences. A Bronx native, Arriola graduated from Marymount Manhattan in 2011 with a degree in Communication Arts and Business Management minor.

Arriola and ColbertArriola and Colbert“Being able to teach a class at Marymount Manhattan College truly is a dream come true,” admits Arriola. “From class comedian in high school to college professor for a day, that is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. It warmed my heart to share with the students and help prepare them for their respective careers and futures.”

Following the class, students chose a topic, wrote and presented or performed comedic bits. Students then followed this up with a critical analysis of how and why their joke worked (or didn’t). “I thought the class with Eric was very interesting,” recounts first-year Emelie Latzer. “It was cool hearing from an alumus and his experience with comedy. As a musical theater major, comedy and acting are things that really appeal to me, hearing his take was very cool!”