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Anti-alcohol comedians juggle knives, torches in Chapel-Forum

March 4, 1997

Melissa Miller/ The Baylor Lariat

Members Bill Ross (right) and Brian Smith of Screaming with Pleasure performed for students who didn't attend Chapel-Forum Monday.

By Dax Schymick

Lariat Reporter

Using airborne juggling pins, spinning knives and burning torches, a juggler and a former high school drama teacher shed light on a number of substance abuse issues in Chapel-Forum Monday.

Screaming With Pleasure, an alcohol awareness comedy group, presented a show titled 'Last Call... A Sobering Look at Alcohol Abuse,' promoting an alcohol-free and safe spring break.

The show used comedy, juggling, drama and other vaudevillian techniques combined with the talent of performers Bill Ross and Brian Smith, who are both recovering alcoholics.

'We work to create a general awareness that alcohol is part of everyone's college life, whether you drink it or not,' Ross said.

Ross and Smith said the leading cause of death for persons ages 18 to 24 is drunk driving. Nine out of 10 acts of violence on college campuses involve alcohol, they said, and during a weekend in a college town, one in five drivers is drunk.

These statistics, used correctly, 'are the best way to get this information to a hostile audience,' Smith said.

Students said they were surprised at how much they enjoyed the program.

'I was coming to Chapel to do homework, and I watched the whole show,' Rayne Sieling, a Lake Jackson freshman, said. 'I think this was a really good message, but I doubt if it will change anything.'

The lack of student concern about alcohol abuse bothers at least one Chapel-Forum student.

'The drinking problem is not just on campus,' Ramsey March, a Waco freshman, said. 'I think that this (alcohol awareness) should not be taken lightly because so many people are hurt by alcohol.'

To add additional humor to the program, members from The NoZe Brotherhood burst into Waco Hall and hurled stacks of the group's paper, The Rope, to audience members and then went on stage with the comedians.

'You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't wipe these guys under the coffee table,' Ross said about The NoZe's unusual way of distributing the paper.

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