Dara Katz is recent graduate from the University of Michigan where she watched and cheered for four seasons of football in the Big House, but never quite picked up on sport. She has her degree in English for which she received honors in writing her senior thesis on J.D. Salinger’s short stories and 1950s anti-intellectualism—which is totally way more interesting than it sounds!
Although Dara began her four-year academic adventure at UMich thinking “Pre-Med,” she realized she’d dropped that goal when she had trouble reading about stereoisomers beneath her scribbling of Yeats poetry in her organic chemistry textbook. From fiction to poetry, academic and research, comedy and informal blogging, Dara enjoys it all. Three of her poems “After Viewing The Empire of Light,” “Sublimity” and “Sounding Board” have been published in two different 2009 University of Michigan undergraduate literary journals Xylem and The Oleander Review.
Outside of class work, Dara was a cast member of and, for two years, co-director of the student improv comedy group, Witt’s End. On top of organizing and managing the group’s performances and rehearsals, she also started a video campaign to boost campus awareness of the group. The videos were short movies she filmed and edited documenting individual members and their comedic personas. The videos were posted to their website, which she also developed, and advertised on Facebook. You can watch these videos here!
Since graduation, Dara has worked as a marketing coordinator at a Chicago commercial real estate firm scribing press releases, drafting legal reports and basically basking in the glory that is having a 9-to-5 and sporting casual corporate-wear.
For a healthy balance of work and play, Dara is currently enrolled in classes at Chicago’s finest improv theaters for both writing and performance, iO and Second City, and has completed a two-part stand up course with one of Chicago’s favorite comedians, Cameron Esposito. You can watch both of Dara’s showcases here and here!
On top of classes and stand up, Dara is half of two-person comedy-duo, a comeduette, if she dares to make up a word, with long-time friend and Witt’s End alumnus, Sarah Ashley. On the brink of graduation, Dara and Sarah formed The Era—the rhyme of their names—and have performed improv comedy and produced digital shorts since. Two of their shorts, Donate Now and The Rachel Zoe Project were FunnyorDie.com User Picks, and Donate Now was the winner of an FoD fan-based competition.
You can watch more of their videos on their YouTube Channel: TheComedyofEras, or visit their website: www.TheComedyofEras.com. They also write a killer hilarious eclectic blog for people of all reading levels. And not to beat a dead horse with too many social networking mediums, but you can also become a fan of The Era on Facebook. Oh. And follow them on Twitter: TheComedyofEras.
Dara also has her personal Twitter: kdara.
All in all, Dara is having a wonderful time contributing to BillupsDesign’s Stairwell Blog and looks forward to more opportunities like it.