South Alum Takes Center Stage

March 13, 2014

Comedian George Burns once said, “Look to the future, because that’s where you will spend the rest of your life.” For fellow comedian and South Alum Mona Concepcion, her bright future was shaped by her past at South where she was student body president, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and won the President’s Medal for top scholar. Mona continued her studies at the University of Washington where she graduated with honors in English.

Today, Mona is shining under the stage light as an up-and-coming comedian. On March 16th at 7:30 PM Mona will be performing at the Parlor Live, 700 Bellevue Way NE, as part of the “first-ever (mostly) all female all Asian-American stand-up comedy tour.” To purchase tickets, click here.  

Mona, who is originally from Saipan, took a break from her tour to answer some questions about South, life on the stage and everything in between. Seven honest questions, seven candid answers – GO!

Q: What was it about your experience at South that left a lasting impression on you?

A: When I stepped on campus, I was 18 years old and had just moved from the other side of the world, literally.  South felt like the same tight-knit community I grew up with on my tiny island home.  I knew people, made friends, and every day reminded me that I was at the right place.  

Q:    Why are you a “proud South Alum”?

 A: Whenever I pass by South, my heart swells at the memories of being on campus, laughing in class and everything that has made me the person I am now. 

Q: Do you feel like South prepared you to continue your studies at the UW? If so, how?

A: South gave me the confidence that I needed to move onto such a huge university.  Everyone was invested in my success and wanted me to the best I could be!  I developed as a student and a person at South.  South was the perfect place for me to start my college career and my life here on the mainland.  

Q: How did your time at South lead you to the stage?

A: I had so many opportunities to hone my comedic skills at South!  From speaking at student government to writing a fake advice column called "Miss Concepcion," I was given so much "stage time" to tell jokes.  I can say that I first performed for an audience at graduation, where I gave my speech as USA President and did various impressions including what Jihad Othman would say about that year's American Idol!  (He was a fan of Ruben Studdard but thought that Clay did better!)

Q:  What do you enjoy about performing?

A: I love performing because I get to talk about my life and what it's like being a mom of two boys, coming from a small island that most people haven't heard of and what it's like navigating such a quirky city like Seattle.  I love making people laugh and showing them that women of color are hilarious!

Q:  What is the greatest challenge a comedian faces? What is the most rewarding part of being a comedian?

A: It's hard work to tell jokes to strangers!  I never know if my jokes will work, if they'll understand the punchline.  But when it does work, and an entire theater is laughing at my stories about my mom or my husband or my kids, it's magic.  A great set always makes me feel like I'm levitating.  It's incredible.  

Q:  Is there a quote that you live by or draw inspiration from? A: Look to the future, because that's where you'll spend the rest of your life.  - George Burns