People of Columbia

A Comedy Wars star and a St. Louis jazz artist

By Daniela Vidal and MacKenzie Reagan | Nov. 13, 2013

Tags: Columbia Comedy Music

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Abigail English
Comedy queen

Live from Bengal Lair, it’s Wednesday night!

After seeing a sign promoting the MU’s Comedy Wars her freshman year, sophomore Abigail English decided to audition for the sketch comedy troupe.

English says she enjoys the rush she gets from performing. But even this seasoned sketch comedienne gets pre-show jitters.

“(I try to) turn those nerves into energy,” she says.

The team uses the crowd’s input in many of their improv games.

“I love the relationship we have with the audience,” English says. “(The audience) really becomes a member of the team, and everyone leaves with a smile.”

The St. Louis native is also a member of MU Improv and MU Sketch. Additionally, she’s filming an upcoming web series entitled “Somebodies,” due out this winter.

While currently studying business, English is considering switching majors.

Whatever she chooses to pursue, she’ll bring the laughs.

Raven Wolf Jennings
Spiritual jazz writer

In front of Lakota Coffee Shop, jazz rhythms pour from Raven Wolf Jennings' saxophone.

Jennings comes to Columbia from St. Louis every Friday. He has done this for four and a half years.

“I've learned to get out of the way (of music),” Jennings says. “It's part of the reason why I can play for seven to 17 hours a day.”

For Jennings, music is a medium for healing. He lost his wife and mother in 2007, and his instruments stopped singing for 19 months.

“Every time I picked up my horns, I cried,” he says.

It took Jennings two and a half years to “find (his) sound again.”

Jennings' says he finds the frequency and vibrations that make the music healing.

“It's like when you have a tuning fork,” he says. “You hit one and bring another that isn't vibrating, and it picks up the frequency of the first.”

This is what he has in mind when recording his music.

“It's got nothing to do with my mind and everything to do with my heart,” he says.

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