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November 4, 2018, 1:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts and USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative
invite you and a guest to attend a special panel discussion

Laughing With Versus Laughing At:
Otherness and Comedy


A Panel Discussion Featuring:

Lucas Brown Eyes - Reservations

David Crabb - Bad Kid

JR De Guzman - The Comedy Lineup

Tara Hernandez - The Big Bang Theory

Danielle Perez - Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Meena Ramamurthy - The FOB and I

Sonja Warfield - Will & Grace

Moderated by Sara Alize Cross and Neima Patterson

1:00 - 2:30 P.M. on Sunday, November 4th, 2018

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007



Presented during the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4, taking place from November 2nd - 4th, 2018.

Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4 on Facebook:
Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4 on Instagram: @USCComedy
Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4 on Twitter: @USCComedy

The USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4 is dedicated to the memory of Paul Junger Witt, visionary film and television producer, and guiding force behind USC Comedy.

About Laughing With Versus Laughing At: Otherness and Comedy

While the entertainment industry has begun accepting that diversity and inclusion are necessary for good business, the ideas have become misunderstood buzzwords that have largely lost connection to their meanings. Especially in comedy, where we know all-too-well the difference between ‘laughing at’ and ‘laughing with,’ diversity and inclusion can’t just be about checking boxes.

Understanding how much innovative thinking and dedicated work are required at every level to make the systemic changes necessary to create genuine inclusivity of diverse voices in comedic entertainment, we hope to inspire a more profound conversation about the issues, challenges, and potential solutions.

This panel will provide a platform to discuss how to think beyond checking boxes and redefine diversity and inclusion, how we can encourage change to the mainstream approach to otherness, how to understand power dynamics in comedy and how pov and lived experience shapes humor, how to expand thinking past binaries to multiplicities and evolve ‘either or’ into ‘yes, and,’ and how we can empower creators whose voices have been marginalized to become centralized.

About the Panelists


Lucas Brown Eyes is a Native American comedian and TV writer from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He has worked on over 90 episodes of TV with Fox, Freeform, Disney, and PBS. He’s from the Oglala Sioux tribe and always believed he was going to make TV one day. In fact, his Indian name is “Wawo Yaca Wicasa” which means the story teller in Lakota. So destiny may be working a little on his side. I don’t know, I’m just a bio paragraph.

Lucas was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunt along with two brothers and three cousins. They all lived in the same house because his mother always instilled in him that strong family values are the Lakota way. But he secretly suspected that it was because they were poor. But what his family lacked in savings they made up for in support. And in 2003 their support reached crazy levels when they moved to California so Lucas could study Film & Television at Orange County High School of the Arts. He became an award winning filmmaker and after graduating he would go on to USC and earn a B.A. in Cinema-Television Production. In 2014 he was accepted into the ABC Disney Writing Program. Since then he has staffed on Disney’s KC Undercover, 5 seasons of Freeform’s Young & Hungry, PBS, and has the First Native American Family comedy in development at 20th Century Fox.

Follow Lucas Brown Eyes on Twitter: @LucasBrownEyes
Follow Lucas Brown Eyes on Facebook: @LucasBrownEyesOfficial
Follow Lucas Brown Eyes on Instagram: @lucasbrowneyes
Visit Lucas Brown Eyes’ Official Website:


David Crabb is a writer, actor and storyteller in Los Angeles. His solo show Bad Kid was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Bad Kid the memoir was released in 2015 by Harper Perrenial. David is a professor of autobiographical storytelling at Occidental College and has directed & taught storytelling in the US, Australia, Ireland and Canada with The Moth, The Story Studio, & Upright Citizens Brigade. His next memoir comes out in 2019.

Follow David Crabb on Twitter: @thedavidcrabb
Follow David Crabb on Facebook: @thedavidcrabb
Follow David Crabb on Instagram: @thedavidcrabb
Visit David Crabb’s Official Website:


Born in the Philippines and raised in California, JR De Guzman began performing comedy while working as a music teacher, which he quickly learned just meant teaching Taylor Swift songs to teenagers. He has entertained all over the world, having performed for Stand-Up Tokyo and ROR Comedy in Japan, the Jokers Ball in Indonesia, the Badaboom Comedy Series in Amsterdam, the Edmonton Comedy Festival, and countless other international shows.

Combining music and comedy, JR serenades the audience into laughter with songs, jokes, and stories of traveling the world, life after college, and family. He has shared the stage with Tim Allen, Margaret Cho, Daniel Tosh, Jerrod Carmichael, Iliza Shlesinger, and more.

Winner of 2016 StandUp NBC & named as a prestigious "New Face" at Just for Laughs 2017, you can catch his quarter hour Netflix special on The Comedy Lineup, and catch him on Coming to the Stage Season 2 on Hulu, Comedy Central's Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City, and MTV's Acting Out. Also, check out his debut album on Sirius XM Radio's Laugh's USA which debuted #1 on iTunes and Billboard.

Follow JR De Guzman on Twitter: @jrdeguzm
Follow JR De Guzman on Facebook: @JRDcomedy

Follow JR De Guzman on Instagram: @jrdguz
Visit JR De Guzman’s Official Website:


Born and raised in Southern California, Tara Hernandez attended Chapman University where she earned her BFA in Film Production from Dodge College of Film & Media Arts in 2010. It was there that she won Best Director for her senior thesis film Make Believer. She was hired on The Big Bang Theory as the assistant to the Executive Producers in 2010, and promoted to staff writer in 2012. Prior employment has included Scott Free, CAA and a brief, regrettable, stint as a bra specialist for Victoria's Secret. She is repped by WME.


Danielle Perez is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress best known as the woman in a wheelchair, with no feet, who won a treadmill on The Price Is Right. She appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live for her hilarious reaction to winning the awkward prize. Before viral video fame, Danielle rolled onto the Los Angeles comedy scene and quickly established herself as a unique comedic voice with her bubbly stage presence and dark wit. A 2018 StandUp NBC Semifinalist, Danielle has opened for Maria Bamford, Guy Branum, and Laurie Kilmartin. She has performed at comedy clubs and festivals across the country including Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, Brooklyn Comedy Festival, and All Jane Comedy Festival.

Funny, feminist, and fierce, this bold Latina isn’t afraid to get personal. Danielle has been profiled by CNN, Great Big Story, Elizabeth Banks’s WhoHaha, and interviewed by GabiFresh. She was the face of Refinery29’s 2016 #TakeBackTheBeach campaign and photographed by Emily Berl, who received an American Photography 33 award for the images. The Los Angeles native has created videos for BuzzFeed and starred in episodes of Super Deluxe’s Thrift Haul, Quinta Vs Everything, Fagabonds, and The Suicide Planner. She has appeared as a guest on Fat & Fly AF, Getting Wet with Sara B, The Elite Daily Show, and in sketches for Nina Daniels, Nightpantz, and Blessed.

Currently starring in the web series Thank You Come Again, Danielle just wrapped an episode of MTV’s Decoded. Danielle’s personal and biting stand-up can be heard on multiple episodes of Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher’s Put Your Hands Together. Her vicious roasting skills can be seen at Roast Battle, live at The World Famous Comedy Store. Her writing has appeared in VICE. Danielle voices animation in Madison Shepard’s upcoming Comedy Central Saturday Morning(ish) Cartoons digital series and in Snarled’s Race In America. Created for the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge and featuring Santina Muha and Selene Luna, Danielle wrote, produced, and starred in the short film My Best Friend’s Best Friend’s Wedding.

Not just a performer, Danielle is a disability rights advocate who who has spoken on the importance of diversity in comedy at the 2018 NALIP Media Summit. She is an advisor on disability at Jill Soloway’s 5050by2020, an intersectional arm of the Time’s Up movement. A founding member of Thigh Gap Comedy, Danielle produces live comedy shows with fellow bad bitches Madison Shepard and Danielle Radford. Together they host GENTRIFICATION, a popular, monthly, diversity showcase at Avenue 50 Studio, in her hometown neighborhood of Highland Park. You can read more about Danielle in the September 2018 issue of Los Angeles Magazine, where she is profiled as one of the 13 Powerful Women Who Are Making LA a Better Place. Danielle owns multiple bodycon sequin dresses in a plus size and believes brunch is a right, not a privilege.

Follow Danielle Perez on Twitter: @divadelux
Follow Danielle Perez on Facebook: @DaniellePerezOfficial
Follow Danielle Perez on Instagram: @divadelux
Visit Danielle Perez’s Official Website:


Meena is a comedy writer/director from South Texas—that means she’s one of the few Indian people who can tell you where to get a good taco. She is a Radio-Television-Film graduate of the University of Texas and a recent graduate of USC’s M.F.A Production program. She is a recipient of the James Bridges Directing Scholarship and the Jack Oakie Scholarship in Honor of Lisa Kudrow. Her webseries, The FOB and I, highlighting the humor of South Asian American experience, has been featured by the BBC, NBC, IndieWire, and Moviemaker. Meena’s career goals include making people laugh, telling culturally relevant stories, and eating too much ice cream.

Follow The FOB and I on Twitter: @thefobandi
Follow The FOB and I on Facebook: @thefobandi
Follow The FOB and I on Instagram: @thefobandi
Visit The FOB and I Official Website:


Sonja Warfield is a television comedy writer known for her work on the Emmy Award-winning NBC comedy Will & Grace and the BET comedy The Game. She recently wrote a family comedy pilot for Netflix. Sonja was co-producer on the BET comedy Zoe Ever After starring Brandy Norwood. She has also written for the hit Disney Channel series Liv & Maddie. She wrote on staff for She-Ra, a Dreamworks/Netflix animated series, where she also penned an original song. Ms. Warfield wrote for the ABC comedy Jake In Progress and has had development deals with Sony Pictures Television that led her to writing pilots for NBC, ABC and HBO. Ms. Warfield also writes feature films and has written an adaptation of a novel for Alcon Entertainment and 2S, a Hilary Swank production company.

In addition to television and film, Ms. Warfield is the author of the hilarious, empowering and inspiring book: Get Your Butt Off My Couch (And Your Hand Outta My Wallet), a woman’s guide to getting rid of her deadbeat husband, boyfriend or boo-thing. Sonja is also a stand-up comedian. She performs at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Ice House and other comedy venues in the Los Angeles area. Ms. Warfield has studied and performed improvisation at Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles, The University of Southern California and The Cleveland School of The Arts.

Ms. Warfield has been featured on Dr. Phil, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Dr. Drew Midday Live, WVON The Talk of Chicago, and USC Trojan Vision. She has a B.A. in Cinema/Television-Critical Studies from The University of Southern California. She is also a professor at The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Sonja is the daughter of Paul Warfield, the Hall of Fame football player for the Cleveland Browns and the undefeated Miami Dolphins.

Follow Sonja Warfield on Twitter: @Sonjawar
Follow Sonja Warfield on Facebook: @SonjaWarfieldauthor
Follow Sonja Warfield on Instagram: @sonjawar

Visit Sonja Warfield’s Official Website:

About the Moderators


Sara Alize Cross was chosen to be one of 8 fellows (from over 3600 submissions) for the 2017-2018 HBO Access Writing Fellowship. During the fellowship year, Sara is developing and writing an original half-hour pilot under the mentorship of an HBO Comedy executive. Her short script Unreliable Narrators was a Finalist in the short script category of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and the Nantucket Film Festival’s Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition, and a Semi-Finalist in the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition and the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.

As a director, Sara has completed short form narrative and documentary films, recently directed a campaign of character-driven commercials for Hornitos Tequila, and is in post production on Manhattan Lullaby, a NYSCA grant funded feature documentary about NYC cultural landmark, Colony Records. Her feature documentary producing credits include Murderball (Sundance Audience Award, Academy Award Nomination), The Order of Myths (Sundance Premiere, Peabody Award) and 21Up America (executive produced by Michael Apted as part of the American adaptation of the acclaimed 7Up series).

While studying directing in the MFA in Production program at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, her Production II short film Big Star, the story of a closeted actor choosing between the role of a lifetime and the love of his life, screened at multiple LGBTQ film festivals around the country. At SCA, Sara contributed her time and skills as the student coordinator of the three day Visions and Voices Comedy Festival, and as the student organizer of the Dinner for Eight program. She was awarded the Jack Oakie Comedy Fellowship and the Jeffrey Jones Scholarship for Screenwriting.

Sara has contributed to short form documentary style branded content and long form television docu-series as a field producer/shooter, real people casting producer, story producer, and researcher. She has over 10 years experience collaborating with top documentary and commercial directors to create high quality, authentic non-fiction content for brands including Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Pedigree, Prego, Panera Bread, Carhartt, Crown Royal, Blue Cross Blue Shield, AT&T, and Office Max.

A devoted dog lover, Sara founded the 501c3 non-profit Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue after fostering one dog saved from death row in her one bedroom apartment. Under Sara’s leadership, the organization has saved the lives of over 2000 dogs in 6 years. Sara has independently traveled in over 20 countries on 6 continents, earned her BA in Film Studies at Columbia University, and a Masters in Women’s Studies at Oxford, where she wrote her thesis on Screwball Comedy of the 1930s.


Neima Patterson is a storyteller and event producer born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles, California who uses dance, filmmaking, and writing to voice the unique stories of her surroundings. Growing up, Neima was trained in dance and acting and choreographed for the stage and music video. Her original aspirations of becoming a renowned choreographer, combined with her love for storytelling and her skills as a writer, led her to discover the art of filmmaking and screenwriting. This love led her to major in Dance and minor in Film and Television at UCLA where she created dance films and danced under Rennie Harris.

With her business partner, Whitney Woods, she launched Peachy Productions, in which she is in charge of developing comedy and digital content, producing events, and creating merchandise. Over the years, they have produced multimedia art shows, shows for women of color, and networking events in partnership with Urban Outfitters & Think Tank Gallery and at Bruce Lurie Gallery and Sake Store on La Brea. During her undergraduate career, she produced a number of events as Director of both SANAA and Hip Hop Congress. As Director of Hip Hop Congress, she managed a $50,000 budget and 20 person staff to curate a month long series of events including a workshop, fashion shows featuring The Hundreds, YOUth, and Crooks & Castles, panel discussions featuring MC Lyte and Murs, and a final concert. Working with agents atICM and talent managers for the final concert, she booked shows featuring Earl Sweatshirt, Talib Kweli, Vince Staples, Dwele, and Warm Brew. She also worked artist relations during events for Goapele, Kehlani, JMSN, and Anderson Paak to name a few.

Amidst her entrepreneurial endeavors, she has found time to intern on the set of Legendary Entertainment’s 42, in the development offices of Warner Brothers’ Heyday Films, for President of Film at Paramount Pictures, at J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot Productions, at Paramount Television, and at Amazon Studios Comedy.

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of UCLA with a BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance and a minor in Film and Television, Neima went across town to complete her educational journey as an MFA student at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. During her graduate studies, she has produced, directed, written, and production designed short films, produced an independent talk show pilot, and is producing multiple panels and overseeing a team of event production assistants as a lead graduate student coordinator for the USC Comedy Festival Vol. 4.

Whether through events, content creation, or dance, Neima hopes that her work can bring enlightening perspectives to the world of entertainment.

About the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4

The 4th edition of the USC Comedy Festival comes at a time when comedy has emerged as a leader in discourses and causes for social justice and human rights, serving a galvanizing role for change in our fractured and polarized society. Affiliated with the USC Comedy track at the School of Cinematic Arts and the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation, the festival will honor comedy legends, introduce notable emerging artists, address important issues and new developments in comedy form and content, and celebrate the work of our newest generation of USC Comedy students.

The USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4 is dedicated to the memory of Paul Junger Witt, visionary film and television producer, and guiding force behind USC Comedy.

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Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 4 on Twitter: @USCComedy

About USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts

In 2010 USC became the first university in the nation to offer a program dedicated to training filmmakers in the art of comedy. USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts offers instruction in the writing, directing, production as well as the history and theory of comedy. Students work with a distinguished, award-winning faculty of comedy professionals to discover and develop their comedic voices, while getting unrivaled access to the field through workshops, internships, demonstrations and screenings and festivals.

USC Comedy boasts an award-winning faculty that includes Jack Epps Jr. (The Secret of My Success, Legal Eagles, Top Gun), Barnet Kellman (Murphy Brown, Mad About You, George Lopez), David Isaacs (Cheers, Frasier, M*A*S*H*), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), John Bowman (Saturday Night Live, In Living Color), Dave Goetsch (The Big Bang Theory), Russ Woody (Drew Carrey), Mary Lou Belli (Girlfriends), and Tim Marx (Baby Daddy), to name just a few.

Our students benefit from the expertise and participation of SCA Comedy Alumni such as Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents), Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy), Peter Segal (Tommy Boy, Get Smart), Tim Story (Barber Shop, Ride Along), Gabe Sachs (Freaks and Geeks), Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), and Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat), among many other luminaries and industry professionals.

For more information, visit:

About USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

Visit the Official Visions and Voices Website:
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Follow Visions and Voices on Twitter: @VisionsnVoices


Check-In & Reservations

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors open at 12:30 P.M.

All SCA events are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at the USC McClintock Entrance, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend buying a parking pass from the Gate Entrance, then turning left onto 34th Street and driving down to the USC Royal Street Structure, at the far end of 34th Street.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago