New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Liv Rocklin Wins the UltraViolet Live Talent Show

Steinhardt first-year talks her latest set, pre-show rituals and her journey to musical comedy.
Kate Lord/New York University
Liv Rocklin, winning Ultraviolet Live (via Facebook)

For years, Steinhardt first-year Liv Rocklin wanted to be a country singer. Last Thursday, she won the UltraViolet Live talent show for her musical comedy act.

Rocklin found her niche after 10 years of voice lessons. She wasn’t a naturally talented singer, but she was funny. Her career in musical comedy blossomed when her love for comedian Bo Burnham merged with her singing aspirations.

Her UVL set encompassed her experiences at NYU as a Midwesterner turned New Yorker. Her relatable bits about rats and bubble tea appealed to the audience of NYU students.

Rocklin’s greatest challenge is herself, as she sets her expectations high. She was filled with a nervous excitement during the days leading up to UVL, her first competition.

“The day before when I was at lunch, I got soup and coffee and put a Splenda in my soup,” Rocklin laughed. “I just kind of sat there defeated.”

On the day of the show, however, she felt calm. On her way to the Skirball Center for Performing Arts where UVL was held, she made a pit stop at a pet store. By the time she was on stage, she felt at home.

“Once I was on stage and it started happening and it started going well, I was like oh the audience is here for me,” Rocklin said. “They want to enjoy this, they want to like this, and so I’m excited to give them something to laugh at.”

Naturally funny, she believes exercising and understanding a range of emotions on stage is essential to her comedic performance.  

“This is a sad thing to say but a happy comedian is not a funny comedian,” Rocklin joked.

Rocklin has been performing with comedy variety sketch group Friends with Dads and stand-up group Astor Place Riots since she came to NYU. She is also in the Steinhardt play “Radium Girls,” an off-brand venture that is more serious than what she’s used to. The show will open at The Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village this Friday at 8 p.m.

While she has performed in both stand-up comedy and theater long before NYU — frequenting famous improv troupe The Second City in Chicago her senior year of high school — she finds the opportunities she has in New York City to be unparalleled.

“It makes opportunities so much more accessible, and it means that I can be in school while working on my career,” Rocklin said. “If I went to another school, I’d have to go to college and then start my comedy career. I just don’t think I’m that patient.”

Disclaimer: Liv Rocklin used to be a writer for Washinton Square News. 

Email Aashna Agarwal at [email protected]

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