Alumna founds comedy troupe in Los Angeles

fn last pick

By: Mary Kate Dorr – Asst. A&E Editor

For college students, many thoughts can be terrifying. How many more days can I eat only completely processed food for every meal? Will this exam make my GPA plummet to the depths of the earth’s core? Is sleep actually a necessity for survival?  The worst, however, might be the ever-dreaded, what am I going to do when they drag me kicking and screaming from 300 College Park after graduation?

For some, it means moving back home. For others, it means your first big kid job in a big kid apartment in a random Midwestern state. For University of Dayton alumna JoEllen Redlingshafer, graduation meant moving to the West Coast and becoming a founding member of the Los Angeles-based female comedy troupe, Last Pick.

After graduating from UD in 2013, Redlingshafer moved home to Kansas City, Kansas for a few months before venturing to Los Angeles in September 2013. She had hopes of pursuing a career in the television industry as a writer after graduating with a degree in communication with a concentration in journalism. Fate had some other plans.

Redlingshafer had been writing with her friend from high school, Anna Gillcrist, who introduced her to her own college friends Toni Hull and Erin Stegemen. The women began to write together and Last Pick was born.

“They are all hilarious and talented, so I feel lucky to get to collaborate with them,” Redlingshafer said.

Redlingshafer says she has been a fan of comedy since she was a child. “I’m obsessed with the history of Saturday Night Live,” Redlingshafer said. “I love Steve Martin and Martin Short and hope someday to carry Colin Jost’s baby.”

Since her move to LA, Redlingshafer has been able to work with several successful – not to mention hilarious – people who have kept her interested in pursuing a career in comedy. Since her time in LA, she worked for former SNL writer and comedian John Mulaney’s television show, “Mulaney.” Currently, Redlingshafer is working for director Jamie Babbit and writer Karey Dornetto, both of whom have worked on well-known shows including “South Park,” “Girls” and “Arrested Development.”

After joining Last Pick, Redlingshafer watched her own writing come to life.

“I love being in a group with Anna, Toni and Erin because we all have different strengths, and I think it really shows in our videos,” said Redlingshafer. Their first parody, written by Redlingshafer, came out last week. There are three currently in the editing process and several in the writing process.

One of her favorite memories since beginning Last Pick was the weekend they filmed three sketches.

“It was long and tiring and expensive and we ate a bunch of gross s—, but it was so much fun to see us all working together and see our sketches come to life,” Redlingshafer said.

The transition to Los Angeles from Dayton has been a relatively smooth one for Redlingshafer, minus leaving the student neighborhood, friends and Tim’s. However, she hopes to continue her life in LA and can see herself living there for the long term. Redlingshafer still thinks about UD all the time and says that her best friends are still the women from her house at 414 Kiefaber.

Redlingshafer shared some words of wisdom with UD students hoping to follow their passion after graduation: “Do what you want – but do it the smart way. I knew I was moving to Los Angeles after graduation, with or without a job, but I planned ahead to make it work. I moved home and saved up so I wouldn’t be screwed if I couldn’t get a job right away – and that saved me. Or, just don’t graduate and stay at UD forever.”

Stay updated with Redlingshafer and Last Pick  through facebook.com/lastpickcomedy,@lastpickcomedy on Twitter and her blog joheaven.com.