Mariam Ashmawy

Troupe Talk: Cupcake

Cupcake Troupe talk is back this week and in celebration of spring, Mother's Day, and baked goods (because we should always celebrate baked goods), Cupcake has joined me for some sweet talk about improvising, the new Dallas Comedy House (DCH) and each other.

Thank you for bringing me this basket of gifts as a token of thanks for interviewing you! Why don’t you tell our readers what each of you gave me? Christie: Everyone brought you cupcakes, so I brought you something to wash them down with. CUPCAKE MILKSHAKES!! Maggie: I gave you the cupcake that Mariam is eating in the next question…she just couldn’t stop herself. Nick: There is a giant cupcake beside the basket. When you cut it to finally eat it, you find my charred remains inside. I wanted to surprise you by popping out of the giant cupcake, but I don’t know how to bake and put myself in the cupcake before the baking process rather than after. Tommy: I helped Nick bake the giant cupcake for you, thinking it was from us both. Mariam: I brought you a fried chicken cupcake to break up the monotony of all the sweet and/or Nick’s-ashes-flavored cupcakes.

Pretend you are all sitting in a circle. Look to the person to the left of you and tell me what flavor cupcake they would be and why. Christie: Maggie is a cupcake as big and bright as the sun! She has rainbow icing and unicorn sprinkles, because she is happiness in a giant baked good! Maggie: Mariam would probably be this cupcake. It’s a cupcake that has been build to look like a panda. That’s because Mariam is beautiful—just like a panda cupcake. Mariam: Nick’s cupcake would taste like despair and sadness, with a hint of chocolate. And it would have a khaki short wrapper around it. Nick: Tommy would probably be a pizza cupcake. Cheese and pepperoni on top of garlic bread. Then a tiny hot dog to top it all off, because Tommy always has his party shorts on, but he can take care of business as well. Tommy: Christie would be a love cupcake. With tiny pig filling and puppy icing.

Now that you’ve defined your individual cupcake flavors, let’s talk about Cupcake as a whole! How did you guys meet? How long have you been together? Christie: I’m really bad at math, but I’m really awesome at friendship. This made for the perfect troupe! We’ve been performing for over two years, but we’ve been friends for a lifetime. *Someone check my math on that.* Maggie: Much like *NSYNC, Cupcake was put together to dominate the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch Tournament. Though we got second place to a bunch of cousins, we still made beautiful music. We’ve been performing ever since. And, apparently, math. Mariam: I received an anonymous invitation to join a new secret-agent, mathematically-constructed, *NSYNC-inspired, bulletproof improv troupe. I blindly accepted. The purpose of said troupe? To dominate the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch Tournament. We got second place. YOU DO THE MATH. Nick: Tommy and Christie used math equations and science to formulate the most perfect complimentary improv troupe that would dominate the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch Tournament. Even with math on our side, we came in second. BUT ONLY BY TWO VOTES. Tommy: Christie and I created the perfect plan to come in second in the 2013 DCH Improv Cagematch and create a famous and timeless rivalry that would never be rivaled by other fabled rivalries.

Why do you dig improvising? Christie: There’s nothing better than making people laugh. Unless you’re getting to do that with your best friends, WHICH I AM. Maggie: It’s fun to spend 30 minutes not thinking—just reacting and having fun with friends. Mariam: I can let go and be stupid and do crazy things with people who are funny and smart and make me laugh and be a better person. Nick: Because I crave instant gratification and approval. Tommy: It's the next best thing to playing with your friends as a little kid. It's like the fountain of youth, but you still age and die.

So I hear DCH moved to a new building. What’s your favorite thing about the new DCH? Christie: Tell Shiloh you want The Christie—it’s a shot of Crown with a Miller Lite. It’s not on those beautiful chalk boards above the bar...yet. But seriously, those menu boards are crazy awesome!! Maggie: I like the wood on the walls. IT’S CRAZY BECAUSE IT USED TO BE A FLOOR! Mariam: DAT SICK OUTDOOR AREA THO. It’s like you’re one with nature, outside, in the night air. Nick: The secret ghost room above the bar that they had to seal off, because of the terrible thing that happened there years ago that still haunts the room to this day. Tommy: TLB MANDIP

Before you go, say goodbye to our readers by whispering a famous farewell lyric or quote to them: Maggie: “I just wanna dance with somebody.” - WHADOLF HILSTON Mariam: “I wanna feel the heat with somebody.” - Adolf Hitler (does he know how to whisper?) Nick: “I do not see why man should not be as cruel as nature.” - Adolf Hitler (this is whispered as I slowly back away without breaking eye contact) Tommy: "Don't go chasing waterfalls" - Adolf Hitler (this is whispered as I slowly back away without breaking eye contact) Christie: “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” - Adolf Hitler (this is whispered as I slowly back away without breaking eye contact)

Cupcake performs at DCH on May 16 (grand-opening weekend!), May 22, and June 25.

Tori Oman is a level four student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.

Comedy Centerfold: Mariam Ashmawy

Each week, or maybe every other week if we’re lazy, we’ll feature a Dallas Comedy House performer and get to know him or her a little better by using questions that Playboy centerfolds are usually asked. If you’d like to volunteer to be a centerfold before we come for you, email us and let us know. The only requirement is that we need a full-length, CLOTHED, photo of yourself for, you know, the centerfold part. Mariam and WoodyThis edition of Comedy Centerfold features Mariam Ashmawy. You may have seen her at DCH running the lights and sounds and pretty much being a badass. Lately, though, you can watch her perform with the new house troupe, Radio! Radio!, which is....wait a minute. Mariam, did you just write that you love avocado smoothies? Excuse me, I have to go wash my eyes out.

 

Hometown? Lewisville, TX. Home of the fightin’ farmers.

Guilty Pleasures? Glee, the music of Lil Wayne, the movie White Chicks. Judge Judy. I have seen every episode, and I’m really upset she’s retiring. In fact, I don’t really feel guilty about my love of JJ—I’m rather proud of it. Brilliant, just brilliant. The importance of Judge Judy to me will become apparent in subsequent answers.

Ambitions? Do cool stuff. Meet cool people. Be cool. Bake awesome/pretty cakes for people’s b-days, learn to take pictures without my finger in the frame.

Best Concert? ‘Nsync, No Strings Attached Tour. I was in 9th grade. My dad dropped me off at Reunion Arena after buying a single ticket off a scalper in the parking lot. My dad gave me $20 before he left, I watched the concert by myself, and he picked me up around 11 p.m. I still have the glow-stick I bought for $6, and I pocketed the rest of the cash.

Favorite Book? Reading is for nerds…but: Bossypants, Middlesex.

Favorite Movie? Aladdin, The Princess Bride, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Newsies…Because I enjoy children’s movies.

Favorite TV Show? Judge Judy: see my answer to “guilty pleasures” question for more details. Top Chef, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Daily Show/Colbert Report, Louis CK, reruns of every show from the 1990s.

Pets? I have one cat named Toota. It means “little blackberry” in Arabic. I’ve taken the liberty of including some photographs of her because she’s adorable. If you’d like to see more, follow me on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

Foods I Crave? Ben & Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream, turkey sandwiches, avocado smoothies.

People I Admire? Judge Judy, again I refer you to my previous answer to “guilty pleasures.” Tupac Shakur, Tina Fey, my sister, Hannah Hart, all the original members of ‘Nsync, Woody Harrelson cuz I met him once and he was cool, people who enjoy exercising every day.

Dream Role? Hosting the GSN’s popular and long-running game show, Family Feud. Playing opposite Jimmy Fallon in anything and just breaking into laughter the whole time because we both suck at keeping straight faces.

Favorite Song to Sing? “Come Undone” by Duran Duran, or Sinéad O'Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” I love the part where she sings “I can eat my dinner in a fancy restarahhhhuuhant.”

Good First Date Idea? I’ve got a few episodes of Judge Judy left on my DVR that I’ve been saving for a rainy day/first date.