By Katelyn Billings
This week’s Student Spotlight can be found lounging in Jackson’s Garden, thinking about puppies and contemplating man’s existence.
Sarang Sharma ’15 said, “Nothing makes me swoon more than a cute puppy.”
A member of the Dutch Pipers, Ozone House and Chi Psi, Sarang is known all around campus for his humor and laid-back attitude.
“On Fridays, you can usually find me working at Ozone Café, though I use the term ‘working’ loosely, as I am usually gossiping in the corner of Old Chapel instead of actually serving food,” said Sharma.
If you’re lucky enough to gossip with Sarang, you get to experience his infamous ‘sass face.’
“I have a great sass face. Just ask Lucas Rivers ’15. But his is worse.”
When asked to comment, Lucas said, “He has a sass face? Maybe take off the first ‘s’ and we’ll be good.” (Zing!)
Sarang’s sass factor may have stemmed from his
obsession with the movie Mean Girls.
“I know the whole Kevin G rap by heart, and I rap it in the shower just about every day,” said Sharma.
When not gossiping and proclaiming his love for Mean Girls, Sarang enjoys spending his free time in the theater, working on his many projects.
“I just finished directing Urinetown the Musical, which was a huge success — we sold out every night!
“I couldn’t have done it without my executive team: assistant director Lucas Rivers, musical director Drew Ivarson ’15, costume designer Lizzy Magas ’15 and choreographer Giorgia Comeau ’16 … But on second thought, I probably could have done it without Giorgia. I’m a pretty good dancer, you know,” said Sharma.
After Urinetown, Sarang decided to join the Department of Theater and Dance, and participate in their production of Rhino, an absurdist play that comments on the hypocrisy of the human condition.
“It’s very taxing, but so exciting! We open this weekend!”
It’s hard to imagine Sarang not being involved in theater productions, but when he initially came to Union, he was on the pre-med track.
He claims he quickly realized that people would prefer it if he made them laugh rather than save their lives, so he was inspired to switch.
Now a rising senior, Sarang is bittersweet about his time at Union coming to an end. He is anxious and excited about beginning a professional acting career in New York City at a comedy club, but not very enthusiastic about living in the basement of a Chinese restaurant.
On his experience in stand-up, Sarang said, “People tell me I look like Aziz Ansari, and my response is to do my impression of him, which is pretty good, if I do say so myself.
“But sometimes I feel like the audience is laughing at me rather than with me.”
For his senior thesis, he will be combining his love of comedy and his theatrical training in order to write, direct and star in his own play.
“It’s going to be a male version of the Vagina Monologues, called Cock Tales. Right now, the show is about the sexual experiences of my friend and me over the course of the past four years, although some of the stories may be fictitious,” said Sharma.
Before he knew he wanted to be a stand-up comedian, Sarang claims that he would always tell people he just wanted to be a dad when he grew up.
“I love kids, and I can’t wait to be the soccer or baseball coach of my kid’s little league team.
“And if I have a girl, I can’t wait for her to experiment with makeup on my face,” he said.
His mentor instincts come into play when he works as an Orientation Advisor to incoming freshmen, a job that Sarang says is one of his favorites.
“It’s always nice to meet the first years and acclimate them to the Union environment. I stay friends with some of the freshmen, and it’s great to hear them say that you made their Union experience better,” he reflected.
One last thing that you should know about Sarang is that he is a passionate napper. He attributes his love of naps to his “mega bed.”
“I have a tempurpedic mattress pad, so it’s very hard to get out. It’s just a king-sized bed, but I think ‘mega’ makes it sound cooler.
“When I get in, it’s unknown whether I will get back out again … Which is why I don’t make it to all of my classes … Sorry, professors!”
Besides his mega-bed, Sarang’s favorite lazy lounge spot is under the willow tree in the gardens, where he zones out and tunes into nature like the closet hippie he really is.
“I love sitting in the bed of flowers under the willow tree, just working on my tan and listening to heady jams while tossing around a frisbee, or other hipster things like that,” said Sharma.
When unable to nap outside, Sarang takes his shenanigans inside to Reamer Campus Center to enjoy — like most of us — one of Justin’s famous buffalo chicken wraps.
“I love nomming on one of those. I swear that guy is a sandwich artist,” Sharma stated.
After this interview, I’m almost positive he went and got a wrap from the sandwich whisperer.
Keep your eyes peeled for Sarang wandering around campus filming students, hanging in the theater or lounging in the flowers in Jackson’s Garden.
But if you don’t see him, he’s probably asleep in his mega-bed.