Gannon Student Wins Contest, Opens for Dave Coulier

Posted: March 24, 2017

Perhaps no category of performer is more in need of fearlessness than the standup comic. Standing alone on stage with no band, ensemble or co-starts to carry the load, a standup comedian is especially vulnerable. This is no place for introverts.

Or is it? Gabe Fulgenzio, a Gannon University sophomore who describes himself as shy, is about to find out. Fulgenzio, a Gannon University student from Erie, will be the opening act for Dave Coulier when the comedian and actor best known as Uncle Joey on television's "Full House," appears at Gannon University's Hammermill Center on Mon., March 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Fulgenzio got the coveted gig by winning a contest for student comics at Gannon. "I had been doing comedy for a year when I saw the post for the contest and thought, why not," Fulgenzio said. "My plan was to come up with a five-minute routine for a campus Schuster talent show, but [the contest] came up, and I decided to do that instead."

It was a potentially scary proposition, even for an extrovert, but Fulgenzio approached it with equanimity, "I'd bombed five times before until I found the delivery I wanted. The worst had already happened, so it couldn't get worse."

Of course, it got better, but with the win, Fulgenzio now faces a different challenge: opening for a seasoned professional.

"It's nerve-wracking because it's a big venue, but I'm excited to do this," Fulgenzio said. "I wasn't sure how the material will work, but I'm pretty optimistic about it."

As for his shyness, Fulgenzio says it isn't entirely gone. "Sometimes the guy on stage is not me. Sometimes it's a more confident version of myself. You have to put yourself into a character of yourself," he said. "On stage, I try to be more confident and outgoing-not entirely fearless, but a guy who says, 'This is me. These are my jokes.'"

General admission tickets for Dave Coulier are $15 and are available only at gannontickets.com. Gannon students can also purchase tickets for $5 at gannontickets.com. Tickets will be sold at the door starting at 6:30 p.m.