Grace Goze graduated from Ball State with an English major with a creative writing concentration in 2021. After graduation, she is pursuing an MFA in Screenwriting with a concentration in Comedy Writing at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
Please introduce yourself—I’d love to know when you attended Ball State, your area(s) of study, and any other tidbits that help us get to know you.
My name is Grace Goze, and I graduated from Ball State in 2021 with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and minors in History and French. I am extremely passionate about comedy in all its forms, and after obtaining my MFA, I hope to pursue comedy writing for film and television. Outside of academics, you can find me, unsurprisingly, doing improv or watching standup with my dog, Sesame.
Tell us about your current job. We’d love to hear about the day-to-day work and your broader projects.
Currently, I am pursuing an MFA in Screenwriting with a concentration in Comedy Writing at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. This is a two-year program that will culminate in a thesis based on writing either a feature-length film or a television pilot and accompanying “show bible.” Additionally, this program is partnered with The Second City in Chicago, so I take classes through DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts and The Second City Training Center.
This quarter, I have classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. These classes are focused on exploring screenwriting, the subgenres of comedy, and improvisation for comedic storytellers. My weekly assignments usually consist of writing exercises homing in on a specific element of screenwriting or comedy and consuming and analyzing comedy-based media.
Will you describe your career path? Did you land your current job immediately after graduation or find your way there circuitously?
My path to DePaul was a good mixture of spontaneity and planning. Initially, I had hoped to be granted a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in a francophone country, but given the competitive nature of the Fulbright program, I knew I needed to explore other post-college options. I began looking at MFA programs for poetry because it had been my genre of choice for most of my undergrad experience, but I also knew I had a deep passion for comedy and performance that I explored in my extracurricular activities (ABSO Improv Comedy and BSU Tonight).
I remembered that an alumna in the class above me had posted on Facebook about getting accepted into an MFA program that focused on comedy writing at DePaul. From there, I did research on the program and quickly came to realize it had everything I was looking for. The day after being denied from Fulbright, I was accepted into grad school. It was definitely a bit of a “the stars have aligned, and this is where I need to go” moment.
What is the most fulfilling part of your current job?
The most fulfilling part of grad school has been finding a new passion of sorts. Again, I saw myself as a poet first and foremost for the majority of my undergrad. Learning to apply my writing skills and comedic sensibilities to a form that is still relatively new to me has been really exciting and creatively stimulating.
What are the most valuable skills you learned as a Ball State student in the College of Sciences and Humanities? How have they helped you post-graduation?
The College of Sciences and Humanities, and specifically the English Department, taught me skills that I use every day in and outside of the classroom. Our college’s mindset that anything is possible with a Humanities degree has been invaluable to me. I learned that my love for storytelling can be adapted to so many different creative and professional opportunities. Further, my time in workshops taught me how to collaborate with others, articulate my thoughts, and how to think critically about the literature/media I’m consuming.
Being a creative writing student at Ball State has given me a strong foundation to succeed in my graduate program both academically and creatively.
Is there a particular class, professor, or professional opportunity that had a particularly significant impact on you?
Dr. Katy Didden’s advanced poetry class opened so many doors for me as a writer and a comedian. As a teacher and a mentor, Dr. Didden pushed me to be the best version of myself as a poet, and later, as a critical thinker as she advised me on my Honors thesis. I believe working with her on that thesis project is what truly put me on track to pursue my MFA. That, of course, goes hand-in-hand with the unforgettable experiences and knowledge I gained from both Professor Silas Hansen and Dr. Matt Mullins. I highly recommend taking their classes to grow as a writer and a person.
I also have to shout out my roles as a design editor for The Broken Plate and a project manager for Compass Creative. These immersive learning courses taught me to look at my education in a whole new way and showed me how valuable storytelling is in the modern world. The strategic communications skills I gained and built upon directly got me hired as a digital content assistant with DePaul’s College of Communication. In these courses, I was face-to-face with the advantages of being a Humanities major, so thank you Dr. Sarah Domet, Cathy Day, and Kathryn Gardiner.
What advice do you have for current or future students in your major or who might hope to follow your career path?
Creative writing students, take all the classes you can! Challenging yourself to write in new forms and read different genres may unlock an idea or a passion you didn’t know you have. Your voice and your abilities are far more flexible than you think, so don’t put yourself in a box!
And of course, always follow your passions.