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January 19, 2014

Gridiron veteran ready for another show

CLAREMORE —

When it comes to the Claremore Chamber of Commerce Gridiron, Gina Wilson has seen her fair share.
Unlike most who have attended the annual poke at news-makers from the previous year however, Wilson has seen many of her Gridirons from a most unique perspective — as a cast member. 
As Wilson and her fellow castmates ready for Friday and Saturday night’s performances, she pauses to reflect on her years of on-stage shenanigans.
“I honestly don’t remember how many I’ve been in, but I’d say 10 at least,” Wilson said. “Each of them has been unique in their own way — different, because of the other cast members and the skits we’d put together, but there’s one thing all of them have been — fun.”
During Wilson’s earliest Gridirons, she was in the company of former writers/performers/general rabble-rousers Dave Burrows and Ralph Peck.
“Dave and Ralph were hilarious, and Ralph is even returning this year to help us with some of the writing (of skits),” she said. “You never knew what they were going to come up with — there was nothing they wouldn’t do.”
After Burrows and Peck stepped down from Gridiron, Seana Murray took up writing and performing duties, and the format shifted from “Saturday Night Live”-type sketches to that of an old-fashioned radio show. 
“These days, sketch and songs are more a of a group effort,” she said.
Another difference Wilson has noted from her earlier days of Gridiron is its tone, as shows in recent years have “softened” somewhat into a “kinder, gentler” Gridiron.
“We like to have fun with people who have been in the news, but in the earliest days of Gridiron, sometimes the jokes could be a little more scathing,” she said. “We’re certainly going to make jokes about people and things that have been in the paper, but we want them to be laughing too. We don’t want to make fun of people, we want to have fun with them.”

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