Influencing the Masses, One Outlandish Hairstyle at a Time
Stacey Harkey doesn’t consider himself a particularly funny person. He doesn’t laugh at his own jokes, though he noticed that others often began chuckling when he was around. To humor a friend several years ago he auditioned for Divine Comedy, a student sketch comedy group at BYU. To his surprise he was accepted. He’s been on stage making people laugh ever since.
His fame and popularity have since spread around the world. As a cast member of Studio C, the popular comedy show produced by BYUtv, Stacey is now known for a variety of antics, some of which involve outlandish hairstyles that range from glow in the dark colors to styles that evoke images of ancient forms of torture.
“I’ve had the joy of performing in Divine Comedy and Studio C before hundreds of thousands of people who were desperately in need of clean comedy,” he said. “All of this was made possible because some wonderfully generous human being took mercy on a poor kid like me to donate money for a scholarship.”
Making the Divine Comedy cut was “an awesome accomplishment,” he said, “but not the one I’m most proud of.” More important to Stacey is his innate desire to stick with a task until it’s completed to the best of his ability.
“I’m an ambitious person,” he said, a work ethic he gained from his father. “I refuse to give up. I’m used to being good at most things. But writing for comedy has not come naturally to me. It has been a struggle and really pushed me. As I’ve strived, I gradually became better.
“This growth and development is the personal triumph that I’m most proud of,” Stacey said. “Now I have the opportunity to write and act for BYUtv’s comedy show, Studio C.”
Stacey grew up in Dallas and was raised by a hardworking single mom who held three jobs to provide for him. Stacey dreamed and sometimes speculated about college, but it wasn’t until he was a senior in high school that the prospects of gaining a higher education really settled in. He knew nothing about a four-year degree, and pondering about it only confused him even more.
“All I knew was that school was expensive and my family had no money,” he said.
But he did have two things: a desire to improve and a testimony built on the faith of his mother.
“I was at home the day my BYU acceptance letter arrived in the mail,” he said. “I had already received a couple of acceptance letters and scholarships from other schools, but I wanted to hear from BYU. My desire was to attend BYU for a high-quality education in a wholesome environment.
“Little did I fathom that BYU would become such a huge force for good in my life. It means more to me than just an education. It means culture, tradition, love, friends, and family.
“I can’t count the impact this opportunity has had on my life and the lives of those I’ve encountered,” he said. “I’ve had the chance to bless people as an on-campus resident advisor as well as counsel and mentor hundreds of youth. I’ve also had the opportunity to work as a summer camp counselor to influence hundreds of troubled seniors in high school.
Stacey will continue his studies in public relations with a minor in business management and a certificate in Portuguese. His hope is to work in upper-level marketing management for a corporation expanding into Brazil.
“I would not have been able to attend school without this scholarship sponsored by the amazing people who supported me. I almost cried when I read about the scholarship. This means the world to me and my family,” he said.