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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:23 pm 
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Courses are great as long as (a) when you get to writing you don't feel the entire weight of the course holding you back and (b) you don't spend so much time arse-kissing that you never pick up a pen. Oh and (c) and (d) too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:44 pm 
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The comedy course I did (AM) helped me to get the balls and 5mins material together to do my first gig at the end showcase and very good networking with likeminded people.

You ain't goner learn to be funny. I would definatley recommend doing one.

I am now thinking about doing a course in spelling.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:21 pm 
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Laughing horse is running some courses at the festival which had a really good reaction last year.
I think courses are good things in essence but i don't think they can offer you any more than some advice and pointers on things like stage presence, set construction and delivery. But even after the course you are still not gonna be anywhere near as good as you need to be. I think and i'm sure any experienced comic will tell you the same, that stand uo can only be learnt and understood by perforning it as much as you can. Just do as many gigs as your body will allow, and then afyter the gigs ask other comics what they thought and get some pointers and advice, generally you'll find that other people have a much more interesting and helpful opinion of your material than you do. When i started out a guy i gigged for said to me "your not a comic until you've done 100 gigs", that is the worst advice i have ever heard. 100 gigs does not make a comic just ask Linda Trayers. Being a good comic is about respecting and developing yourself artistically and personally, not doing X amount of gigs.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Sienfield said your not a comic until you have a set which never fails to storm everywhere and your still not happy with it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:26 pm 
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Omydaize wrote:
Sienfield said your not a comic until you have a set which never fails to storm everywhere and your still not happy with it.


Thats also true, you should never stop developing a joke or set. Thats what Bernard Manning did and i don't think anyone wants to be thought of like that...unless of course your Roy.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:45 pm 
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Comedy courses are great if you want to be a comedian-by-numbers. Did the late, great George Burns do a comedy course. No, he didn't and neither did Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Mark Thomas, Eddie Izzard...oh, the list goes on and on and on and on.....


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Theodor Adorno wrote:
Comedy courses are great if you want to be a comedian-by-numbers.


Yes, like Rhod Gilbert, Holly Walsh, We Are Klang, just a few examples of "identikit" comedians who did comedy courses.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Theodor Adorno wrote:
Comedy courses are great if you want to be a comedian-by-numbers. Did the late, great George Burns do a comedy course. No, he didn't and neither did Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Mark Thomas, Eddie Izzard...oh, the list goes on and on and on and on.....


Eddie Izzard did the Jacksons Lane's course.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:57 am 
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Mark Thomas did a degree course in theatre studies


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:30 pm 
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Peter Kay did a stand up module as part of his Media Performance degree at Salford Uni

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Dave Gorman did a stand up comedy course, though it was taught by Frank Skinner so in hindsight it was slightly better than some of the courses run today... :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:36 pm 
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Frank Skinner started running his course when he'd been performing for only 9 months, if I remember the book correctly

there was no way of telling at the time he'd go on to be a famous comedian.

kids, do the courses if you want, or don't. It won't make much of a difference past 20 gigs anyway.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Depends what your expect out of it. i don't think there's a course out there that can make you funny but you can learn how to avoid classic mistakes.
how many acts do you see... many of them two or three years in... that are still structuring the punchline to reveal the gag too early when simply saving the gold until the last two or three words would make the gag twice as funny... or still haven't worked out:
a. the need to edit and
b. how to edit.
And most people are generally influenced by a complete range of different styles too. Ask somebody who their favourite comedians are and you'll get a list like Eddie Izzard, Jack Dee, and Sean Lock. Then you watch them do a 5 and a bit of all of them make an appearance.
How many new acts, and not so new acts, do you see not even recognise they've disconnected let alone how to deal with it.

The thing with a course is to be realistic what you're going to get out of it.
A good course will provide you with the notion of a consistent persona that you can gear your material towards.
You'll understand some of the subtle science that goes into squeezing the most out of a gag.
You'll know that everything you say should be contributing to the gag and not just unwarranted waffle.
At the end of the course you should have a reasonable 5 that you can start hawking around the open mic circuit.
You'll have made friends that are in the same boat as you and you can share your experiences and contact details for gigs.

Of course none of this will make you funny. And chances are you'll end up changing your persona and very quickly looking back at your early material and think "what was I thinking!". But the point is you'll understand why you're making changes and you'll probably be making those changes.
Nothing can replace the experience of gigging and developing the performance side of your comedy.
There are a few hard to grasp concepts in stand up. For instance, what exactly doe "being in the moment" mean to somebody who hasn;t done any gigs. You'll here all about it on a course but only getting it wrong and then watching people who are getting it right will bring you to that eureka moment of "oh yeah... i think i get it now". Even then, you wont be able to do it, but you should at least have a reasonable idea of what it is you're trying to do.

What I'm trying to say is that I believe there are a lot of benefits to doing a course. Some people will say "it's worth 20 gigs" or "it's worth 50 gigs". I'm not sure the benefits can, or even should, be measured in number of gigs. That's probably a very individual thing. But there are clear benefits and it will get you started in the right way.

I'm sure there are loads of successful stand ups who didn't do a course and are doing very nicely, but I know for a fact, there are fucking hundreds that should have done one.

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 Post subject: Workshop
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:22 pm 
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Hi,

I don't really post on here that much. I run a comedy course in Coventry, alongside an established theatre school. I do not get money from it.

The way I run the course, is very relaxed and I do not preach, to the students, that I can make them funny, because I can't. It's all down to them and their ability.

With their stand-up I tell them to go away, and come back the following week with a story either a true or topical one lasting 2 or 3 minutes. They then perform it in front of me and the other student's. We then collectively critique their stand up, and help to develop it further. Either by adding more punch lines, or cutting out excessive waffling! Then they re-write for the following week and so forth, developing a script ready for a showcase.

Basically its like a mini-open mic class and everyone helps each other out by criticising and developing their work. I believe this is a good way to do it once a week couple of hours. Although this is different as there are alot of day workshops running about the place.

And yes I do it for FREE as I like comedy, and helping others who enjoy it to. I agree that one of the better ways to this is open mic it and practise, but as part of the course they will be doing a showcase, havent picked a date yet because I don't want to throw it straight at them, I (and the theatre school) want to be able to see their work is good before they go on stage...

SO YESSSS WORKSHOPS CAN BE GREAT BUT IT DEPENDS HOW THEY RUN :D

Ta....


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 Post subject: Workshop
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:06 pm
Posts: 121
Hi,

I don't really post on here that much. I run a comedy course in Coventry, alongside an established theatre school. I do not get money from it.

The way I run the course, is very relaxed and I do not preach, to the students, that I can make them funny, because I can't. It's all down to them and their ability.

With their stand-up I tell them to go away, and come back the following week with a story either a true or topical one lasting 2 or 3 minutes. They then perform it in front of me and the other student's. We then collectively critique their stand up, and help to develop it further. Either by adding more punch lines, or cutting out excessive waffling! Then they re-write for the following week and so forth, developing a script ready for a showcase.

Basically its like a mini-open mic class and everyone helps each other out by criticising and developing their work. I believe this is a good way to do it once a week couple of hours. Although this is different as there are alot of day workshops running about the place.

And yes I do it for FREE as I like comedy, and helping others who enjoy it to. I agree that one of the better ways to this is open mic it and practise, but as part of the course they will be doing a showcase, havent picked a date yet because I don't want to throw it straight at them, I (and the theatre school) want to be able to see their work is good before they go on stage...

SO YESSSS WORKSHOPS CAN BE GREAT BUT IT DEPENDS HOW THEY RUN :D

Ta....


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