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I’m doing another Kingston Comedy Class this Fall at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning. Here are the details:

DATE: Every Wednesday starting either Sept 21 or 28 (Still sorting that out) for 10 weeks.

TIME: 6:30-9:00

COST: $200

If you want more info, just look at the outline below!

SPACE IS LIMITED! Contact me at trevstrong@gmail.com to register or if you have any questions.

 

The Kingston Comedy Class

With your host Trevor Strong

 

WEEK 1: What’s so funny?

We’ll ease into things by writing something as a group, talking about the creative process, and finding out who everyone is and what they find funny. And we’ll talk a little about why.

WEEK 2: Where do you get your ideas?

This is a question every creative person gets asked and I have made many smart-ass replies to it over the years. But there are some great ways of getting ideas. Things like improvisation, figuring out what bothers you, going to the land of the absurd, borrowing from the world (also known as theft), and many more.

WEEK 3: Sketch Comedy

Now that we know where to get ideas we’re going to put them to good use. Sketch comedy is great way to get started because sketches are such a versatile form. They can be short or long, tell a story or just be weird, make fun of things that already exist or be completely absurd.

WEEK 4: Funny Songs (Poetry)

This is what know best. I put “poetry” in brackets because some people get weirded-out about singing, so I want everyone to know that it’s okay to just talk-sing (like the great William Shatner) or recite.

WEEK 5: Who Are You?

Character is important. And the most important character is YOU (notice how I even capitalized the word.) When you are performing comedy the audience views you as a character and not a human being, what does this mean and how do you make it work? Once we’ve figured this out we’ll create some rants and stories all about YOU (see, I did it again). If you’re into stand-up think of this class as that, if you’re not, think of this class as learning to tell a story.

WEEK 6: Comedians Assemble!

By this time you will have an abundance of material. Now is the time to divide the class into groups. Each group will go through the material available and figure out what they want to work on. (If you would rather work on your own, that’s fine. I am still scarred from mandatory group work in school and fully understand.)

WEEK 7: Making it Better

You’ve got material now, but how can you make it even better? And how do you make things flow from one thing to another? And just what is this “timing” thing people are always talking about?

WEEK 8: Making it Absolutely Perfect

Okay, so it probably won’t be perfect, but we’ll watch what everyone is doing and give sweet and loving suggestions that they may or may not incorporate. Before we do this, we will talk about just how to give sweet and loving suggestions in the first place.

WEEK 9: Showtime

We’re gonna put on a show! We’ll invite some friends and family over and show them what we’ve done!

WEEK 10: So, What Just Happened?

Usually you do the show on the last class, but I figure it’s better to be able to have some time to figure out what actually happened.  In comedy you can’t tell what works or not until you get in front of a live audience (the dead are hard to get a reaction from–even the undead aren’t helpful, the zombies groan at every joke and the vampires are looking for blood) so I want to make sure we’re able to talk about the show, after the show. Sometimes the audience doesn’t laugh when you thought they should and other times there are huge laughs at what you thought wasn’t all that funny. So it’s good to figure out what the heck just happened before you forget it all.

 

THINGS THAT WILL BE OCCURRING THROUGHOUT

THE WEEKLY CLIP

Each week I’ll play a comedy clip. We’ll enjoy it the first time and the second time we’ll watch it as if we’re jaded comedians trying to figure out how the jokes work. I can pick all the clips myself but since everyone’s sense of humour is different you are welcome to recommend clips to me so that it’s not just what I find funny.

HUMOUR THEORY

I spent two years of my life researching humour and how it works. Did it make me funnier? No. But, I did find it interesting. I’ll talk as much about this as people want to hear. If I see eyes glazing over we’ll go back to making comedy instead. Anyway, here are some things I can talk about:

  • Why do we use humour? (Its social and cultural purposes.)
  • How did humour develop? (The evolutionary roots of humour.)
  • Humour and developmental stages (Why infants find peek-a-boo hilarious)
  • Ancient humour (funny cave drawings, wacky hieroglyphs, and offensive Roman graffiti)
  • Is humour art?

That’s all folks!

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