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Week One: Copy Copy

Began by having the students introduce themselves to each other in a type of short-form individual interview. As they will be working very closely together over the next six weeks I wanted to allow them a real chance to learn about each other to develop trust, confidence and help recognize potential writing partners best suited to their individual personalities.

For this course we have a few main objectives. First, to be able to write and perform a 3-5 minute standup set at graduation. Second to begin development of four main comedy “muscles” – Observation, Writing, Editing and Stage Mechanics and third to lay down a program that through repetition, video recording and review builds a solid foundation to apply constant pressure to these four comedy “muscles”.

After engaging in some writing prompts to explore less visible and more intimate personality traits we started an exercise to work on stage mechanics. Each student recorded this exercise on their own camera to be reviewed as part of the homework assignment.

Students underwent a final writing prompt designed to help identify an easily accessible form of inspiration and will use the subject of this prompt to form some of their earliest material.

Homework – First, review the stage mechanics exercise to look for visible stage issues such as maintaining eye contact, fidgeting, mic placement. Second, improve upon the stage mechanics exercise by adding more details, excitement and overall enthusiasm. The goal is to have the audience hanging on your every word through a combination of improved stage presence and more refined description. Third, attend both an open mic and a real show, observing a noting the differences between the two. Fourth write a story about the funniest, most entertaining person in your life to be developed into your first bit.

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