ABCs of Comedy: The Art, Business, and Craft of Stand-up
This is a four-week comedy course for novices (who’ve never done comedy), amateurs (who are new to comedy, but with some experience), and professionals (who want to improve their act). It’s a writing-focused workshop that covers all sides of the stand-up experience, from performing on stage to recording your business expenses.
Robert MacRobert Mac has been performing stand-up for 25 years. He was the Grand Prize winner of Comedy Central’s national stand-up competition (Laugh Riots) and was once listed in the Business Insiders “Top 100 Comedians in America” list. He has performed at the Improv in Hollywood (and many other locations), the San Francisco Punchline, Helium in Philadelphia, and dozens of other respected clubs. He has been invited to Just for Laughs in Montreal and was the first performer at the inaugural Great American Comedy Festival. He was a top-3 finalist in the Boston Comedy Festival and the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. His writing has been praised by Lewis Black, Maria Bamford, and Emo Phillips, to name a few, and he’s worked on projects with Patton Oswald, among others.
The first class is free and is an outline of what the course will cover, followed by a Q & A, and is about 60 minutes long. Each following session is 120 minutes of lessons, going over assignments, discussions, and performances with feedback. The last session is a public performance for novices, amateurs, and whichever professionals would like to perform.
Sessions will include discussions of all aspects of comedy—Art, Business, and Craft—and feature numerous Rules (formulas of comedy), Tools (equipment and techniques), and Jewels (pro tips).
Assignments vary: novices will be required to find material from comedians they like that fits the lesson (for example, “the rule of three,” or using exaggeration) and pros will be required to write original material using the lessons. Amateurs will begin the course with the novices but will end the series doing the same lessons as the professional comedians.
The Art of Comedy will focus on verbalizing one’s ideas—the things that inspire them to get on stage and express themselves. The Craft of Comedy is about shaping that message into something that works as funny material, with an emphasis on writing, performing, and editing. The Business of Comedy looks at how to turn this hobby into a career, and ways to run it as a commercial enterprise.
starting Sunday, March 17 and ending Sunday, April 7.
Noon to two pm.