Description of Class
Whether it’s the chiding, gentle work of the humorist, or the sharp-fanged, mutinous work of the satirist, comedic writing has an ability to reach off the page to jostle the reader’s brain; whether a warm, affectionate story told in a soothing voice, or an incisive and fiery rant, comedic performance can seize and hold the attention of a crowd. Whether performed or written, loosely riffed or tightly scripted, comedic writing of any kind draws from a set of principles and approaches to lend it drive and structure.
Whatever comedic sensibility you’re seeking or what form you’re drawn to, there are considerations that assist in shaping and sharpening your stuff. Ian’s humorous writing has been published online and in print, and he has years of performing experience as a standup and storyteller, so he’s spent a long time making and thinking about comedic content – if it’s a kind of writing you’d like to try, or if you’d like to punch up the stuff you’re already doing, this class can help.
Over four weeks, you’ll identify some skills and sensibilities you’ll need to inject your writing with greater comedic payoff – techniques that will sharpen your laugh lines and help them land, and begin shaping a comedic persona in reading/reciting your work.
Sound scary? Good. That means you really want to do it.
Week One: you’ll introduce some concepts you’ll need, and collaborate on some rapid-fire exercises that will help us loosen up, crank out ideas, dial down the Inner Critic, (who’s an a-hole thief of joy,) and start using an iterative approach to generating and refining comedic material.
Short assignments – one for page, one to be read/spoken.
Week Two: you’ll review/respond to assignments – offering detailed feedback with specific recommendations for strengthening submissions. Instructor will offer students both general and individualized tactics for containing jitters (as universal as they are inevitable) and starting to inhabit your authentic self in performance.
Short assignment – EITHER for page, OR to be read/spoken. Reading assignments – series of short humor pieces from a variety of sources, in a variety of tones/styles.
Week Three: you’ll discuss reading assignments, with a focus on the structural, linguistic, and tonal elements – the “where the funny lives” pieces. You’ll give feedback/responses to the submissions/readings.
Final assignment – EITHER for page, OR to be read/spoken – a piece demonstrating a more tightly focused voice that acknowledges and incorporates previous feedback.
Week Four: you’ll present and discuss final assignments, and discuss outlets and opportunity for comedic writing and performance for students to pursue and explore after class.Top