Comedy Course Day 1: ‘All Creativity Comes out of Play’

Today is the first day of my new life, hopefully…

Its 12pm and I’m waiting for a comedy course to start. It’s held at The Invisible Dot, Camden Stable Market. I’m excited/nervous and thirsty. Funny how those things all go together so often.

Invisible Dot - Stalls Camden (this place really is invisable)

Invisible Dot — Stalls Camden (this place really is invisible)

So I enter the room and it’s cold, seriously cold. I’m not talking about the people, I’m talking temperature. It was ridiculous! My body was in mild panic mode on the inside, which created buckets of sweat, yet the exterior was on hypothermia mode, creating continuous shivering.

I felt vulnerable anyway, let alone having to deal with these external factors pushing me to my limit. How the funk was I going to be funny in these conditions ? Luckily, once the day began I managed to forget about all the external distractions and slowly engage myself with the course.

I have never been to a creative course; in the architectural world I’d once belonged to I would often find myself in a course surrounded by highly intellectual people pretending to be even more intelligent than they were, whilst engaging in ridiculously middle class references that I never understood.

Here people were intimidating in a total new way, a funny way. Shit, what if I was the least funny person in the group, could they smell fear? Would they turf me out for being average in the funny world?

I came to realise that we were all feeling the same. All eager, all nervous and all hoping to be accepted into the ‘Funny Gang’.

We were greeted by Hils Jago, who is involved with Amused Moose Comedy and she gave us the quick do’s and dont’s in the comedy world, like ‘Being rude will be an uphill struggle for a young comic, or any comic’, and ‘Resist the urge to bother someone who is about to go on stage’, oh and ‘It’ll take 7 years to become famous!’

Crumbs that would make me 40 yrs old! Oh well, I suppose that’s young if you’re 41…

The course was run by Logan Murray, a energy pumped chap, who wrote ‘Be A Great Stand‐Up’, the book that led me to this course. The book is a perfect insight into the random world of the comic and how to exercise those funny muscles whilst re‐learning how to play. I highly recommend any aspiring comic to read this book at least once. I’m actually onto my third read.

Logan’s aim during the course, apart from turning us all into Comedy geniuses, was to kill our inner critics(!) and allow us the creative space to let go and re‐unite with our 5 year old selves once again!.. He was doing a fairly good job as I found myself jumping and acting like a complete prat allowing completely random idiot comedy characters to come out and play.

There were only 2 rules to the Comedy Club:

  1. You do not talk about Comedy Club
  2. You do not talk about Comedy Club… just kidding

There were only 2 rules to the Comedy course:

  1. You must say ‘Yes’ to everything
  2. You do not have to be funny

The other things we were told to keep in mind were:

  • The role of a comic = question the ‘Emperors New Clothes’
  • Fear and excitement are the same i.e Adrenaline
  • Be specific; people love detail

The day was long and very draining, though in a great way, and there was a strong sense of achievement among the group when it was all over. Naturally, after a hard day’s work we enjoyed a few beers at the nearest bar, which happened to be a Cuban place with seriously loud live music! I only advise going there if you plan to be silent throughout the evening as conversation is almost impossible!

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.

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