Random Thoughts

Time to Refill the Empty Comedy Cup

I once learnt that you can only fill a cup once it’s been emptied.

In theory we learn something and then we use those skills. Once we have push those skills to their limit. We return to learning and gain more skills.

Sadly most of us fall into 2 categories either side of this.

The Book Worm: This person learns knowledge and is ready to use it, though decides to learn more to be even more equipped. Sadly this process never ends and the actually ‘Using of the knowledge’ never really happens.

The Road Runner: This person spends little time learning and gets onto the job as soon as possible, with no really depth to their knowledge, resulting in not getting the most out of what they are doing.

I have been experimenting on stage now for almost a year and there are areas I want to improve or understand better. Such as impressions, getting into character or switching between two characters on stage. Other areas such as script writing as well as camera work and editing. These are areas I feel I want to explore as a way of becoming a better performer on stage.

Therefore it is time to ‘Refill the empty cup’ 

City Lit logoCity Lit is a great college slap bang in the middle of London. It is pumped with creative courses from Art to Creative Writing, Acting to Languages. It has it all. There’s over 5000 short course every year and when I opened the course booklet I was like a kid in a sweet shop!

Within an hour I had picked almost 100 short courses I really wanted to do. Christ, they even have a course for ‘Fighting for Film’, holy smokes imagine being taught how to fight like they do in the movies!

I needed help as 100 courses was possibly a few too many. Luckily City Lit has 1:1 advice meetings where you can pop in and chat to someone who can help you see the wood from the trees.

We decided that I should aim to work on one area, or one course from each area i.e. Acting, voice overs, writing or editing. Otherwise I will get completely overwhelmed.

  • Easy video editing skills for beginners
  • TV and radio comedy: Create and perform it part 2
  • Screenwriting: Stage 1
  • Working in voice overs

These four short courses would be the starting point of refilling the empty comedy cup. I am super excited and can’t wait to get the ball rolling.


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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