Comedy class: why do it?
Signing up to a comedy class might not seem the best New Year’s Resolution but it was mine. At the end of 2016 I started seeing a life coach to mainly to help me make the right decisions in my career but to also think about the wider choices I make in life. I am lucky to have found Gill Thackray, who runs Koru Development, who is the perfect coach to bring the best out of you. In our first session she set me a challenge that would take me out of my comfort zone. She said I had to undertake a stand up comedy class. I duly Googled comedy classes in London and found City Academy run a class with Kate Smurthwaite so I signed up and tried to get my funny on.
I have never walked into an evening class where everyone is so open and friendly. It was immediate hellos and chit chat that you don’t get when you under take a short course in marketing. There are 12 of us in our cohort: 9 boys and 3 girls. We start easy with saying who we are and why we have chosen to do the course. It’s a real window into the soul and fascinating to hear people’s reasons and life stories. It it a really fun group of people. Just as well as we have six weeks of classes together followed by a live show case performance. Even in week one questions are being asked about the show case. Where will it be? Do most people normally turn up? What if we freeze? It’s weeks away so best not worry about it.
Week one makes me realise comedy is all about writing stuff down. All the time. Kate gets us to write non-stop about us. Just a list of words that are about you. We then share them one or two with the group. Amazingly, some of the words are actually very amusing whilst telling us so much about each other. We then do a list of things that we hate. The first thing that comes to mind is the f**king photocopier at work which reminds me I must stop using the damn thing to stop making myself so angry about it.
Kate then asks us to write two minutes non-stop about one of the things on our hate list. We can’t let the pen stop moving, we just have to keep writing and writing. We then have to share our scribble with the group. Perhaps a little daunting for week one but no. Kate makes up holler and whoop when each person steps up to perform. She gives us a great comedy intro and acts as our hype girl. No matter how brilliant or good someones performance was we all whooped away and supported each other. The comradely was perfect even after a two hour class.
Week one complete. It was a joy of an experience. Can’t wait for week two.