Category Archives: Comedy

Comedy shows, gigs, writing and performing.

Improvising in Ireland at Improv Utopia

I had an amazing time this weekend  at Improv Utopia in Ireland.  Joining over 100 improvisers from all over the world for games, workshops and loads of fun.

An opportunity to meet an improvise with folk from the USA, Ireland and  other countries all in one place. I’ve been to plenty of improv conventions in America over the last ten with my comedysportz troupe,  and honestly didn’t know what to expect from this – but it was every bit as cool as I’d hoped.

 

We took over Newgrange Lodge just North of  Dublin with some expert teachers including Nick Armstrong, Katy Schutte, and Neil Curran as well as the lovely Craig and Carla Cackowski From L.A.

Watching improv people together in large groups is quite a thing to behold, and probably quite curious to the outside world.  We played ‘diamond dance’ outside in the blistering sunshine. It’s a game about dance moves, but also leadership…but really – dance moves!  I could see the staff of Newgrange Lodge watching us, clearly a little bewildered and  amused by what they were watching.

Each workshop covered a different discipline.  From group work to using emotion, character and selling yourself.  The weekend reaffirmed  my love for improv and how it’s a great tool for connecting and building relationships.  Improv Utopia has been running for many years in the US, but this is the first time they have organised a residential outside of the US – and it proved to be a great success.  Big thanks to all the guys who put it together, it felt like being in America without actually being in America.

Sell it! – workshop with Craig Cackowski

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About John Cooper

He’s performed in hundreds of theatres around the UK and internationally as part of the CSz Manchester improv troupe. He has delivered workshops on how to use humour  and improv in business, taking part in the BBC2 series ‘The Speaker’ and the BBC New Comedy Awards. John is author of Present Yourself! – An illustrated guide to speaking in public and building confidence.

 

Building Confidence Through Comedy with the Growth Hub

I recently took a Present Yourself! workshop with The Growth Company in Manchester, helping a group of their members build confidence through comedy.

Late last year I took part in their ‘Spark 2 Scale’ programme –  to help grow my own business, and it’s been a real boost for my networking and marketing. So it only made sense then for me to then approach them at the end  and offer the service they’d helped me develop in return.

The idea for ‘Present Yourself!’ was born out of the stand up comedy class I had been  teaching, and has slowly ‘iterated’ from there over the last 2 years. Slowly adding in ‘bits’ from other disciples such as personal development,  solo improvisation and side coaching, and clarifying what it is – and what it isn’t.  It’s great finally see growth myself, the help running the event the feedback on the day was incredibly rewarding.

Stand up comedy workshop for presenting and storytelling
Stand up comedy workshop for presenting and storytelling in business

Feedback from the event:

“I came away with more confidence, and an understanding that I can talk about topics that I’m passionate about in a way to engage the audience without losing them … probably one of the most rewarding growth hub events and totally valuable use of my time.”

“Brilliant – straight away comfortably out of my comfort zone!”

“Really enjoyable. Got a lot from it. Hope to implement in my workplace.”

“It will push tour boundaries, but well worth it.”

“Amazing use of 3 hours to develop confidence & presentation skills.”

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