2022 review of the year


What a year it's been...

Manchester Open Exhibition.

In January, I had 2 pages from my comic strip displayed in an exhibition. Through gritted teeth I called myself an artist.

Artwork on display at HOME Mancheter

TedX talk, Warrington

Massive. This has been on my bucket list for years. Talking about the benefits of improv, I worked hard to learn it and get it right. The best takeaway from it wasn’t just the standing on the red dot, but how it’s helped me look forward. The version of me on stage that is confident not only in being funny but also in sharing knowledge and experience.

Art Battle Manchester.

Another opportunity to actually say ‘I’m an artist’. I’ll admit I wasn’t totally comfortable doing it, and wasn’t happy with the final piece, but it was a great experience, and something I’d like to have another go at.

Group photo with Salford University Comedy students, comparing the SalFunni show in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Festival, Comedysportz & Salfunny

Great to see the Edinburgh fringe back in full swing with covid restrictions eased. It looked the same and smelled the same, but it was different. Higher accommodation fees and new ticket systems changed the status quo for performers and producers. After the pandemic, refocusing my career path, I was able to enjoy performing, doing Comedysportz and compering the Salford University showcase. All without any ego fuelled self-analysis or giving too hoots about what other stand-up comics were doing. Joy.

More Live Drawing.

More of this in 2023, please. Drawing portraits for awards ceremonies at the Liverpool Hilton, Graphic recording for to big corporate clients in Manchester, and a dozen more events this year. If live drawing has replaced comedy and I’m invited to nice hotels around the world to create live art, I’ll be a very happy person. It’s niche and I’m good at it. More or this.

Pecha Kucha night Manchester

A talk with twenty slides, twenty seconds each slide. My talk was on my comedy career and how Distance came into being, but I also got to do a completely improvised talk too, where someone else had prepped slides that I didn’t get to see beforehand. Blimey that was fun.

New clients

I can’t wait to share more of the work I’ve completed in 2022. In July I started working with the NHS, writing and illustrating an animation to help autistic people. Also in November, I delivered my presentation skills and humour workshop to the sports company New Balance.

New home

The high point has to be January though, and my new flat. Moving to South Manchester near the city was no mean feat. Manchester is an incredible city and it’s growing at an exponential rate, with a skyline that has changed along with it. When I moved here eighteen years ago it was like a big Newcastle, now it’s a little London.

It resonates all the more as at the end of this year we lost my dad. He was an incredible person. Funny, kind and always cheering me on, and he got to see all this year's successes. I’ll miss him loads. A very reflective end to a very successful year.

John Cooper
Comedian & Improv coach
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