Stand-Up Comedy Course, September 2023

In September I'm teaching the Comedysportz Stand-up comedy course in Thoughtworks, Manchester.

Book at this link

Have you ever thought of getting up on stage to make people laugh? It can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn't have to be. In this 8-week comedy course, we'll teach you all the skills you need to get up and be funny, share your thoughts and tell better stories. It's also a great way to meet new friends also taking a step into the world of stand-up comedy.

Over the course, we'll be looking at

  • Performance skills on stage.
  • Microphone technique.
  • Collecting ideas and writing material.
  • How to use comedy to advance your work career
  • Getting gigs.

Stand-up is a powerful tool for building confidence not just on stage but in everyday life. Here's why

  • Public Speaking Skills: Stand-up comedy is performing in front of an audience. Developing your public speaking abilities. As you gain experience you become more comfortable speaking in front of others.
  • Overcoming Fear: It can be intimidating standing alone on stage trying to make people laugh. By pushing through the discomfort - with loads of support - , you build resilience and develop a sense of accomplishment. This helps reduce anxiety in other areas of your life as well.
  • Creative Expression: Crafting jokes and comedy helps you express your unique perspective and creativity. Sharing your thoughts and ideas with an audience can help you validate your own voice and develop a sense of authenticity.
  • Positive Feedback. When you perform stand-up comedy you receive immediate positive feedback and validation. Laughter and applause are incredibly uplifting, boosting your self-esteem. Knowing that you can entertain and connect with others through humour helps build confidence in your abilities.
  • Learning from Failure: In stand-up comedy, not every joke will land, and you may face moments of silence. This course provides you with loads of support. We look at tiny failures as opportunities for growth and learning. By getting feedback on what worked and what didn't, you develop resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to take risks.

Overall, stand-up comedy is a great way to build growth and self-discovery. Over the 8 weeks we'll be refining your material, so you can develop confidence, resilience, and the ability to effectively communicate and engage with others.

Got any questions? Contact me here

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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