comedy school r00ls

I have a theory. Everyone has an Art, even if they don’t know what it is yet. It’s that one thing you’d do whether you got paid for it or not, it’s your outlet, the thing that lets you create something purely for the sake of creation. It could be very traditional, like drawing or music, or completely off-the-wall like balloon animal sculptures. (Of course, if you can make it pay, then so much the better, no?)

One of the great things about DC is that between all the various educational institutions, non-profits, networking organizations, and just generally well-connected people, you can find a way to pursue your Art no matter what it is. My Art became clear to me a few months ago- stand-up comedy. Fortunately, DC happens to have a world-class comedy club right downtown, and they offer classes! (Longtime readers will remember that Trudi Jo Davis took a similar class about a year ago.)

I’ll let the Metrobloggers who were at the graduation show last night chime in to tell you about it themselves, but I will say that if comedy is something you’ve ever wanted to try, there’s no better place to get your feet wet than at the Improv. I took a four-week course with Matt Kazam that covered everything from writing the material to overcoming stage fright to dealing with hecklers, followed by an open-mic at SoHo off Dupont Circle, and then finally last night’s show at the Improv.

The manager/co-owner of the Improv, Allyson Jaffe, is particularly supportive of the comedy school students, providing a lot of opportunities for students to get out to the Improv to see comedy for free or cheap, hanging out to watch in-class rehearsals, and all that good stuff.

A couple of tips if you’re considering a class-
– Take one of the several-week classes instead of a one-day seminar. The one-day classes tend to be full of That Guy Who Thinks He’s Funny.
– Go to other open mics! Like any other art, comedy is about practice, practice, practice.
– Make friends with your classmates and go to those other open mics together.

3 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 11th, 2007 @ 9:54 am

    Personally, while Ludlow Gaines and his creepy masturbation jokes made me feel all icky inside, everyone else was absolutely hilarious. There were a couple of times I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, as Doug can attest. Good times. Shame Wayan had to miss it for…wait, he missed it for an ANC meeting? What the fuck?


  2. dawn (unregistered) on April 12th, 2007 @ 9:07 am

    *standing ovation* Perhaps I’m biased, but damn it, you were the funniest one in the room. But I’ll admit, all 13 of your “opening acts” had me in stitches, too. I highly recommend that even those of us who may never enroll in a class come out to see the budding talents we have in our city — the cost of admission is cheap, but the evening overall is priceless. Go, Tiff! I’m so proud!


  3. Tiff (unregistered) on April 12th, 2007 @ 9:23 am

    I would not presume to say that I was THE funniest- what one finds funny is a personal thing, and enough of us were funny enough that I think the “best” really comes down to a matter of one’s personal comedic preferences.

    But that said, I would indeed venture to say that I held my own quite respectably in a class full of very funny people. It was weird in the green room- we were genuinely thrilled at the laughs our classmates were getting and proud of each other’s performances, but at the same time, that’s a lot of pressure: What if I’m not as funny as they are? You almost wanted them to be less funny so you’d feel less intimidated.



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