This Workshop is designed for beginners, who want to try stand up, but aren’t sure how to start. It can also be helpful for those who want to improve their public speaking skills. People who want to do the course as a fun way of improving their English are welcome.
The £65 price for the day includes pub meal and a drink, soft or hard. Students will also be assured an open mic spot with We Are Funny Project so that what has been learned can be applied.
The Joy of Stand Up, or, Welcome to the Wild West!
Ways to relax and be confident in front of a crowd.
How to engage your audience.
Using your voice to make your performance pleasant to hear.
Mic and mic stand technique.
Finding the light, and owning the stage.
Being your own manager, to create and exploit opportunity.
How to find your stand-up persona. According to the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, the persona is “a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual". Whatever material one performs, the persona is the lens through which the audience sees it. A persona that works well on stage can make poor material seem hilarious, but a persona that doesn’t work, can make brilliant material unfunny. All of the stand-up personae are explained, so you can explore which persona suits you.
The workshop aims to help you develop your ability to create comedy material.
To this end, you learn about different types of joke.
Not Just Thinking – But Doing.
The workshop is practical. During the second half you are asked to produce a minute of material and perform it to the group. You are then given immediate and personal feedback.
Stand-Up comedy is one of the few professions where you don’t need qualifications. You’re not required to wear a uniform, or dress to meet someone’s approval. Nobody decides whether or not you can have facial hair, tattoos, piercings, or pink hair. No government department dictates that you meet their professional standards. You can say what you want, how you want, without assessing health and safety. You don’t have to provide energy ratings, lists of ingredients, or DBS checks. If you’re funny enough, you can pretty much live outside the system that so many people dream of escaping.
People have made their living by making strangers laugh since Biblical times. Microphones came along a hundred and fifty years ago, but the fundamentals of comedy are much as they were at the time of the Pharaohs. Come and discover the ancient secrets!
“Dave Thompson's comedy course kick started my career. I don't think I would be doing comedy today if I had not attended that course.” Mike Gunn.
"Dave Thompson is a fantastic teacher. He has a true comedy mind and I can only imagine in the time since I did his course, he will have got better and better." Susan Murray.
''Dave is someone who truly cares about his students and will give them the best opportunities he can to help them go as far in their career as possible. I have benefitted immensely from attending his lessons.'' Samee Raz
"In Dave Thompson's course I got trained in the nuts and bolts of structuring a 10-minute spot, I learned about -- get this! -- comic THEORY (ha!) and I discovered my own particular comic strengths. Dave left me with tools that I am now working with. In addition, he is just a helluva person. Take the class!" Terianne Falcone
“Dave Thompson using twenty years of experience as a pro comedian. Taught us like a judo comedian black belt. We learnt that, to make them laugh- you have to catch people on their back foot, take them by surprise- and it works." Jo Wonder
"In his comedy classes, Dave has an eye for individual strengths and potential, which I reckon comes from his great understanding of comedy, and his respect for how diverse it can be. A good balance practical feedback and a bit of theory and structure, Dave helped me figure out what plain 'works'. Personally, I still don't think I look like Rolf Harris, but I wouldn't have gotten up for my first gig without his encouragement." Luke Stickels
"Having already performed Stand Up for a while I wanted the confidence to move out of my comfort zone and try new types of comedy, in particular character based. Dave's course gave me the confidence to push my boundaries and the detailed constructive feedback has opened the door for me to loads of new comedy opportunities. Whether an absolute novice or a seasoned professional, anyone who enjoys making people laugh will benefit from the course - I cant recommend it highly enough!”
"Dave Thompson is the man to go to learn and help you on your comedy career. His course, with great constructive feedback and unwavering encouragement, gave me the self belief that I can do this - and I will, so watch this space!"
Dave is best known as the person inside the Tinky Winky costume in ‘Teletubbies’, which is still shown all over the world. He’s appeared in four of Harry Hill’s live tours, including ‘Sausage Time’, the DVD of which was released in 2014. Dave’s novel ‘The Sex Life of a Comedian’ is available on amazon.
Dave has performed stand-up comedy in thirty-three countries outside the UK, and acted in four comedy feature films. He’s written for Harry Hill, Omid Djalili, Phil Nichol, Tony Law, Ronnie Corbett, Bruce Forsyth, Jim Tavare, Ben Elton, John Moloney, and Stewart Lee. He was a commissioned writer on ‘Harry Hill’s TV Burp’ and ‘The Sketch Show’ which starred Lee Mack and Tim Vine. He’s appeared in most series of ‘Harry Hill’s TV Burp’ in human or costume roles. He was in eight episodes of Al Murray’s sitcom ‘Time Gentlemen Please’.
Dave’s worked as a visiting lecturer on the comedy degree course at Solent University, and at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. He has taught comedy courses in London, Cardiff, Brighton, Atlantic College (Wales), Budapest, Nässjö and Örebro in Sweden.