Standup Comedy Writing 101

Have you ever dreamed of doing standup comedy, but thought, “I could never…” Have your friends told you, “You’re so funny. You should get up on stage.” Have you dreamed of one day having your own hour on HBO? Well, me too! Or maybe you’ve never been very funny and you’ve been told to take a class…

Thing is, just like everyone has at least one book or one album in them–the story of their life– everyone has one standup comedy set in them. Even you. If you’ve never been on stage before, this is a safe place for it. If you’re a veteran, this is a place you can take your work to the next level.

You will create a 2-3 minute standup set. Dude. 

Standup Comedy 101 is a journey into the heart of YOUR sense of humor. You’ll explore and create and your work with culminate in a low-key final performance. Together, in an intimate group compadres, you’ll be finding and honing your set, discovering your voice, your attitudes, and your opinions, and bringing your Self to the stage.

This standup comedy bootcamp will include working with some of the following:

  • turning your life into material
  • joke structure and clarity of premise
  • act-outs
  • tags
  • set structure
  • timing
  • physicality
  • authenticity
  • subversiveness [“Jon Stewart-ing”]
  • absurdism
  • discovering your voice
  • writing prompts
  • time on stage to create
  • supportive discussion about your set

Let’s do this.

Alicia’s Standup Comedy Story, in a Nutshell:

“I remember my fist time on stage doing standup. It was in 1996, and New York comedian Eugene Mirman’s open mic at Hampshire College in Amherst, Masscomedian_alicia_dattnerachusetts. I had a crush on him. But that wasn’t why I wanted to do comedy. I had wanted to do standup since I was 8, after watching Comic Relief 60 times on my VCR. And this was my big chance. I took several weeks, writing notes down, things I thought were funny. I showed my notebook to Eugene. He showed me his three-page personally-typed letter from Emo Philips on how to be a good comedian. Eugene told me to put the punchlines at the end of jokes [rather than in the middle or somewhere else along the way]. At some point, there was a party, and we made out and somebody threw up. Anyway.

On my big night, my entire body was flush with terror and thrill, heat and sweat. It was really happening. I got up, and I killed it. Actually, I didn’t really kill, but it seemed like it through my adrenaline-filter. And I was hooked for life. Eugene said I had good stage presence. He didn’t mention anything about my jokes. It took me 15 more years to get good at the joke part. But I am now, and I’d like to help you do it faster than I did. You may not turn out to be Chris Rock, but you can learn to be funnier than when you started. I’ve seen it again and again. Plus, what really matters is finding out what YOU think is funny and digging that.”

What Students are Saying

“Alicia’s feedback is insightful, practical, thoughtful and supportive. I especially appreciated her insights and support for my piece.”

“Alicia is a brilliant facilitator, and Tuesday is my new favorite day of the week. After three sessions, I’m already getting exactly what I hoped for from workshop. I’m grateful for her for her skill, her care, her gentleness, her power and her wisdom.” 

“I’m blown away by Alicia’s ability to work with everyone’s material each week. She sees the potential and very eloquently and gracefully guides us. I am so impressed! I just love her approach. She makes this very confronting, scary work safe and less scary. She’s created a beautiful container for the essence of who we are to emerge.”

Details, Details  

The next Standup Comedy Writing 101 Workshop is 5 weeks and begins Monday February 1st, 2016.
Class is expected to fill quickly and sell out.