Everyone can tell a joke. Within a joke is contained a microcosm of art, culture, and human experience and, when done right, a joke causes an involuntary shared human experience: laughter. My focus as a teaching artist is on comedy writing, joke telling, improvisation, physical comedy and how to apply the theater arts to communicate and connect.
I believe deeply that comedy is an art form that can create transformational experiences. My teaching experiences have shown me that sharing the tools of comedy with people can be powerful way to prompt new thinking and new ways for people of all ages to share their voice. Comedy bridges cultural and demographic differences and gives people shared experiences. For young people in particular play, improvisation and joke writing can help develop creativity, confidence and problem solving skills.
Book This Artist
My interactive workshops are student-driven and centered on building resilience, confidence, providing inspiration and revealing the power of the art form of comedy. The tools of comedy help young people learn more about themselves and the world. And knowing how to get a laugh means really knowing how to show empathy.
In the past decade, I’ve been lucky enough to teach writing, improvisation and comedy to diverse groups of people in a wide array of settings. From leading workshops for the Alzheimer’s Association with groups of folks dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s to building and leading activities on how to take a comedy fall for toddlers at the Walker Art Center while serving as their Education and Family programs department’s first ever Artist in Residence, I’ve learned that the tools of comedy can help all people learn more about themselves and the world. I’ve presented joke-telling workshops with non-English speaking refugee groups and English Language Learner groups in partnership with the East Side Freedom Library. I was named 2012 Artist of the Year by the alternative weekly magazine, City Pages. I am currently presenting comedy workshops and interactive experiences at community centers and events with my Knight Arts Challenge grant award winning project the Mobile Comedy Suitcase.
This interactive series of workshops will focus on using the art of joke telling and comedy making to enhance cultural comprehension, build language skills, and develop resilience and confidence. Over the course of this lesson, students will learn several different writing and performing techniques to observe and pull humor from their everyday lives. The residency can conclude with an in-class performance of the students’ work.
Artistic techniques covered will include joke writing, joke telling, physical comedy (how to take a funny fall), improvisation, make your own mad lib, puns, repetition, hyperbole, timing and repetition.
Introduction to Comedy
This workshop will introduce students to comedy writing and comedy performance through numerous dynamic examples and critical discussion. We’ll discuss what other kinds of writing and performance comedy draws from, engage in a writing activity and share ways that interested students can learn more and try it out for themselves.