Jim Richardson's Stand-Up Comedy Workshops course descriptions for:
Choreographing the Joke:
Stage Movement for
Lessons 26-29 of 35 Lessons
Dates and times to
be arranged, 8-12 hours
Can be taught over the Internet through webcams or live, in-person at your location
Includes 20-page Workbook.
This 8-12 hour training includes Package of Materials:
1) Hand-outs which outline basic concepts
2) Recommended movies classics which provide good examples of proper Stage Mechanics
Package is sent out
same day you order.
Between Speakers and Comics
take advantage of stage conventions to control audience emotions
- Both the serious
and funny parts of your speech need to
be tightly blocked, just like a top-flight comedy
- Once you
set your lines, you must also set all your movements
"found" performance environment to sell your character, ideas and jokes
- Neutral figure
vs. how posture differentiate between your minor characters and instantly
establishes your narrative/central character
and psychological reasons for choosing specific body positions and
- Planes of the
stage, dramatic vs. natural crosses and turns: how to move across the
stage without changing your character
you make creates a picture
furniture, standing, sitting, handling props, cuing yourself
- Exercises: breaking
down simple acting problems like eating, falling asleep, reading, etc.,
to consciously reveal your character and get extra laughs
- Horizontal vs.
vertical vs. diagonal movement, moving with and against the reading vector
Building to an
emotional effect so you get really big laughs
weak characters are first revealed through movement
- Number of movements
- Finding physical
as well as vocal levels
- The different effects inherent in straight vs.
curved lines, short vs. long crosses, short vs. long steps, broken vs.
- Using these effects to re-enforce or undercut each other in order to
get a guaranteed Big Laugh!
for getting your act together:
- Master vs. Servant,
Auto Mechanic vs. Customer, Bank Officer vs. Loan Applicant, Guard vs.
Prisoner, Doctor vs. Patient, Teacher vs. Student, Employer vs. Employee,
Story to illustrate Mood Value of Stage Areas
- Compared to
scenes from famous movies we will watch together so I can point out tips
- Then, you
will be able to logically determine how the character in the Example
Story should move to create the desired effect
Hints on how
to become a "Nevada Smith" kinda
speaker or comic
- How to get a
laugh before you say anything
Movements expressing style
- Use the Stage
Mechanics Check List to verify that you are consciously employing these
- Use your eyes
for effect: make the audience look where you want,
feel what you feel, etc.
- Clarity: how
to make sure everyone "gets it" by "telegraphing" when they are to laugh
- Why real props
work better than pantomime
- Why you cannot
succeed if you start work on your Stage Mechanics the night before your
first live performance: you will get mentally exhausted before you can "set" the
- Leave introductions
out: what you are doing should be clear even to a deaf person or to someone
who does not speak English
to memorize your movements vs. when/how to memorize your spoken
- Combining types
of gesture: angular, curved, abrupt, flowing
- General types
of movement: X movement vs. Y movement, when to do one or the other . .
. and when to do combinations of both
- Matching movement
style to background music, period mood pieces, etc.
- How to teach
or be taught a complex movement pattern very
gestures: getting the animal out so more people identify with your physical actions
- What everyone
in the audience knows about sex and violence and why they can judge you
by your performance: was it real or fake?
approach to blocking out your speech or comedy act
Notation System which make it clear when and why you are to perform
a given movement before, during or after your spoken line
- Shorthand for
writing down all Stage Mechanics principles you are using on your speech/comedy
script so you can refer to them during rehearsal and even years later when
you want to bring back an old routine
Why "Stage Mechanics" training can be either private or semi-private:
I will be guiding you through several drills which are followed-up by my directing you to successful completion of specific exercises. Eight hours of this work can be done one-on-one since only one character is on stage at a time.
However there are a few more exercises which require at least two characters
and the final exercises require at least four characters. Participants
benefit from watching fellow attendees attempt all the exercises. Therefore,
to calculate hours needed, I need to know the total number of participants
which can comfortably range from one to twenty attendees. The proportional
rate for each attendee can then be determined according to my appointment
Consulting fee: $200/hour
All fees are to be paid:
1) in United States Dollars
2) at least two weeks in advance of the training date(s).
More than one person attending = an additional $100/hour per additional person; i.e., two people would be $300/hour, three people $400/hour, four people $500/hour, etc.
Note: on the Registration form, I
have used the four persons semi-private, 12-hour training as an example of
how I calculate time needed and fees per person.