COURSES

 

THE WISDOM OF FAIRY TALES - 8 session course.

THE WISDOM OF THE TAO - 8 session course.

STAND-UP COMEDY - 8 session course.

SPOKEN WORD PERFORMANCE - 8 session course.

THE SPOKEN WORD JOURNEY - 10 session course.

 Details of these courses are listed below. 

INTERESTED IN BOOKING? Contact chrisbrookscomedy@gmail.com for information about costs,  dates, venues and other course details..

 

THE WISDOM OF FAIRYTALES

Although few of us have regular cause to kiss a frog, fend off a ravenous wolf or rescue our offspring from the ovens of cannibalistic witches, life can often seem frustrating, difficult and laden with dangers. This course is designed to journey through a landscape shaped by fairy tales and folk lore whilst exploring how the timeless wisdom of these stories can enhance the art of being, living and flourishing in the modern world. 

Themes explored through the many messages and motifs contained within fairy tales include handling change and transitions, connecting with the magical, family dynamics and conquering fears.

Chris Brooks is a storyteller, poet and comedic performer who has a passion for both the oral and literary fairy tale traditions. He has devised this course with the intention of sharing his love of these timeless narratives in ways which are still relevant and useful.

 

THE WISDOM OF THE TAO TE CHING

It should be no mystery as to why the Tao Te Ching, authored by the enigmatic Lao Tzu in the 6th century BC, has stood the test of time. It is uniquely timeless. And as we reap the consequences of our self-imposed separation from nature and struggle with unprecedented rates of change and transition, its wisdom as a text seems more relevant than ever. The Tao Te Ching offers a possible means of personally transcending the shared delusions and follies of these times whilst helping us to live in tune with ourselves, each other and the planet in ways that can contribute to a more wholesome future.

 

8 Part Stand-up Comedy Course

The course will help to develop and blend together the unique material, style and persona of each participant as they produce a short and tight set of stand-up comedy.

The eight sessions will explore a range of essential comedic performance skills and techniques and build confidence and self-awareness within the performance space.

 

Session One - Finding the funny-bone. This introductory session examines the comic potential that lurks within each and every one of us as the rudiments of comic performing are explored.

Session Two - Developing person (1). An examination of who we take onto the stage as performers of comedy? Is it ourselves? A version of ourselves? A subversion of ourselves? This session explores techniques for finding and developing a workable comic persona. 

 

Session Three - Creating gags and laughter lines. This session explores the art of creating, crafting and performing jokes and will demonstrate that we all able to devise very funny gags. 

 

Session Four - Working the room. This session explores, stage-etiquette, techniques for facilitating positive audience interactions and how to deal with unsolicited and even hostile audience participation. 

 

Session Five - Developing persona (2). The focus of this session is to further develop the emerging personas generated through the previous sessions.

Session Six - Authenticity. This session examines the relationship between performer and the truth and how performance is enhanced by keeping it authentic even when spinning falsehoods. 

 

Session Seven - Crafting material. The ongoing fine-tuning of material and delivery are explored in this session with an emphasis on how the tiniest of tweaks, the shortest of pauses or the substitution of one small word for another can make or break a routine.

 

Session Eight - Putting it all together. The final session is spent performing and reviewing the sets evolved during the course so that they are ready to be delivered to a live audience..

8 Part Spoken Word Course 

The course facilitates the development of spoken word artists and poets within performance settings. It explores a variety of performance styles and examines a range of skills and techniques to ensure that performers connect, engage and entertain.

Although each session has its own theme, the evolving of sets, personas and performance styles will be ongoing throughout the course.

Session One – From page to stage, the rudiments. This session examines how writing for performance differs from writing for the page. Some basic techniques for making what we have to say assessable, understandable and entertaining for live audiences are explored.

Session Two – Creative sparks and influences. The focus of this session is to explore those inspirational moments in which ideas and concepts for new pieces of spoken word performance are conceived and built upon.

Session Three – Performance styles. A variety of performance styles are examined and played with enabling participants to gauge what works for them.

Session Four – Developing a persona. An examination of who we take onto the stage as spoken word performers? Is it ourselves? A version of ourselves? A subversion of ourselves? This session explores techniques for finding and developing a workable performance persona.

Session Five – Connecting with the audience. Breaking through the fourth wall and audience interaction are explored as a means of creating performances that are authentic and in the moment.

Session Six – The set as a journey. The importance of set structure is worked on with emphasis on narrative journeys and the varying of mood and tempo within the set.

Session Seven – Stage techniques and etiquette. An exploration of how to work and feel comfortable within the performance space.

Session Eight – Pulling it all together. The final session is spent performing and reviewing the sets evolved during the course so that they are ready to be delivered to a live audience.

THE SPOKEN WORD JOURNEY - COURSE OUTLINE

Week 1 - The Rudiments of Storytelling

An exploration of the oral storytelling tradition and how myths, folklore and fairy tales maintain a potency in the modern world.

Course participants experience and experiment with some of the principal techniques of oral storytelling.

Week 2 - The Stories of Our Lives

An examination of the stories that have shaped our lives.

Whilst taking a healthy a pinch of poetic licence and permitting a modicum of embellishment, course participants identify and play with a story that they are inspired to tell about themselves.

Week 3 - Telling My Story

Oral storytelling techniques are be revisited as  the individual stories identified as part of Session 3 are brought to life.

Participants are encouraged to share their stories through performance.

Week 4 - My Story as Comedy - Part 1

An exploration of stand-up comedy and the techniques that can be used to transform the everyday into comedy.

Participants begin to craft a comedy routine from aspects of their story.

Week 5 - My Story as Comedy - Part 2

The role of persona within comedic performance is the focus of this session.

Participants start to create a comic persona that is rooted within aspects of their 'real' selves.

Week 6 - Me and My Shadow

An alternative comedic persona is created from some of the more obscure aspects of the personality.

Participants attempt to take this alternative persona back to the storytelling situation.

Week 7 - The Poetry of My Story - Part 1

An exploration of the techniques involved in creating and delivering performance poetry.

Participants bring into being pieces of performance poetry from aspects of their stories.

Week 8 - The Poetry of My Story - Part 2

The personal poems are further developed and poetic performance techniques re-examined.

All participants are supportively encouraged to perform their poems

Week 9 -  Performing My Story - Part 1  Preparation

Week 10 -  Performing My Story - Part 2   Performance

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