I'm teaching a semi-private comedic storytelling workshop starting Thursday, April 4, 2019. By 'semi-private,' I mean: it's meeting in my apartment but we don’t have to have met before you sign up. See below for details, to sign up:
STORYTELLING FOR COMICS // COMEDY FOR STORYTELLERS
Starting Thursday, April 4th, 2019, I’m teaching a six-week workshop for both new and experienced comics and storytellers, to teach the structure and technique of comedic storytelling.
If you're already sold: Write me at the contact form on my website, and put ‘storytelling workshop’ in the subject line. Let me know a little bit about your performance background, too. I’ll give you PayPal instructions from there.
Here's why you might be interested:
When a comic tells a bunch of jokes, you remember those jokes. But when a comic tells a hilarious story - you remember the COMIC.
When a storyteller tells a story without jokes, they run the risk of losing the audience. But a touching, sad story with laughs along the way is one that gets repeated.
AND: The best comics are spectacular storytellers. The best storytellers know how to entertain an audience.
Stand-ups and storytellers have a lot to teach each other. My goal is to spread some knowledge from each side of the fence to the other.
WHO TEACHES: Jeff Simmermon. I’ve won a Moth Grand Slam, appeared on This American Life and The Moth’s podcast. You can see my live stories here. My writing has appeared in The Paris Review’s blog. And if you’re reading this, there’s a decent chance you’ve already seen me perform. My album "And I Am Not Lying" came out on June 23rd, 2017 and debuted at #1 on the iTunes comedy charts.
WHAT IS IT: A six-week comedic storytelling workshop, with a class show to follow.
WHEN: Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 PM starting April 4th, 2019. Class meets on Thursdays - 4/4, 4/11, [skipping 4/19, I’m traveling], 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, class show during the week of May 20th, location and date pending.
WHERE: In my apartment. I live in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, off the Q at Parkside or the B/Q at Church Ave. I’ll give you my address when you sign up.
WHY: Because you’re a comic who knows how to tell jokes but wants to learn story structure. Or you’re a storyteller who loves Mike Birbiglia, Spalding Gray, and realizes that funny stories are the ones that you want to tell. Or you're a person that's new at this and wants a bit of discipline and a firm shove in the right direction.
HOW MUCH: $300, payable in cash or Paypal/VenMo. Click HERE to pay.
HOW DO I SIGN UP:
1) Click HERE to pay. I cannot consider you signed up for the class until I have received payment in full. I've tried the installment plan and it gets really weird, so I've got to stand by this.
2) Write me at the contact form on my website, and put ‘storytelling workshop’ in the subject line. Let me know a little bit about your performance background, too, just for my own curiosity. I’ll give you PayPal/VenMo instructions from there if you need them.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
Everyone in class is expected to get onstage somewhere - booked show, open mic, etc. - and work on the material that we are developing in class once per week. This is crucial to your development in the class, and we talk about your performing experiences every week. If you're not ready to do this, the class is not right for you.
The first two to three class sessions are much more lecture-intensive than the latter half of the class. This is largely where we’ll discuss method, structure, arc, and develop the foundations of concept and community within the class that we build on over the next six weeks. Life and emergencies happen, but it’s crucial not to miss the first few sessions if at all possible.
Missing more than two class sessions may result in your being asked to drop the workshop altogether.
Class fees are nonrefundable.
TRANSPARENT BRAGGING AND TESTIMONIALS:
In his words:
At the time, I’d been performing stand-up for a few years, and was starting to get into storytelling. I felt comfortable with the stage aspect but I wanted more help with the structure. I wanted to know how to consistently put together the funny moments in my life into story format. Jeff taught me the value in, and the process of, finding what’s driving a story forward, and how to use that information to help you create a well-crafted tale. But more so, he gave me the tools to be able to do that with any of the funny things that happen in my life. Want to win a Moth, tighten a closing bit for your set, or just be more entertaining at your dinner parties? You need to see Jeff.
Tracey Segarra is one of my recent students - she just started storytelling about a year ago, and recently won a Moth Story Slam with the story she developed in class. She also managed to get a perfect ’10’ from a judging group, which is incredibly rare.
Here’s her story:
This is her testimonial:
I was actually afraid to be funny when I started Jeff’s class. I was terrified I’d miss the mark, and bomb. And I still had terrible performance anxiety, trembling every time I got up in front of a mic. Jeff taught me how to find the absurdity and humor in my stories and amplify that, while cutting out anything that didn’t move the story along. He pushed me to get up in front of a mic every week to get more comfortable and to fail as many times as necessary to keep refining each piece, taking my cues from the audience. And he ultimately convinced me that an ending I thought was way too outrageous was EXACTLY what my story needed. “As long as you say it with conviction, it will KILL,” he promised. I won a Moth StorySLAM with that story, and I’m convinced that the ending was why one of the judging teams gave me a perfect 10. Jeff is an amazing teacher and coach who truly understands humor and how to help weave it into stories that resonate. I can’t recommend his class highly enough. 10/10 – would take it again!