• Stuff & Nonsense!

    I have a degree in performing arts.

    Stuff & Nonsense has offered me a lifeline in giving me an opportunity to get involved in a productive group. It enabled me to work with group of people to assist with my self-esteem confidence. Helped me to write some new sketches and monologues as well as perform them in a safe, encouraging environment.

    Since participating in Stuff & Nonsense, my confidence and self-belief has grown and am actively seeking work in my chosen field.

    Additionally, I have had an audition with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

    I am now volunteering at the Arc in Stockton.

    I have received furthering career advice from the facilitator.

    I have mental health issues as well as cerebral palsy and being dyslexic. The workshops have given me structure to my week, and a safe, welcoming place to go and explore my creativity. They have pushed me outside of my safety zones. They are inspiring, positive and challenging.

    I hope Stuff & Nonsense can be funded to continue this important work. I will miss it and look forward to more in the future!

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  • Hello World!!

    Monday 16 February

    First to arrive at workshop, feeling extremely nervous and having hardly slept, I started to question the wisdom of embarking on a comedy workshop. I’m not even funny. Others start to arrive. Some big personalities amongst them.

    I’m going to stick out like a sore thumb as I’m the only quiet, shy, mouse-like person here. Feel overwhelmed and irrelevant.

    We introduce ourselves and play some ice-breaker games – the rude word game – which I now refer to as the' Boob Game' as that was the only word I could think of. Pass the clap which I will never get the hang of but raises some laughs. Feel better already, more relaxed.

    Sharon talks about and demonstrates different types of comedies – slapstick, puns, satire, parody and tragedy. We do some role plays concentrating on tragedy. I’m rubbish, I can’t think of anything off the top of my head let alone anything funny. Where has my brain gone?

    I leave feeling less apprehensive and less irrelevant and very interested and enlightened.

    Monday 23 February

    Less people here today. Some are unwell maybe or dropped out? Don’t know why anyone would drop out due to anything other than health reasons as this is a fantastic opportunity and I intend to grasp it with both hands.

    Play the ice-breakers again. I manage "purple-headed yoghurt slinger" and am a bit more on the ball with the claps. We discuss puns and do some exercises around this. I understand puns a lot more now. We do a word map and word association. A way of making a story out of nothing – building ideas. Great tool.

    I feel a lot more relaxed today, maybe because there’s less people or maybe because only the committed (no pun intended) people are here. Maybe because I understand a bit more and have spent more time with this great bunch of lasses. At the end of the day though, I am here for me, I have a feeling this will be good for me.

    Leave feeling motivated and determined.

    Monday 2 March

    Reporter from “Made in Tyne and Wear” coming in today to interview us about the project and worskshops. Even just chatting to the journalist is funny – I managed to get “boobs” into the conversation but I think it’ll be cut out.

    After she leaves we toss around some ideas for stand up. I’ve been writing down things through the week – snippets of funny experiences – Sharon and Danni help massively in sorting the wheat from the chaff (I’m a very wordy person haha but learning how not to be) and getting them into some semblance of order. Such a great day, hilarious and lots achieved in the process.

    Leave feeling more confident and uber excited.

    Tuesday 10 March at The Cluny 2

    D-Day. Arrive for an afternoon of rehearsal and familiarisation of the equipment and running order etc. Some people have chickened out. Changes to be made – different roles to play, lots to go through, certainly takes my mind off my main event – my stand-up routine. I try and practice my routine, am rubbish despite lots of encouragement from Sharon. I need to break out of my shell. She reassures me, says I can say what I want and have my notes with me on stage.

    The time for the showcase comes around so quickly. Lots to watch from the sidelines, very funny, some things go a bit awry but hey, everyone is enjoying themselves and that’s the main thing. Just watching the others on stage makes me feel more relaxed and confident. The sketches go well – quite a lot of laughs – good to be on stage with others – we’re in this together! Now my turn to go on by myself. I suddenly find myself on autopilot, as if I’m having an out of body experience.

    I know I must do this, I know it doesn’t matter if I f*** up….I know I will f*** up but I don’t care. It’s my first time and I’m going to give it my all. I’m clearly nervous – visually so. But I don’t care, I’m doing this and I know I have the team rooting for me. People are actually laughing, it spurs me on – I can feel the energy and I’m harnessing it. It’s a great feeling. I fluff a few jokes, have to improvise until I get back on track – my brain is working for once!

    5 minutes of stand up flies by. Lots of laughs and applause. I wanna do it again!!

    Leave feeling exhilarated, appreciated, well supported and proud.

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Laughing Lasses

Comedy for the Masses

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