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Stage & the City: Comedy Acting for Beginners

Stage & the City: Comedy Acting for Beginners

25 Jan 17
AF News

Let’s never have another egg on our face!
Why I’m so excited about our new Comedy Acting for Beginners course.

For years I have maintained that I have always felt much better when I start the day off laughing. I used to start every morning by eating a bowl of rice krispies while watching an episode of my favourite sitcom Friends. (Please no criticism on my taste of TV or unhealthy breakfast choice!).

Now I no longer have to watch Friends in the morning as I have a goldendoodle dog called Yogi who brings nothing but amusement to my life!

I’m sure most people will agree with me that when they have the opportunity to belly laugh or simply smile at something funny they can actually feel the endorphins being released.

So obviously when the opportunity to schedule in a Comedy Acting for Beginners course as part of Stage & the City’s programme came along I was very excited. Excited not over how much laughter this course will conjure up but also all the other attributes that I know comedy can enhance.

I have numerous friends in the corporate world who dread the presentations they sometimes have to give. Or the odd occasion they have to speak publicly or even lead a team meeting pretending they are more confident and proficient then they actually feel.

I think they often think that because I am an actress and business woman that I must be this confident self-assured woman. They are right in one respect, I am indeed an actress and I have my own business. But confident and self-assured? If I am being totally honest I think it is my acting training that has helped me give that impression. That is not to say I am being untruthful. In fact I like to think that having integrity is my middle name. But I believe that the skills that I learnt in acting training have certainly helped me present myself in a more confident manner than I may actually feel inside.

So as I prepare to launch Stage & the City’s Comedy Acting for Beginners course I wanted to write up a few points as to how it can support us no matter what our day time jobs may be.

For starters the skills learnt will:

• Help you shake feelings of self-consciousness and just have some fun. A good acting class should feel incredibly safe and be free of judgement or fear of failure, making it an ideal environment for anybody suffering from low self-esteem or social anxiety. And let’s face it. I think that covers most of us!
How often do we hold back from reaching our full potential because we are afraid of what others may think? Acting classes should help us to relax through gradual exposure. “Social anxiety is all about inhibition and self-censorship and that’s exactly what Improv helps flip around.” – David Carbonell, a psychologist and anxiety specialist.

• For those of you in leadership positions or who have aspirations to lead in the future, comedy acting can give wonderful strategies and a wonderful tool box. Acting is like a team sport. To be successful you need to connect with people around you, focus and be specific with your requirements, (something I personally struggle with as “waffle” is also my middle name!).

Whether trying to close a business deal or talking to your significant other, strong connections can be created by being specific.

• Again for building good team leadership we need to learn to fully listen and react appropriately. Be honest. How often in conversation do we start thinking about our responses instead of really listening to what our conversation partners are communicating? Meaning we miss really important stuff! Listening requires focus and is crucial to team creativity. Good listening skills are developed through Improvisation. We have to really “listen” to our fellow performers so that we pick up on any subtleties that may be picked up by the audience members. If we go off on a tangent they will know that we haven’t fully listened. You learn to be in the present moment, listen carefully and contribute freely. All skills that are particularly useful in workplaces that rely on adaptability.

• And of course, acting skills will help you become quicker on your feet in meetings. You will learn to Action - learn not to overthink – learn not to get stuck in your head – after all you have to keep the scene alive!

The ability to act immediately is a skill that you can hone helping you take action in your life.

For more information and to reserve your place visit our Comedy Acting for Beginners Page with Stage & the City.

Anna Fiorentini