Fancy yourself as a stand-up?
Reckon you’re a ready wit but not sure how to harness it?
Did you like the fact that that just rhymed?
A one-day stagefright stand up course could be the key to unlocking your inner gagster.
You might well have had people telling you all your life that ‘you should be a comedian’ on account of your bonhomie and your razor sharp banter. Or you might be the more reticent type, who wryly takes the piddle out of the Office smart-mouth. Or you might watch the myriad panel shows and think “I can do better than those chumps”.
Either way, if you’ve harboured a wish to wax comical in front of a crowd either as a one-off, a quirky pastime or as a potential profession I can provide the foundations to help you fulfill that ambition.
The course will cover all aspects of Stand-Up comedy including -
- How to generate material
- How to teach your brain to ‘think funny’
- The discipline of writing exercises
- Finding your own Comedic voice (and avoid the ‘carbon copy’ trap)
- Kicking nerves in the shins
- The ten points of Stagecraft
- How to get gigs
- How to get noticed at those gigs
- Self-promotion and career development
As a promoter of comedy clubs for over 10 years I have a shedload of contacts, as well as potential slots at my own venues. Having dealt with literally hundreds of new acts in this time I have a keen awareness of the “DO’S” and “DEFINITE DON’T’S’ for the up and coming gagster. You meet some comedy club bookers just the once. Make sure it counts.
Even if you don’t have an urge to be Live At The Apollo you can apply the principles of the course to assist in other aspects of life including increasing self confidence, public speaking, and dealing with stress.
As the course develops the aforementioned universally useful skills it is a perfect fit for businesses in terms of improving
- Staff Relationships
- Presentation Skills
And probably lots of other words ending in ‘-tion’.
Plus it’ll be a great laugh. If you’re interested you can contact me below.
Actor’s Workshop Youth Theatre, Halifax
I recently delivered a day course for 9 aspiring stand-ups who were all members of the aforementioned theatre group. They then helmed my words of wisdom into a performance that night at the theatre to a hugely receptive audience.
‘Quite simply we are overwhelmed by the work you did that afternoon. Each individual that took to the stage that night created and achieved something remarkable. Each member who took to the stage looked comfortable and as though they had been doing it for years. The audience absolutely loved it and the members that took part all finished wanting to do it again. A great achievement by all accounts and left us all feeling extremely proud of their efforts. For that we can’t thank you enough’ – Shane Gough, Actor’s Workshop Youth Theatre, Halifax.
‘Anthony not only taught me a fun and very practical lesson in the art of comedy, from delivery to writing and stage presence. He also gave me the confidence to perform live in front of 70+ people’ – Chris Knapping
‘I thought the workshop was brilliant. It really gave me a lot of food for thought and I went away from the day feeling like I’d really developed my skills. Considering the group was a contrast of ages- with at least half under 18 and the 4 of us a little older- I thought the structure worked well. I am hoping 2015 is the year I build up my confidence to have a good go at stand-up, having developed some material and taking to the stage 3 times previously. So the ‘tricks of the trade’ and exercises were great. Overall, really enjoyed it!’ – Chris Peacock
I trained 8 prominent Sheffield business folk as part of ‘Funny Business’ in aid of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. Over 5 two hour sessions these (relatively) willing stand-up first-timers were taught the comedic tricks of the trade culminating in them performing live on stage at the City Hall on Thursday 29th November in front of 400-plus audience. The night was a massive success with phenomenal performances from all of the participants raising thousands of pounds for a very worthwhile cause.
The esteemed cast of performers were -
Richard Wright MBE (executive director, SCCI), Andy Hanselman (partner, Andy Hanselman Consulting), Darren Pearce (centre director, Meadowhall), Faith Douglas (business development manager, Natwest), Ian Horton (personal tax manager, Barber Harrison & Platt), Siobhan Newton (knowledge transfer champion for Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University), Sue Bullivant (event manager MLS contracts) and Yuri Matischen (managing director MLS contracts).
Testimonials from Funny Business participants -
“I would just like to thank Anthony for assisting me get through one of the most difficult challenges I have taken on – Stand Up Comedy. Initially, when I met the other contestants I had planned to back out as they all were experienced public speakers. Anthony immediately reassured me. He made it clear from the first moment that he would support me and offered additional support if required. Nothing was too much for him. Anthony managed a very ‘strong’ team of people who were all jockeying for position as the ‘funniest’. He used his skill and knowledge to both bring out the best in all the contenstants resulting in the more insecure of the team actually raising their game and winning the event.
He made you realise that Stand Up Comedy is not about standing up and telling jokes, he bought structure, suggestions, all in a calm way. He made sure that each of the performances were owned by yourself and it was your personality that came out.
Amazing man” – Faith Douglas
“Having a professional comedian to introduce some theories of comedy and help tweak key lines and give undinting support was incredibly useful. The whole process took everyone so far out of their comfort zone that we became a team really quickly. The whole process was fascinating and oddly therapeutic. Thank you Anthony!” – Siobhan Newton
“Facing one my most “challenging” experiences (doing Stand-Up Comedy for the first time), Anthony used his skill and knowledge of comedy to calmly secure our best performances and make the whole tense process really fun and enjoyable! He has a careful and deliberate manner that is unassuming but really effective and leaves you to reflect back and say…he was good at his job!” – Yuri Matischen
“Anthony’s supportive and constructive help, combined with his humour and wit is a winning combination that gets the best out of you, and gives you the confidence to ‘get out there’! He showed us we all have the power to be funny!” – Andy Hanselman
The Stagefright Stand-Up Courses take place on Sundays (I’m a busy boy. And I’m sure you are too. Or girl of course).
The initial location is Sheffield, but there is scope in the future to bring the Stagefright Course to other towns and cities. Maybe even a hamlet.
ATTENTION FUTURE STAND-UPS!!!!!!!!!!! LATEST WORKSHOP INFO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The next workshop is SUNDAY 10th JUNE from 11am to 5pm
The Red Lion
653 London Rd
Sheffield S2 4HT
It takes place in a separate function room. So you won’t be sat next to hungover Heeley folk.
There is a Car Park bang next to the pub.
They sell good, affordable hot food for lunch.
A one day course will cost £40.
This will include -
Tea and Coffee (some fruity teas as well – reet classy)
And some invaluable information. WELL worthy of the italic flourish.
FULSOME FEEDBACK FROM PREVIOUS COURSES -
“The Stagefright comedy course is an absolute bargain, it’s a real eye opener into the comedy world and is packed with so much information! It has given me so much confidence and helped me think of everyday scenarios and happenings as comedy. Since the course I’ve been able to write so much more material without having to stress or worry. I’d recommend it to any want to be comic! Anthony is an exceptional comedian and really knows what he’s doing, he takes his time with you to help you understand the depths of the comedic world and makes sure your getting the most from your set!” – Jared Shooter
“I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who wants to further their performance skills. I am a magician and have no plans to do stand up comedy but the nature of the course and the way Anthony taught the material lends itself to lots of different performers benefiting from it. I will apply many of the techniques taught to my script writing and performance. There is a great balance between receiving valuable advice from Anthony, working in small groups on comedic writing exercises and the large group discussions about the attendee’s performances. More than that the whole day was enjoyable from start to finish and that was worth the money alone! Thanks Anthony’ – Darren McDonald
“A laid back, honest and patient Comedy Sensei. Thank you sir!” – Max Southern
“Great fun and really worthwhile. Having genuinely considered running away before the day began I am so glad I stayed, Anthony’s relaxed style put everyone at ease and meant we could all have a go no matter what stage we were at. I would genuinely recommend this course” – Nicola James
“Anthony diffused the room’s initial nervousness with his mild-mannered, often self-effacing style. That said, it was clear he knew his stuff, and had the stage charisma and quips to inspire the rest of us. The all-important theories were insightful, but nicely broken up by engaging practical exercises which hammered home the points, tested our wits, and got everyone working and laughing together. By the time of the ‘showcase’, even the most apprehensive and under-prepared members of the group were prepared to have a crack on stage. Anthony was very encouraging, but also struck a balance between praise and critique, which was vital in helping people understand on what they ought focus before future sets. Our group was predominantly comprised of male beginners, aged 20-40, which was a shame, since the course is perfect for anyone interested in comedy, of any age, gender, or ability. And at £40, it’s a bit of steal” – Fergus Deery
“The course was really great. It was a mixture of Anthony sharing his experience and the group doing writing exercises and with time also to perform. The people in the group were across a broad age range and a variety of experience from people who had done gigs to people who were just looking for a new experience. It was very helpful to have a professional comedian see some of what I can do and to give me feedback. The contacts we were given after the course have also been useful. I feel the course has given me some tricks of the trade and, even more importantly, boosted my confidence to perform” – Revd. Louise Tinniswood
“Probably the best forty quid I’ve spent on myself, enjoyed the day from beginning to end. Anthony distills years of knowledge into a fun packed day, so you can begin your comedic journey” – Mal Wilkinson
“Having taken a couple of comedy & improv courses in North America, where I begun my comedy career, I can say that overall they pale in comparison to Anthony’s workshop. Most comedy courses only teach you the basic ‘setup and punch’ structure but Anthony gives you an array of comedic tools to fill your comic toolbox. He structures the day with an equal amount of theory and practice so you leave with a solid grasp of stand up comedy along with the confidence to perform. He is also funny as well. Anthony’s comedy workshop was a great experience that i’d recommend to any potential comics” – Neil Travis
“I have to admit, I was pretty nervous at the start of the day, but Anthony had a natural way of putting us all at ease from the moment we arrived. We were set some useful and enjoyable group exercises but didn’t feel under any pressure to be ‘funny’. It was great having other people to bounce off and by the afternoon Stand Up ‘Performance’ we all felt comfortable and confident enough to try our material, even though for most of us it was still very much ‘work in progress’. Additionally, Anthony gave each of us very useful feedback on our material and presentation which was invaluable. An interesting and fun day was had by all” – Penny Capper
“Thinking about stand up? In need of some direction? Looking for some great hints and tips around preparing and delivering material? Sign up to this course now! This session was priceless. Tapping into the knowledge and experience shared by Anthony has helped me confirm I was on the right lines with some activities relating to stand up, whilst also providing me with lots of new ideas and approach.
And don’t underestimate the benefit of being in a room with other like minded people, starting off on their comedy journey. After sales service has been spot on also!!! Sign up…now” – Gareth Ewing
“16th March 2014. This was the day that Anthony J Brown taught me how to take a long hard look at what I was doing with standup, why I was doing it and what I wanted to do with it in the future and most important of all how do do it better. The course is very congenial, people from all over the north of England were present who soon gelled as a receptive and entertaining group that soaked up the insights, tips and know how from Anthony. The writing exercises were very constructive. The performances were also very helpful. Going in as a newby with only one 5 minute slot under my belt I came away very much fired up to take the next few steps that lead to creating better material, delivery and hopefully more gigs. The company was great and the whole day was extremely enjoyable. A must do course for any hopeful stand up artist. Cheers Anthony” – Bob Geeson
“We (a married couple) didn’t want to pursue a career as stand-up comedians, but wanted to learn new skills and do something we’ve never done before. This is a great way for anyone looking to get into performing comedy to do so, but also a great way to spend a Sunday in its own right, and we will remember the laughs we had in our short venture into the world of comedy” – Scott Connor
“Having unexpectedly won the course in a Tapton School PTA raffle I really enjoyed this stimulating and informative day – delivered by an expert with years of experience in the trade. It clarified a lot that I had wondered about comedic technique over the years. I doubt that I will ever have a successful career (or hobby) as a stand-up comedian, but the course generated ideas that I could use in various social and professional contexts – from the occasional after dinner speech… to teaching and lecturing, where the odd appropriately placed and pitched humourous interjection may help to keep my audience awake and on-board for the more serious stuff (especially if they are having to fight jet-lag in a warm dark room in front of my 80th Powerpoint slide). It was also great to have a mix of people on the course, with widely varied backgrounds and agendas for the course, along with their individual comedic views of the world. Having said that, the course would probably also work well as a team-building exercise, with a chance to see a different side to colleagues in the workplace” – John Snowden
“The course was both fun and relaxed. Everyone felt at ease with one another very easily and Anthony’s expertise and creative direction helped everyone get the most from their thoughts and ideas. Seeing a professional a) get the ‘extra yard’ out of one of your gags and b) give you positive feedback was a real boost and also educational in what works and what REALLY works. I loved the chance to perform in a safe environment for the 1st time and to hear someone laugh at a gag that you’ve written is fantastic inspiration. I cannot recommend the course highly enough” – Matt Williamson
“Anthony’s fraternal, assured and knowledgeable tutelage provided not only a practical toolkit for developing material and guidance as to how to start performing, but also a genuine sense that (with some graft) the notion of becoming a practising comedian was within reach” – Ian Seaburn
“I would like to thank you for Sunday. I learned a lot, never mind standing up in front of people with nothing prepared! Your teaching, your manner and your genuine interest in your students allowed me to do that. Im going to work on 10 minutes of material and give it a wee go. So many, many thanks” – Charlene Murray
“Great for beginners, those wanting to sharpen their acts or even if you are just wanting to do something outside your comfort zone. Trust me its much cheaper than a parachute jump but defo as exciting. Anthony is a great teacher and his experience is priceless. He’s relaxed and supportive but honest in his feedback. On coming out of the workshop you really do feel that you’ve had a steal with the wealth of information gained, for such a little sum of money” – Barry Walker
“Whether you are completely new to stand up or have been going a short while, attending the course run by Anthony J Brown is time and money well spent. Anthony uses a variety of exercises to encourage you to ‘think funny’ and to generate ideas for material. He gives tips for improving your comedy performance which may just save you from public humiliation! Altogether a fun and informative day run by an experienced comedian and promoter” – Debra Fayter
“The Stagefright comedy course is not to be missed if you are considering writing a comedy set either for the 1st time or a new set should you have done a few gigs before. Anthony has a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on and it is an invaluable opportunity to learn from someone who knows his way round the comedy circuit both as an act and promoter. The course provided me with hints and tips that I had not considered despite having performed regularly in my first 8 months as a comedian. I wholly recommend if you are considering performing comedy you immediately book yourself into this course, you will get a head start on other performers, meet like minded people, gain honest feedback on your ideas and style and you get a chance to perform a little in a safe friendly environment. You will also pick up writing tips that will take an idea and help you craft it into comedy. I came out of the course thinking funny and my mind was whirring with ideas that had been unlocked as the course provided the key.
If you would like to perform comedy or are interested in any way but think you are not funny, not confident, basically if anything is holding you back or even if nothing is holding you back you just want to know where to start….. start here, you will not regret it” – Jim Bayes
“A great way to spend a Sunday and a real eye-opener in terms of little comedic tricks and twists, hosted by an infinitely patient and indulging teacher. The atmosphere was relaxed enough for everyone to get up on stage and do a turn after which, we were provided with light-hearted, encouraging feedback” – Mark Rigby
“I’m a survivor of the Stagefright Comedy Course that Anthony ran in Sheffield in June 2013. The day was packed with practical activities, guidance, and our own fledgling attempts at standup performance. There were lots of really helpful writing tasks and we had great fun playing around with jokes, redefinitions and, at one point, even Japanese verse! Anthony gave us the benefit of his experience, peppering the day with valuable advice for routine development, stagecraft, and tricks of the trade. I’d thoroughly recommend the course to anybody wanting to explore their comic genes and potentially get started in the exciting world of comedy standup” – Dawn Nicholson
“The course far exceeded my expectations. I arrived having never put pen to paper and left having stood up in front of a room of strangers and with a few good gags under my belt. As a result of the course I have the confidence to crack on with my writing and go looking for gigs. Cheers Anthony!” – Sam Anderson
“An excellent day addressing both the writing of material and performance” – Brian Daines
“A day packed with some great writing tips and exercises to get the comedic juices flowing, In addition to inside information on how the scene works. I turned up at 1100 with some fairly rudimentary and not exactly rib tickling ideas for a set, then by early afternoon had used what I’d learned to rustle up a routine which I was happy to get on stage and perform in front of the group. With some constructive feedback from Anthony and the other attendees, I’ve been able to refine the material further and look forward to unleashing it on the public soon!” – Gavin Newhouse
“I found the day really rewarding and it gave me both the inspiration and the tips needed to look into the world of stand-up. It was great to meet you and such a diverse bunch of people – its was fun and (unsurprisingly) a good laugh” – Frank Horsley
“I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed the workshop yesterday – there was a lot of very useful information which will undoubtedly improve my writing and, I hope that in time these will just become part of my thinking when writing (and indeed when just looking at the world for material). Despite the nervousness of getting up and ‘performing’ it was managed in such a way that it was as relaxed as could be and ultimately I found it a useful experience” – Ed Sutherland
“The course carefully caressed the corners of comedy. Anyone considering Stand-Up, should do this. I couldn’t wait to put my new skills into action’ – Harry Lime
“I attended Anthony’s stage fright course on 10th Feb as a complete newbie to comedy and really enjoyed the day. The day had a nice mix of theory/talks and practical exercises to help us find material and develop jokes. In the afternoon we were also encouraged to get up ‘on stage’ and perform material we had for the group. I thought Anthony had a nice way about him when providing feedback and was very helpful with his comments. A really enjoyable day with a very encouraging group of people” – Lindsey Ladhams
“A very enjoyable course covering all aspects of comedy such as writing/developing material, delivering it on stage and getting gigs. Anthony’s delivery style make the course fun and entertaining whilst giving you the tools that you will need to have a crack at the world of stand up comedy” – Bradley Guest
“If you’re on the bottom rung of the comedy ladder wondering how on earth you’re going to make the next step, this is for you! A course that gives you the confidence and skills to skip the next few rungs with ease. On our course even those who had never been on a stage or held a mike before, were able to give their first performance a go and make people laugh. Anthony is both encouraging and realistic about what’s needed to shine in the comedy world, so now you have no more excuses for not giving it a go!” – Alison Pilling
“I would recommend this course to anyone who’s taking the first steps into stand up or those with a few gigs under their belts. You’ll learn a lot of valuable techniques, how to generate ideas, how to tighten your set or expand on your material. There’s loads of exercises to do and working together in groups. You’ll also have the chance to perform and receive feedback. Thoroughly enjoyed the day. You should book a place on this” – Fran Garrity
“The day was packed with useful content for someone to get started with. You clearly know what you are talking about and you teach it in a nice easy friendly style. It was great to get a chance to try out a short performance in a safe and friendly environment. Even though I am not looking for a career in stand up I was very thrilled to get positive feedback on my short turn” – Ruth Fox
“As a complete first timer I had to wonder what I had got myself into. I needn’t have worried. Anthony created a safe, supportive encouraging environment. Well observed constructive feedback which makes you think ‘I can do this’. His teaching style and presentation is thorough, funny and informative with every topic you need covered. So if you have ever had the mad whim to give stand up comedy a go, then get on Anthony’s course’ – Andy Burrows
“The Stagefright comedy workshop was very inspirational, informative and above all fun. Anthony J Brown gave honest and positive feedback on how to get into the industry, the course was delivered in a friendly environment and I definitely recommend the course to all comedians” – Paul Mutagejja
“As I hadn’t been on stage for 13 years, since I was a Butlins Redcoat I was bricking it about this course. But everyone was very nice and the atmosphere was fun. The day was structured very well. The teaching is taken by Antony J Brown who listens to everyone and teaches you the tricks of the trade, from joke construction to stage performance. His teaching style is littered with one lined comic gems that keeps you laughing all day. It’s great value for money and will expand your mind. Because of the confidence the day gave me I will be doing a open mic night some time in near future” – Ryan Oades
“A fabulous course providing a great insight into the world of stand up comedy. Any newbie wanting to try their hand at comedy should do this workshop as it’s the best value for money course you will see advertised. Joke construction, how to get gigs, performance tips, hecklers, promotion, everything that needed covering was covered. A full, fun packed day – worth every penny” – David McAndrew
“I can safely say that the course was worth every penny. I never did the workshop with the intentions of becoming the next Peter Kay but wondered if my act or thoughts could hold their own, even for one open mic night. I soon realised early on with the first pun exercise that I was way off the mark but even though this created some self doubt I still felt relaxed because of the easy flow and relaxed atmosphere. The tips and tricks element of the course was a huge eye opener, virtually every act that I have been to see or have watched on TV use some or all of the techniques explained on the comedy course PRICELESS. The difficult part now comes in writing material with these elements in mind.The course never felt like a lecture but more like strong advice from a experienced and seasoned pro highlighting all the pitfalls of comedians and the comedy circuit (This was reinforced when reading some of the comedy forums). The highlight for me was getting to perform on stage. You cannot come away without feeling good about yourself because of the positive atmosphere that was created.
“It certainly is superb value for money – the time and work Anthony puts in is a lot of effort on his part, I’m sure. He is clearly very good at what he does. (And a great comic, I might add.) The full-day workshops are much more useful than one offs of a couple of hours. A lot was covered in the day” – Chrissie Holland
“I had the pleasure of attending Anthony J Brown’s Stagefright Comedy Course on September 2nd at the Red Lion in Sheffield. I must admit, that I regard myself as a complete stand -up novice. I have done comedy as part of my other jobs as a DJ and hypnotist but this was a complete leap in the dark for me.
Firstly, Anthony has the comedy credentials, he’s been there and done it and makes it look effortless. Sometimes though, just because you are good at a job doesn’t mean that you can pass that knowledge on to others but Anthony’s teaching style is the same as his comedy. Laid back with lots of participation and laughs from begining to end. He knows his stuff and he knows the business and it shows.
The first part of the day was spent on writing technique, punchlines, taglines and othertips and tricks on joke writing. Ideas were flowing through the group and we were encouraged to give free reign to our comedy muscles. A great time was had by all.
The afternoon was spent with each one of us giving a 5 minute performance of anything we had pre-prepared. This was very useful as it enabled us all to get feedback on our acts, both from Anthony and the rest of the group.
After that, it was how to get gigs and the pitfalls of hecklers, promoters and what to do at a gig in order to get more bookings. All in all, it was a great day, lots of great information lots of encouragement and above all, lots of laughs.
The cost of the course (£40.00) is an absolute steal when you think that one paying gig will pay for the course 3 times over and this course certainly gives you the means to get into the business if you wish.
Thanks to the course, I have written an entire new act broken down into 5,8,10 and 20 minute segments. I shall be appearing at the Crooked Smile competition at Winding Wheel, Chesterfield very shortly knowing that I will be as prepared as I can be. I’ve booked a gig for the three members of the course who have entered the competition to try out our material.
I cannot recommend this course too highly. If you are serious about getting into stand-up comedy then you can do no better than letting Anthony J Brown show you the best way to do it” – John Barnett
“As someone taking his first steps in to comedy, I can recommend this course without hesitation. A comprehensive course offering sound practical advice and tips from an established and respected comedian. From what to do with the mic and stand, to exercises to get your comedy lobe humming, this well prepared course will help you feel more confident about stepping out in to the lights. There’s even an opportunity to perform and have constructive feedback, free from the fear of being heckled. Good value for money in these austere times” – John Russell
“The course was well structured, well paced and well interesting. We learned techniques for joke structure and worked in groups to develop our skills and find our style. Anthony gave practical advice on stage craft and we each took to the mic for some tailored feedback. On the whole, it was incredibly useful, enjoyable and great value. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of trying or developing their comedy skills or wanting to work on their presenting more generally” – Kate Booth
“From the secrets of joke construction to to the practicalities of gigging, Anthony offers invaluable insights and a safe testing groud for both newcomers and those wanting to sharpen their skills” – Jack Floyd
“I thoroughly enjoyed Anthony’s stand-up course – he gave honest, encouraging feedback about my act and explained how I could generate more material in my own style which is what I was hoping for” – Paul Newman
“Overall you were very clear in your presentation. You did not seem judgemental which is important because you could be made to feel foolish when quizzed doing the exercises. The course ran at a good pace and did not feel rushed. The feedback and contacts for comedy is a good touch” – Neil Robinson
“I attended Anthony’s comedy course as a trepidatious newbie and left it a tad less new and absolutely bouncing with vim (like dances with wolves, but messier and cleaner) and enthusiasm for the art of comedy. He crams a lot into the short day and it is all good stuff, and he follows up with yet more so you’re not treated as a commodity. If you’re hesitant about standing up at the end: don’t be; it brings the whole day together excellently and I guarantee you’ll learn a lot about both comedy and yourself” – Simon Park (aka Dangermouth)
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