He can write, he's funny, and I have a thing for beards. I didn't know why he was there--he has a book out with blurbs from the likes of Michael Cunningham and Edmund White--but I was glad he was there, giving me the opportunity to sit next to him and try not to hyperventilate while eating kosher vegetarian food, both because he was funny, and he made me feel like a high schooler again--giddy and hormonally frustrated.
Sarfaty will be teaching a 5-day workshop on the business of comedy at the Smart Center in Santa Fe. If you're in NM, you should definitely check it out. Eddie is smart, funny, cute, and probably one helluva a teacher. Details below:
#11103. Why Wisecracks are a Wise Move – The Serious Business of Comedy
Instructor: Eddie Sarfaty, May 23-27
Comedy is universal, the penchant for laughter a fundamental aspect of human nature. Though embedded in every language and culture, humor has been of particular importance in America’s pluralistic society -- and more recently, due to globalization, in the world. Because of the ability of jokes to quickly forge intimate bonds between people of different races, ethnicities, religions, genders, etc. -- and most importantly, between those who vehemently disagree with each other -- its effective use is invaluable in establishing and nurturing relationships of all kinds, enabling us to sympathize, inform, persuade, and caution in a nonthreatening manner.
Because stand-up comedy is the art form that most closely resembles real-life conversation -- it’s interactive, can be performed anywhere, and requires no more equipment than a human voice -- exploring the creative process of writing and delivering jokes can benefit us in every arena, personal or professional, including public speaking, sales, customer service, advertising, public relations, management, teaching, writing, debating, acting, socializing, parenting, dating, and even sex.
In this workshop, students:
- Identify potential sources of material -- written, visual, and situational - Study the work of a diverse group of groundbreaking comedians - Analyze the emotional components of humor - Learn to select effective emotional subtext and embed it into a joke. - Explore exercises to increase the quantity of ideas generated - Write for the listener, instead of the reader - Identify the universal in their individual experiences. - Make those experiences accessible to a wider - or specific - audience. - Develop a unique comic voice. - Improve timing, delivery, and presentation skills. - Hone their skills through instructor critique and audience response.
Ideal Workshop Candidates
Since improved comedic competency means improved relationships in so many areas, this course is recommended for everyone with the exception of Trappist monks, prisoners in solitary confinement, hermits, and the comatose. Aside from those seeking to more effectively wield their comic powers in their public or private lives, this course may prove particularly valuable to kooks, curmudgeons, eccentrics, smart-asses, class clowns, wise guys, loudmouths, neurotics, and know-it-alls.
The application and down payment of 30% ($225 + tax) for the workshop are due Monday, March 7th. The balance of $450 may be divided into two payments of $225 with the final payment due on April 9th, forty-five days prior to the start of the workshop.
For detailed information and registration through PayPal, visit the Center’s website, www.thesmartcentersantafe.com. Be sure to include the comedy class’s workshop number (#11103) when you register.
The Smart Center has negotiated a discounted rate at the Lodge at Santa Fe for all enrollees. Double occupancy suites are available for just $47.50 per person per evening (or $237.50 + tax for five evenings). To take advantage of the reduced rate, please contact the lodge directly at 505 992-5800 and be sure to let them know that you’re enrolled at the Smart Center.