I'll add a couple of points about comedy courses, cos there seem to be some FAQs...
1) Can you really teach someone to be funny?
I don't really subscribe to this notion that people "just are" or "just aren't" funny. We all have different senses of humour. A course can definitely help you explore your sense of humour and different ways of bringing it across onstage. And if you met someone who wasn't a very good singer - would you tell them not to take a singing course? No - lots of people enjoy learning about singing, practising and performing to friends, anyone who fancies it should give it a try. Ditto comedy.
2) Surely you'd learn more by getting onstage and doing it?
You can certainly learn a lot by doing gigs, yes, and if that's how you'd prefer to learn no-one is stopping you. New act nights can be tough though - small distracted audiences, badly set-up rooms, and often they can be unreceptive to anything a bit different. If you can learn it in front of an audience, why not learn it in front of your classmates with the help of a professional comic as a teacher.
3) Do you just teach people to be like you?
Well I worry about that but I try very hard not to - I try very hard to provide skills and tools and techniques that can be applied to a wide range of acts. Some of my ex-students do character comedy, some do puns, there's a fair range...
4) What if I just want to boost confidence and presenting skills?
Yes, definitely, got a best man/woman speech or work awards do coming up? I can help. One-on-one or join a class.
5) What has happened to your ex-students? Are they all famous yet?
I've only been teaching just over a year - give them a chance - but some of them are doing really well. Here's a clip of one of my graduates Stephen Bailey performing in a pub in Manchester, if you're interested.
Funnily (sort of) enough the comedy course is one of the City Academy courses most often bought as a gift for a friend, which is quite a sweet way of saying "You've got a lot of interesting stories to tell, give it a go!". The link to City Academy website is above if you are now itching to sign up...! I promise you'll have fun.