Jo Darcy

Open Course – September 2012Jo Darcy

“In September 2012 I went to my local comedy night with friends and was given a flyer from a charity called Asist who were looking for people to get friends to sponsor them to put together 5 minutes of stand up comedy.  This was it.

I had already written ideas down in my phone but this was a way in: a way to be able to day them aloud, on stage. I’d always loved comedy and wanted to be part of it, but I’d never thought it was a real thing that normal people could actually pursue. Not for the likes of me to have a go at. Then this opportunity came.

Just having someone there to listen and support and guide made the dream seem more of a tangible possibility. Then there was the question on the welcome questionnaire: ‘do you want to be a stand-up comedian? YES, I wrote. There it was. It was that easy.

The others in the group were a mixed bag.  The kind of bag you find hanging from trees in parks.  In my head I was waaaay ahead.  Of course, I was appalling too, but I wanted so badly not to be.

After the showcase I knew completely that this was what I wanted for my life.  Sam gave me a couple of contacts and I scoured the Internet for open mic nights I could go to. I got my first gigs in the new year and by February I had asked for voluntary redundancy from my job: I was all in.

Comedy courses can get a lot of stick, but without it I dread to think where I’d be now. Miserable with ideas stuck in a forlorn notebook at the back of my wardrobe, probably. The course was my way in to this world. I can’t imagine I would’ve found a way in otherwise, at least not in my situation. Doing the course changed my life. It is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

No word of a lie.  God’s honest truth.  I swear down. Word.”

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