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Class Clowns

Class Clowns

Class Clowns is the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s national development program for young people aged 14-18 years. The program introduces teens to comedy through creative workshops with professional comedians. They use artistic activities to hone comedic talent and build self-esteem, confidence, and resilience.

In December 2021, Drama students were given information about the festival, and Shayla Keane (Year 10) was the only student to register an interest in participating.

It might surprise some in the school community to hear that Shayla is a budding comedian. This is mainly due to her humble and reserved nature around the College grounds. However, anyone who has seen Shayla perform in the College House Drama festivals, or in Drama class, knows she has excellent comedic timing and a knack for mastering many different accents!

Before competition day, Shayla prepared a 3 to 5-minute original comedy act. The day started with a two-hour workshop where Shayla could rehearse and refine her act with the help of a professional comedian. She then performed at The Laugh Resort at The Shoe to a live audience.

Shayla’s stand-up comedy routine showcased her talent in accent work as she hilariously executed Irish, Russian, and Indian accents. Her routine explored topical issues such as the ‘Emo Pandemic’, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and life as a teenager in 2022. Shayla’s comedy invited the audience to laugh at some very serious topics. It was a wonderful reminder to find lightness in a current world full of uncertainty. It was a great experience being in the audience and sharing belly laughs at Shayla’s jokes with those around me. As the youngest competitor on the day, Shayla displayed courage and a true knack for making people laugh. We now wait in anticipation to see if Shayla is a finalist in Class Clowns for the final in Melbourne later this year.

**Edit

We have just been advised that Shayla is one of the finalists and she will be travelling to Melbourne next week to compete. We wish you all the best Shayla!

We asked Shayla about the experience.

What do you love about comedy?

I love that for a time, you can make a group of people forget about everything and just laugh as hard as they can. I also love the thrill of putting myself out there with the idea that I’m either going to be unsuccessful or successful.

Why did you apply for Class Clowns?

I applied because I generally wanted to get myself out of my comfort zone and get some experience performing in front of a live audience.

What was the best part of the event?

I loved the one-on-one coaching by a professional comedian on how to create a good comedy set.

What did you learn through this process? 

If you ask anyone, they’ll say they are funny. It’s an actual and sometimes sad fact that we all think we are the funniest person alive. However, stand-up comedy really pushes your boundaries and puts you in a sometimes-uncomfortable situation. Performing in front of many strangers, not knowing if they’re the crowd who will laugh or not. I can easily say that stand up is very addictive, and after performing a set to a bunch of people, you want to do it all over again. Of course, I wouldn’t have experienced this opportunity without the help of my drama teacher Miss Hunt, who helped sign me up and encourage me along the way.

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