Mark Breslin’s Coming to Town

Howdy Blog-followers!

The semester’s winding down now!  You can practically hear the sleigh bells in the hallways between classes!

Both myself and my computer were feeling a little under the weather recently.  But systems seem to be getting back to normal, and in the case of my computer, even better than normal.  (Sometimes, factory flaws are fun, because they mean your computer gets a new keypad thingamajig even four years after you bought the dang thing!)

Anyway, today Mark Breslin gave a presentation at school.  He’s the guy responsible for the Yuk Yuk’s chain of comedy clubs in Canada, and ultimately, the reason any of us Humber kids are allowed as much experience as we are on a Yuk Yuk’s stage.

Here are a few things he brought up that really resonated with me:

1)  Consume Culture, in all its forms:

I remember last year, the topic of comedy as an art-form was discussed in class and compared to music as an art-form.  There was debate in class on that subject, suggesting the two were incomparable, but my opinion, as shared by many others, I recall,  was that they are very much on the same scale.  Breslin went so far as to compare his era of stand-up comedians as the comedy equivalent to the punk rock scene in the 70’s.

It makes sense that we should embrace all forms of the performing arts as performing artists.  Why not increase our understanding of the theatre, opera, live music, poetry or any other art form if we wish to be recognized as legitimate artists?

2) Authenticity, a reminder to myself:

Forget about the fact that Humber kids tell dick jokes every Tuesday, Brie.  You don’t have to tell dick jokes.  You don’t.

3) Well, that was embarrassing…

That thing, that think you hate about the way you look.  The audience is looking right at it, no doubt.  That little piece of your history that you’re too shy to talk about, that’s going to make someone fall off their chair laughing.  That story, that thing you do, that problem you have, that thing that hurts you the most…

That’s what’s going to sell.

There were a lot of other interesting discussions in the lecture; a question about the systemic problems inherent in Canadian television programming rendering it exceptionally difficult for homegrown talent to hit it big on the home front; musings about bullying and whether or not anti-bully laws might stifle the future creativity of some poor kid stuffed in a locker; how women are socialized toward loneliness (ha!) and how that makes life on the road as a stand-up comedian more difficult for (some) women.

Anyway, lots to think about.

I do enjoy this program, but I’m starting to really look forward to the post-this program to see where all this will take me.

Another reminder to myself: Brie, don’t let your lookingforwardness take away from each lesson you learn in that school.  Wasn’t today a good improv class?  You know it was.  It was.  You got to yell a lot.  You like yelling, right?  It’s fun!

Alas… Mark Breslin’s visit to Humber, everyone.

See you soon!

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