Make ‘Em Laugh At Comedy Class

Wednesday - January 14, 2009

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Improvisational comedy group On The Spot will hold a four-week introductory sketch-comedy writing course starting Thursday (Jan. 15) through Feb. 5 at the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy in Aiea.

Troupe founder and local comedian Garrick Paikai will teach 10 students how to write comedic sketches for TV and stage productions through writing exercises and improvisation.

“It’s our first sketch-writing class, and it’s basically from my experiences when I was doing sketch comedy for OC-16,“said Paikai. “The class came about from people asking when I was going to do another sketch show.”


Some of those previous shows have included Ray Bumatai’s Mental Tilapia and working as head writer and co-star on the show See Steph Run. Last year, he even got the chance to perform on the NBC Diversity Sketch Showdown at the famous Ivar Theatre in Hollywood.

So instead of getting involved with a new show, Paikai decided to teach those interested in the craft of writing comedy.

The stand-up-turned-teacher said students will learn how to generate ideas for a sketch, the techniques of writing such pieces and what producers are looking for in their acts. There also is an emphasis on peer revision and class involvement to help each student get more out of the course.

“For me, that was the most solid tool when I was writing for OC-16,” said Paikai, whose 2001 play World Blend was nominated for a Po’okela award for best original play. “Eventually we want to get them stage-ready to perform whatever they have written.”

However, he quickly added that the business of sketch writing is no laughing matter.

“When people hire sketch writers,they hire them to write for other people,“he explained, adding that writers will have to relinquish their works to actors at some point to see how they are interpreted through others’ eyes.

Course fee is $125, which will pay for the use of facilities and some textbooks Paikai is ordering for the class.

To register or for more information, call 224-7585 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Paikai said.“It should be pretty fun.”

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