Meet the director: Jo Ann Grossman
Camp Kids 'N Comedy
Wed Feb 16 2011
Who's a good fit for the program?
Kids in our camp don't necessarily have to be class clowns; they just have to have some sort of funny bone. It takes a really smart kid to be able to do this, and they have to have enough life experience to be able to see what's funny.
Are any professional comedians working this summer?
Our main teacher, David Smithyman, has a stand-up show on the Lower East Side. He studied dramatic lit at NYU, and he's like a grown-up kid.
How do campers learn to get laughs?We teach improv, acting and stand-up comedy. Kids learn to turn what they think is funny into a nice, tight stand-up piece. David teaches it as fact-finding and storytelling. He'll tell the kids to look something up on Google and then come back with a funny story about what they find.
Apart from the satisfaction of cracking people up, what do kids get out of the experience?
It helps kids feel comfortable getting onstage. Even if they become lawyers, journalists or doctors,they still may have to get up in front of an audience and speak. And if you add a little humor to what you say, it keeps people awake. A number of comedians have said to me, "I wish I'd had that as a kid."—Lindsey Thomas
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