Do you have a teenager who's a class clown?

2 Feb 2021

Do you have a teenager who’s a class clown?

We love creating opportunities for kids and young people to express themselves and explore their talents and interests. So we’re really pleased that Class Clowns, Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s one-of-a-kind national comedy competition for teens aged between 14-18, is returning to HOTA for a second year.

It’s free to enter and all your teen needs is a 3-5 minute original comedy act, which they get to refine and rehearse at a free 2-hour comedy workshop with a professional comedian before getting the opportunity to enter a national comedy competition. Entrants can win a cash prize of $1,500 and a workshop package for their school valued at $1,000.

Open to both individuals and groups of up to three, this is a great opportunity for funny teens to hone their comedy potential, express themselves artistically and build their confidence. And with Class Clowns alumni including names such as Joel Creasey, Rhys Nicholson, Annie Louey, Aaron Chen and William McKenna this could even be a stepping stone to a career in comedy.

We had a chat to Tom from Melbourne Comedy Festival who told us a little more about Class Clowns:

‘Class Clowns has been running since 1996, and over its 25-year history has seen thousands of young people attend workshops, perform in heats and compete for the top spot during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.’

‘The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is strongly dedicated to the Education and Development of the comedy and wider performing arts industry. Unlike many other performing arts disciplines, there is no traditional educational pathway into becoming a comedian. Instead, the road to success often relies on mentorship, peer-to-peer advice and garnering as much stage-time as possible. Class Clowns aims to give young people the comedy bug by allowing them to workshop their material with professional comedians, and then perform in a warm and safe environment.’

While casting is still in progress for the professional comedian that will lead the workshop you won’t be disappointed, past mentors have included Steph Tisdell, Damien Power and Mel Buttle.

Navigating teenage years can be challenging and opportunities such as Class Clowns can help teens find an avenue to express themselves. Tom continued:

‘Humour is an excellent vehicle to explore and tackle the difficult issues affecting and impacting on teenagers – including bullying, self-esteem, relationships and health – enabling teens to explore positive and affirming ways to articulate the world in which they live.’

And we asked Tom what advice he’d give someone who wants to have a go but is not feeling very confident?

‘Nerves are a very natural part of live performance – they keep performers on their toes and can sometimes lead to some brilliant moments on stage. We would encourage you to come along to the workshop and see how you are feeling after working on your material with a professional comedian.

‘If you really don’t feel ready, then consider coming along to the show to see what it’s all about – it is a (cheap and sometimes free!) rollicking good time and may provide some inspiration for your own written or performance work back in the classroom’

Sounds good? Read more and apply to be part of Class Clowns now.