Article by Courtney Darke
One of the many opportunities Humber Comedy offers its students is the chance to meet and workshop with working artists like Carol Leifer. When she visited students last month, Leifer came armed with advice gleaned over 40 years in show business as an award-winning comedian, writer, producer and actress.
"You have to be tenacious," Leifer advised students. "Going on stage two nights a week isn't enough. You have to go up every single night for three years with no judgement. Consistency will make you better."
Leifer spoke of her early years, walking the thin line between killing and completely bombing onstage -- an experience familiar to all up-and-coming comedians. Comedy is a tough industry with no hard and fast rules, except one: audience is king.
"You don't know what will work until you try it," Leifer warned, "but every audience is the same no matter where you go. They all know what's funny, and it might not be what you think."
Humber's budding comedians relished Leifer's advice, but especially enjoyed testing out their own material on her. "Pitching ideas to Carol, and learning how to turn it into something, was the most valuable part of the workshop," one second-year student claimed. "It was really great to use her sense of experience on our own work."
Leifer most definitely knew what was funny. She had plenty of praise for Humber Comedy students, as well as constructive criticism to help them improve their bits. And the experience took students one step closer to the ultimate comedic success: getting those extra laughs.