If you’ve been watching BBC’s fun new show This Is My House, you might have spotted a familiar face! Dalu joined ComedySportz at the start of 2020 and was about to have his first live show with us when lockdown was announced. Below he reflects on his journey into comedy and shares some of the lessons and advice he has learned over the last two years.
My Journey through comedy has been a great experience within the last 2 years. It initially started with me continually acting like a clown and telling bad jokes at home. My wife having had enough of my poor jokes, decided for Christmas 2019 to get me a place on the Beginning Stand Up course with ComedySportz Manchester.
My tutor was John Cooper a great tutor who gave us insight on the important factors of stand-up both in theory and practical application, it was brilliant meeting new people I still to this day maintain a relationship with. At the end of the course there was a showcase to which we all performed a 5-7 min stand up gig, from there we as a group continued to do stand-up gigs across Manchester and support one another within chasing the dream, which was really nice to do feeling like you’re not alone chasing something, whilst also learning and developing with others.
I have always enjoyed acting from a young age, and for many years left that dream to pursue the corporate ladder, and at 35 the itch returned with full effect. At the time I was taking the stand up course I was also in a play with my church developing acting foundations, skills and experience. And by Spring 2019 I was completely back in love with performance so I requested as a birthday present the Comedysportz Foundation Improv course, which I thoroughly enjoyed as I got to combine the elements of performance I enjoy most, comedy, improv and storytelling.
Comedy Improv has taught me a number of things:
Follow your instinct – allow for your natural self to come out.
Character development and commitment- focusing on what makes the character unique.
Allow your mind to wonder- in adulthood we are taught to constrict thoughts, ideas and dreams. Improv allows you to completely do the opposite of that. It helped me embrace my inner child again 😊
For those who are not sure improv is for them I would say, ‘what have you got to lose’? The course is 6 weeks of fun, frolics and a great chance to make a good bunch of friends with similar interests.
The improv course helped in all aspects of my life; in my day job, in my presentation and communication skills, in team working and developing ideas outside the box. For 6 weeks of fun in a safe workshop environment it certainly will help anyone in need of a confidence booster.
As a performer it really helped me refresh, refine and learn so much more about delivery, timing, engagement with audiences and thinking on the spot. Without ComedySportz Manchester, and of course my wife, I wouldn’t have been complete in the last year.
Whilst everyone’s journey is different these skills have allowed me to pursue my dream career. So far I have said “Yes, And” to:
5 paid web infomercials/commercials.
2 Voice over roles
Over 100 online shows – as a member of ComedySportz now
Two episodes of BBC One’s new game show This Is My House (where the casting criteria was specifically for ‘Improv Actors’)
I’m plotting to write a sitcom, with another new friend I met via ComedySportz courses.
Whatever your reasons for taking an Improv course, do it – it might just change your life!
Inspired by Dalu’s story? We still have a couple of spaces left on our next Online Foundation Improv Course. It’s a great way to build confidence, get creative and make new connections. Whilst we can’t guarantee that everyone who completes the course will get to appear on a prime time BBC One show (we really can’t), we can guarantee lots of fun! And you don’t need a performance background or desire to be on stage or screen, like Dalu says, learning improv skills allows you to develop communication and confidence whatever your background or reason for taking the course. The next course starts Thursday 8th April – book now!
To mark Dalu’s TV appearance we devised a ref challenge inspired by This Is My House. We have online shows every Wednesday and Saturday at 7pm BST. Don’t forget to to subscribe to our youtube channel and never miss a match.
This Is My House airs on BBC One Wednesday’s at 9pm BST. You can catch Dalu’s episodes on BBC iPlayer.