One of the great things about Stone Oak Youth Theatre is its commitment, the commitment of everyone who works there, to introduce their students to the full arts experience. Just visit that website and you’ll find programs for drama, programs for musical theatre, programs for improv, programs for film acting (which will start up again tomorrow), programs all about the art, craft, and business of show.
This spring, SOYT added stand-up comedy to the list, with a class called Punchline. The class was designed to teach kids the ins and outs of being comedians.; it was a great idea for SOYT, and a great opportunity for the kids.
To teach the class, the school brought in Cleto Rodriguez, stand-up veteran, host of The Cleto Show, and early-morning Man on the Street for WOAI. For five weeks, Cleto put the kids through their paces, helping them find material, turn it into jokes, and develop the stage presence to tell them. From Nikki‘s dispatches, I know they took it all to heart. Cleto even brought the kids to WOAI’s San Antonio Living to promote their showcase.
Of course, a showcase must be the inevitable end of a class like Punchline, which brought us to Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club yesterday to see the results of the kids’ hard work. I was excited to see so many people turn out to support the kids, especially since this event was also a fundraiser to help SOYT raise money for an expanded facility. The energy and enthusiasm of the audience was pretty high.
And when the kids took the stage, they matched that enthusiasm. They knew their jokes, and after five weeks of training, they knew how to tell them. It should go without saying that being kids, they had a lot of material to pull from. Family quirks. Bieber Fever (and yes, I’ll admit that I may have written that to get a few more page hits). School sports. A GPS with a sick sense of humor. And an unexpected riff on Christian Bale that (as Nikki can testify) had me pretty much losing it.
The LOL crew was genuinely impressed, as the club’s manager praised the new comedians for their professionalism. And Cleto even said that he had so much fun working with the kids that he may not go back to teaching adults. It was a great finish to a great show, one more success for SOYT.
I’m proud to have been there to support the school and the kids. Congratulations to everyone who took part, thanks to Cleto, to LOL, to Nikki, Maryclaire, and the entire SOYT family, and thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday. If you were there, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
If you couldn’t make it, I’m happy to say you’ll get another chance, as Punchline will return in August. For more info, as always, please be sure to check out SOYT’s website. And if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you can follow the school there as well.
Finally, thanks as always to you for following and supporting us. Until next time, “be seeing you…”