Gilchrist gets them laughing in the aisles
Have you heard the one about the opera singer who
had a go at stand up?
Former supermarket checkout operator Jane Gilchrist,
from Clevedon, who shot to fame in 2003 when she was joint winner of the TV series
Operatunity, is definitely game for a laugh.
She accepted a challenge from
Inside Out West to think up, write and perform a stand up comedy routine live
on stage alongside professional comedians at Jongleurs in Bristol... and all in
just five days!
Her stint was to help launch this year's Comic Relief effort
across the West country.
can watch Jane's full routine here...
opera to stand up
Jane, now a professional opera singer living in Old Sodbury
with her partner Paul and their extended family of seven children, was coached
by a mentor - Bristol professional stand up comedian Mark Olver.
Large with partner Little at the height of their careers|
was also given advice by comedy legend Eddie Large.
Jane says was petrified
by the experience of standing up to deliver her gags:
sung live on TV, appeared at the London Coliseum, completed a national concert
tour and brought out my own CD but nothing.
"Absolutely nothing was
more terrifying than standing up in front of an audience and trying to make them
"The only thing that got me through it was the knowledge that
it was all for Comic Relief... oh, and a little help from my new friend Mark Olver,
So will the diva die or triumph on stage?
Inside Out unveils Jane Gilchrist's performance of her career.
We offer you a few tips for fine-tuning your debut comedy performance...
Josie D'Arby with Jane Gilchrist at Jongleurs.|
Rehearse till you look slick but not over-rehearsed. Make your performance look
effortless and unforced.
Think about your image - what you're comedy persona
will be, what you'll be wearing and how you will come across as a stand up performer.
advice from other more experienced performers and swap tips.
venue beforehand - look at where you'll be entering the stage and plan how you'll
make your entry.
First impressions count so capture the audience's attention
as soon as you walk onto the stage.
Before anyone gets into the venue,
check out the view from the audience and the sight lines from the stage. Make
the most of working the stage if you plan to move around.
Make sure the
sound levels and lighting are sorted out before you take to the stage.
a big first impression - have a strong intro planned. Don't fluff your opening
Project yourself! Don't mutter or speak too quietly.
sure you know how to use the microphone comfortably. Check that the mike stand
is adjusted correctly. Plan how you'll move around with it. Don't waste time adjusting
it when you go on.
Work the audience - start with a strong intro and build
up to a climax.
Gauge the audience reaction to your gags and ride with
the flow of their responses - doing this is a real skill.
Don't be intimidated
by the audience if they are slightly lukewarm to start off with. Keep going and
don't let your rhythm drop off.
Leave the audience on a high note. Perhaps
keep the very best till last.
Last but not least, make a good impression
on the venue and its promoter - you might get asked back again!
What makes your laugh? What's your favourite
hero Frankie Howerd lived in Somerset|
Which comedians do you
find funny and why?
And have you ever tried stand up? We want to hear your
Email your comments to email@example.com
and we'll publish a selection of them on our website following the programme.
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