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Byron Shire
January 19, 2022

Interview with Mandy Nolan, the Authentic You

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Elephant in the Room workshops with Mandy Nolan and George Catsi

If You could talk to the elephants …

Mandy Nolan is a comedian of more than 30 years, who has taught in excess of 2,000 people how to perform standup. Her most successful student won an Emmy. George Catsi is a comedic character performer and AWGIE-winning writer and academic who teaches character and script development at UTS to animators and filmmakers. Together they present an exciting new class: Elephant in the Room.

Seven took a few minutes out of Mandy’s day to find out about the show.

What is Elephant in the Room and how does it differ from regular comedy classes?

This is dynamic. Two teachers. Two days. It’s also focused on how to use humour and comedy techniques in your work practice, or in your personal life. How to address complex ideas – how to use humour to diffuse conflict. The idea is to use comedy, character work, and improvisation to improve your lateral thinking and to take more risks. It’s a powerful creative tool. Previously I focused just on standup, but this new master class delivers standup techniques along with a lot of other skillsets that you can use without having to want to be a standup comic!

Why is humour powerful?

It’s the best way sometimes to connect with people and communicate a complex message. Humour has a way of disarming people. It’s fast. It’s memorable. It’s also exceedingly potent when you have something powerful to communicate. Very often it is the best way of navigating the unspoken. How do we speak to elephants? This two-day course is about teaching you the language!

How does having another facilitator change things?

It’s a game changer for me. It means with a small class size we can give more focused 1:1 time. George Catsi has a performance background, but also his academic leanings as a lecturer in Design Thinking at UTS and having done a PhD in Persuasive Performance studying evangelists really adds another level to what we can deliver. It’s intuitive, transformative, and it’s highly interactive.

What range of skills are you looking at developing?

Standup, character work, storytelling, music comedy, and group work. We also look at social media, memes, and written work.

Who?

Everyone. Well anyone who would like to speak to elephants.

Because of the current COVID health regulations, Mandy and George are extending the earlybird price of $590. Class sizes are small and are operating within the restrictions.

Elephant in the Room

July 17 and 18 at a beachfront location in Byron Bay.

Tix and info: Authenticyoumasterclasses.com.


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