I began teaching because people wanted to study with me. There was nowhere to learn UnCabaret style comedy performance. Storybased. Personal. Now focused. Truthful. All the stand up training was still punchlines and tight tens.
So I started teaching. I knew it was just a matter of time. While other little girls were playing house with dolls, I was playing school with a blackboard. As soon as I started practicing yoga people started asking me if I was a yoga teacher. I just have it in my DNA. Is it a dream? Nope. Is it my path? Yep. Do I love helping other people, oh yes I do.
I called the class The UnCab Lab. As it evolved I started getting students who also wanted to use the techniques for other things than stand up. One person shows. Memoir. Spoken word. Life. There was a magic to the process. People who didn't want to get on stage were seeing big shifts in their lives through the work. Understanding their story, their voice. What was funny.
So I changed the name of the workshop so that people who didn't know about UnCabaret wouldn't be confused by it. I mean if you don't know about UnCabaret what sense does UnCab Lab make? I decided to call it The Comedian’s Way. It was a play on The Artists Way. I started my career as a visual artists. (NEA’s, shown at The Metropolitan Art Library... my greatest success was as a book artist). And in some ways what I teach is the creative process. Through the lens of comedy and storytelling. I thought it was funny though that in The Artists Way though it is a process of recovering your senses and using them creatively, the recovery of your seventh sense, your sense of humor, was left out.
People were having real results. Careers trajectories shifted. Lives were changed.
In Los Angeles I’ve moved the class from place to place for the usual reasons. M Bar, UCLA Extension, IO West. Also special sessions at The Skirball Cultural Center, Writer’s Bootcamp, etc. And on the road at Second City in Chicago, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, SMoCA, Club C
Then it was time for my own story to change. I split with my long time producing, and life, partner. He’d been part of the teaching. Though the class was mine to continue with I decided it felt better to shift the name away from what we were doing together. Plus, I was a little tired of using a title that referenced another system. And because it was a period in my life when I was going out on my own again, after a long time of not doing that, I called it simply The Beth Lapides Workshop.
Know who you are and do something about it.
That has been my philosophy over the years and that forms the foundation of my teaching.
And for me part of who I am is that I love to laugh and make other people laugh. And help other people make other people laugh. All while helping them know who they are and do something about it.
And all while keeping my own career vital. That has meant letting UnCabaret go. And then reviving it. Learning to produce it. Acting. Podcasting. Hosting a radio show. Producing TV. Writing a column. Publishing a book. Finishing a few features. Writing TV. Touring one person shows. etc.
Over the years I’ve also done workshops when on the road. Sometimes for one three hour session. Sometimes for a weeklong intensive. Notably, and at opposite ends of the spectrum, at Second City and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.
And I’ve worked one on one with folks. Sometimes for one one hour targeted session. Sometimes for a handful of sessions. Sometimes for a handful of years. Sometimes on a show, sometimes on speaking. With famous actors and with lawyers. With spiritual counselors. Authors.
Feel free to contact me about setting up either of those.
In Los Angeles I’ve moved the class from place to place for the usual reasons. M Bar, UCLA Extension, IO West. Also special sessions at The Skirball Cultural Center, Writer’s Bootcamp, etc. And on the road at Second City in Chicago, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, SMoCA, Club Congress etc.
A few years ago I was recording a podcast at Actors Comedy Studio. I was looking for a new spot. They were looking for new teachers. Easy peasy lemon cheesy. Flow. Done. But they felt the class needed a more descriptive name than The Beth Lapides Workshop. Sure. Ok.
We brainstormed. I kept talking about the connecting loop between writing and performing. To go back to UnCabaret. I’d seen so many projects come from sets at UnCabaret. How writing informs the stand up. How stand up and the sound of the voice, and the way we talk helps the writing to become more real, more authentic. More essential. How the combination of these techniques is what helps people, artists, writers find their true selves. And know what to do with it. So we called the class Infinite Writing.
It will probably change again at some point. So this page, which I created while the class was called The Comedian’s Way will stay that way. Because it’s still true. It is still the comedians way. The way of creating and recreating. Because creating doesn't mean to make. It means to grow. And laughter is one of the key ingredients in growing.
That’s the story. For now. I’m sure it will change, Everything does.
Your Sunday Girl, xo, Beth