Three times a year, VFS Writing for Film and Television puts on live sketch comedy shows featuring scripts by the Writing program’s students. Over one term, students learn how to write sketch comedy, which is followed by six weeks of fast-paced rehearsals with professional actors, culminating in two live shows, each one with a fresh cast and brand-new sketches.
Want to know the best part? It's open to the public! So why not catch some totally affordable/absolutely hilarious comedy on Thursday, Oct. 13 and Friday, Oct 14? It's all happening at the VFS Café (390 W Hastings St.) and it's only $5 at the door. And yes, it is a licensed event.
For an inside scoop on one writing student's process leading up to these live shows, keep reading!
Guest Post By: James Greene
Hello everybody! My name is James Greene, and I’m an honest to God writer. Seriously, I know, right? Impressive…. Well, it is to me. I’m the writer of “The Important Question,” one of the sketches in the up-and-coming VFS Writing sketch show. They offered me a chocolate bar to write a little blurb about my experience leading up to the show, so here I am.
I started writing my sketch as an assignment for class. It was one of the first sketches I had ever written, so naturally, I mashed my face into the keyboard until something readable came out. The rest I attribute to our delightful and talented sketch comedy instructor and director, Jackie Blackmore, and our producer, Shelley Stein-Wotten. Not really, though, I did work really hard on my sketch. Wait--I mean Jackie and Shelley are both still great, I just didn’t hand them a pile of garbage, I swear.
Once we finished all of our sketches, we submitted two of them for consideration to be placed into the show. If I’d had the choice I would have used both of mine. Not because I think both of mine are superior, but my other sketch necessitated a giant banner strung across the stage with “DILDOPOLIS” written on it. I kinda wanted to see that, so sue me. After we had our sketches chosen, we had a few days to do rewrites. Then after we handed those in we had a few hours to do re-rewrites, which was just super fun. Then it was off to the rehearsals!
The rehearsal process was amazing. I got to see the stories that my classmates and I worked on come to life. There is no known/legal method with which to convey that feeling. That’s something that sticks with you. We got to go to as many of the rehearsals as we liked, which, as I hear it, is not something that always happens, or will ever happen again, probably. So that was nice.
One of the most fascinating things about writing something like this is seeing it handed off to someone else. It’s terrifying, but exhilarating. When I finished writing it I thought it was pretty good, but then it was given to our actors and I saw that it was so much better than I could have hoped, not because of anything I did, but because of the thousands of things that people add to the performance. The collaborative aspect of having the actors and Jackie work on this completely separate from me, the writer, is the real magic here.
So there you go, all caught up. I had fun, and I hope you will too when you show up for the great shows we’ve got planned. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Shelley is literally dangling a Coffee Crisp on a string in front of me so I’m off.
Thanks, James! We can't wait to see the show!