Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gulf High students laugh it up in newly formed comedy club

NEW PORT RICHEY — One minute Gray Bigler plays Scooter, a 1950s-era character who revels in his own lack of social consciousness. The next minute he's mugging it up as a charmer who wears Starbucks-scented coffee cologne.

Bigler is a student comic and co-founder of the newly formed Comedy Club at Gulf High School.

"Comedy makes people feel good," he said. "And in this club we hope to identify comedic abilities in students."

Members meet each Thursday afternoon in English teacher Jan Ledman's classroom. There, they practice standup routines and techniques. Recently they received some valuable instruction from Pasco-based comic Sharon Nolan, a two-time finalist in the Florida's Funniest Person Contest who has been featured on PBS' The Young Comedians Tour and HSN. She appears at area clubs and is a member of the Got Jokes Improv Troupe in Tampa.

Nolan recently visited the club to give the kids pointers about the fine art of comedy performance. She advised them to maintain eye contact with the audience and to watch classic comedy movies to hone their craft. She also laughed along as Bigler and Christopher Tapp delivered standup routines.

Ledman also hosts poetry coffee houses and Poetry Out Loud events in her classroom. She sees the comedy club as another venue for students to express their creativity.

"In this club, the students show off their creative sides," said Ledman. "To be a good comedian, you have to learn to play with words … and that's what they learn here."

Officially formed in December, the club's origins can be found in the lighthearted friendships shared among the founders.

"It all started with Gray and me telling each other jokes," said co-founding member and Gulf High senior Alex Giannakaris. "And we were wondering why no one else had a comedy club."

"We decided to start one up," added senior Stephen Benner, the current president.

Benner credits the Gulf High IB program with influencing him to coordinate the club. And even if they don't end up becoming professional standup comics, Benner feels that participants can learn much from their involvement in the club.

"They can learn about everything from public speaking to delivering and writing jokes," he said.

Gulf High students laugh it up in newly formed comedy club 02/06/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 7, 2014 2:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. How Jameis Winston's turnovers doomed the Bucs again

    Bucs

    The Bucs' rise or fall is based on the play of quarterback Jameis Winston. His failure to take care of the football was arguably the biggest factor in their 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

    Jameis Winston has turned the football over 25 times in 17 road games. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  2. Wrenching photos show hurricane battered Puerto Rico on brink of crisis

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — As life in Puerto Rico grinds on nearly a week after Hurricane Maria knocked out all the power, most of the water and left people waiting in excruciating lines for fuel, Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said the island was on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis" and it was up to Congress to …

    Residents bathe in a natural spring in the hill town of Toa Alta, Puerto Rica, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. As life in Puerto Rico grinds on nearly a week after the Category 4 storm knocked out all the power, most of the water and left people waiting in excruciating lines for fuel, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Monday that the island was on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis." [Victor J. Blue | New York Times]
  3. New 'Game of Thrones' concert experience coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

    Blogs

    More music is coming.

    A new, live Game of Thrones concert experience is coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Sept. 21, 2018, the venue announced today. That may seem like a long way off, but with no new season on HBO's immediate horizon, that's probably the next taste of Game of Thrones you're going to get for a …

  4. Epilogue: Stu Arnold, founder of Auto Trader magazine

    Human Interest

    From his living room table, Stuart Arnold pasted Polaroid photos and typewritten ads onto pages that became the Auto Trader magazine.

    Stuart Arnold, 82, was the founder of the Auto-Trader magazine, which grew to become one of the largest classified magazines in the country. He died Sept. 11, 2017.
  5. Former Tarpon Springs High principal sues man who called in 2015 death threat

    Civil

    The former principal of Tarpon Springs High has sued a man who threatened to come to the school and kill him in 2015, saying the man started a chain of events that harmed his life and career.

    Tarpon Springs High School was the scene of a 2015 incident where Edward S. Ecker called the school to threaten then-principal James M. Joyer. Joyer has filed a lawsuit saying Ecker set in motion a chain of events that harmed his life and career. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]