“Gemma is an amazing teacher! She is warm, encouraging, and professional all at once. Some professionals hoard their knowledge, but Gemma goes out of her way to give you every tool for success. She thoroughly knows her stuff and has a genuine passion for helping writers get to the next level. I cannot recommend her classes highly enough. When you aren’t listening in rapt attention, you’ll be laughing ‘till your sides hurt. Do yourself a favor and sign up for her classes. You’ll be glad you did!” – Stephanie, Crash Course student
“The course was incredible and has made all my writing tighter. The best writing course I have ever participated in- and I’ve done a few. ” – Karan, Crash Course student
The Crash Course is my short FREE online sketch comedy writing course aimed at improving diversity in writers’ rooms.
WHY I’M RUNNING THE CRASH COURSE
I’ve found that writers’ rooms are just better when there’s a diverse group of people in them. You get a broader range of ideas and perspectives- and that ultimately makes for a better show.
I’ve been teaching sketch comedy writing courses for years. When lockdown happened, I moved my courses online and was struck by how smoothly they still ran. I also saw an increase in people from outside London signing up. I’ve had students attending from all over the UK as well as Australia, South Africa and Germany- and running the classes has genuinely been the highlight of my lockdown week.
Now my workshops are no longer tied to London- and there are no room booking fees- I can finally do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time; run a free course for those who have less easy access to the industry.
WHO IS IT FOR?
If you are Black, South Asian, East Asian or mixed race, if you are someone who is living with a disability, if you are LGBTQIA+, if you are living on a low income or come from a working class or lower middle class background, this course might be for you. (If you don’t feel these descriptors apply to you or you can afford to pay, you can sign up for my full length courses here.)
WHAT IS THE COURSE STRUCTURE?
The Crash Course consists of four 90 min workshops. We cover sketch structure, game, escalation, punchlines, writing for TV and radio, writing to a brief, formatting and topical sketch writing- amongst other things!
WHO AM I LOOKING FOR?
I am looking for people who are passionate about comedy and would like to write comedy as a career- but have faced significant barriers to entry into the industry. I’m also looking for people who would not be able to attend my regular workshops, due to either location or finances.
I can only take around 8 people per course because of the collaborative nature of the workshops- but I hope to run the Crash Course a couple of times a year – whenever I can, essentially- so do apply again if you miss out the first time.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED?
If you are accepted onto the course, you just need a device with internet capabilities and to be available and punctual for the four lessons. Treat it as you would a professional writers’ room: turn up, be on time and reply to emails.
The Crash Course is currently closed for applications. The next course will run in November 2020. Applications will open in October 2020.
(Please note: you must be over 18 to apply. Dates and times are subject to change. ie. I might get a writing job and have to re-arrange the workshop dates. But I will always try to avoid this.)
Gemma’s most recent work includes the Emmy nominated Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC), Tracey Breaks the News (BBC) Riot Girls (Channel 4) Newsjack (BBC Radio 4 Extra) The Now Show (BBC Radio 4), The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4), Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish (Dave), Class Dismissed (CBBC) and Bravest Warriors (Cartoon Hangover). She has script edited Newsjack for the past few seasons and her “What were you wearing?” sketch for Tracey Ullman was featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Mirror, Metro and more, with over 35 million views on Facebook and was BBC Comedy’s highest rated video of 2017.
“A cut above all other Fringe sketch comics.” -Broadway Baby
“Gemma is brilliaaaaaant!” -Paul Whitehouse