Comedy Bootcamp

Comedy Bootcamp is an eight week comedy writing and performing class for veterans, service members, and military family members. We partner with professional stand up comedians and comedy instructors in each community with which we work to deliver quality instruction and feedback for all participants. At the end of each course, veteran comics deliver a five-minute stand up set to a public audience, and then continue to build on their comedic skills in the Comedy Bootcamp alumni group.

 

Upcoming Bootcamps

D.C. - Summer & Fall 2016

We will be hosting two more Comedy Bootcamp courses in Summer 2016 and Fall 2016 in D.C. The dates are to be determined, but the class will likely be held in the afternoon on Sundays for seven consecutive week. f you are interested in applying for the class, please follow the link below. We receive a high volume of applicants, so please complete the application as soon and as thoughtfully as possible.  

William & Mary - Fall 2016

We will be hosting another Comedy Bootcamp course in Fall 2016 at the College of William & Mary. The dates are to be determined, but the class will be held every Saturday for eight consecutive weeks in the fall. If you are interested in applying for the class, please follow the link below. We receive a high volume of applicants, so please complete the application as soon and as thoughtfully as possible. 


Testimonials

I spent 13 years in the Army and a 15-month tour in Iraq. It was tough, and being a female leader in the Army made it even harder. Often, you’re labeled as too soft, or too hard. It was stressful, and I never felt like I could truly be myself. The Comedy Bootcamp encouraged me to be myself, the real Isaura - it’s like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. This workshop helped me. It helped my family. I feel like for the first time it’s really okay to show people the real me.
— Isaura Ramirez | US Army | Post-9/11
The Comedy Bootcamp class experience was better than any other veteran activity I have been involved with. Our classroom was a comfortable environment to be creative in. It was amazing to watch everyone grow closer as we helped each other’s acts get stronger. The professionalism of the graduation shows far exceeded my expectations. I am extremely grateful to ASAP for giving me the opportunity to heal with creativity, and pursue my comedy dream.
— Michael Garvey | USMC | Post-9/11
I served in the Marine Corps Reserves for six years, post-9/11. I was never deployed, so I’ve always had a complex about that, like I didn’t serve enough, not to mention it was pretty challenging being one of one, or sometimes two females in a platoon of 60-70 dudes. I’ve also always loved comedy and making people laugh, since I was very young. When I read about Comedy Bootcamp, it was almost too good to be true. And, when I was accepted, I almost wanted to e-mail them and ask, “Are you sure? Me? Really!?” I’ve been stressed and struggling lately, and this class felt like a life-saver. I met amazing, hilarious people, and we all learned how to take those deep insecurities and make them into jokes, jokes through which we could all laugh and heal. I cannot recommend Comedy Bootcamp and ASAP enough.
— Kristin Pettersen | USMC | Post-9/11
I enrolled in comedy bootcamp not knowing what to expect. I knew it would take me out of my ‘comfort zone’ and put me on a stage to try to make people laugh ... Which sounds absolutely terrifying and terrific all at the same time. I was so nervous my first time up in front of the class to tell five minutes worth of jokes. My hands were shaking, my voice cracking, and my mouth was dry; however I loved getting my first laughs from them. It was such a rush, such an amazing feeling! The second time was easier and the third was even more so. Once I worked with the instructors and students to get my routine down, I couldn’t wait to deliver it on stage. This class helped me overcome a fear I had, helped me do something I always wanted to do, and I met some great friends along the way. I can’t help but look forward to seeing where my classmates go from here!
— Tim Herbin | US Navy | Post-9/11
I came into the class hesitant. I had for years used my sarcasm as a personal band-aid and security blanket. Over the past fourteen or so years I’ve been dealing with post traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. The class was welcoming with great support and interaction from my fellow students, the volunteer staff, and the instructor. By the end I felt much better, interactive, and effective at engaging people. Oh, and I learned how to do something I never thought I’d do, and made a bunch of great new friends!
— Mike King | US Army | Post-9/11
I would recommend Comedy Bootcamp to any veteran seeking to unwind from the stresses of combat or the day-to-day pressures of military life. You will find that the adventure of building a body of work from your own experiences and turning them into laughter is truly therapeutic. I enjoyed the journey, and found that after weeks of writing my routine, I had gained a new level of confidence to present my material to a wide range of audiences…..try it, you’ll like it!
— Henry Ramey | US Army | Cold War
Comedy Bootcamp was the best experience I’ve had in the last couple years! I was very nervous before going up on stage at the first show, but we gave each other so much support and help that it was easy to have confidence. The rush I got from hearing the crowd laugh at my jokes was worth all the anxiety. After exiting the stage I felt like I was on top of the world. 10/10 would do it all over again!
— Dan Bentley | US Navy | Post-9/11
I was very scared about doing Comedy Bootcamp. I had always been very brave and fearless, but after my injury and illness, I forgot how it felt to to try new things. This class allowed me to regain this amazing feeling. I was again able to feel the rush of adrenaline you get when you do new, scary, and challenging things. This class enabled me to push myself to do the outrageous again, and taught me that I can have fun in the process.
— Ama Lopez | US Army | Post-9/11
Anyone who has served in the military knows the absurdity of the day-to-day, even in theater. The value of learning how to channel that absurdity into standup comedy is difficult to quantify, but it’s definitely rewarding. And anyone who is thinking about joining the Armed Services Arts Partnership’s Comedy Bootcamp will realize sooner or later that the environment the bootcamp creates for standup newbies is not only unique, but one professional, seasoned comics wish they could have experienced. The opportunity to bounce ideas off other funny people while developing a standup routine, and practicing in front of peers before performing on stage in front of an audience, doesn’t happen for everyone. I’m a strong advocate for the program, and hope my friends from class continue to pursue their interests.
— John Dorling | US Navy | Post-9/11
For about 10 years now, I had thought about getting up on stage and just trying it. But my excuses always won out: too busy, not enough time, not prepared right now, I’ll do it eventually. I am so glad I decided to prioritize this and take advantage of this opportunity. It allowed me to finally say, alright, no more excuses. I didn’t spend too long in the military, and often don’t like talking about my experience, but I was able to open up with the fellow veterans in Bootcamp. For some reason, when I signed up, I didn’t even think of the community aspect that would increasingly build over the next two months. The experience was really nothing short of magical. The comedy bootcamp far exceeded my expectations.
— Bryan Banning | US Navy | Post-9/11