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The Washington D.C. Comedy Writers Group

Because we live HERE, we laugh.

Author

Wayne Manigo

Wayne is a high energy comedian with the ability to deliver laughter at a moment's notice. He considers it a gift to craft funny material from things that frustrate us in everyday life

September 2017 Updates

There’s nothing worse than being so busy that you forget to update a website. We’re guilty of that! But if you follow us Facebook, you’ll discover that we’ve been creating ‘balls of madness’ and passing them out as gifts to the world. Our meetings at Judy’s Bar & Restaurant remind us of the TV show ‘Pinky & The Brain’. Every Monday night, we’re trying to take over the comedy world! If a subject or topic was in the news, on television, or posted in cyberspace…you know we made fun of it!  At this point we’re certifiable!

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A surprise visit by Eric Owusu:
Eric was in town and it was like a homecoming. Since moving to L.A., we don’t get to see him too often.  His stories about working in the entertainment industry are was amazing and inspirational. Having a founding member the group like winning a webbie award. Most people don’t know you have it except you…and you’ll treasure it forever. Or until you pawn it.

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Film production with Bad Medicine:

If you’re planning on producing video shorts or youtube videos, volunteering is one of the (and FREE) ways to learn what’s involved to create one. We had a blast working with the gang at Bad Medicine for their latest video short.  It was a day of laughter and building new friendships.  We’re looking forward to watching it in the future.

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Member Spotlight: Cristina Payne

The amount of work that Cristina has put into Ben’s Upstairs is simply mind boggling. In just a few short months, she created one of the best weekly showcases in the city.  Did we happen to mention the shows are free? There is also an open mic after the showcase for up-and-coming comedians to participate in after the main event. Thursday nights have a new home for comedy!

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Mentor Spotlight: Kelley Baker (aka “The Angry Filmmaker”)

Kelley Baker wrote the book when it comes to learning how to create inexpensive films. Actually, he wrote a few of them.  His workshops and classes are amazing. Now he’s launching a new campaign to promote his new book ‘Road Dog’ on Indiegogo. We are huge fans of his work and hope you will support him on this project. You can also find him at http://www.angryfilmmaker.com .

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-road-dog-fall-tour#/

Baltimore Comedy Writing Group:

We were delighted to help Baltimore reboot their comedy writing group. If you’re in that part of town, check out their monthly meetings at the Single Carrot Theater. They usually meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Please check out their Facebook page for more details.

https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreComedyWritersGroup/

The Free DC Comedy Festival:

Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions for this event. While the venues are not confirmed yet, the target date is the third week in November. It will consist primarily of comedy writing workshops. More info will be provided at www.freedccomedyfestival.com in the future.

In a nutshell, those are the highlights. We look forward to seeing you crazy kids at the meeting. See ya’ next time!

Keep writing!

Wayne & Mandy

February 2017 Updates

Hey Gang:

If ‘Mother Nature’ had a Facebook profile, the world would like her status for providing us with one of the best Februaries EVER! Anyone who pays heating bills did their happy dance to celebrate this wonderful warm weather. We were delighted to see some many people attending our recent meetings. The amount of new material being developed by our members is simply delightful!  This ‘Kilroy’ tribute picture by our co-founder Mandy Dalton is hilarious!

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Our meetings are held every Monday at Judy’s Bar & Restaurant (2212 14th St NW) at 8:30 pm. Bring yer pens, pads, and yer funny!

The Final RFD Show:

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One of D.C.’s longest-running comedy shows decided to call it a day. After five successful years, Ralph Cooper retired his weekly open mic show at RFD. Highly regarded as one of the best shows in the city, this room launched the careers of several comedians in the area. For the final show, the list of comics who came to pay tribute was astonishing. How he remembered to take this picture during the wee hours is beyond us. We’re looking forward to Ralph’s next comedy project at RFD.

The Duffy’s Comedy Show

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It was a delight for us to host a comedy show this month at Duffy’s Irish Pub.  And when it comes to comedy, everyone is a target. Especially us! Here’s the caption our co-founder Wayne Manigo wrote about this photo:

“This picture was leaked from the upcoming film ‘The Blues Brothers 2017: D.C. and Beyond!

“We’re getting the band back together!”

Ralph Cooper is wearing the white jacket so you know he’s the lead singer.  Mr. Cooper looks upset because he can’t release his solo project until we complete this album first. Frank James is delighted that we got him out of that deal with Suge Knight/Death Row records.”

We’re looking forward to hosting the next show sometime in April. Stay tuned for the details!

Judy Carter has joined Instagram:
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We are huge fans of Judy Carter. Her book ‘The Comedy Bible’ is probably the first book every aspiring comedian purchases when they decide to learn how to write comedy. This month we were delighted to discover she created an account on Instagram. You can find her at @judycartercomedy.

Comedy Tip:

Steve Kaplan’s book ‘The Hidden Tools of Comedy’, provides a suggestion that comedy writers should utilize:

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“The writer’s group is an indispensable tool for comedy, because comedy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The best way to find out whether something is funny is to read it out loud in a group of people. If there’s no laughter, you might have a problem. And a writer’s group is usually an amazing (and free!) resource of story ideas, beat sheets, plot point troubleshooting, gags, job leads, and talent rep referrals.”

We’re looking forward to seeing what other madness you crazy kids develop this year, and helping you with your comedy writing projects. BTW – Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@dccomedywriters).

Keep writing!

Wayne & Mandy

EOY Update: So Long 2016, Hello 2017

“Where in Sam Hill did 2016 go?”

It seems like only yesterday we were yelling “Happy New Year!” But we had a lot of fun with you guys over the past year. Some of our members are currently hosting comedy rooms in the area. Others are performing at the D.C. Improv, Story District, Comedy Hack Day DC and traveling across the country. This is wonderful news to our ears!

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Special thanks are in order to the Washington Post (especially Rudi Greenberg and Lavanya Ramanathan), On Tap Magazine, and the Washington City Paper for helping promote the local comedy scene. Let’s face it: For a while, it seemed as if it was dying on us. So we’re sending big hugs to the press for keeping comedy on their radar.

BTW – One thing that has not changed over the years: We still meet on Monday nights at Judy’s Bar & Restaurant at 8:30 pm. For members who haven’t attended a meeting yet (and for those who haven’t been around in a while), here’s the skinny on how we operate:

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1. Start the meeting with an icebreaker.
2. Work on a few writing exercises.
3. Open the floor to those who want to workshop new material.

Your material doesn’t need to be polished to present it. Hell…It could be something you saw or thought about that day and we’ll help you make it funnier. That’s just how it works with us.

Reminder: We discuss most of our ideas and suggestions in our Facebook group. That is our most active platform.

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This group could not have celebrated five years of comedy writing without your love and support. Thank you for believing in our concept in developing a safe space where people can test out new comedy material. If you have ideas, thoughts or suggestions on how to make the group more productive, please let us know! Don’t forget to follow up on Twitter – @dccomedywriters.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

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Wayne & Mandy

May 2016 Updates

Hey Kids:
The winter months have passed us by, and we’re quickly approaching the summer. The last few weeks presented us with tons of rain, but that didn’t damper our spirits. Our weekly meetings have been fabulous, and we ran past midnight on a few occasions. That’s what happens when you combine creativity with a touch a madness. Here a few updates for ya:
The Return of Eric Owusu:

Eric stopped in town recently to pay us a visit. He’s one of the founding members of our group who move to NYC to chase his comedy dreams. Currently based in LA, he dropped tons of comedy advice as we discussed his adventures in performing and writing comedy. At that particular meeting, we skipped testing out new material and interviewed Eric that evening.

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If you want to watch some of Eric’s work (including his 4 part mini-documentary on the DMV comedy scene), check out his Youtube page:

https://www.youtube.com/user/EricOwusuComedy/videos

Favorite Writing Exercise of the Month:

One of our writing exercises this month was “The Fake WMATA Town Hall Meeting”!

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is finally ready to address the public about their crappy service. I created “Mr. Horace P. Soultrain” to address angry questions from the audience. Performed this writing exercise in costume, I didn’t realize I would actually answer some of those questions. Dammit…we were rolling on the floor with laughter!
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Just a reminder that we are working with all forms of comedy. You don’t have to be a standup comedian to attend or participate in our meetings. We tackle all types of humorous writing!


Upcoming comedy shows from some of our members:

Ralph Cooper: Awesome Thursdays Comedy Show

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Kandyce August: Funny Mondays:

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Leon Scott: The Power of Positive Drinking:

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Stephen Joseph Campbell: Jokes at Judy’s:

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Reminder: We are *NOT* meeting on Monday, May 30th. We’ll see ya’ on June 6th at 8:30 pm here:
Judy’s Restaurant & Bar

2212 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

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Keep writing, and keep ‘em laughing!
Wayne & Mandy

March 2016 Updates

Gang:

We hope you’re dusting off your comedy notebooks, and getting back into your comedy writing groove. Thing are moving and shaking in the D.C. comedy community, and we hope you’re going to be a part of the action. Lots of things to cover this month, so we’re going to jump right into it.

First, I’d like to remind everyone to check out the previous episodes of the DC Comedy Writers Group podcast. Last year, we had several special guests including John Vorhaus, Jen Grisanti, Liz Russo, Josh Gondelman and Joe Berkowitz. AND….you can find some of the previous writing exercises with our responses. Check us out on iTunes, PodBean, and Sticher Radio. Your feedback and comments on those websites are greatly appreciated.

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So Long S.M. Shrake!

Scott developed Story League into one of the best places to hear funny stories in the D.C. area. Several members of our group have participated in their events over the years. He has decided to move to New York, and we were not going to let him go without getting a few cheap shots in. And I’m not talking about liquor.

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His farewell comedy roast was held at The Unified Scene Theater. I must admit….It was a hilarious night! It was wonderful to see so many people say goodbye to him with the gift of laughter. My only regret was that no one recorded this madness for YouTube or Vimeo. “Good luck in the Big Apple Scott. We’re gonna miss ya’ buddy!”

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WDCCWG Sketch Comedy

Folks have expressed an interest in writing and producing comedy videos. This year we are working hard to make that a reality. If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please send an email to info@dccomedywriters.com. Please specify if you would like participate as actors/actresses, writers, editors, or some other function with the production team.

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BTW – We are also working on a video version of our podcast. Opportunities will be available for people to host future episodes.
Working on HBO’s television show “VEEP”

HBO and the D.C. Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment offered three local residents a chance to work on as a Production Assistant of the set of the television show “VEEP”.  I was honored to be selected. It was a fast pace environment, and I learned a lot form working with that team of professionals. Special thanks to the Washington Post for writing this article about it!

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That will do it for the March updates. If you have ideas or suggestions for the group, please contact Mandy or myself with your thoughts. I also want to remind everyone that if you want to lead one of our weekly Monday night meetings, we are willing to train you and provide the writing exercises.  Looking forward to seeing you at one of our weekly meetings at Judy’s Bar and Restaurant on Monday nights at 8:30 pm.

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Until the next time!

Wayne & Mandy

Welcome To The Sixth Year!

Hey gang:

It was only a few years ago when we came up with the concept of learning how to write comedy as a group. Not just stand up comedy writing…we focused on various forms of humor. Starting out with just a few members in the back of Duffy’s Irish Pub, we made a commitment to meet on Monday nights.  Our current meeting location is Judy’s Bar & Restaurant, but the mission is the same: Learning how to write humor based material.

Consistency is one of the keys to our success. Our members know that if they’re gone for a day or a thousand days….We’ll be there for them on Monday nights. We emphasize that if your attending a meeting, take advantage of the resources available. It’s a safe environment where its ok to ‘suck out loud’. Just remember that our meetings are uncensored. If you’re the type that is easily offended by bad language, then we’re not the group for you.

Some of the highlights from last year included:

Winning third place as the ‘Best Place to Test Your Stand-Up Act At An Open Mic‘ in the Washington Post.

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Having our ‘FREE DC Comedy Festival‘ mentioned in the Washington Post and On Tap Magazine. Special thanks to the gang at Pelonkey for helping us promote the festival from their blog. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ us the festival on Facebook.

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Participating in the ‘Comedy Hack Day‘ event.

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Mandy’s Birthday Party:

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Story District Launch Party:

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We’re looking forward to hosting and attending more events this year. Thanks to all the members for their suggestions and ideas. Mandy and I are always looking for ways to improve your writing experiences. Our group is very active on Twitter ( @dccomedywriters ) and Facebook.

Final note: Vote for us in Washington City Paper!

“The DC Comedy Writers Group will host their 3rd annual ‘Free DC Comedy Festival‘ this year. This festival features stand-up performances, comedy writing, and other activities. The festival is scheduled for the third week of November. We invite you to learn and laugh with some very funny people. Please click here to vote!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in the future. Until the next time….Keep Writing!

Wayne & Mandy

 

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