Career Day: Comedy - R U Kidding Me?!

by  Author Dave Schwensen

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This program is about careers in the entertainment industry. Yes, the title and theme point to comedy, thanks to Dave’s behind the scenes experiences, but our focus goes beyond that niche. Performers such as comedians, actors, singers, dancers, writers and others achieve success as part of a team. We look at members of the entertainment team, the job duties and how they work together.

Comedy is a serious business – with a lot of laughs. And of course, one of the goals of this program will be sharing laughter. But rather than get too far ahead of ourselves, we’ll save that for the grand finale.

In addition to learning what it takes to become a performer in live venues and on television, we’ll look into the separate business markets that include colleges and universities, conference events and cruise ships. We’ll also discuss the off-stage careers and responsibilities of talent managers, talent agents, talent coordinators, publicists, event planners and as members of (college) Student Activities. The SA Board is an excellent way for students interested in the entertainment industry to gain experience since they are part of the team that will choose the entertainment for campus events.

Based on his books How To Be A Working Comic and Comedy FAQs And Answers, Dave shares his experiences in Hollywood and New York as a talent coordinator for television and the legendary Improv Comedy Clubs. He’s worked with too many successful comedians to mention in a short program description, but you can count on one thing – lots of name dropping and insider stories.

Dave has taught writing workshops and business of comedy seminars since 1994 and has appeared on PBS Television and Radio, and in numerous national and regional media features as a comedy business expert. He also designed and instructed courses in presentation skills and communications at Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and other halls of higher learning. Yes, he really can be called The Nutty Professor!

Oh, I almost forgot about our grand finale… 

At the end of the program participants will be given a (very) short exercise in creating family friendly comedy material. It starts with “What Makes You Laugh?” and ends with volunteering students and teachers receiving a spectacular and thrilling introduction from Dave as they enter the spotlight and go for the laughs. 

 "(As an educator) I didn't realize that there was a job in comedy without being a comedian. It was interesting to learn about the coaching and management aspects of the field. Those interested in a career in comedy or the entertainment industry did learn about what jobs entail and how to prepare for a career." - Lakeside Junior / Senior High School, Plummer, ID 

 "The students learning was impacted through the information that they received from Dave. I liked the hand-out that he provided for us. The hand-out defined the Entertainment team. The bottom line is that I learned a lot about the different jobs." - Browning Middle School, Billings, MT

"It opened our eyes to just how many jobs in the entertainment industry are behind the scenes. I like that he mentioned the type of daily life a performer lives, traveling a lot, versus the jobs he was discussing where you usually stay put in one city and work a fairly regular schedule of some sort. This helps youth to begin to think about the pros and cons of any career they may choose." - Middle School Teacher, KS, USA


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About This Program


Multipoint: $175.00
Multipoint Premium: $150.00


45-60 Minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Parent, Adult LearnersPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Career Education, Performing Arts, Reading, Social Studies/History, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

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Author Dave Schwensen

Vermilion, OH
United States

Dave is the author of six books and has designed and instructs courses in communications and presentations skills for Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and others. He's a former talent coordinator and consultant for television and live events in Hollywood and New York City.

In addition to school and business training programs and keynotes, Dave is a nationally recognized comedy coach for The Improv Comedy Club. He is author of How To Be A Working Comic and Comedy FAQs And Answers, and includes humor and entertainment in all his programs. Yes, he really can be called the nutty professor!

Dave has been featured on PBS Television and Radio, U.S. News & World Report, Chicago Tribune, The Hollywood Reporter, Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Insidebiz.com Magazine and many others.

A pop culture historian and enthusiast, he is the author of The Beatles At Shea Stadium and The Beatles In Cleveland. Both Top 40 Best Sellers on Amazon.com, Dave is a featured author at Beatles conferences throughout the U.S. and presents programs on the 1960s and the impact of The Beatles to schools, organizations and lifelong learners. Both books were added to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library & Archives.

For details about Beatles / pop culture video conferences and webinars visit www.BeatlesProgram.com.

Dave Schwensen

Program Details


1. This program begins with a humorous opening demonstrating that humor can be found in every day experiences.
2. Meet the author. Dave discusses how his business degree took him from Ohio to a "show" business career as a comedy talent coordinator in Hollywood and New York. This is done in a humorous and fun manner since Dave is also a professional comedy coach, speaker and humorist.
3. Discussion of careers in the entertainment industry as a comedian, talent agent, manager, publicist and talent booker.
4. How to develop a career as a stand-up comedian.
5. Workbook exercise to define each student's personal sense of humor.
6. Workbook exercise in comedy writing technique.
7. Grand finale. Students volunteer to perform a short comedy routine based on the workbook exercise. Number of participants depends on time restraints.
8. Students may ask questions at any time during the session.


1. Discover career opportunities in the entertainment and comedy industries.
2. Learn about job responsibilities that go on behind the scenes as a talent agent, manager, publicist and talent coordinator.
3. Gain insight into the process of pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian.
4. Explore writing techniques with the focus on humor.
5. Gain experience in public speaking with an opportunity to volunteer for a brief in-class presentation.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Visual Arts: Careers and Community
* Recognize a variety of entertainment related professions and careers in our society.
* Students identify methods for connecting creative skills, ideas, and processes to entertainment related careers as well as other professions.
* Understand how creative experiences affect daily life and identify opportunities for involvement in the arts.

NL-ENG.K - 12.11 Participating In Society* Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communications Skills* Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language, (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies* Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

NS.K-12.4 Language Arts* Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.

NS.K-12.5 Language Arts* Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purpose.

NS.K-12.12 Language Arts* Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).