Preparing Le Gala des Retraités: Meet the residents
For a second year, ten amateur comedians, all Le Groupe Maurice residents, will be taking to the stage during the Just for Laughs Festival’s Gala des retraités (retiree gala) on July 18, 2019. Some will be performing in public for the very first time. Here is a glimpse of what they learned during their brief time at the École nationale de l’humour in preparation for their show.
Ten excited, enthusiastic and energetic retirees showed up at the École nationale de l’humour on May 9, 2019 to get laughs, encouragement and, most importantly, advice from comedy experts. Mentored by Patrick Tremblay, a comedy writing and creativity teacher at the Montréal-based school since 2012, the ten Le Groupe Maurice residents eagerly took part in writing, emotion control and character presentation exercises in preparation for their stand-up show.
“Pulling off a gag is more complicated than it looks,” said Patrick Tremblay, comedy coach for the Gala des retraités. “You have to be “true” while “lying,” be “realistic” while “exaggerating” your stories, develop a good relationship with the audience and create surprise. These techniques are important to achieve the desired result: getting laughs. The good news is that they can be learned!”
The ten model students did not hesitate when asked to produce increasingly crazed laughter, or exaggerated cries of sadness. Each resident then presented the topic of their set in front of the camera, to get used to the microphone and the audience. Laughter, play and amusement abounded throughout the day, and the courageous retirees, who were not afraid of ridicule, produced delightful moments of hilarity.
“I think I’m old enough to participate in the Gala. I can show you my ID if you don’t believe me,” said Normand Larocque, a resident of BORÉA in Blainville, making us laugh right off the bat.
Nicole Robert, a resident of Les Résidences du Marché, has an innate comedic talent. “I like abrasive humous, humour that teaches us to laugh at ourselves,” she said, after telling us about a series of events that would have traumatized others, laughing all the while.
“I like to watch TV shows about gags. Even though it’s often the same jokes, I laugh every time,” said Claude Paré, of the FLORÉA residence, with a smile.
Christiane Potvin, a resident of Le 22, will be performing onstage for the first time. She only wants one thing, to make the audience laugh. “Even if you don’t feel like it, pretend to laugh, OK?” She asked, while everyone was already chuckling.
Gala des retraités attendees will also have the opportunity to applaud the following courageous residents:
– Cécile Carbonneau, resident of ELOGIA
– Jean-Guy Plante, resident of ELOGIA
– Gilbert Bouchard, resident of FLORÉA
– Marcel De Larochellière, resident of LE 22
– Madeleine Meloche, resident of L’IMAGE D’OUTREMONT
– Jacqueline Morin, resident of LES RÉSIDENCES DU MARCHÉ
What is next for our comedy stars before the much-anticipated show on July 18th?
“We will be offering a few individual training sessions before the dress rehearsal the day before the Gala,” said Patrick Tremblay. “The important thing is to remember the three rules of comedy: have fun, own it and care about the audience. That will guarantee a successful performance.”
The colourful event, filled with joy, pride and funny anecdotes, is a must this summer for everyone seeking a unique comedy experience. To attend the Gala, Le Groupe Maurice residents should contact their recreationist. Members of the general public must purchase their tickets by calling 514-845-2322.
“Juste pour seniors” packages are available. Inquire for details.