I was advised to go in the direction of balance.
As far as secondary action, there is room to experiment with it doing any kind of character performance but I don't feel as though I have, or am currently looking at secondary action closely. I will have to follow up on my intentions to produce some secondary action-heavy walk cycles and the drinking scene.
As for balance, it would be good practice for learning how to control extreme actions with characters. The idea to do a fly swatting cartoon is a good one but I'm tempted to try something else first. I had an idea to give a character a control that affects the direction of gravity.
In the bigger picture I was advised to look at mime, performance training and performances with larval masks. Creating an animated performance of these would be good practice in learning to pose a character in awkward poses with unusual centres of gravity.
Another piece of advice - experiment, see how far you can take things.
I made a small piece of animation trying out the effect of gravity. It's nothing ground-breaking, but it was a good experiment testing out curves in this situation.