“One Thing.” How to get the most out of your set on Monday the 12th.

Sorry it’s taken extra time to get this blog up kids. I also ask everyone to please share me class and my website with everyone thank you in advance if you have already. My next class begins Monday April 30th in Yuks Comedy Club in Century Casino. Share my E mail with anyone who’s interested and I will answer all questions, my class info, hiring me as a Key Note and Corporate Comedian. Big breath, thank you again.

Alright, your set: In every part of your set there’s ONE THING you can do to achieve the results that you desire.                                                                               1) Tape your set and listen to it. Have a note pad ready and listen to your set, ask this: are you pausing after each joke? Does your set contain your theme, the market brand the thing that tell us who you really are? (We’re not looking for quantity, ten minutes, we’re looking for quality, the one thing that makes you, YOU: honesty)

2) Does your set START with your SECOND BEST JOKE and End with your BEST JOKE? Look at your set and talk it out. Remember when you’re telling your set you’re reliving a story you LIVED! Give the people in your set their own voice, actions and let go and be yourself.

3) Does your set close on your BEST JOKE. Your story/set should gradually get funnier, the points/punch lines in your set should grow to your best joke, your last joke.

4) Look at your set/story and make sure every joke MAKES A POINT.

5) Journal your set each day before Monday and while you are, look at your jokes from other perspectives, from other people in the story; dad, mom, a sibling-to the dog cat or something inanimate like the couch or bag of chips you just ate.

7) Your energy , what you feel is what’s being shared with the audience, not only the material. If you’re nervous, excited, passionate or grateful because you took PAUL SVEEN’S comedy class to help you with your genius comedy; whatever you’re feeling is the fuel behind your performance. So be happy have fun. And if you’re scared: TELL THEM. Be honest with an audience and they’ll love you for it.

8) Be prepared: don’t bring a notepad on stage. Know your material; rehearse it and have your set on your phone, listen to it over and over always finding ways to add emotion to the joke. Dress nice, clean clothes and feeling good. Don’t drink or smoke pot before a show. After, shoot heroin in your eye if you like but for your performance: rehearse, rehearse rehearse-repeat.

REMEMBER: there’s ONE THING you can do in each segment of your set, look at each part of your set that I’ve described above and ask yourself, what’s the one thing I can do now to have a better set for Monday.


Have fun and I’ll see you at 6:30 on Monday March 12 at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino on Fort Road.

CLASS 2Foreshadowing,

Thank you everyone for the great class on Monday. I really appreciate your hard work. I would also really appreciate if you spread the word of my class and my website. If you know an organization or company that’s looking for a speaker or comedian for their event, please share my link to my websitehttp://www.paulsveen.com/  or my E mail please. paulsveen@shaw.ca                                                                                                                                    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  1. Remember : our story our set, write out and Tag each sentence in your story. Re tag the set/story from as many perspectives on the circle as you can: looking from your perspective as well as the others in your story. But start by writing out your STORY/SET and look at each sentence and look at the sentence, ask what the sentence is saying (THIS IS YOUR PREMISE) Ask what you feel about the premise (THIS IS THE PUNCHLINE)
  2. REMEMBER: Journal through your homework this will help you go through ideas and remember to have a POOL a place at the bottom of your page where you insert ideas that bubble up while you’re working on your STORY/SET; These ideas might become valuable later.
  3. When we foreshadow our set we set the next joke up in the set. This gives our set rhythm and escalates theme
  4. I’m going to play with the set I’m playing with: “My spouse doesn’t like me being in a comedy class.”
  5. REMEMBER : Story is the boss. I’m taking a story from my past where over five years a comedian’s wife slowly stops going to his shows.I don’t care if you’re married to Chris Angel or Wayne Gretzky, be honest, look in your heart, after a while Janet Gretzky must have been like:             “great, another hat trick, what’s that, 2000 of them? Great.” yawn.”
    1. Opening joke: (I’m going to keep directing and foreshadowing the jokes toward a comedian’s wife never going to their shows.) WRITE OUT THE PREMISE and then :ask what your sentence is saying and then answer how you feel about it.” look for the emotional unspoken punchline, also, look at the key words in the previous joke and use it to foreshadow the next joke                                                                              I told my wife I was taking a comedy class. She said, take plumbing, renovating, working around the house; that’s the stuff that really makes her laugh ” 2) I talk about her in my shows; , how she doesn’t think I’m funny, doesn’t laugh at my jokes and how she couldn’t stop laughing when I tried to fix the sink.” < I foreshadowed the second joke in the first joke when I said my wife thought I couldn’t be a handy man> 3) My wife came to my last open mike, small audience, quiet, I asked them what they wanted to talk about. My wife shouted out, “tell them about being a handyman!”
  6. Write out the story, write out the point/premise and how you feel/ punchline. Keep talking it out and journal new material.
  7. Have your 4 minute set for next class on Monday February 26.
  8. E  mail me if you have any challenges: paulsveen@shaw.ca
  9. remember to have fun and share my class, website and me as a comedian if you want. 🙂
  10. IMPORTANT: I have an unexpected event on TUESDAY MARCH SIX. WE WILL BE HAVING OUR GRAD PERFORMANCE NIGHT MONDAY MARCH 12 ( I apologize for any confusion, which will never end, by the way 🙂

Class Two Blog. Developing your theme.

Thank you everyone for your heard work in the class. The last class had so much great material and laughter and fantastic ideas shared with each other. Remember though: when other students are on stage, have your note pad ready to write down ideas you can share with them after they’re off the stage. This will help you with perspective and make you a better Stand Up. REMEMBER to JOURNAL, JOURNAL JOURNAL 🙂

ALSO, REMEMBER: we’re raising funds for PTSD if you want to create opportunities to have another comedy night to make a difference with another organization, E mail me paulsveen@shaw.ca

ALRIGHT, THEME and Joke Writing. Here are the steps: 1) choose a story that has your theme/ if you’re stuck on theme, choose a story that really makes you laugh. 2) Ask how you feel about the points of your story, begin with the first sentence and move through the story, asking and answering the sentences. 3)Ask what the emotion is in the point of each sentence and locate words that amplify this emotion. 4) Go through your story and ask and answer, talk out loud 5) Remember to locate as many ideas, movies, songs, memories and people places and things and words that are connected to your story and see if they fit.

EXAMPLE: I’m working with a story that is about driving through a Robbin’s Doughnuts Drive through and asking for Tim Bits.

Do you remember Robbin’s doughnuts? Franchises were hunted down and taken out by your family friendly Tim Hortons. Yes there’s always time for Tim’s since you’ve run everyone else out of the country. (This is how I feel, I want to explore this.)

I asked the question, “Do you remember Robbin’s Doughnuts? (Ask the question and then use sarcasm to answer it.) They were the last place to allow smoking. Here’s my first joke, I found this while doing my journal:                                                                                                                                                             “Do you remember Robbin’s doughnuts? The last coffee shop to allow smoking? What was their sales pitch, if our doughnuts, cake and coffee doesn’t kill you.” (This is my first joke so far. When you’re finished your set, ask yourself if your second best joke is at the beginning of your story; if it isn’t, move that joke to the beginning of your set . Your best joke has to be at the end.

SECOND JOKE: I’m just going through the story the way it happened and asking and answering questions and I’m doing this by asking how I really feel. I went into a Robbin’s doughnuts drive through and asked for Tim bits. The guy in the speaker screams, “we don’t sell TIM BITS!! The guy calms down and says this is Robbin’s Doughnuts. Do you want something else?” I said, “No thank you. I’ll just take the bit I have now and back away.”

THIRD JOKE: What are some of the actual things that happens to me at Tim Horton’s. “They say Tim Horton’s is like being home, yeah, a bunch of people in sweats in a bad mood that don’t want  to talk to each other.”

Forth joke: Every time I get cut off in the drive through at Timmy’s it’s always  by a truck? At least at Starbucks when you get cut off it’s something like a Lexus. and then I think, I could buy one of those if I wasn’t  spending 10$ on a cup of coffee at Starbucks.”

REMEMBER: choose a story. Ask and answer questions about the story. Look at other points of view. Be as sarcastic as you can in the punchline. put these new jokes in your story and tell the story out loud to yourself. Keep asking the point of the sentence and keep feeding the point of your theme.

Have fun!!!



1/30/17 Class one homework- story.

Thank you everyone for being in my class. I always like to ask more of myself as an Instructor, Stand Up Comedian and Author. I will give this class everything I am and am honored that everyone in this class is in my class. Thank you. Again, if anyone has any challenges during the week, E MAIL ME AT: paulsveen@shaw. ca

REMEMBER: JOURNAL three pages a day. Get up a little earlier and stream of consciousness three pages about your set, joke writing, visualizing the next class, your Comedy Night, anything and everything to do with the SAND BOX that is your humor gift.

HOMEWORK: For next next Monday’s class have a THREE MINUTE SET/STORY for class, AND, five jokes using the formula is gave in the handout and in this blog.

JOKE WRITING: 1) Look at the first sentence in your story. (Mine is being asked to a pool party by Evangelicals)

  1. Ask and answer HONEST questions about how you feel. The question is the PREMISE. The Answer is the PUNCH LINE.
  2. Near the BOTTOM of a page in your NOTE BOOK write the word POOL ( this is where we’re going to store all of our random brain storming ideas and things that are associated with the PREMISE and PUNCHLINE- key words, cliche’s, random thoughts….
  3. Speak the story out loud, how do you really feel about the first sentence in your story? ( why do I feel I’m being recruited by the evangelicals? Because I am. I’m not part of any church and they want me to be.
  4. Our first thoughts are going to be sarcasm or at least allow them to be. This is a great way to mine material. Ask the honest question and give a sarcastic answer.
  5. QUESTION: “Why would Evangelicals invite me to a pool party? (ANSWER) They have a quota, they work on commission, I’m being paranoid, I honestly think they were looking for new members. I’m going with this. Here’s my first joke, over the top sarcasm.
  6. Why would a church invite me to a pool party. I think they wanted me to be in an episode of PRAY watch.
  7. When we add AMPLIFIERS, words that are CONNECTED TO the PREMISE, we then create MISDIRECTION. Add words that are connected to swimming to the FIRST PART OF YOUR JOKE. This will take attention away from the PUNCH LINE.
  8.  “Why would a church invite me to a pool party? Water wings, diving boards, slides? It’s an episode of PRAY watch.”
  9. To add EMOTION to a joke, ADD WORDS THAT HAVE EMOTION. (Place words connected to your story at the bottom of the page. for me it’s words connected to swimming and church: sharks, apocalypse, drowning, cannonball, scream, phrases like, walk don’t run, baptize.. look at the words in your sentence and see if you can replace a NEUTRAL word in your joke with one that holds more emotion.
  10. Am I PARANOID? My evangelical neighbor invited me to a pool party. And nothing screams BORN AGAIN more than shooting out of a water slide into the DEEP END.
  11. Ask the questions and answer it with honesty and sarcasm. Start there. And remember to talk it out, and from different perspectives not only your own. Why else is in your story? In mine its: life guard, screaming kids, parents, clergy, teenagers, seniors, diving boards, steam room, whirl pool. All these things have a perspective, even the inanimate.
  12. FINISH THIS JOKE: Why is the deck around a pool so slippery? If they wanted to use something that STICKS they’d use. . .
  13. Have fun. See you next class!!!


New Year and my New Stand Up Class.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas and here’s to an even better 2018. My next Stand Up Writing class begins in less than a month. The class begins Monday January 29th at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino. If you’re looking to push yourself creativity, want to really work on your story and get it in front of an audience this is the class. If you know me I put everything I am into my classes. They’re a massive learning curve, writing mechanics, story, work on our confidence, writing for others, as well as the business of the Stand up: aligning our habits with our goals.

I’ve been teaching this class for over twenty years. I’ve been given a National Service award by the Alberta Government for my class. Besides national tours in Stand Up and TV credits on CTV’s Comedy Now, CBC’s Madly Off and TSN’s Off the Record; I’ve also written three Fringe plays as well as written 2 novels. I’ll be putting all of my abilities into this class. If you’re interested and want more class info E MAIL AT: paulsveen@shaw.ca



It’s taken me a lifetime to write this.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year from Nernie and Pauly and Ruby the Shar Pei!!!. My wish for you is, when you close your eyes and envision the life you dream, I hope that you create, attract and make that life and all your dreams come true this up coming year.                                                                               Alright,  when I begin a blog I never quite know where it’s actually going. I have an idea but really, the contents are organic, seat of my pants. What I do know is having no game plan I’m talking about not limiting myself or stopping the hose from blasting whatever it is that it’s attached to in the now. My point is, I’ve been able to write three plays, two novels and teach a Stand Up Class that was given a national service award by moving into my giggly without allowing me to get in the way. Make no mistake, I’ve had setbacks but they were gifts at least after I stopped crying.

I remember my Christmases from years gone by, the ones filled with doubt and regrets anger.Back then I always felt everything was outside my control and that if I could only get some confidence. Damn I was always so insecure.  It never occurred to me back then that what I felt was what I was attracting. (anger brings us the exact opposite of what we want) I’ve come to a place where I realize the limitlessness of presence, the now. What am I feeling now, seeing, breathing in? This is my life, the things I’m experiencing in the eternal now. This realization that what I feel and envision is what I’m attracting has been a game changer. This is the action that I’ve taken.

I have a clear image in my mind’s eye of what I desire my life to look like in a few years. When I close my eyes I can see and feel and sense this life, the books I’ll write, the stand up I’ll be creating and the classes I’ll be teaching, the places and the house that Nernie and I’ll be living in by a lake. I get the traditional method of rehearsing and sharpening our saw, learning and catching up on the ingredients of our goals the things we’re reaching for. But “we are off he stage what we are on it.”

If I want a breakthrough in my stand up that’s not going to happen on the stage until it happens off of it. I’ve realized that story, authenticity, vulnerability and honesty, being in the moment are tricks on stage if they’re not happening organically off the stage. This is the power of being true to ourselves our energy the things we feel and their actions and how they attract or repel what we reach for.

I talk about what I know which isn’t very much. I don’t know advanced math but I do know that when I imagine a sand box on stage and then step into it, I am then transformed into that limitless boy who creates. This energy allows me to access the set I know I’m capable of. If this isn’t string theory and advances quantum mechanics I don’t know what is, which I don’t.

I don’t hold a masters in literature but over thirty years of writing and stand up I know that I’m absolutely driven by the creative process, writing mechanics and story and the power of story and all genres of stand up. I write what I know and also realize the power of being true to oneself. It doesn’t help us to be weak impressions of ourselves. The life we’re attracting has to be manufactured by risk, courage and always reaching for our authentic selves, warts an all. What this means is when writing, performing stand up or whatever our creative outlet is, it’s not the punchline or the message we’re looking for. It’s ourselves. Only in this way will we have the creative breakthroughs we fight for and attract the audience, results and life we dream.

Merry Christmas again and a happy new year. Switch your fear off and chose your heart. Allow it to be your compass and lead you to the love, life and laughs you absolutely deserve. Bliss is your birthright so let go and drink it in you silly limitless being you.

My next Stand Up Class begins Monday January 28/2018. If you’re interested, E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Our secrets are treasure.

I’ve always had a hard time being myself. I think it might not just be me. I think it’s an epidemic, maybe even a pandemic. I really in the end don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m that wonky kid who never left the sand box. I mean,. every story I share with absolute honest has this profound dumb at its center. Yes I love writing and creating. I love the craft of stand up of performing and teaching it. I love writing novels but I wrote a novel about Sociopaths given a near death experience and then turned into angels so they could battle a demon apocalypse. And on  the back of this book I promoted myself as a comedian you could bring to your next giggly event. Really? It’s one thing to share who I am in a journal or comedy note pad. It’s another thing to step in front of five thousand people in Halifax and make fun of Ann Murray. That’s right. I did what my heart asked me to do and now I have a road story.

The point I’m making is STORY. Our story has to be our story with the warts and all, the pain the lessons the ups and downs. Once at a house party a guy with a thick German accent asked if me and my five buddies would like to buy ten pounds of pot for 500$. As a group of barley functioning pot head in unison we all said, “DUDE.” We all squeezed into my buddy’s crap Datsun 510 and drove to a random apartment where the German guy said, “unst, give me zu money and unst I’ll be right back.” Long story short, he never came back. Ornst walked into the apartment and out the back and me and the rest of the guys sat in the car for NINE HOURS, telling ourselves he would come back. It’s my stories of my particular brand of dumb that is my vein of gold. Our secrets are our treasure. If you’re interested in harnessing your brand of gold, my next class begins January 28. E mail me at paulsveen@shaw.ca

If you’re looking for a speaker or comedian for your next event E MAIL me please: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Lessons from the perimeter.

My next Stand Up Writing Class begins January 28th. If you’re interested, E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca                                                                                Also, If you’re looking for a Speaker or Comedian for your next event, E mail me please, paulsveen@shaw.ca                                                                           If you’d like a copy of my first novel, “The Angel’s Claw,” there’s copies at Indigo North town in Edmonton.9450-137 AVE 780-475-4830

They say insanity is doing the same things over and over and always hoping for different results. I don’t know about you but I have done things the same way forever, they’re called, ‘habits.” Yes I know the quote, ‘our habits are our results.’ But what about the things we keep repeating, the actions and results that are always the same? Diets, jobs, relationships, always reaching but never quite getting where we want? And how much does what others think come to play? I know as a Stand Up Comedian I’ve always had this neediness this addiction to approval and because of that, have made some serious creative mistakes not putting the real me in those moments.

The point I’m getting to is, why do we keep doing the same things and expect different results? Is it there a lesson we’re not seeing even though we keep doing things over and over? The answer is yes. Yes my habits are my results and it isn’t the thing we’re reaching for, it’s not the result we want or even the habit that’s the challenge. I’ve realized over all these years it’s looking at the thing we’re trying to achieve from another perspective!

Look at something you have been trying to achieve, a goal, something you’ve been pining over, it can be anything from getting a degree, writing a book, taking a vacation down route 66, asking for forgiveness. Instead of trying to do what you’ve apparently been unable to do, “TRY”  an action from a complete different perspective on the circle that’s connected to exactly what you’re reaching for.

I’ve always wanted to be the best stand up I can be. So I began teaching it. I was writing jokes and outlines for a class so I began writing Fringe plays and novels. I began looking at different ways to grow by looking and different ways of taking action from other points on the creative circle. When we imagine our perfect life, actualize the life we dream, there’s not just one thing in that picture, there isn’t just the pot at the end of the rainbow. There’s places, loved ones, money, houses, the way you feel. If you’re stuck and have been for a while on a goal or life plan, no matter what it is, if you haven’t started, are going slower than you’d like, take an action from another perspective from the goal you’re working on. The fact that you’re taking action, doing something from another point on your ever expanding circle will loosen the elements that are holding you back and allow you to be a more well rounded person.

They say, the reason we shouldn’t always share our dreams with others because others have stopped believing in their dreams so they don’t want us to believe in ours. And in the end, it’s not even the result,, the place we’re reaching. It’s the person we’re becoming. Reach, never stop painting and being the architect of  your perfect life and if you get stuck, just like changing scenery, going outside and taking a walk in the park and breathing in the fresh air; changing the way we look at a goal or dream or obstacle can absolutely change our results. I know this to be true. Because I stopped worrying about always being in control, terrified about the results and changed my constant fear of failure to simply letting go and letting me joy be my compass. I opened my heart, met my amazing wife Nernie, wrote 2 novels, have a Comedy Now and am teaching stand up comedy. Because I began seeing humor as a way to heal, I have turned my class into helping soldiers with PTSD. I’m in that incredible place because one day, I simply decided to look at things. . . from another possibility.


My Stand Up Class begins Monday January 29.

I have a Stand Up Writing class beginning Monday January 29. These classes are a lot of fun but they’re also going to stretch you creatively as well as personally. As a comedian I’m a ‘m a disciple of Bill Hicks, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres as a writer I’m indebted to Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way,” and Robert McKee, “Story.” But I’ve also been touring Nationally for over 30 years and teaching these classes for almost a quarter of a century. I look at each class as an opportunity to give everything of myself but also to make the next class better.  I’ve always approached my class from the perspective of preparation ,vulnerability and story. I think it’s the moments of our lives that truly reveal us, our “outtakes,” that’s what we should be tagging as comedians, not hiding behind our material. Because I’m a corporate comedian, my Stand Up is also about results, the business of Stand Up. My class is fun but also work. If you’re interested, here’s the outline for my class that begins January 29 and runs for 5 Mondays, and a grad.

  1. Moving into our Story. Finding the moments from our life that best reveal us to an audience so we can attract our audience.
  2. locating our theme and mining it with writing mechanics: foreshadowing, misdirection, callbacks, running gags.
  3. Perspective, writing for others as well as seeing our story from different perspectives.
  4. Set dynamics and aligning habit with results.
  5. How to embed emotion into our material. (If you’re interested in attending this class please e mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca
  6. Here are comments from my last class 🙂                                                                                                                                                                                             # “Paul Sveen has graciously shared his proven trade secrets and has brought my comedic writing skills to a level previously achieved only by years in the club circuit. Well worth the investment!”                                                                                                                                                              #The experience that I have gained from your energy alone has been unmeasurable.  Thank you for this very positive and educational experience. I would definitely recommend anyone with interest in advancing in their public speaking skills and/or is interested in Stand Up writing to attend your class. It is very thought out, fun, and enlightening!                                                                                                                                    #Paul Sveen’s comedy writing class is an incredible opportunity to learn so much about, comedy writing, call backs, tags and story.
    However when you work hard and  listen, to all the coaching and tips, you learn so much about yourself and sharing your most vulnerable self well that’s gold! You are “the Wind beneath my Wings” Paul Sveen. Thank you for the challenge and all the reward!
  7. If you’re interested in booking me for your event, Christmas Party, Humor Workshop, Key Note, e mail please: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Why men do what they do.

One constant thing in my life as a boy, juvenile and man, has always been never thinking things through. I’ve always been this way. From my earliest memories, I’ve acted without having a plan. When I was three I slipped out of the farm house and waddled in a ditch trying to find my mom. I don’t think I was looking for my dad, I’m pretty sure I would have been avoiding him, even at that young age as much as he was avoiding me, more on this later.) I eventually ended up being stuck waist deep in mud in a ditch. Funny how I just realized that this is also a metaphor for my life, that feeling of being stuck in mud. I think it’s because I’ve always taking action without thinking instead of asking for help, especially from women, even though I was looking for my mom in this case. It was my dad that found me. Knowing him he must have come home my mom freaked out and my dad was like, “alright, alright, I’ll find it.”

It was my dad that found me. You’d think being stuck in the mud up to me belly for a couple of hours would be punishment enough. No. I specifically remember being beaten for meandering out into the prairie netherworld. This first lesson was to have a pattern with me and my dad, the whole reacting and acting, taking action without thinking. As a creative type, I’ve always unconsciously lived this way. A lot of men do. We act without thinking. We’re supposed to know what we’re doing, ‘the man of the house, be a man, man up, be a man.” we are being men. We’ve been conditioned to be men, to act, to take action, to be a man. This mindset has always had me cannon-balling into situations without a plan and definitely without thinking how I might impact someone else.

I jumped with both feet into being a drummer without thinking or having a plan, then getting a real world job and marriage and always one foot in front of the other never thinking of the long term consequences. Never. I can’t understand why a man would prey on a woman. I’ve been selfish, stubborn, angry, and completely lost, drunk, depressed and stupid, and all without a plan, just lets see what happens.

Men are conditioned to think but never to feel, not enough. That it’s OK to cry, to admit you’re wrong, to forgive and ask for forgiveness to ask for help, especially if that help is from other men. I’ve learnt being a man means being honest as well as vulnerable. To say how we feel to have the courage to look into your heart and letting that out. The fact that so many powerful men have been preying on women is a slap in the face to the women that were shamed and traumatized by these men but also the legacy of woman being demeaned and brutalized through the centuries. This history is coming to fruition. The abuse of woman in the recent headlines and the untold numbers women through the centuries who’ve been erased and thrown away, all of them now rise up and are forcing men to take notice. There’s a tsunami of female injustice to be reckoned with and all our male excuse, I didn’t know, it’s not me, it’s the way I was raised… no longer mean anything. They’re all a part of the excuse. It has to end now.