Category: The IN Box

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.

How I got here.

It’s almost that time of year again 🙂 If you’re looking for a really funny, almost squeaky clean comedian for your Christmas Party, please E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca

It’s odd how I’ve spent so much of my life trying to get better at things, love, Stand Up, Writing, purpose; and as I made mistakes,  sharpened my saw always trying to get better, I realized, time kept slipping away. I guess this is called, the “state of becoming.” I don’t know exactly how to say this but, I’ve been in this state my entire life, always trying to grow and always from ‘within,’ always listening  to my instincts and rarely doing what others did, always from my corner of the sand box. I don’t know why I do things this way, It’s easier to copy and watch and make what others are doing, your own. But it’s as if I have blinders on and I have to keep fighting to grow from within. Being this way is the reason I’ve: put tape over the oil light in one of my cars because I was tired of the light blinking. It’s the reason I jumped off the garage when I was 9 wearing a cape thinking I could fly. It’s the reason I’m always lost in some creative thought and don’t see what’s happening around me. My wife uses these moments to SCARE THE HELL OUT OF ME!!! ( once she hid under the stairs with a scary mirror and turned it on when I hit the last step and nearly made me shit my pants. It’s the reason I walked into an advanced calculus class thinking I could do it and five minutes in, slammed my books closed and went and got hammered. It’s the reason I went on stage for the first time all those years ago, unprepared, went in shock and tried to run away. Instead, I face planted into the audience. It’s also the reason I’m about to publish my second novel, have one a national award for teaching Stand Up and have one of the longest running stand up writing classes in Canada!

It’s also the reason I’m about to share my Humor Works Shop with combat veterans with PTSD. As I’ve watched the years pass by, always giving each moment as much as I can and wondering when the ‘Big Break,’ would happen, I realize, it just did. All the years of what I’ve gone through as a person, the set backs, the terror of getting on stage, fighting to become sober and fighting even harder to become a better instructor, Stand Up and person, has lead to this incredible opportunity. I’ll be building a work shop to help Soldiers share their story and work though their PTSD. I’ve always thought humor was a place, a destination something used to jump over the next person in line to get what everyone wants. Turns out it’s always been about healing. The place I’ve been digging at ‘within,’ has been something I never considered until this moment. Humor isn’t about looking for the punch line. It’s about looking for- ourselves.

Working with these soldiers is my big break. Through every can of pop I opened and  splootched in my face, every time I hit a moose while reaching for a coffee cup, the time I thought God was talking to me when I was sky diving and it was the speaker on my harness and god was the dive master guy. All the things that have happened in my story have lead me to my moments, the moments I was supposed to be in so I could sharpen my saw and be prepared for the moments that needed me, like using humor. . . .to heal.

MY next Private Stand Up Writing Class begin Monday January 29 at Yuk’s Edmonton. For information E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

It’s Christmas Season. If you’re looking for a comedian for your company party, please E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Remember those who have given everything for us.

 

Where do we get our Humor from?

My next writing class begins January 29 at Yuk’s Edmonton. My class is about story, our individual stories;  and the “mitacomedy” DNA that’s in our story. I’m about to publish my second novel and have applied my writing skills as a novelist to the Stand Up Classes. We will be covering all aspects of being a successful comedian, writing mechanics, genres, habits, style as well as the show/creative aspect and the business/ results.  If you’re interested in my class please e mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca

 

August 28 Class FOUR. Misdirection Perspective.

Paul At Chapters/Indigo. Remember, besides being a touring Stand Up Comedian, I’m also an author. You can get my first novel, “The Angel’s Claw,”at the North Town Indigo, 9450-137 AVE Edmonton.  780-475-4830

 

Our Comedy grad is Tuesday October 17 at Yuks in The Century Casino: Doors open at 6:30 and Showtime is 7:30. Tickets are 10.00$ only at the door and proceeds got to PTSD Canada. Alright, I know my class is hard and pushes everyone in it. I want to thank everyone who has worked hard in my class. I would really appreciate your feedback of my class. Please E mail me at paulsveen@shaw.com and tell me how you have found my class so far.

The principles of this class are:A)  identity, theme B) story/ the set C) joke writing for our story/set D) Writing mechanics and genres. REMEMBER: for the home work this week: (FIVE NEW JOKES) a solid opening and closing joke and three in the middle; misdirection if you want and from different points of view of you want.

EXAMPLES: (I’m playing with a story/set, that is about my wife and I getting our dog. (I have the opportunity to write from at least 3 different perspectives here.)

  1. In misdirection we want the punchline to be UNEXPECTED. A joke should reveal us, who we are and that can also be accomplished by allowing other perspectives. We can also use popular quotes and sayings that are connected to our joke: ‘run forest run, you can’t handle the truth, I see dead people.’
  2. My wife rescued a stray, had it groomed, worked on its anger, had it neutered and two years later. . .we were married. (I wanted me to be the stray in the joke that needed rescuing. This joke is from her perspective. I listed amplifiers that have emotion, these take away from the punchline. I began with the question and answer process and found that my wife basically rescued me. REMEMBER, the question is the premise and the answer is the punchline. The amplifiers make it misdirection.
  3. MY PERSPECTIVE: This story is about driving to Saskatoon to get a dog. Yes, really happened. REMEMBER: when we add others to the premise we load the premise by creating opportunity for emotion. EXAMPLE: “My wife wanted to drive to Saskatoon to get a dog. I said, why Saskatoon, why not Red Deer, Saint Albert, Leduc? I mean, I only had to go to Roslyn to get you.”
  4. From the dog’s perspective: As I asked questions about this premise, I found: we don’t rescue dogs, dogs rescue us, and, dogs choose their family from Heaven. ( I like the second one better and will use this in a joke.)
  5. They say puppies choose their homes from Heaven. (What’s the last thing I would say here, what’s the real emotion the elephant in the room in this premise?) I Q and A’d and came up with, our puppy didn’t chose us it chose me. So now the joke looks like this- WE WANT EMOTION. This joke will have more if my wife says the premise: My wife said, “puppies choose their forever homes from Heaven. ( we want amplifiers that support the premise distract from the punchline and IF YOU WANT, can also FORESHADOW the next joke or one to come.) “homes that are stable, loving and nurturing. I said, if that’s true, the puppy didn’t choose us. It chose me.” ‘and we laughed.” (This joke could have her as the one the dog chose our she saying the puppy chose the wrong house.
  6. Premise, punchline add the amplifiers.
  7. Your set for Monday is: OPENING JOKE- second best joke ( YOUR THEME SHOULD BE MENTIONED IN YOUR INTRODUCTION the first minute.) First part of story/set SECOND JOKE, story, THIRD JOKE, story, FOURTH JOKE, story, CLOSING JOKE (best joke)
  8. ADD THE AMPLIFIERS TO THIS JOKE. :Ever heard, we don’t rescue dogs they rescue us? I don’t know, very time I called when my car broke down, not once did Rex pick up.”
  9. Have fun on your set, rehearse, write it out and keep journalling and taping your set and writing new jokes. Use emotion!
  10. REMEMBER: you  can book me for your event, as a comedian, key note or for a workshop. Pass this on please: E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca

August 28 class 3: MISDIRECTION.

I’ll be performing at the “Comedy Factory,” this Friday and Saturday. If you want tickets e mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca Remember, I’m also a nationally touring comedian, if you want to bring me to your event, retreat, Christmas party e mail me at paulsveen@shaw.ca  I’d really appreciate it if you share this. Thank you.

HOMEWORK FOR CLASS FOUR: Go through the stories of your life that really share YOUR THEME. Choose one of these stories you’d like to perform on your Stand Up Performance and insert FIVE MISDIRECTION JOKES. Here is the formula for misdirection; REMEMBER to use your THREE PAGES IN YOUR JOURNAL to work on your set for Monday.

1)Choose a STORY/FRAME that broadcasts your THEME.

2) look at the FIRST, SECOND A MIDDLE ONE TOWARD THE END AND THE LAST SENTENCE TO Q and A and then develop with MISDIRECTION.

Alright, lets get down to MISDIRECTION. First we look at our story: I’m choosing me being messy. I’m kind of a clutter bug and when I share this I’m revealing who I am and that’s what good stories and jokes do. Look at your first sentence and Q and A it!                                                                                          My first sentence is: I wasn’t sure if I should tell my wife I was a slob when I met her. QUESTION:                                                                                               “Why wouldn’t I tell her? ANSWER:  I already had enough against me. Telling her I was messy might have been too much to bare.                                            So we have a the Q and A for the first sentence of my set. (REMEMBER the POOL  at the bottom of your STAND UP writing page that we make? I wrote down at the bottom of the page that there should be a personal bottom line of wants that have to be met in a relationship before it can move forward a personal wish list that has to me met, five, ten, fifty years later. I find this interesting and will use it for another joke. Get in the habit of also doing that.

OK I have the first Q AND A now what we do is add THREE STATEMENTS THAT ARE THE OPPOSITE OF THE PUNCHLINE.

EXAMPLE: I didn’t tell my wife I was messy when I met her, I was angry, broke and drunk. Telling her I was messy would have been too much to bare.

USE SARCASM in creating MISDIRECTION.

First look at a sentence in your story. 1) I decided to clean my car one handful of garbage at a time. 2) What’s something that would be sarcastic? (it would take a million years, I’d be a hundred when I finish? Where I decided to start? YES. Here’s the joke.

“I decided to clean my car one handful of garbage at a time, it was crammed with paper, cups and newspapers. I decided to start next year.

Keep setting up the premise and then adding three comments that are different than the punch line. The comments create the misdirection.

E mail me if you have any questions. Have fun and allow yourself to reveal you in your material and make sure your punch lines make a point. 1) Premise. 2) three comments. 3) unexpected punch line. Keep playing with this, the more emotion the bigger the laugh.

August 28 CLASS 2: Writing Perspective.

Great second class everyone. Thank you for your creative courage, your fearlessness and passion. I’m grateful for your commitment to your talent your story and to each other in the class. Have fun with this writing exercise, remember to journal each day and to use your journals to dig deeper  into a Q and A and then the emotion and the truth in the Q and A and the joke that comes from that.

REMEMBER: I will take my Humor Workshops on the road, to retreats, conventions and work settings. If you’d like to bring my workshop or Key note to an event or to perform my Stand Up at your function, e mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

CLASS EXERCISE: We each have a story to exchange with a class mate. Take the story you were given and write FIVE jokes (TAG) about the story. Write an opening joke a closing joke and three more for the middle. For class have the 4 to 5 minute  story you were emailed rehearsed with the 5 jokes ready to perform for class.

Here’s the story Laura sent me. I’ll work on some jokes in this blog so you can follow along. Remember to keep your energy positive and reject all doubt. It does you no good. We’re all about aligning our energy with what we want our humor to attract.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

I was on a motorcycle trip with my boyfriend and three other people. We stopped in Fernie for the night and were walking to a restaurant for dinner when we saw a group of people looking down on a river from an overpass. We stopped and looked too, and saw the exciting finish of a raft race. All the participants, (about six people in about 20 or so rafts) were in costume and we joined in with the onlookers and cheered as each raft crossed the finish line. We then continued on to the restaurant and took a table on the patio. After a few minutes, we were the only ones left outside, right smack dab in the middle of the patio.  Shortly thereafter, the entire patio, (and it was a BIG patio) started filling up with post-race paddlers, enthusiastically discussing the big event. We were completely taken over, and caught up in the middle of the wrap-up complete with speeches, trophies and door prizes. We found ourselves holding our breath waiting for the MC to announce one of us as the winner of a Town of Fernie travel mug.  One of our group even got up and started taking pictures of the winning team shaking hands with the MC as he handed them their trophy. It was ridiculous and a riot, all at the same time. We asked the waitress to take a picture of us and got photo-bombed by the table behind us. They were a great bunch of people and kinda accepted us as honorary racers. The end!

I was on a motorcycle trip with my boyfriend and 3 other people. (if there was 3 other people were they on 1 other bike, 2 or a bike with one of those side cars, you know where the passenger’s wearing goggles from WW 1 and is wearing a silk scarf? What are the deeper meanings in the first sentence? 12 hours on motor bike, the best way to see the Rockies? I’m wondering about the lone rider, is there a reference here to a 3rd wheel? I’m not sure this works because the energy in this story is so happy. Question, what else is a motor bike trip like?

FIRST JOKE: A motorcycle trip is a lot like an acid trip, both are 12 hours, both feel like your flying and both leave you  covered in insects. (I found this joke by thinking about being on a bike all day, what would that feel like?)  SECOND JOKE : When we came down from the trip the first place we stopped was Fernie ( Did you how I foreshadowed the second joke with TRIP? This is like an all day drive, eight hours. Why not rent a Cadillac ? Because you’re not a bad boy if you have AC. Joke number 2: We stopped in Fernie. We were going to go to Cranbrook but realized we had too much self-esteem. THIRD JOKE We were walking to to a restaurant when we saw a group on a bridge. Being from the prairie, we’d seen this before and acted and shouted, JUMP!  (I wrote these three jokes in ten minutes. I’m starting here to get a feel for this story. I’ll keep asking Questions and Answering them. Then I’ll find the point and the deeper points as well as the emotions and write a better constructed joke. Remember, the jokes we write will be INCLUDED with the story./ This then will become our SET.                                                                                                                                     REMEMBER: our class Performance is Monday October 16 at Yuk Yuks. The show begins at 7:30 and the tickets are 10$ at the door.

REMEMBER: I can be seen on You Tube and can be booked to perform my Stand Up at your event. I have copies of my novel in class and you can see my tour dates and videos on this web site. Please spread the word about my class. Thank you everyone, I’m really proud of you and will always answer your questions.

August 28 Stand Up Writing, Class 1

Thank you, all of you for being in my Stand Up Writing Class!!! The first class was great. All of you shared your talent and creativity and were open to the lessons I was sharing. Remember, your story the set you choose to develop and share in your performance reveals you. Your story carries your theme your market brand and allows others to know that your normal makes them feel normal. Your humor heals.

REMEMBER: I’m also a performing stand up comedian. I can perform at your Christmas party, Fund Raiser or event. I can also bring my “Courage To Laugh,” work shop to your business. Please share this with others. I’d really appreciate it. I also have copies of my first novel “The Angel’s Claw.” Please ask me about my book. I’m on You tube.

The ingredients in joke writing: Story, ( a two minute story from your life that holds your theme.) A great joke is the answer to a good question. We’re going to simply ASK and ANSWER FIVE questions from each sentence in the story we choose. Journal three pages a day on the story. Ask questions about the people in your story, the place, the feelings.

REMEMBER: The premise holds a KEY WORD so does the PUNCHLINE. Ask questions about these words. Can they be replaced? Do the other people in your story have the same word choices as you? Give them their own voice.

EXAMPLE: MY THEME: ‘I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway.’ The story I’ve chosen that amplifies my MARKET BRAND: I’m a slob. (We’re going to Q and A each sentence with FIVE questions and answers and chose the one we like the best and simply put it into our story at the beginning of each sentence. This is the same as embellishing a story except BECAUSE WE’RE WRITING JOKES IN A STORY THAT CARRIES OUR THEME WE’RE THEN AMPLIFYING OUR THEME.

MY STORY. 1) Why does my wife think I’m a slob? Because my car is crammed with garbage.  She said there’s no space in my car. ( What she’s really saying is there needs to be more space for her stuff!) If my car was crammed with her stuff would she still be calling me a hoarder? What is the point here? That I’m running out of space. What does that remind me of? Running out of options! How do I use this in a PUNCH LINE? How do I make this a joke that reveals me? Make me the punchline.

  1. My wife keeps buying stuff, her car is filled with shoes, boxes and clothes. I said she was a hoarder because her car was out of space. She said, “I might be a hoarder but I’m not your first marriage. You’re out of options.” (I would use this to start my story/set about cleaning my car out one handful of garbage at a time.
  2. My story happens in TD Bank. What does TD stand for? I asked a bunch of questions and came up with this joke.
  3. “All the money in my account disappeared, service charges, bank fees and transactions. I wondered what TD meant, turns out it’s “TU DU!”
  4. Remember: Look at your premise and ask what the secret is , the unspoken, the Elephant in the room. This unspoken idea is the punchline. What we ask of the punchline is the PREMISE.
  5. Question and Answer! We choose a premise, (LIKE THE FIRST, MIDDLE AND LAST SENTENCES IN YOUR STORY FOR CLASS NEXT MONDAY.)
  6. EXAMPLE: QUESTION, Why am I such a slob? ANSWER: My parents live on in my garbage.
  7. (We’ll be discussing this more next class) Put your premise in the circle and make the cross and insert 4 perspectives on 4 corners of the cross. Ask and answer questions from each perspective.
  8. Journal three pages each day on your material, story, Q and A’s premises and punchlines. If you journal around the questions and ideas of your set you will reap the benefits.
  9. HOMEWORK: Choose a TWO MINUTE story from your life that holds your THEME/ MARKET BRAND , a story that reveals you and ask and answer FIVE questions on each sentence.
  10. Have fun. If you’re stuck ASK and ANSWER questions about being stuck and ask from different perspectives, from your critic, from who you were when you were 10, from your pet 🙂 If you have any questions E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca