Monthly Archives: November 2017

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.