Framing. September 24. 2015

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Story! The most important element of our set is STORY, beginning, middle and end. Story mirrors everything we do in sharing our craft our creativity. A simple joke: “A horse walks into a bar. The waitress says, ‘what’s with the long face?’ this simple joke is a story. In the bigger picture, something like a 7 to 10 minute set, we could string a a bunch of disjointed simple generic jokes together and get laughs but we won’t really be remembered, the audience won’t find out anything about who we are and we move into the realm of just doing time. Our story, our secrets stories that we’re afraid to share are our brand, our Coke, they reveal who we are and connect to an audience on a deeper level because of their honesty.

FRAMING: What framing is, is a story from our life that reveals our THEME. My theme is, ( I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway, Idiot) ┬áHere’s an example: ┬á“1) The first time I tried stand up comedy I fell off the stage into the audience.2) It was my turn at an open mike to share my jokes, I walked up, stood under the light and forgot my name, that I was humane, forgot my jokes and most important, forgot where the steps were to get off the stage. ┬á3) After about 45 seconds of abject silence, I just turned and stepped where I thought the steps were. 4) I plunged off the side of the stage face first onto a table. 5) The table collapsed, all the drinks fell onto me, I got up, ran to the first door I saw in my panic and, disappeared to the sounds of being laughed at, not with, because there is a big difference my friends.”6) Exit Paul Sveen. And scene!

This is a powerful story. REMEMBER, the more emotion in a story the bigger the laughs and the greater the connection to an audience. What we do now, is look at each sentence in our story and TAG IT, (TAGGING, creating, developing material, jokes from a premise or existing joke.)

So lets look at the first sentence. I numbered each sentence so I know how many to tag. Write the first sentence out. The first sentence is going to be our first joke, our OPENING JOKE. This is important because an OPENING JOKE should get an audience’s attention, it sets up our performance, No pressure.

OPENING JOKE: The first time I tried stand up comedy I fell off the stage into the audience. 1) Locate the emotion of the sentence: desperation, panic, fear, regret, doubt. 2) Create the vertical and horizontal lines across a page. 3) Choose four different perspectives to write from; me, the audience, my dad the critic, the MC. REMEMBER to write the word POOL near the bottom of the page.

WE BEGIN: We start with examining the KEY WORDS in the ┬ásentence: FIRST, TRIED, TIME, STAGE, FELL, AUDIENCE. (These could be the PUNCH WORD of a joke I develop) ┬áFrom my perspective I’m going to Q and A the sentence:1) Why did I forget my material? 2)Why was I so scared? 3)What was I afraid of? 4)Why did I go on stage unprepared? 5)Why did I run out of the club? NOW, we ANSWER the questions:1) I didn’t have material. I had street jokes that I forgot. 2)I was terrified because I felt the audience wouldn’t like me. 3) I was afraid of being rejected. 4) I thought if I could be myself I would be fine. 5) I ran out because I was humiliated.

I begin by TALKING around the material I’ve developed and by continuing to Q and A the 4 perspectives.

JOKE 1) “My first time trying stand up comedy I fell off the stage. ┬áLet me put this into perspective. This is like a virgin’s first sexual experience waking up hand cuffed naked and duct taped to a hot water tank.” ┬á I’ll tag this joke, looking for different ways to articulate it. Writing is re writing! ( Under pool I wrote, worst case scenario.) This could e a great premise. Also I’m going to add, everyone is afraid of public speaking.)

Alright, your turn. Q and A from the 4 perspectives. Keep talking out loud around each sentence and keep digging for the emotion, and keep editing! Add the questions and answers together and rewrite them.

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