The times I laughed the hardest were also some of the most embarrassing. Once, I was sitting by a window and the guy across from me asks me to close the window. What “I” didn’t notice, was one of the ten people sitting around the table placed coffee creamers in the window thing where the window slides ( is there a name for that, ‘the window jam, or sill, or the gimmick ?) Any who, I get up absolutely oblivious and slammed the window closed. The five or so aforementioned unseen creamers, EXPLODED IN MY FACE! I stood facing away from the table, the laughter behind me, deafening! As I slowly turned and faced the table, a couple of people fell off their chairs, and the ear splitting laughter somehow, got louder. There’s a point where laughter, if it’s loud enough and it’s directed at you, takes on the sounds of someone jack hammering a sidewalk.
It’s odd that laughter can be so deafening when you’re the source of the laughter. The fact that I “initially,” wasn’t laughing, you’d think would have an affect on the decibels but NO, not so much, they howled and wiped away tears until my ‘nervous uncomfortable I did not see that coming’ laugh, joined the group. I still see them, slapping the table , leaning into each other, pointing at me. I don’t have any hard feelings against the guy that planned the “creamescapade,” mostly because he contracted cancer and DIED!
The point is, the funny beyond writing, beyond craft and creative mechanics, past rehearsing and planning, ‘our OUT TAKES,’ the real moments that reveal who we are, the secret side of us that we would rather hide or spend years concealing until we have the courage to share; these are the stories we should be sharing when we’re: giving a speech, sharing a seminar, selling, or want someone to know who we truly are. “Our Out Takes,” are the epicenter of who we are.
When we trip on a kid’s toy, lose our minds when a wasp flies into our tent, pee our pants, trip and stumble face first into a plant, spill a milk shake down out shirt, fart really loud in a full elevator, forget someone’s name and they want to be introduced; these out takes- make us approachable, our normal makes an audience- feel normal.
Yeah, a politician avoids looking normal and pretends they’re 10 feet tall and bullet proof because ‘stumbling’ at a news briefing makes everyone smell blood because everyone else is perfect. Hiding behind an image to sell yourself will only surround you with more people who are just as phony.
Our ‘out takes,’ our clumsiness, our falling at a picnic, our scream at a spider web, a soda pop we opened and overflows on our nephew’s head- are treasure. They’re part of our collective DNA and need to be explored and shared in your social, business and career moments. Saying the same things everyone else has said makes us sound like everyone else. Our out takes and the energy they convey and the laughter and connection they create with a group and audience do more in creating results and attracting purpose than the energy we spend trying to hide and pretend they didn’t happen.
Recently, I was walking into a Canadian Tire with my wife and a group was walking out. The group was looking at me, and ‘I Thought ‘ they recognized me from TV, or a Comedy Club or maybe a book signing. As I walked toward them I tripped and stumbled in my slippers like I’d been shot and because of inertia, I couldn’t stop the free fall full out moron trot for like TEN FEET! Noreen didn’t acknowledge it because, WITH ME, my out takes are every fifteen minutes but the group, in my mind, laughed a little too hard.
If you’re looking for a Comedian For your Christmas Party book Paul Sveen through ITC Entertainment. E mail me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
MY NEXT STAND UP WRITING CLASS: We will be exploring our ‘Out Takes,” as well as” Writing mechanics, call backs, tags, running gags. theme, style as well as the business of Stand Up: winning a show case, writing for an audience and writing for others, working on confidence, and more in my Stand Up Class beginning August 28 at Yuk Yuks Edmonton. For information on my class E mail me at email@example.com