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