1/30/17 Class one homework- story.

Thank you everyone for being in my class. I always like to ask more of myself as an Instructor, Stand Up Comedian and Author. I will give this class everything I am and am honored that everyone in this class is in my class. Thank you. Again, if anyone has any challenges during the week, E MAIL ME AT: paulsveen@shaw. ca

REMEMBER: JOURNAL three pages a day. Get up a little earlier and stream of consciousness three pages about your set, joke writing, visualizing the next class, your Comedy Night, anything and everything to do with the SAND BOX that is your humor gift.

HOMEWORK: For next next Monday’s class have a THREE MINUTE SET/STORY for class, AND, five jokes using the formula is gave in the handout and in this blog.

JOKE WRITING: 1) Look at the first sentence in your story. (Mine is being asked to a pool party by Evangelicals)

  1. Ask and answer HONEST questions about how you feel. The question is the PREMISE. The Answer is the PUNCH LINE.
  2. Near the BOTTOM of a page in your NOTE BOOK write the word POOL ( this is where we’re going to store all of our random brain storming ideas and things that are associated with the PREMISE and PUNCHLINE- key words, cliche’s, random thoughts….
  3. Speak the story out loud, how do you really feel about the first sentence in your story? ( why do I feel I’m being recruited by the evangelicals? Because I am. I’m not part of any church and they want me to be.
  4. Our first thoughts are going to be sarcasm or at least allow them to be. This is a great way to mine material. Ask the honest question and give a sarcastic answer.
  5. QUESTION: “Why would Evangelicals invite me to a pool party? (ANSWER) They have a quota, they work on commission, I’m being paranoid, I honestly think they were looking for new members. I’m going with this. Here’s my first joke, over the top sarcasm.
  6. Why would a church invite me to a pool party. I think they wanted me to be in an episode of PRAY watch.
  7. When we add AMPLIFIERS, words that are CONNECTED TO the PREMISE, we then create MISDIRECTION. Add words that are connected to swimming to the FIRST PART OF YOUR JOKE. This will take attention away from the PUNCH LINE.
  8.  “Why would a church invite me to a pool party? Water wings, diving boards, slides? It’s an episode of PRAY watch.”
  9. To add EMOTION to a joke, ADD WORDS THAT HAVE EMOTION. (Place words connected to your story at the bottom of the page. for me it’s words connected to swimming and church: sharks, apocalypse, drowning, cannonball, scream, phrases like, walk don’t run, baptize.. look at the words in your sentence and see if you can replace a NEUTRAL word in your joke with one that holds more emotion.
  10. Am I PARANOID? My evangelical neighbor invited me to a pool party. And nothing screams BORN AGAIN more than shooting out of a water slide into the DEEP END.
  11. Ask the questions and answer it with honesty and sarcasm. Start there. And remember to talk it out, and from different perspectives not only your own. Why else is in your story? In mine its: life guard, screaming kids, parents, clergy, teenagers, seniors, diving boards, steam room, whirl pool. All these things have a perspective, even the inanimate.
  12. FINISH THIS JOKE: Why is the deck around a pool so slippery? If they wanted to use something that STICKS they’d use. . .
  13. Have fun. See you next class!!!


New Year and my New Stand Up Class.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas and here’s to an even better 2018. My next Stand Up Writing class begins in less than a month. The class begins Monday January 29th at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino. If you’re looking to push yourself creativity, want to really work on your story and get it in front of an audience this is the class. If you know me I put everything I am into my classes. They’re a massive learning curve, writing mechanics, story, work on our confidence, writing for others, as well as the business of the Stand up: aligning our habits with our goals.

I’ve been teaching this class for over twenty years. I’ve been given a National Service award by the Alberta Government for my class. Besides national tours in Stand Up and TV credits on CTV’s Comedy Now, CBC’s Madly Off and TSN’s Off the Record; I’ve also written three Fringe plays as well as written 2 novels. I’ll be putting all of my abilities into this class. If you’re interested and want more class info E MAIL AT: paulsveen@shaw.ca



It’s taken me a lifetime to write this.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year from Nernie and Pauly and Ruby the Shar Pei!!!. My wish for you is, when you close your eyes and envision the life you dream, I hope that you create, attract and make that life and all your dreams come true this up coming year.                                                                               Alright,  when I begin a blog I never quite know where it’s actually going. I have an idea but really, the contents are organic, seat of my pants. What I do know is having no game plan I’m talking about not limiting myself or stopping the hose from blasting whatever it is that it’s attached to in the now. My point is, I’ve been able to write three plays, two novels and teach a Stand Up Class that was given a national service award by moving into my giggly without allowing me to get in the way. Make no mistake, I’ve had setbacks but they were gifts at least after I stopped crying.

I remember my Christmases from years gone by, the ones filled with doubt and regrets anger.Back then I always felt everything was outside my control and that if I could only get some confidence. Damn I was always so insecure.  It never occurred to me back then that what I felt was what I was attracting. (anger brings us the exact opposite of what we want) I’ve come to a place where I realize the limitlessness of presence, the now. What am I feeling now, seeing, breathing in? This is my life, the things I’m experiencing in the eternal now. This realization that what I feel and envision is what I’m attracting has been a game changer. This is the action that I’ve taken.

I have a clear image in my mind’s eye of what I desire my life to look like in a few years. When I close my eyes I can see and feel and sense this life, the books I’ll write, the stand up I’ll be creating and the classes I’ll be teaching, the places and the house that Nernie and I’ll be living in by a lake. I get the traditional method of rehearsing and sharpening our saw, learning and catching up on the ingredients of our goals the things we’re reaching for. But “we are off he stage what we are on it.”

If I want a breakthrough in my stand up that’s not going to happen on the stage until it happens off of it. I’ve realized that story, authenticity, vulnerability and honesty, being in the moment are tricks on stage if they’re not happening organically off the stage. This is the power of being true to ourselves our energy the things we feel and their actions and how they attract or repel what we reach for.

I talk about what I know which isn’t very much. I don’t know advanced math but I do know that when I imagine a sand box on stage and then step into it, I am then transformed into that limitless boy who creates. This energy allows me to access the set I know I’m capable of. If this isn’t string theory and advances quantum mechanics I don’t know what is, which I don’t.

I don’t hold a masters in literature but over thirty years of writing and stand up I know that I’m absolutely driven by the creative process, writing mechanics and story and the power of story and all genres of stand up. I write what I know and also realize the power of being true to oneself. It doesn’t help us to be weak impressions of ourselves. The life we’re attracting has to be manufactured by risk, courage and always reaching for our authentic selves, warts an all. What this means is when writing, performing stand up or whatever our creative outlet is, it’s not the punchline or the message we’re looking for. It’s ourselves. Only in this way will we have the creative breakthroughs we fight for and attract the audience, results and life we dream.

Merry Christmas again and a happy new year. Switch your fear off and chose your heart. Allow it to be your compass and lead you to the love, life and laughs you absolutely deserve. Bliss is your birthright so let go and drink it in you silly limitless being you.

My next Stand Up Class begins Monday January 28/2018. If you’re interested, E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

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