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: paulsveen@shaw.ca

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 paulsveen@shaw.ca

Lessons from a boy.

(This will be a series of blogs on the lessons I’ve learned over different stages of my life. This blog is from my early years.)                                                      I was born in a Universe, a long long time ago, a place called, Lampman Saskatchewan. A village with a hospital where I was born on a cold Winter night on December 30th. Apparently, according to my mom, I was induced because the Doctor wanted to be in the big city, “Regina,” on New Years eve. I’ve always felt cheated. December 30 is a horrible birthday. It’s at the end of the holiday season, after Christmas and before New year. Everyone is partied out and broke. If I wanted, lest say, a road race set for my Birthday I’d get something like a brush with a racing stripe. I’m not trying to get anyone feel sorry for us bottom of the pickle barrel Capricorns, I’m just trying to tell you what happened.

I remember once I was by myself, I was 2 ish, and reaching into a pond for a tadpole. I was literally squatting on the edge of a 30 foot abyss into a certain death, trying to reach this frog and my mom sunk up behind me and pulled me back and beat the tar out of me. Why is it something like a near death experience is less painful than the life lesson that comes with it?

One of the earliest dreams I remember was when I was 3 and in the dream I was standing by a fast moving river. There was a large orange and brown dog standing next to me. I think it might have been a memory from a past life. I don’t know if it’s true past life. If I’ve lived past lives, shouldn’t I be as least a little smarter than I am, you know, carry over knowledge?

I have a lot of stuff I can’t explain in my life. When I was six, my parents would find me under the stairs whispering to something. I thought it was a yellow kangaroo. That’s what it looked like to me. It would visit me at night and tell me things; obviously nothing life changing, like the heads up on Microsoft stock, or buy Google. Nope, nothing. All’s the yellow kangaroo gave me was ‘stigma,’ My sister swears it was an alien. Really?

My point is, even as a boy I had a story. We all do. What I learned from my early years was, “be curious, explore, take a risk, dance to the beat of my own drum. I was a sensitive kid that turned into a sensitive adult, (some will say toooooooo sensitive.)

I think I’m a spiritual person, I believe that when I’m vulnerable and live through my heart I emit joy and this happiness attracts my purpose. Fear and anger repels opportunity. I know it sounds simple but the boy that I was, is still a big part of the guy that is writing this blog.

I was honored to be given a Canadian Service Medal for “The Courage To Laugh,” in recognition of teaching stand up comedy. If you’re interested, my next award winning class begins August 28. E mail me for information. Also, E mail me and tell me what you thought of this blog.

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Our Comedy Class has been selected to be on “Canada’s 150th Birthday Celebration National Web Site!!!” I’m so honored. If you want, here’s the link. Check it out please and share the link if you can. The title of the story is, “Courage to laugh.” We’re the first story.

http://canada150in150.ca/browse-stories/community

I’ve been teaching Stand Up Comedy for 23 years. All the classes have been amazing, the different dynamic of each class, the learning curves, the growth I’ve managed to get on my end and the blessing of sharing everything I know with my students. My next class begins Monday August 21 at Yuk Yuks Edmonton. If you’re interested E MAIL ME: paulsveen@shaw.ca

I’ve said this before but. . .I always thought there was a “AHA!” moment in Stand Up. Just, one day, the clouds would separate and the comedy God’s would give me a tablet with all the ‘Comedy Commandments.’ Never happened! Breakthroughs happen because we worked for them. In no real order, here are some of the steps forward I have gleaned over the years:Story is the boss, tell my truth, tell my story, my theme and market brand are in my stories, tell the stories that embarrass me and reveal me. Write a premise out and then look for a story FROM YOUR LIFE that has this idea. Tag the story and share the story as a set/frame (I’m was a bed wetter. I used to wake up in a wet bed so many times my mom had to get a special industrial space age rubber sheet so I wouldn’t destroy the mattress. My childhood urine was like Alien Acid. It made wood rust! I wet the bed so much that my mom couldn’t keep up with the laundry. I used to wake up with wet long johns and put them on a bicycle wheel and spin it until they were dry and then wear them to school. That was weird. Looking back I think comedians wet the bed as a child because it helps us with shitting the bed latter as Comedians,

Being honest and asking what “you really feel” about a premise and starting there, with person stories and dark emotions and taboo points is how we find REAL punchlines. It’s work but this is where the rubber hits the road, ‘pun intended.’ I remember a decade ago, a young woman in my class who always had a hard time being herself in front of the class. We worked on it for 4 weeks out of the five week class. On the last day she began crying. I knelt beside her desk as others comforted her. She began telling us a story of living in a million dollar house and she and her sisters hadn’t ate in days. Her dad was using the home as a way to promote himself and his kids were starving. She began to compose herself and said, “I haven’t told anyone this, my friends, outside family members, no one! Only you in this class know this but she said it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. She shared her story on stage to a full house and received a standing ovation. She later told me that her studies improved and her social life and it also gave her the courage to confront her dad.

We need to be ourselves no matter what. It’s how we find our strengths and we can’t find them by being what others want us to be. When you follow you strengths/joy. . .you will always put yourself where you’re supposed to be!

You can see me on YOU Tube and on Face Book. If you’re looking for a comedian for your Christmas Party or Event want to be a part of my next Comedy Class or would like my Humor Workshop at your Business, E MAIL ME: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Don’t Forget To Laugh.

I’ve been selected to be on Canada’s National 150th Birthday Web site. A huge honor. The link is on the bottom of this blog 🙂 I want to share a few road stories I’ve managed to remember over the years. And when I say, ‘managed,’ I mean, after touring for three decades, writing Fringe Plays and novels, sharing Stand Up Writing classes being on tour and being married to the amazing Nernie, stories get misplaced but really, never forgotten, just kind of, reconstructed, do you know what I mean?

Is it just me or, do we all kind of add and subtract from our stories over the years until a few decades later, we’re not sure if the story ever happened or if we made part of it or even all of it up? Wow!!! I’ve been through a lot of scrapes over the years, from being in a packed car driven by a crazy person on drugs as he drove through a bon-fire a half a dozen times at a bush party as his car was plummeted by full beer bottles by a couple of hundred drunks. I also went sky diving and forgot exactly what to do and almost unstrapped myself from the harness at three thousand feet. Once I was on the road with a comic who hadn’t talked for five hours.  We hit glare ice in the Crows Nest Pass and as we came over a hill, a panel van was spinning toward us in OUR LANE!!!. I don’t know why but something told me ‘not to touch the breaks!’ I took my foot off the break and just kind of watched as if it was a movie. In an act of God, the van kind of spun past us almost as if we drove through it and we weren’t scratched! A few miles down the road, the other comic finally said, “that was close!”and went back to not talking.

I fell off the stage the first time I was on one. Fell right onto a table. The table collapsed and all the drinks fell on me. I don’t know what happened after because I ran out of the club and walked home, devastated and in shock!!!  Another time, I was at a red light with another new comic. A car packed with red necks pulls up beside us and the new comic, who thinks he’s a rock star, is staring at the missing link driving the packed car. The red neck says to the new comic, “you gotta a freakin problem?” The new comic takes a puff of his cigarette and says, “I will spend the weekend in your shit cave!” Long story short, the redneck gets out of his car and slapped the shit out of the opener until the light turned green. I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in a like, forever.

The point is, this was my normal. It isn’t now but it was back then. I laughed a lot back then because I had my head up my butt. I still laugh but through thinking about the next joke. I don’t like that. I’ve realized how serious I’ve been over the years and also the power of letting go and laughing. I know about the energy that humor transmits and what it attracts. I also know the power of hard work and what it takes to write novels and jokes. The miracle is to combine the two and be yourself while you do it. This will be the series I’ll be sharing in these summer blogs: story and laughter. Damn, that’s a match made in comedy Heaven.

If you need a speaker or a comic over the Summer or want to bring my Humor Work Shop to your business or event, e mail me at: paulsveern@shaw.ca

http://canada150in150.ca/browse-stories/community/urbanization/our-neighbourhoods/38

 

Great class on Monday everyone!!! It was nice that everyone could make it to class 🙂 A few matters of house keeping: Our Comedy Grad is Tuesday May 30. Everyone is performing a 7 to 10 minute set. The doors will open at 6:30. Showtime is 8:00 PM. Tickets are 10$ at the door.

REMEMBER: The contents of your set: STORY/FRAME TAGS.

In this blog I will be covering: RUNNING GAG and CALLBACKS.

Alright, I’ve told everyone in class: besides your punchlines making a POINT your punchlines also have to have more emotion than the PREMISE! If there isn’t a point or emotion in the punchline then the premise and the punchline are a wash. Ask yourself what you’re trying to say in the joke and then create the premise and then ask the questions that have emotion, the unspoken, taboo out of bounds and from other perspectives. Put the premise and the punchlines together until you like it.

REMEMBER: The jokes have to keep getting better in your set, more emotion and more well crafted toward the end of your set ending on your BEST JOKE! If you don’t do this, your set is a wash/ vanilla.

RUNNING GAGS. A running gag is a set of 3 or 4 jokes all making REFERENCE to the first joke. The gag should be based in your theme have something to do with core of your frame. A running gag makes reference more than once,

CALLBACK: A callback makes reference to ONE TIME to a previous joke. A callback helps to create HISTORY in a short set.

EXAMPLE: (My FRAME IS about being Norwegian.

(In my example I’m using Pirates as the running gag. A running gag helps to keep your set lose and keeps us as comedians lose and not take ourselves so seriously. We get to be silly while we’re building our set. It forces us to think outside ourselves.

My name is Paul Sveen. My last name is the sound a PIRATE makes when they pulls out their sword, (I make my name sound like a sword being pulled from a scabbard.)  “SVEEN!” Some day you’re going to be on a beach vacation and a swashbuckler’s going to stumble up and go, “SVEEN!” give me your treasure you land lubber! And you’re going to say, “relax everyone, we saw this guy at Yuk Yuks! He’s not threat. Sveen is Norwegian you ever here one of us talk? We could be talking about socks it sounds like we’re going to middle earth to battle the orcs! FIRST GAG: I’m not sure what I would do if I was accosted by a pirate. He’d walk up, “Give me your treasure you scurvy dog!” I’d say, treasure, you just stole my opening joke captain hack! ‘SVEEN! Norwegian food is the worst food in the world, “you want some fish soaked in battery acid?” No I’m good Klingon! SECOND GAG: I think the hardest part about being a Pirate on the prairies is trying to convince your magpie it’s a parrot!  Worst music in the world is Norwegian rap. I do a rap beat and then talk like the Swedish Chef. THIRD GAG. What would you do once you stopped being a pirate. You’d have to work on your people skills maybe getting a job as a Home Depot greeter. Could be awkward asking which aisle the saws were in to a guy with a peg leg an eye patch and a hook! Any way, great talking to you, I have to get some Duracell’s , I’m making fish! SVEEN! (CALLBACK)

  1. Know your story 2) what’s the theme, write three jokes that makes reference to the theme. 3) Look at a joke in the middle of your set and crate a joke that makes reference to it. This will be your callback.
  2. Have fun. Rehearse your set at least once a day. Listen to it on your headphones. Keep tagging your jokes and set. Make sure your jokes keep escalating in your set, starting with your second best joke and finishing on your best joke!!
  3. I can be booked as a speaker and a comedian. I can share workshops with your group and also perform at your function. I also do ONE on ONE coaching if your’re interested.
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izB5Wr33wCU

Class 3: Story + Tags = Set.

REMEMBER: Our comedy Grad is Tuesday May 30th. Tickets are 10$ at the door. The doors open at 6:30 the show starts at 8:00 PM. Everyone is performing 7 to 10 minutes. I will be taping the Grad Night for the documentary so please invite family friends and co workers because the better the audience the better the response for the documentary and for your DVD. I’ll be pitching the documentary to several networks so lets get a rocking audience!!!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Great class last Monday kids, yes we missed Clint and yes we missed Patrick but we shared the sets we wrote for each other and learned the value of perspective. REMEMBER: Look at each sentence in the story you choose for class next Monday: ( this will be the set you’re going to choose for the Stand Up Grad Night)

REMEMBER : PREMISE: and then the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, the unspoken emotion. This is the PUNCHLINE. Once you have the punchline, add the 3 AMPLIFIERS and one of the three examples can be used to FORESHADOW the next joke:
EXAMPLE:JOKE 1) A lot of comedians are insecure, suffer from depression and use humor to fill a hole. Speaking of holes nice to be back in this club! JOKE 2) A comedians’ working in a club has a heart attack and dies. Suddenly he’s at the pearly gates. On the other side are a bunch of comedians, Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers, Don Rickles. Saint Peter tells the new comic before he can go into heaven he had to tell his joke that was his greatest risk. The new comic starts sharing his most courageous joke. Suddenly Saint Peter says, “wrap it up God just gave you the light!” On the other side of the gate Don Rickles says, “I’m dead a week and Saint Peter has already stole my act!”

REMEMBER: HOMEWORK: WRITE 6 JOKES from 3 different perspectives  FOR) 1) the guy who brought the wrong part to the Canadian Tire, 2)his wife and 3) the automotive attendant.

REMEMBER: Have your 7 to 10 minute set (TAGGED AND BAGGED!!!!) for Monday.

REMEMBER: You can bring my Humor Work shops, Key Note and my Stand Up Comedy Performance to your company, work, fundraiser or Christmas Party. E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Writing Class 2 Foreshadowing.

Thank you everyone for the great class on Monday. I really appreciate your hard work. I would also really appreciate if you spread the word of my class and my website. If you know an organization or company that’s looking for a speaker or comedian for their event, please give them a link to my website or give them my E mail please. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  1. Remember : Story, Tag each sentence in your story. Re tag the set/story from as many perspectives on the circle as you can.
  2. When we foreshadow our set we set the next joke up in the set. This gives our set rhythm and escalates the theme
  3. I’m going to play with the set I’m writing for another student in the class: “My spouse doesn’t like me being in a comedy class.”
  4. REMEMBER : Story is the boss. I’m taking a story from my past where:over five years a comedian’s wife slowly stops going to his shows.
  5. Opening joke: (I’m going to keep directing and foreshadowing the jokes toward a comedian’s wife never going to their shows.) WRITE OUT THE PREMISE and then look for the emotional unspoken punchline, also, look at the key words in the previous joke and use it to foreshadow the next joke 1)”It’s weird, my wife used to think I was funny; live together fifteen years and suddenly, I’m not hilarious.” 2) I tried to include her talk about her in my shows; how she was at the show, how she hates the neighbor, her weight; and every night she’s the only one not laughing! 3) I asked her yesterday if she wanted to go to my show. She said no, she had to fight the neighbor. (CALL BACK)
  6. Find the story, tag it with the unspoken truth as the punchline. Keep talking it out and journal new material.
  7. Have your 5 to 7 minute set for Monday.
  8. E  mail me if you have any challenges: paulsveen@shaw.ca
  9. remember to have fun and share my class, website and me as a comedian.
  10. https://youtu.be/9zY_Ed9VzuU

April 24: Class One, Set Outline.

Thank you everyone for being in my writing class and making it a success. This class is five weeks culminating (finishing) on May 30th with our performances. PLEASE: don’t sleepwalk through this class, don’t allow the creative percentage of yourself, the 15, 20, 25% to be enough. Ask more of yourself in this class: journal three pages a day on your set, your material, different perspectives tagging the jokes you have already written.

Remember your goal and when you’re writing your set. Remember to align the energy of your goal: if it’s to take a risk, be spontaneous, to laugh, to write well crafted jokes, whatever your goal is, visualize it and actualize (make it happen) in your material.

Here’s the outline of our set: 1) STORY, 2) CREATING A PREMISE FOR EACH SENTENCE IN THE STORY.3) LOCATING THE UNSPOKEN IN THE PREMISE. 4) USE THE UNSPOKEN AS A PUNCHLINE. 5) USING THE ONE JOKE  TO FORESHADOW/ SETUP THE NEXT 6)JOURNAL AND REHEARSE YOUR STORY AND JOKES. 7) REPEAT.

REMEMBER: OUR JOKES  SHOULD REVEAL WHO WE ARE TELL THE AUDIENCE ABOUT US. We begin with the first sentence in our story. My story is about someone who left me for a Zookeeper. I want to reveal me in this set and not point ‘out there.’ When I look at this set what I’m saying is I was ’emotionally unavailable, immature, not ready to be in a relationship.’ These are the ideas and emotions I’m mining in the unspoken punchlines. I’m revealing me this way and this way, keeping the set original and authentic. I’m also keeping in mind my goal.

1) Use your introduction to foreshadow your set. 2) Rehearse your story until you know it and then begin tagging it. I’ll begin at the first sentence in my zookeeper story.

I write out the first sentence: (I have an opening joke for this set, it will setup my set but I want to save it for the class 🙂

JOKE 1) I wasn’t ready for my first relationship ( this is the premise I’ve stated it and now ask the unspoken questions, the way out sarcastic questions and the deep dark questions and also, not just from our perspectives, from EVERY POINT ON THE BALL! ” Back to I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship: I was too immature, I had my parents as an example, I didn’t know how to be myself, I was 19. (This last idea struck a chord with me. Here’s the first joke. I’ll rehearse and talk around it but here’s the bones of the joke.)

  1. “I wasn’t ready for marriage, I was 19, I was old enough to drive, vote, die for my country and um. . . .drink.”
  2. Have a 5 to 7 minute set ready for Monday. E mail me if you have any questions.
  3. REMEMBER: you can book me for your event or company Christmas Party. Ask me in class.
  4. Have fun!!!!!
  5. And please share my web site and comedy links.
  6. REMEMBER MAY 30TH YUK YUKS: SPREAD THE WORD. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are 10$ Show time: 7:30

 

April 24th, start of my Stand Up Writing Class. paulsveen@shaw.ca

If you’re interested in registering for my April 24th class please message me on Facebook or  E mail me at: paulsveen@shaw.ca

(FYI: This class will be filmed as a documentary.)                                                                                                                                                                                        First, thank you for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. I know there’s a million things you could be doing and that you’re spending time from your day in my blog is no small matter to me. I don’t care if I’m laying it on too thick, I really appreciate it. Thank you very much. This is my last class of the year I’ll be taking a break to edit and publish my second novel; so if you’ve been interested in being in my class, now is the time. What I want to share in this blog are the principles and the reason why I’m incorporating them in my class; In everything we do and all the reasons we do them, there’s ‘ONE THING,’ of all these things that will have the greatest impact on YOU and YOUR results!

  1. Your goals. What are the reasons you’re developing your humor and writing? What do you hope to achieve? Can you see the goal, feel it, envision, sense it, breathe it in? What would be your greatest result in your wildest dreams? How hard are you willing to work for it, rehearse, read, listen, give back, sacrifice? In my class we will laugh. We will be inspired. We will be kind to ourselves and each other but more than anything we will encourage each other and our ONE THING will be to work, work, work to make our goals happen.
  2. We will write for each other in my class. I’ve always talked about PERSPECTIVE: looking at a premise from other points of view on the circle. This exercise helps us see ideas and possibilities that we never considered and makes us better Stand Ups. Because Stand Up is such a personal experience; it’s a quantum exercise to see our efforts being performed by another person. ( This ONE THING exercise allows us to feel perspective and reflect on the choices someone else makes with our efforts as well as the other person learning from your perspectives. When we experience the value of writing for others in the class we’ll realize the value for writing for an audience!
  3. STORY: Everything begins and ends with story. We’ll explore the theme within your story and the emotion and the point or punchlines. We revert to the story the medium that connects to an audience and then our audience and to our goals. Our story carries our unique creative DNA and market brand. It’s what allows us to attract our results. Our ONE THING here is letting go of our doubt in ourselves and believing in our bliss.
  4. Energy: What we feel: fear, insecurity, frustration, certainty, passion or excited: what we truly feel is what connects to an audience and attracts our goals. Our energy our belief in ourselves and our goal will align in our creative habits. Our habits are the actions that create results. The ONE THING you can do to ensure your results is to base your habits on your results.
  5. Writing: The ONE THING we can do to get the most from our STAND UP WRITING is to mine our honesty. Our truth has emotional gravitational power. Our secrets are what an audience and our humor is starving for. We will be studying: misdirection, sarcasm, tags, running gags and callbacks. All of these joke genres will be predicated on your story. I promise you that you will leave this class with absolute master of your talent.
  6. This class runs from Monday April 24th to Monday May 29th. The comedy Grad performance will take place Tuesday May 30th. Each class is 7 until 9 PM. All supplies are included. To register please message me on Facebook or E MAIL ME at: paulsveen.ca
  7.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YQF5wylhEA
  8. https://www.facebook.com/theAngelsClaw/

If I knew then.

When I first began Stand Up Comedy, I thought there was a formula, a combination to unlocking the secrets to comedy, to writing the perfect joke. I now know that Stand Up is about being myself. I remember my mom telling me that, “just be your self,” I still don’t know that that means. It’s the same as ‘go find yourself’, or ‘let go,’ or, to each their own,’ they’re all subjective and to their own interpretation. After all these years, I’ve realized, being myself means moving into my strengths and putting in the work.

Stand Up is work, like anything else. It’s the same as writing. Writing is re writing . The other day I said, “Comedy is like golf. Let the club do the work.” So, the point of this blog is not only letting go but: “what are you feeding?” This would have been a great question all those years ago to ask myself. What am I trying to reach? What do I want? There’s two things I think we all want: laughter and love. If someone would have gave me this advice, look for what makes me laugh and open my heart! These should be in my material. This is when I happiest, when I’m laughing and when I’m sharing my heart. How do I put that into Stand Up? Story.

In Robert McKee’s epic screen writing book, “Story,” he says: if you’re not going to put yourself into your work, have the courage to be real and authentic, put my book back on the shelf. I don’t want your money.” I paraphrase but this is the gist. I come to the same conclusion and this is after performing Stand Up for 30 years, teaching for 20 and writing 2 novels and three Fringe plays. Take the risk say something about how you really feel, share your secret-self! Balls to the wall! The trick is, do this with vulnerability and honesty, grace and unbounded joy. Fear sucks in stand up and the only way to kill it is to move into and write jokes about why we’re afraid and what we’re afraid of. This reveals who we are and makes a connection with our audience.

Stand Up is a relationship. It’s a marriage with us and our story and our story with an audience. And just like a relationship: opposites attract. This is why the premise is always different or even opposite to the punchline. Opposites attract! Par example’: “If all of us danced like we couldn’t be seen and sang like no one could hear us, they’d be telling us bliss is the lunatic stuck in traffic.”

There’s a risk to “letting go,” of fear based habits. It’s scary because it’s all we know. I’m saying after all these years, I know to reach the places just outside our grasp, we should be laughing when we create and share our stories our Stand Up and opening our hearts and sharing who we are on stage as if we’re in a relationship no matter who you are or how different an audience is because, opposites attract. Allow your story to have all the emotions and colors a painting has but make the 2 most prevalent colors, laughter and love.

You can see me on YOU TUBE and Facebook. To E mail me for bookings as a Stand U and for my classes and Key Notes: paulsveen@shaw.ca

My Next Stand Up Comedy Class begins Monday APRIL 24 in Yuk Yuks Comedy Club. E mail to register: paulsveen@shaw.ca