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: email@example.com
My Next Stand Up Comedy Class begins Monday APRIL 24 in Yuk Yuks Comedy Club. E mail to register: firstname.lastname@example.org