We are on the stage what we are off it. This statement might be difficult to understand the way I phrased it but the statement and it’s meaning have been boiled to it’s core meaning: the face we’re sharing with the world will be the results we achieve under the lights. What we do, hope, are courageous about, insecure and desperate about, our addictions and the things we reach for off the stage, are the same results we’ll either achieve or repulse when we’re on it. We are on the stage what we are off it.
Stand Up Comedy is 2 things: show and business. THE SHOW is everything creative: craft, writing, rehearsing, reading, listening, sharing advice and ‘the more.’ The more is not making everything about us in an arena that makes everything about us: donating your humor to make a difference, taking a new comedian under your wing and helping them, being present in conversations, forgiving yourself for bombing and forgiving the audience. Seeing the trees when you’re on the road and tasting the food when we’re at the gig, breathing in the audience and connecting to them through our vulnerability. Stand Up is an activity that TAKES a lot. We owe it to ourselves to GIVE something back, without payment.
The second thing in Stand Up is THE BUSINESS: The business is everything professional: knowing your set and having the courage to be outside of it, spontaneous. Remembering the audience is half the relationship, so, considering them as if they’re sitting across from you on a first date has to be in our attitude. Not being high or drunk when we’re on stage. That space we call the stage is our office. Treat it like one. Dress in clothes that are clean and pressed, clothes that make you feel good but also say you’re large and in charge! Have a plan. Have a plan when and how you write and rehearse. Have a plan for the week, month, year, five years. Return phone calls as soon as you’re able. Video tape all your sets and graph them. Also, tag the five best jokes in each set, each and every time!
Stand up is Show and Business. The one element that connects the two, is energy. What we feel is what amplifies both, the show and business. If we’re angry, insecure, tired or ecstatic, the emotions we feel are also part of what we’re either attracting or pushing away. Being vulnerable, honest, sharing our secrets and simply ourselves, treating others the way we’d like to be treated, are the pathways to what we’re working toward. Being desperate, jealous, vindictive, are the sure way to repulse what you’re actualizing. We are on the stage what we are on it.
My next writing class begins September 12 at Yuk Yuks Edmonton. If you’re interested, E MAIL ME: firstname.lastname@example.org