My Secret.

I’ve written and published a novel, “The Angel’s Claw.” I’ve written 3 Fringe plays, was the winner of the Walter Dale theater new playwright contest. I’ve performed at every comedy festival in Canada, and have an hour comedy special on CTV’s Comedy Now. I’ve taught Stand Up Comedy for 20 years and performed Stand Up for over 30, and my secret is, I still feel I’m not good enough, as if I’ll never reach the person I’m capable of being.

Somewhere in me, part of me feels like I’ll never be good enough, I’ll never be able to reach what’s just outside of my finger tips. Yes, I’ve tried to drown this part of me with alcohol, drugs and food. None of it worked. This abyss that’s in me is a dark place that will never be filled with anything from the outside of me. But I do have an answer for my flaw.

Sharing my Stand Up Classes over the years with all my students, listening to you, watching you grow in your creative bliss has given me the continual strength to ask more of me, to always sharpen my saw and become a better teacher, friend, writer and comedian, for you.

I’m not sure what this flaw is in me or where it came from , or who put it there. I’ve always thought that there was never enough, that I’ll always be adrift in a sea of scarcity. I’m not perfect, in a large sense I’m broken, flawed but I embrace it. as one of my students shared with my class: “embrace your imperfections.”

I choose to keep moving into my secret that I’ll never be good enough, that I’m kidding myself that I could ever be anything but a shadow. The Universe doesn’t make junk, we do. Where ever this secret I have came from, you’re being used by the person you’ve been using and manipulating all these years. I’m mining the lie that I’m nothing and have been since the very first moment I whispered: “I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it any way.”

My class is performing Tuesday June 23rd at Yuk Yuks in Century Casino. Show Time is 7:30. Please come out and support the new comedians.

E MAIL ME: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Class 4. Aligning your set with your results.

Where do we hope our humor will take us; to a festival, television appearance, Key notes? where ever that place is, the feeling you have about your destination should be the same feeling you have when you work on your material, the emotion within the premise.

The emotion you have when you begin working on a premise needs to be in the premise.  If you’re writing material about camping but you’re confused about the premise, YOU NEED TO WRITE ABOUT THE CONFUSION OF CAMPING. Always work with the EMOTION within the premise first, then branch out and explore the premise.

It’s always best to begin a premise with SOMETHING YOU HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO TALK ABOUT WITHIN THE PREMISE, A STORY, something you’ve lived. This story is the FRAME we’re going to insert TAGS.

Look at your set. Grab your note book and simply start TALKING about your opening joke. As you talk, ask yourself what you’re feeling, also, write down on your note book under POOL, any and all connecting words, quotes, phrases, images, songs, anything that ius connected to your first joke.

EXAMPLE: One of my jokes: “I love pets. When I say pets, I mean dogs. Cats aren’t pets. Cats are like a  teenager that won’t get a summer job; “can I have some more pot, i mean cat nip?”

You can do a few things here, listen to a recording of your set and write down ideas as they occur to you or watch your set you recorded, and talk around each joke looking for ways to improve your material. Here’s what happened when I talked around this  joke: what am I saying? Cats are lazy, dogs want to do things, As I said this, an idea bubbled up. 1st TAG: It’s as if cats are clinically depressed and want medication and dogs are also manic but are over medicated: ME:                                                                                                           “Hey spot, want to go for a walk? (the dog’s voice.) “Yah, man, (wiping my nose as if I’m on coke.) ” lets run in traffic then chase anything, cars, rabbits, shadow people, then attack the neighbor’s garbage, then scare the shit out of the old guy at the end poof the block!”

I just TAGGED  a joke by talking around it. Try this. Do this with every joke in your set and remember to tag the EMOTION in the premise.

Closing Jokes. Class 3.

Thank you, all of you in my class for working as hard as you are. This is show business. The business is everything you do until the moment you speak into the microphone. Everything after that is the show.  Our CLOSING JOKES make you MEMORABLE.  Closing jokes can be based in a few things but they have to be ABOVE ALL- YOUR BEST JOKE!

Closing jokes are founded in our THEME, the point of your story. My theme is IDIOT and my story is FIGHTING MY DAD. My closing joke 1) can be based on the actual ending of my story. 2) I can find what I feel is the BEST JOKE in my set and move it to the end. 3) I can WRITE A NEW CLOSING JOKE.

The best vehicle for carrying the energy and emotion of a closing joke is SARCASM: ( over the top exaggeration.) MISDIRECTION:         ( The unexpected punchline.) Here’s an example of MISDIRECTION and how to write it.

1) Write out the ending of your story, the actual sentence. This the ending of my FRAME: “I was 15. I didn’t know how to fight. As my dad was swinging, I wrapped my legs around one of his giant legs, held onto his gut and pissed onto his hip.” What’s the emotion here? What’s the elephant in the room? My dad was angry! Here’s the formula, the 3 components  for MISDIRECTION: PREMISE based on the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.  Amplifying statements that take the audience away from the PUNCHLINE. The unexpected PUNCHLINE. As you learn this genre, don’t throw anything away. If you have a joke or premise you don’t like, INSERT IT UNDER POOL.

Here’s a joke I came up with: ” I was a typical self absorbed teenager. I knew when Van halen was in town, where I could get acid, the keg party I was going to when I skipped school, weird I never saw the beating from my dad.”

I can play with this joke. It will fit perfectly in my story. I’ll keep tagging it. Have fun, work at this. We’ll go over it in class on Monday.

REMEMBER: My novel “The Angel’s Claw is at Indigo North Town. You can book me as your comedian for your next event. I’m also a KEY NOTE and share WORK SHOPS. E MAIL ME AT: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Class 2 June 1: Connecting to an audience.

I want to thank everyone for taking my class again. I will always help you in the class, as well as after the class is over, to answer any questions, to encourage you, to make sure you’re growing in the limitless creative person you are. A reminder: I’m performing June 26/27 at the Comedy Factory. For tickets, call 469-499-9999. I have more copies of my novel “The Angel’s Claw.” at Indigo North Town Mall location. North side of 137 Avenue and 94 Street. My book is next to Stephen King in horror. I also share work shops and Corporate Stand Up functions. Having an event? Need a key note or a Nationally Touring Corporate Comedian? E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca. I’m also on face book and YOUTUBE.

 

Remember, our performance is Tuesday June 23. I’ll be promoting the grad night on my web site as well as face book. Could you please also promote the June 23 Class, Stand Up Comedy Grad Night! Show Time is 7:30. Promote it on face book, Twitter, at work at home and to your friends. Who YOU invite is your audience. This is part of the business, to draw an audience, so, get to work gentlemen.

 

OPENING JOKES. 1) Theme. Your opening joke achieve several things. 1) It is BASED in your THEME. Whatever your pattern is from the moments of your life, your opening joke should be based in this pattern. (If you can’t define your theme in one sentence you haven’t been journaling. If you’re not journaling you’re doing yourself a HUGE disservice.) 2) Our opening joke introduces our theme as well as our FRAME, (The FRAME is our set, our 5 to 10 minute STORY. We call it a FRAME because we’re going to INSERT JOKES we’ve written to embellish or amplify our STORY. These inserted jokes or TAGS are also based in our THEME. ) 3) Our OPENING JOKE gets the audience’s attention. It gets them saying YES! I LIKE this person and what you’re saying.

 

ALRIGHT. My THEME IS: “I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway.” My theme is true to the stories of my life. It’s HONEST. The audience knows this when I share my set. I tell them I don’t know what I’m doing. It never hurts to share your THEME with your audience. When I tell them my theme, they instantly like me. NEVER MAKE YOURSELF THE HERO OF YOUR STORY. I’m an idiot. I’m never the hero.

 

Look at your FRAME. What is the FIRST SENTENCE? Put this in the circle.  Make a horizontal line between the circle and a vertical line across the middle. These 4 quadrants are the 4 different perspectives we will write from. (If you introduce a person in any of the 4 quadrants, GIVE THEM THEIR OWN VOICE! My opening sentence is: HAVE YOU EVER FOUGHT YOUR DAD? This question reflects my theme, I don’t know what I’m doing.  REMEMBER. A great joke is the answer to a good question.  At the bottom of your page you have written the word POOL. I wrote down the ages of myself and my Dad when I fought him, under pool. I started to look at the moment from MATH. I asked some questions and here’s what I came up with in MY JOURNALS. REMEMBER: I’m inserting these jokes/TAGS into my STORY.

 

1) I never really understood problem solving math until I applied it to my life. I was 15 when I fought my DAD. He was 40 and a war vet.  I was 5/1 a hundred and forty pounds. My Dad was 6/3 two hundred and forty pounds. How many times would I fight my dad and SHOW YOUR WORK! When I showed my work, I drew a close up of my face with my dad’s fist glancing off my cheek.

 

2) The answer is 1. I would fight my dad ONCE. If I fought him a 2ND time, I have no memory of that beating, the same as if I was abducted by aliens or suffered some horrific post traumatic event. If I fought him more than once, what’s left of my brain after the second beating is protecting me. (I’ll insert my brain’s voice here, whispering something empathetic.) We can also give inanimate objects a voice, a house, rock, my pea brain.

 

3) My Dad fought me because I skipped school. While he was beating me he said: “This beating is what it’s going to feel like working a construction job pushing a wheel barrel 10 hours a day because it was the only job you could get because you only had a grade 10 education. (I’ll break up the joke on stage, inserting my Dad’s voice as if between punches.)

 

Get to work. Have fun E mail me if you’re stuck. See you Monday at 7.

Class 1, Stand-Up Writing. May 27/2015

Before I begin, remember my Novel is in Indigo at Northtown Mall, on the north side of 137 Avenue at 94 street. “The Angel’s Claw.” is next to Stephen King. Also, I’m a nationally touring corporate comedian, to book me for your function, ( company work shops, Christmas parties, Key Notes.) E mail me, paulsveen@shaw.ca            I want to thank everyone who registered for my class: Arya,Perry, Correy and Amit. Thank you again 🙂                                                         We talked about the value of theme in our 1st class. Theme is our market brand, our Pepsie. We looked at our theme by examining  the movies we liked as well as moments from our life. When we did this, we found a pattern. This pattern is the door to our creative foot print.We also looked at the beginnings of writing mechanics: locate the elephant in the premeise as well as locating different persepctives around the circle. Our homework for next Monday is: 1) Look at 10 moments from our life. Look for a pattern in the 10 moments: ( I can’t commit, I’m insecure, I always make a mess. . .) Then, take the ONE moment from the 10 that reveals your pattern the best. 2) Record the moment on your phone or write it out. 3) Put the theme from your 10 moments in the middle of a circle. Put FOUR different persepctives at the top, bottom and sides of the circle. 4) Ask and answer FIVE questions from each perspective. 6) Take your favorite Q and A from each perspective and insert them in the story.                                                                                                       This is called TAGGING (Creating material from material.) The act of inserting material into your theme based story is called FRAMING. I’d like each of you to have 3 to 5 minutes this Monday for the second class, with at least four tags inserted into each of your stories. Remember to journal three pages each day. Don’t show up and throw up. Be prepared for class. Work from your heart. Rehearse, practice, give your humour everything you have in this class. Remember, humour is a relationship, you with the courage to share your authentic self and your audience, with you having the inspired courage to have put in the creative effort to transport your audience through your story, thus taking them from their fears, bruises and their own fears. In this relationship we heal, and we heal our audience as well. Have fun. See you in class.

I’m on You Tube and Face book. My E book “The Angel’s Claw.” can also be purchased from my web site. Click on “My Book.” Any questiions? E mail me: paulsveen@shaw.ca

Baby Boomers.

In joke writing, “You have to know what it isn’t, before you know what it is.” What this means is, when we’re working on a premise, keep moving into the idea, digging at the truth, like diggng for gold, allow the jokes that steal your will to keep writing, because the treasure is close.
Take an idea: (Baby Boomers): When we begin writing jokes, look at the underlying emotion in the idea: the elephant in the room, the unspoken core of the premise. BABY BOOMERS, what do we know about them? Born from 1946 to 1964: What does this mean? They fought in Vietnam, were hippies, had long hair, they’re old, grand parents, their time is up. -These are the underlying truths. From these truths we create punch lines from the Elephants in the room, the core emotions of the punchlines as well as other points of view on the circle.
-If we were in a club. Where would the audience be coming from? Where’s a Baby Boomer coming from? What about Generation x? Y? What about seniors, 70 somethings? Differnt cultures? ( A big reason we have writers blocknis we’re always coming from our point of view.)
– Lets begjn with an Audiience. Where are they coming from when we say baby boomer? We start with questions: -WHY do Boomers get a title but the next Generation only gets a letter, and a shity one, x?
-Are they called Baby Boomers because of the 50 million that died in WW2?
-Why do they call the 60’s the sexual revolution if all the boinking went on the 50’s?
-What are some bench marks from the baby boomers? Wood Stock, bell botttoms, long hair, hippies, far out,
groovy, cool. Easy Rider,
-From all this information, and inner truths, we have enough to create a premise,a statement: -“You can’t ask a Baby Boomer if the moon landing really happened. They don’t remember if the 70’s really happened.”
Keep digging, tagging, coming from different points on the circle. The treasure is there.

Local Author Performs Miracle

Local author and comedienne Paul Sveen didn’t just write about a miracle.

Today, he performed one.

 

You see, today was the day that Paul was on hand at Indigo at Northtown Mall to sign copies of his new book, The Angel’s Claw. Standing proud and tall beside the main entrance with a huge smile on his face, Paul greeted anyone and everyone who came into the popular book store. A charismatic gentleman, with a wide range of knowledge on many different subjects, he was able to hold intelligent conversation with anyone who took the time to stop and talk.

Having 25 books on hand today at Indigos gave Sveen the chance to face the hard-core readers of Edmonton, and the quest was fulfilled. The very last copy on hand was bought by a wonderful couple at 4:35 pm. Signing with a wonderful quote from one of his favorite authors, Sveen graciously thanked the couple with a huge smile, and a request for a photo.

The manager of the Indigos was more than impressed at the sheer volume that Paul was able to sell today. Apparently, she had never before witnessed any local author selling that many books in that short of time. The fact that Sveen could perform this small miracle today will more than likely help pave the road to even bigger and better sales. Paul’s e-mail requests to the Whyte Avenue bookstore have gone unanswered, but given today’s master performance, I believe that the manager will be attempting to contact Paul now, instead of the other way around.

Paul comes from a long life of entertainment. Few know that he was in the band for the late great Stompin’ Tom Conners, and Paul also has built up quite a reputation in the comedy field, playing all over Canada.

Having heard firsthand from folks that have read, or are reading his book, The Angel’s Claw, and how excited that they are in his literary skills, I must urge you to put in your request for Sveen’s book.

He is taking online requests, and also carries copies to any of the comedy shows he stars in. You can find more info about how to contact Paul at his website,  paulsveen.com

The End Isn't Near We're In It!

The End Isn’t Near We’re In It!

Written by Andrew Flieder

 

Truth and Humor

I’ll be signing copies of my first Novel, “The Angel’s Claw. March 21ST at the North Town Indigo in Edmonton on 94 Street and 137 Avenue from 12 until 5. E mail me for info on my books or next class I’m teaching: paulsveen@shaw.ca
When you listen to someone talk you can subtly hear what they’re not saying or , what they’re trying to say. “How are you?” “Ok, I guess.” You don’t have to be Spider Man to see the response, this person who’s saying they’re “OK” aren’t!
To me, the unspoken truth, the subtext in our truth and the ability to verbalize and articulate it, is one of the most powerful tools in joke writing. These are the steps I use: 1) Choose a premise that’s attached to your secret self, the you that even you only get glimpses of, the in your sweats, alone on the couch with your guard down you. 2) Can you describe this you in a sentence? ( This is your theme, your market brand 3.) When we know our theme we can dig it out of any premise and when we share it, our material is bathed in emotion and honesty and is fiercely original. 4) Structuring our material with theme, mechanics, set up, punchline, punch word.
EXAMPLE: Premise: Barbie Dolls: This premise is from a joke I’ve been cultivating: Here’s the chunk: “women are more evolved then men because they had dolls when they were girls that taught them how to feel. They’d pull the string and the doll would talk; “Sometimes I’m sad, I want to be more vulnerable, I use my emotions to manipulate people.”
From this joke I started mining other ideas. Each idea is based in my premise: I’m dysfunctional. Here’s the jokes I came up with in the TAGS from the above joke.
1) Be honest, most parents didn’t have the emotional stability to give us the birds and the bees talk. That’s what Barbies were for. “Here’s a Barbie doll. Don’t pull down her pants in front of the neighbors. Keep her away from GI Joe, he’s an action figure. That’s how dolls get pregnant.”
2) Everything boys learned about relationships they learned from a Barbie Doll. If they worked hard they could meet a beautiful girl, get the house and Corvette and then she’d leave him for some clown named Ken.
3) I learnt from my sister’s Chatty Kathy. There was a ring attached to the string , every time I pulled it , Chatty Kathy talked. Years later, on my first date she thought I was massaging her back. I was actually hunting for the ring to shut her up.
Find your theme, that’s where your truth and emotion is, that’s where your funny is.
Check me out on YOU TUBE ( Paul Sveen) or Facebook.

The Elephant In The Room

The title of this blog relates to the thing no one wants to talk about, the secret, the obvious unspoken: the elephant in the room. This is the first place you should look when hunting a premise: what’s the real thing I’m afraid to say? The truth.
I’ve been blogging a little less lately because I’ve been promoting my first novel “The Angel’s Claw.” My first run sold out in 6 days, I’m so proud of finishing the novel and all that goes into getting The Angel’s Claw, out there.
It took a lot of work to write my Novel and it takes work to blog, to put together a writing class, to prepare for my corporate shows, to keep sharpening my saw.
There’s also the recent hack of my blog. A woman in Arizona bilked one of my students out of some money by pretending to being a Micro soft employee. Who ever you are, know that you are the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM in this blog. You’re like any other misguided EGO based person. As I write this, I’m indifferent to what you’ve attracted because of your actions. As I write this I’m aware of the reasons why you stole money from an innocent person, you’re an alcoholic, an addict, you were screamed at as a kid, what ever your reasons, know that I surrender to your selfishness, I don’t resist your pain and all the reasons you chose to attack a person who only wanted to explore her creativity. Elephant in the room, you’re only harming yourself. Your penance will be a life of suffering that you’re probably going to be unconscious of, for your life is a forest that you no longer see, exactly where an elephant in the room should be.
As for my student, she had a break through last class. She’s growing in her craft and joy. The Universe encourages her, the same as it encourages the woman in Arizona, only, one of you gets this, the other is lost in her bottomless jungle.
Follow PAUL SVEEN on YOU TUBE and FACE BOOK. My E BOOK, “The Angel’s Claw” is on AMazon, I BOOKS, KOBO AND KINDLE.

Class 3 Quantum Comedy.

JOKE WRITING:  SARCASM:

Before I begin: if you get the chance, tell  a friend or could you skip down to Indigo North Town on 137 ave and 94 street and pick up a copy of my book: “The Angel’s Claw.” This will drive my book into more stores and the story message will reach more people: (Believe in yourself, trust your heart and you can change the World.)                          I want to thank Sabrina, ( and her friend) Shawna and Patrick for coming out to the Comic Strip on Monday to support me. I really appreciate it.                                                                                                                              Today we’re working on joke writing: SARCASM:

MISDIRECTION, to me, is the most difficult of all genres. It’s the cousin of sarcasm. Lets look at them.  first we choose an idea or PREMISE: “Losing that last TEN pounds.” 1) Locate the truth, the emotion, how you really feel about this. Write that out ON TOP THE PAGE. How we feel really is the PREMISE.

“It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you.”  What I’m saying is, it’s the pain, suffering, the regrets, rage that we’re really feeding. The emotions, the truth behind any premise is where the Gold is.

Sarcasm is creating a premise from an emotional truth, and over exaggerating the PUNCHLINE. First we find the jokes. When I first thought of weight, I thought of this:                                                                           1) “Be honest. If we could give our extra 30 pounds to anyone,  Karen Carpenter would still be alive.”                                                                      2) “Christmas Eve he’s Santa. Boxing day, he’s the jerk taking up 2 seats on West Jet.”                                                                                                                3) If I was honest with myself, when I was in a drive through: ‘I’ll have 2, I won’t let anyone get close to me burgers, with extra shame, and a side order of passive aggressive fries.”

The leap from SARCASM to MISDIRECTION is what we’ll investigate in class.