Stand Up Writing Class TWO: TAGGING A STORY.

I hope you had a great Thanks Giving and that you’re jornaling three pages a day about your set, joke writing and perspective, rehearsing, and working on your joke mechanics and making sure the punch word is AT the end of the punch line. Alright, great first class and second class!!!! For your homework next Monday October 15, have a FIVE TO SEVEN Minute set ready: a personal story with FIVE JOKES. If you can, make a few of these jokes from a different perspective.  RELAX, HAVE FUN! (REMEMBER, our energy on stage is what delivers our material. When you’re having fun so is the audience. If you’re afraid, so are they. Also: write jokes about your fears and share them in your set.  What ever you bring to class we can build off. These are the steps for your SECOND CLASS homework 🙂

We’re going to take a moment from your life and write some material for it. This is called, TAGGING. ( TAGGING: taking material from a story and amplifying it or writing jokes about the story.) When we take an idea and expand off of it, the stand up term is called TAGGING. Tagging is the same as building off or expanding.

Tagging and using it in on a memory or story from your life is different than lets say, writing jokes about the news: ( this genre is called TOPICAL MATERIAL. If you’re tagging the news, we learn about your opinions but don’t really learn about you. Real moments from your life solve this. Also, if you’re going to talk about religion or the news, you’re going to miss your business model, unless this is your business model.) If I play with a news story like a robotic lawn mower, I can QUESTION and Answer the PREMISE within the CIRCLE from different perspectives and come up with a joke like: “You can now buy a Robot Lawn Mower. How much does it cost? If you’re too lazy to get off the couch you can own a Lawn Robot for the low low price of, DIABETES!”

Now, if I have a story about lawn and yard work I can drop this joke into my set but what I’m asking is: 1) Locate a moment that really reveals you, a lawn story that you’re embarrassed or unsure you should to tell us. 2) Q and A EACH SENTENCE OF THE STORY and ask yourself what the vulnerable point is (punch line) and ask what we feel about the point-(premise) INSERT THE JOKE AFTER EACH SENTENCE. (you’re tagging each sentence. 3) Tape your story with it’s tags and rehearse it for Monday’s class.

EXAMPLE: I was in a Canadian Tire last January to drop off my fuel pump to get a new one, (TAG, I will have the punch line at the end of this information.) My wife must have thought I was going to Victoria’s secret because she said I could do my Christmas shopping 360 days early. Well, there wasn’t any lingerie but I still haven’t told my wife about the work bench I bought, so technically, it is a secret.  I thought of her and bought one of those rings you can slip through 18 plastic bags to make my wife’s grocery experience more pleasurable. For a year I told her I bought her a giant ring. I also got her an Edmonton Oilers steering wheel cover. Every time she grabbed her steering wheel, the cover screamed, began crying and demanded to be traded.  (TAG) I also got her a talking Christmas card that played The 12 days of Christmas; well it would of if the battery wasn’t almost dead 11 months later. When she opened it, the 1st day of Christmas played so slow, it sounded like Celine Dion on Demerol. Anyway, I do my shopping and drop my fuel pump off at the automotive department. I asked him if he had a new one. He says yes but asked me why I brought in my alternator.        I’ll tag this story for class. Please do the same. with your story. ( 5 to 7 minute story and five jokes inserted into your story.

REMEMBER: look at a sentence in your story: 1) Ask what the point is, look for more than one: the elephant in the room, the thing you don’t want to admit, from another perspective. This is the PUNCHLINE. Look at the PUNCH WORD, change it, try others.  2) How do you FEEL about the PUNCHLINE? Again, the deeper you look the better the PREMISE. have fun kids!!!

We’ll be playing with MISDIRECTION and FORESHADOWING  in the next class, CLASS 3

REMEMBER: YOU CAN SEE ME ON YOU TUBE AND FACE BOOK. You can also have me appear at your Christmas Party. Ask me in class about my work shops for your office and retreats. E mail me for any questions at: