February 25 Stand Up Writing Class is filling up.

There is no real way I can describe the power of humor. We all know from personal experience what real deep laughter can do for us. Laughter changes us physiologically. It changes the way we feel and also the way those around us feel. I’m not sure if the kind of laughter that we remember from years ago is a small miracle or a gigantic one. Well there are no small miracles so, laughter, any kind of laughter, the moments that make us smile, laugh out loud or allows us to forget for only a few moments what we’re going through or afraid to face; laughter is a God send.

This will be my 26th year of teaching Stand Up Comedy. My 15th year of teaching Stand Up Writing. Both classes are different. One is an introduction. The other, the class beginning next Monday at Yuk’s Edmonton, is creative business of Stand Up: this class is the elements of Story. The tagging or developing of ideas within your story. Jokes aren’t created because we find a punchline. Material is created because we find ourselves within our story.

Humor can be developed from any idea, politics, space, gum. The class I teach works on the principle of developing material from different perspectives then just our own. I believe writer’s block is founded in being stuck in the same perspective. The more emotion in a joke, the better the joke, the laughter and connection to an audience. When the joke is from OUR OWN story, then the material is carrying our theme.

If we take a random joke idea, ‘The Oilers,’ this is a ‘TOPICAL,’ premise, an idea in media. Here’s a random joke I developed from the principles of writing mechanics I teach in my class. 1)  Connor McDavid’s supposed to be the best player in the world and the Oilers are in last place. I played ball hockey with a kid named Barney Zepher. He scored two goals every game and he wasn’t even the best player on our block! 2) FYI Connor, when you’re trying to tip a puck in the net, take a deep breath and shout, CAR!!! That’s from Barney. You’re welcome.

Now, when we take a random idea and add emotion, the material is amplified. Cheering for the Oilers is like being in a bad marriage, I think we should start seeing other teams. We can re write this joke from another perspective and add amplifiers. But that’s week two of the class.

If you’re interested in Stand Up, Public Speaking or writing, and want to be part of my class, e mail me please: paulsveen@shaw.ca