Class Three: FRAMING.

We’re in a fast food, quick hurry, get to the point kind of World. If you want your material to work for you, whether you’re a STAND UP COMEDIAN,  PUBLIC SPEAKER, in SALES,  are a BUSINESS PERSON, or TEACHER, or in SOCIAL SITUATIONS; what ever the reasons you want to hone your HUMOR remember this:
1) Be ALL IN and CARE about what your talking about. 2) Know the emotion of the story. 3) Know the point. 4) EDIT OUT THE EXTRANEOUS. GET TO THE POINT. Look at this premise, I fell off the stage: FALLING OFF THE STAGE. (We get our material from OUR STORY; the moments we’ve lived and CARRY OUR THEME. We harvest material from these moments/ stories. We THEN WRITE and INSERT THESE JOKES INTO THE ORIGINAL STORY. THIS IS CALLED FRAMING.

My first time EVER on stage I fell off it. I’ll repeat that. The first time I was on stage TRYING STAND UP; I fell off it! I was the funny guy at parties, the loud obnoxious INSECURE guy starving for attention, the guy that knew a lot of jokes but not STAND UP, nothing about honesty vulnerability or being myself. (where our gold is) A comedy club opened and my drinking buddies coerced me to get up on stage and do what I did which was hide behind copious amounts of beer and decades old jokes. The MC called my name. I remember stumbling to the microphone as if I was about to be executed, which, thinking back, was ironic because this experience (RISK) killed the insecure guy I used to be. I walked up on stage, stared into the lights and imploded. I forgot who I was and where I was. I mumbled something about having to leave and stepped where I thought the steps were. I walked off the edge of the stage onto a table. The table collapsed and all the drinks of the 10 or so people around the table exploded on top of me. Up to this moment, this was thee single most humiliating experience of my life. I’ve had others, which I’ll share. Being humiliated taught me: *There’s a difference between being laughed AT and laughed WITH. The inability to be vulnerable attracted this life lesson. ( if I would have had the creative courage to tell the audience I was terrified they would have empathized with me and pulled for me.) One pinnacle element of creativity and purpose I’ve learned from 30 years of experience performing stand up in comedy in clubs, festivals, concerts, auditoriums giving key notes for corporations, sharing humor work shops in colleges and in clubs, performing one man plays, writing plays, a novel, is the ENERGY and EMOTION we emit is what we get BACK! If we’re terrified so is the audience. If we’re having fun, so is the audience.) While I was tagging/ writing jokes for this; I came up with: “If you want people falling off their chairs laughing, fall off the stage!” (I could insert and start with this into my original story or FRAME.  The best way to write jokes is to locate the PUNCH WORDS in each sentence of the STORY/FRAME- FIRST. We did this with random PREMISES in class. Look at the POINT of the sentences in your story and see how many more different PUNCH WORDS you can come up with when YOU’RE going over different PERSPECTIVES in your story! (PUNCH WORD- the most important word in the joke.)

I want to look at being honest and vulnerable. This is another place on the circle instead of coming from trauma, humiliation and regret, which by the way, are still gold mines of hilarity.

What about another perspective, peer pressure of friends to get me to go on stage as a premise? “For every comedian’s first time on stage, there’s a dozen friends, family and co workers in the audience who’ve convinced their friend they’re hilarious. These are the same people in grade school who convinced their friend they could fly off the garage if they wore a cape.

Look at a moment from your life and write out all the HONEST VULNERABLE thoughts you come up with in the POINT OF EACH SENTENCE. Remember how we mined PUNCH WORDS? (Look at the KEY WORD in each sentence and see if you can insert a more emotional impact- full word. Lets mine the PUNCH WORDS from the EMOTIONS ATTACHED TO THE STORY!

PLEASE check out my book The Angel’s Claw  on my Web Page  and Stand Up Videos. Remember. we’re having our CLASS GRAD on December 17th at YUK YUKS in Century Casino . If you’re interested in booking me as a KEY NOTE or COMEDIAN FOR YOUR EVENT. E MAIL ME: paulsveen@shaw.ca