All stand up comedians are scared before performing gigs. When you start off your career in stand up comedy, you must prepare yourself to face any uneasy or awkward situation. In the beginning, things do not seem to go your way. You might get to do small shows with tiny audiences. The people might not know your name or your name might be announced incorrectly. There are times when the mike stops working or you are informed the very last moment that you time duration has been reduced. As a consequence, you might find yourself in a complete mess, not knowing how to give laughter packed performance with the mike not running properly or how to resize your act to fit in the rescheduled time given to you for your act. All this is a part of your experience as a beginner.
These experiences actually make you strong and confident. It is all a part of the learning process. No matter how well prepared you are before your act, you always do feel goose bumps. As soon as you get your first laugh when you are on the stage, all the nervousness disappears. You can feel the confidence restored within you.
In stand up, you actually do not get time to make an analysis of the audience and develop a relation with them. You have short time and you have to keep on firing hilarious jokes to make sure you do not lose the attention of the crowd. You have to be high with the pace and rhythm. You do not have time for long explanations and background descriptions; you must crack brief and powerful jokes and punchlines to get maximum laughs during the limited time allotted to you for your act.
One of the things that make stand up comedy different is the fact that unlike other forms of comedy which usually have a writing team to deal with the comedy script; stand up comedians have to write their own comedy script. Therefore it requires a lot more research than any other form of comedy for the purpose of writing. Watching stand up comedy videos can help you come up with good ideas for your comedy script.
There comes a point when the audience is literally craving for more of your words to come out of your mouth so they get a chance to roll into good laughter once again. That is the success of a stand up comedian. It is the point where you have completed your mission and fulfilled your aim to a great extent.
Stand up comedy is all about personal experiences. It is indeed a form of personal writing. It is an interesting form of performing art that requires spontaneity and is focused on the abilities of the stand up comedians to deliver the comedy. Stand up comedy writing plays a major role in the success of a stand up comedy performance and it ought to match the character of the performer. Mentioned here are some of the key techniques, which can be implemented for effective comedy writing:
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Internet had made it easy for everyone to find information about relevant topics. It helps you almost in all fields so when you decide to learn stand up comedy you can get helping material and tutorials from here. A variety of resources is available to polish the native skills and also for those, who want to develop it. The easiest way to discover the resources on internet is to use a search engine. It will bring a list of comedy and comedian’s sites from where you can discover the ways to learn.
Initially you may start from personal sites of famous performers. Viewing their performances and observing their experience will give you insight for your learning. These sites are a good source of material for performance guidance. Successful professional stand up comedians share vital tips on their sites, which become greatly helpful for learners. Here you can find information about the hurdles, which they faced to reach at the peak of career. This awareness helps you to generate courage to go through the process to meet your success point. Sample performances on these sites are a good source of learning and analyzing your skills. It gives you a standard to compare your performance.
Besides these personal sites, plenty of other sites and blogs are sharing comedy videos. They are also providing a golden chance for you to learn comedy techniques as well as to enhance your confidence as comedian. By watching stand up comedy videos, you can learn about their methods and can likewise practice and compare yourself with available performances to assess you. At the mainstream of these sites, you can easily find model performances in videos that you can watch free of cost when you are connected to Internet. Here you have forums for discussion where you can ask questions from experts or viewers to get answers that can make many things clear to you.
Many how-to sites are available on Internet that will coach you basic steps on how you can achieve your goal to become skilled at stand up comedy. On these sites, you can find tutorials and tips to improve your jokes delivery and confidence while performing. You can find guidelines, which can help you to engage audience. On these sites, you can learn how to tell your jokes in your most persuasive way. Internet provides plenty of books, videos, and footage regarding comedy that entertain you in your learning to great extent.
Well at the early stage of your comedy career, you’re probably thinking you’re going to be grateful for any bookings and the venue, ambience and type of audience don’t matter. To a degree this might be true, but you would be better taking the time to find the venue and kind of audience that it best for you. You will surely be appreciated more and personally have a better experience if you find a club with an audience that best fits with your kind of material and routine.
So, when you start trying to attract bookings, there are some things you should be familiar with and some factors you should consider. Do some research on what type of club it is, what other style of stand up comedians perform there and what is generally the make up of the audience.
Check what area you are given to perform on. Particularly if you use physical comedy or need space for props, make sure the stage area is of an adequate size that allows you the space you need to perform with confidence and comfort. If you are cramped or have to inhibit your usual routine and style this is likely to leave you feeling less confident and the audience may sense this and you will struggle to win them over.
If you include any contentious material or obscene language you must always check whether the club accepts this. They will usually advise if they have any rules on content or delivery.
Whilst you are starting out and happy to gain experience, the fee might be less important, but check you are happy with the fee rates the club is offering. Although as with anything in life, you will endeavour to negotiate a decent fee, don’t be too ambitious in your requests and lose an opportunity for a good gig because you’ve been greedy.
If you are serious in pursuing regular bookings, you could consider signing with a comedy club booking agency. These can sometimes prove to be advantageous as they usually have excellent working knowledge of the various venues and opportunities available to you, they have good business contacts and can more easily find the venues that work best for you.
However you decide to proceed, good luck and happy hunting.
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As an aspiring stand up comedian before you even begin to worry about refining your on-stage performance, you need to concentrate on having good quality, funny material. Since you can never have too much material, you should be always on the look out for ideas for your routine. You’ve probably already discovered that there is a big difference between cracking the odd jokes to family and friends and the pressure of getting on stage and pulling off a polished, timed comedy performance.
So where do you start when it comes to writing your own material? Successful comedians tend to use their own life experiences and observations, so my advice would be to always stick to what you know. Not only will this make writing easier, but if you do write material from your own interests and experiences, the audience will sense the personal connection and it makes your comedy more relatable. So, look at your own lifestyle and interests and you’ll begin to see topics you can use for your comedy material. For example, if you are still living at home, situations that arise from sharing living space and your relationship with extended family could be a source. If you have just got married, there will probably be plenty of situations in your new relationship/lifestyle that can give rise to ideas for material for your stand up routine. Observations from the workplace, visits to the gym, people watching at the coffee shop, a trip to the market, attending a football game, the list goes on.
If you are a little bit more edgy in your material, you may want to feature current events in your routine. In that case, make sure you keep up to date with current affairs and review your content regularly to ensure it is not out of date and irrelevant. Also, remember that some current events can be considered controversial or uninteresting to some, so be ready for the reaction this type of comedy material might attract.
Note down any ideas that come to mind during your daily life and come back to them when you are writing. Hopefully those ideas/observations can be expanded into comedy material for your routine.
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First gaining notoriety following his recurrent role on the second season of Chappelle’s Show, Bill is now a familiar face on the stand up comedy circuit as well as appearing on a number of TV shows.
Referred to as a ‘comedian’s comedian’ by some observers of the U.S. stand up comedy circuit, his work is followed and appreciated by the public and fellow professional comedians alike.
As well as success in the field of stand up comedy, Bill records a weekly one hour-podcast covering various personal experiences and observations and can also be seen in the fourth and fifth season of ‘Breaking Bad’.
If you’ve not had the chance to catch any of Bill’s sets, I’ve just included a few of my personal choices from his stand up routine: