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FOUR COMMON MISTAKES IN STAND UP COMEDY ACTS

Stand up comedy is a demanding profession, as it demands your time and effort. You have to work very hard to make your place in this field. . When you begin your career as a stand up comedian, there are some points that you should keep in mind to make sure that you do not commit any common mistake that the newbies are likely to make.

Only because you think you are funny does not necessarily means that the audience will think the same for you. It is hard to perform in front of an unknown audience. You have to read the mind of the people sitting in front of you to know what can actually make them burst into laughter. It is this uncertainty about your act to meet the demands of the audience that makes this field thrilling yet difficult. You never know what will be the response of the crowd, hence, your act may go completely flat or even become an instant success.

Some beginners think that a well-written content is all they need to make their act a complete hit and get the desired response from the audience. This is not true. Presentation, delivery techniques, and timing are more crucial in a stand up comedy act. A good written content can be ruined by weak delivery and presentation. However, a weak joke or short story can surely be lifted with the help of strong delivery and solid presentation. The audience sees and hears you, so the funnier you look and sound, the better it will be for your performance.

The importance of body language is often overlooked by beginners. Stand up comedians are free to move around and make use of their body language to entertain the crowd. This is an important feature of stand up comedy. Therefore, newbies should always pay attention on their body language including rise and fall in voice pitch, facial expressions, gestures, and vocal tones. You can improve your non-verbal communication skills by watching stand up comedy videos online. Watch how big comedians make use of their body language and probes to give a laughter packed performance.

Many beginners neglect the power of rehearsals. It is a very common mistake made by them. You should never be over confident and always do as much practice as you can. A well-rehearsed act is the key to get maximum laughter from the audience.

You must have good level of interest in you topics of your performance. Make sure that you have some background knowledge about them. This is important because your selection of topic is definitely going to influence the quality of your material.

The Sensation Bill Hicks and His Comedy

Bill Hicks was one of the best stand up comedians of his era. His life was short but sensational. Fans know him by many names such as preacher, philosopher, social satirist but his role as a comedian was much glorious. Although he had a short career, but in this short time period, he made his place in the hearts of many people.

He started performing at the age of 15 against the will of his parents. He used to take drugs and drink a lot to be conscious. Finally, he was invited in TexasOutlaw Comics that helped him nurture as a comedian. However, it was not just his comedy that grew, his habit of drug taking and alcoholic addiction also grew massively.

Hicks started writing comedy when he was 13 years old. Within a short while, he got so much proficiency in the work that his high school English teacher used to allow him 5 minutes in the spot before starting the class.  When he graduated, he urged to walk on the road of comedy.

His first album, Dangerous was released in 1990. This was the start of his career.  He used to perform with a group of American stand up comedians in West End, London.

He made audiences in Canada, UK, and then finally in USA. At home, he was known to be unpatriotic. He got wider recognition when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He wanted to convey his last massage to the audience when he was performing at the Letterman Show but this chance was taken from him because it was considered that his material could be dangerous for the mainstream audience. After his death, he even got more popularity. His stand up comedy videos and clips started to get widely popular. He even appeared in the best and famous lists of comedians.

Bill Hicks had a great friendship with comedian Denis Leary. However after 1993, their friendship fell apart. Many comedians said that Leary was borrowing Hick’s persona for most of his acts.

During his stand up comedy acts, he used to invite audience to challenge authority.  He was also voted as the hot stand up comic in 1993 by Rolling Stone. He used to attack the mainstream society in most of his performances. Many of his stand up comedy videos and acts were based on such themes. But still he is one of the most astonishing performers of stand up comedy.

 

Some Misconceptions Related To Stand Up Comedy

When you are writing stand up comedy, it is best if you get accurate information on the subject.  It is human nature that if an individual gets second opinions, then he eventually finds answers he wants to hear.  When it comes to stand up comedy, there are certain misconceptions that don’t let the people excel in the field.

Here take a look at these misconceptions and see whether you are practicing in the right direction or not:

Individuals, who don’t have the comedy talent can learn to become funny on stage.  There is a possibility that you can learn to act funny and eventually get successful in generating huge laughs. However, if you don’t have any natural comedy talent, it can be really hard for you to move forward with comedy. You need to develop acting skills. You should possess the ability of writing and most of all can deliver the comedy act rightly. It will take years and years to achieve the proficiency of headliner.

Such folks wish to make their audience scream with laughter but in reality, they are hardly able to make them laugh. They remain at the bottom level of the food chain of comedy.These are the same individuals, who say that nothing seems to work for them with which they can make their audiences happy.  In reality, the major reason behind the failure is the fact that they don’t possess natural comedy talent.  Professional stand up comedians never lack such a talent. It’s not that it’s impossible, but it will take time to be actually good.

Another misconception is that those folks, who have natural comedy talent, need to focus on the joke writing formulas and this means that it may take years to master the art of bringing big laughs as a result of their routines.  If you have ever come across success stories of stand up comedians, you will learn that they merely started because they had the talent.

Many professionals say that joke writing can halt the growth of a comedian because he would always have to judge whether his jokes are funny or not. The truth is that delivery is what makes you get laughs. Watch some stand up comedy videos and observe this thing on your own. Half of the success of the performance is based on your delivery.

Whether you are a newbie or experienced in comedy, you must observe these things to make your career in comedy.

 

Rules of Writing Stand up Comedy

Stand up comedy is a performance art, which is largely based on quality writing. Writing effective jokes, which are funny enough to make the audience roar into laughter, is an essential part of stand up comedy. The writer should keep in mind how the jokes are to be delivered. Moreover, his content should be fresh and unique. There are a few rules that you can follow while writing your script. Some of the rules that can help you in writing humorous jokes are mentioned below:

  • You need to be original with your jokes. Stealing or copying jokes of other comedians is not a good option even if you can perform the joke better than the person, who wrote it. Having your different and unique point of view is very important when it comes to comedy writing. Staying original is an important aspect of comedy. You are recognized as a good stand up comedian when your jokes are original and worth laughing.
  • When writing down your jokes, you need to keep it in mind that how you are actually going to perform them on the stage. This will help you in writing jokes that are more effective. Many times, although the written content is hilarious yet it runs flat while being performed in front of the audience. It depends 90% on your delivery. Your delivery abilities should be strong in order to add life to the content to make it hilarious enough for the crowd to laugh. You can read out the lines you wrote again and again to make them funnier. Moreover, it will give you a better idea that how should be your performance. Practicing your written content will always prove beneficial.
  • Whatever you write should come from your heart. You must be sure and confident about what you are saying. Comedy should be inside you. It should be your passion. Whatever you say, you must believe it. For instance, you cannot be complaining about being ugly when you are good looking enough. Nobody will believe you.
  • Whenever you find yourself not being able to make a good punch line, try to make use of the tested punch lines including exaggeration, misdirection, callbacks, etc. You can take help from the stand up comedy videos in this regard.
  • You need to keep writing. Not necessarily all your content will be funny but you can gather a good percentage of funny and effective content. Writing is like a muscle to keep exercising. Writing more and more will help you in improvising your sense of humor.

 

LEARNING STAND UP COMEDY

There are many people, who are interested in learning stand up comedy and want to opt it as a career. One of the problems the new stand up comedians frequently face is to get strong punchlines quick enough in their performances. It is interesting to know that a good comedian must be able to get 4 laughs for every minute he is performing in front of the audience. It is not about talking faster to fulfill the criteria but to be good enough at entertaining people. In fact, you should never be in a hurry when performing live. Some rules to help in learning stand up comedy are mentioned below:

  • Use your recorded comedy act and review it to mark out on your script all the points where you got good laughs from the audience. This can help you to understand and analyze the audience. It will also help you to improve your comedy writing skills.
  • Check the number of words that resulted in laughter from the audience. If the word count exceeds 20 words, it means that editing is required to shorten it up.
  • You need to add punchlines. Good stand up comedians only use 10 to 15 words before they get a punchline. Good timing is a very crucial element is comedy. The timings of the punchlines and their delivery style should be appropriate enough to strike the audience and to make them laugh.
  • You should not rush up during your performance to get more laughs per minute you stand in front of the audience. In fact, it is the structure of words and simplicity of the act that counts. 
  • Presentation is what gives you the real output of your performance. It includes your facial expressions, vocal tones, and rise and fall in voice particularly. To practice them, you may also consult the stand up comedy videos available on the internet. They can help you to boost up your presentation skills while performing in front of the audience. You need to observe the styles of the renowned stand up comedians in order to improvise your natural style of doing comedy.
  • Practice is always required. If you keep on practicing your acts in front of friends and family, it will help you to learn a lot of techniques. Moreover, it provides an insight in understanding the audience and knowing their requirements. It is important to meet the criteria set by the audience. If you give the audience what they want, you will get a great response and appreciation for your work.

 

An approach to easy search of comedy videos

Stand up comedy has made its way through new age. Numerous ways and sources are available for enjoying it. Plenty of sites are displaying these videos and updating them regularly for providing latest videos to their users. If you desire to find elite funny video clips from today’s most recent comedians, you should visit websites. Search engines can help you a lot for finding such elements. It will represent plenty of links from huge databases. Stand up comedy videos are a good source for leaning so the beginners should search them. Web offers good deal of funny videos, which help beginners to learn.

Multiple sites are serving society with this health recovering element of art. Each site has different categories of videos according to their nature and duration also. User can select the videos to watch online or to download.  Both facilities are available for users. Stand up comedians also create their videos and upload on public or personal website. Once you find out a website, it becomes easy to revisit the site. You can bookmark the pages of your interest, as it keeps your desired page only at a distance of one click.

The other means for collecting these videos is your friends’ circle.  From your office colleagues, you may get these videos. It is much easy now as most of people have smartphones or even phones with latest technology that makes this exchange quite easy. A person in your community, who is interested in comedy videos, could be a good source for you providing good comedy videos. Exchange of memory cards is also a good mean for spreading stand up comedy videos.

Social sites also display numerous funny videos. YouTube is a good source of funny videos. It has a large database of these video clips. These sites are a great help for locating hilarious video clips online. Through email and social networking, funny clips can be passed from person to person, often creating a ring drawing more concentration and more views until the funny video clip reaches an infiltration point with millions of views. While searching these videos, keep one thing in mind that these may be infected with virus that can damage your devices. As these media elements are an effective tool for virus spread, so be careful while looking for funny videos and make necessary steps for security of your devices such as phones, tablets, PCs, etc.

Four Common Mistakes in Stand up Comedy

Stand up comedy is a very challenging field. It requires a lot of practice and hard work. The new stand up comedians often commit some common mistakes. Most of these mistakes are simple and the reason behind committing such mistakes is the absence of proper guidance. There is a little difference between being funny person and being professional comedian. To act something funny in front of people needs attitude, which comes with experience. However, the passion to learn from mistake and to improvise your talent further plays an important role in this.

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Thinking of yourself being very funny is not enough, as it does not ensure that the crowd will like you too.  You will have to learn from your mistakes in order to make your way towards your goal of becoming a successful stand up comedian. Four common mistakes that new aspiring stand up comedians mostly make are mentioned below:

  1. The new comedians think that a good written material is all required to make their act successful. That is not truth. Delivery and presentation both play a crucial role in making any act funny. In fact, they are often more important than the jokes told. A good story can completely fall flat due to bad delivery and presentation. On the other hand, a strong delivery and presentation can prove extremely helpful in uplifting an unimpressive script.
  2. Body language is ignored by new comedians, which is yet another mistake. Changes in voice tone are good for the act. The variation in facial expressions and gestures is important for your act. It adds charm to your act and attracts the audience to listen carefully to what you are saying. Try watching stand up comedy videos to build your presentation skills and body language.   
  3. The comedians at times do not have a lot of interest and some background knowledge about the topic they have chosen to talk about. Make sure to have some knowledge about the topic of your act and to use your own content. You have to be spontaneous and effortless while performing live so try to find out the material relevant to the topic of your performance.
  4. Many new comedians underestimate the need of rehearsals. This is a major mistake, which new people in comedy, commit. It is always a good idea to rehearse your act again and again. This will also help you to boost your self-confidence. The more you rehearse, the better you will perform later.

TAKING STAND UP COMEDY CLASSES

Stand up comedy has become very famous, which is why stand up comedy classes have become very popular too. There is a wide range of options available for stand up comedy classes. It is a great form of art to learn. All good stand up comedians are funny but they always need a direction to become better and to improvise their comedy skills. Comedians are not born funny rather they become comedians by learning comedy and by acquiring essential comedy skills. Here is a review of stand up comedy classes to know what you can expect from these classes.

Other subjects can be learned from books. However, as far as stand up comedy is concerned, it cannot be learned completely from books. It is not just about writing funny jokes, but involves techniques and skills required to present the content in an effective way in front of the audience. You should be good enough at presenting your act to satisfy and entertain the audience. Writing is essential for good comedy but it is not all required to become a humorous stand up comedian. There are many other features you ought to have in order to make the audience roar into laughter.

To become a star of comedy, it is always helpful to take stand up comedy classes. Choosing to take stand up comedy classes means that you want to opt this performance art to get recognition from the crowd. The things, which an effective stand up comedy class, can teach you include Structure, networking with others, and stage etiquettes and conductance.

You need to be careful about determining the credentials of the class teacher. Check the teacher’s website and look at his profile. Be sure that the teacher is good enough to teach you good comedy. Learn and be experimental in comedy. Do not be afraid to act and believe in your gut feeling. See yourself if things work or not. You can learn different terminologies of comedy in these classes that will help you to become professional in this field. You can also take help of online stand up comedy videos to enhance your comedy techniques further.

Comedy is something that can be learned if you have the thrust and passion for it. Unlike some forms of comedy, which require the same structure like sitcom writing and screenplay writing, stand up comedy is different. It is all about new stuff and it is quite experimental. You need to discover your funny aspects, which can make your crowd roll into laughter. It is fun and requires creativity.

Refine and Shine in the show

allow yourself to shine

The very step to polish your stand up skills, is to become a frequent visitor of comedy shows. You can follow your favourite stand-up performers through social networks, the best place to keep in touch with them and stay updated about what they are up to and what are their upcoming releases. The online discussion forums and comments of fans on social networks also provide you a sound understanding about the sense of humour of majority of the comedy lovers. This is how you will learn what people think is funny and what should be the areas to consider while scripting a funny piece of writing for your comedy act.

When you are actually getting started with it, the first habit you should develop is to observe and write. You are a future comedian, you should be a keen observer who notice everything that comes his way. Keep a notebook with you and write everything interesting you observed or come across. At the end of the day, you will have a handsome amount of funny stuff that you can use in your stand-up act.

Now comes the presentation of what you have scripted. Your confidence is a main factor in making you a real comedian. Speaking confidently in front of a bunch of people helps a person greatly getting over the stage fear. If you are good at public speaking, you have probably the ability to run a good comedy act.  Going to the Open Mic Nights is also a great idea for breaking into comedy act. This will really help you to build up your confidence and test your abilities.

You can attend short courses to further polish your public speaking and interpersonal communication skills. The more confident speaker you are, the more successful comedian you will be in future. You will also find a wide range of Comedy courses conducted by many renowned academies. Even some comedians also organize workshops for the beginners to help them learn the basics of comedy and enhance their skills. You can learn several of secret tactics of comedy acts through these workshops.

 

 

 

Dealing with hecklers as a stand up

Even the professional stand up comedians sometimes have to deal with hecklers, but they’ve often gained the experience and confidence to do so with apparent ease.  How do you deal with hecklers when you are first starting out and how do you make sure it doesn’t dent your confidence beyond repair?

Firstly, no performer likes to have to deal with hecklers, but the more you perform the more likely you are to encounter them at some point.  In fact, it’s almost guaranteed!  So it’s a good idea to think through some coping strategies before it happens to you.

Though we tend to demonise them all, some hecklers are actually lovable souls who can in fact unwittingly add another element of humor to your routine.  However, more likely they are ignorant or even downright malicious individuals who will interrupt your performance and possibly even wreak havoc.  I’ve put a few tips together as to what you might want to do when you encounter hecklers during your performance:

  • Keep calm!  They are craving the attention and if you lose your cool you will appear unprofessional and the rest of the audience might turn their sympathy from you to the heckler.
  • Think carefully if you intend to use sarcasm, disparaging remarks or put downs.  Though done subtly they can sometimes work, again, don’t lose the audience, keep them on your side.
  • Sometimes it can work to just ignore a heckler.  The audience may even participate, telling them to shut up or stop spoiling the routine.  A bit like a playground bully, if they are failing to get the response they expected, they will sometimes give up and go quiet.  Be aware though, this doesn’t always work, they may decide to just up it a notch!
  • If giving them the cold shoulder didn’t work, maybe just take a momentary pause and look at them directly.  The disruption to the routine and possibly attention of the audience might make them reconsider if they had thought they were just being funny.
  • Sometimes you can work with the heckler.  If their comment or remark was genuinely funny, don’t shrug it off.  They can help you to get laughs from the audience.
  • If the heckler begins to cause serious disruption, most club owners will have a policy for dealing with them.  Know beforehand if there are any special arrangements in place that you should be aware of for indicating to the owner or security that a heckler needs to be dealt with.

Like I said before, some hecklers can actually be a bonus, so don’t dismiss them all or be in totally dread.  Just have some tactics in place for dealing with them.