Work & Process

Stand Up: Lessons Learned

Shortly after my last update, I had a bit of a comedy crisis. I know it seems like an oxymoron, but stay with me. After the headline joke assignment, we were told to write a one page story, but then go back into it and weave in more traditional set-up and punch line type jokes. Seemed easy enough...until it wasn't.

I wrote a few different stories that I thought had some funny lines. Then as I read them out loud to Paul, I realized they just didn't have any jokes in them. Paul tried to help, but his explanations and suggestions made absolutely no sense to me. None. Frustration overpowered my usually growth minded self and I walked around for a few days saying, "I'm just not funny."

Paul pointed out my fixed mindset, but I honestly didn't know what to do to change it. I saw my goal, but didn't know what steps to take to get there. I couldn't have fun with the process if I didn't know what part of the process to alter for different results. Memories of trying to learn how to juggle came flooding back. Paul figured out how to juggle intuitively, but initially couldn't explain the steps in a way that made sense with how I process information. The same thing was happening with comedy. When I pointed this out to him, he left the room and came back with the perfect solution for me - a book!

I skimmed The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even When You're Not (the subtitle definitely spoke to me) in two days and gained the basics of joke writing. At least enough to be able to punch up one of my sets. I performed it for the class, felt good about it, and received great feedback. It turns out I can be funny!

Take-aways:

I decided to do the same set this week for the Student Showcase because I want to have fun playing with delivery and being comfortable on stage. As usual, I'm happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and took this class even though it included some struggle. I'm going to take a break from comedy classes for now and focus on growing new business skills and practices. Look for updates here.

 

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