Work & Process

Stand Up: Mid-Point

We're at the halfway point in our comedy class and so far, so good! Each class starts with an improv game to warm up and then we each perform our homework. The first assignment challenged us to find something in our day to day lives to write a set about. Most people ended up taking a story telling style. The next week, we focused on more of a set-up/punch-line type joke using news headlines as our prompts. Two very different ways of writing and approaching comedy. Now for our third assignment, we have to combine the two trying to draw out more funny moments and weave jokes into our stories.

 

Watching everyone's individual styles emerging has been as fun as I anticipated. The story telling allowed for lots of personality to come forth. One of them actually made me laugh so hard, I cried! The headlines assignment didn't allow as much room for playing with delivery. Most of us just read through the ten jokes we wrote. But one classmate used different voices and had a presence that added another layer to her jokes.

Take-aways:

Another note about process: We stayed after the last class to watch other comedians perform at the club's open mike night. Each person had three minutes. In some cases, the time flew by, but in others it crawled. It made me realize that comedy is an art form that requires and audience to practice. Because it combines both the process of writing and delivery, there's no way to know if that joke you've written in isolation will actually land with a live audience until you try it. It can be painful (for comic and audience), but it's a great way to witness the creative process in action.

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