A comic should never say I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY. While sitting at an open mic or class, waiting your turn, do one of the following exercise. There is now ONE way to writie stand-up comedy. This is the technique Walt Frasier teaches. But as Walter says, rules are meant to be broken, especially in comedy. SO if it is funny and it works for you GO FOR IT.
But a comic, a working comic, does not have the luxury of WAITING for inspiration.
BRAINSTORM for IDEAS
Do this every time you have “nothing to say” or “nothing prepared” List a few things, get on stage, share the stories, then go to your journal and record what happened.
WHAT HAPPENED AT SCHOOL
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After sharing a few things, pick one and dig a little deeper. Then get back on stage, retell story with new stuff, journal!
WHO was there
WHERE did this take place
WHAT did you SEE
ALWAYS Record everything in your journal, including how you felt on stage, worked, what bombed etc
ADD THE FUNNY
Magic Three – present things in threes – ideas, details etc. TWO is never good. People LOVE things in threes, since the dawn of time.
EXAGGERATE! What WORSE or CRAZIER could have happened. We use truth to ground our routines, but we can lie a bit. Take things to the Nth degree. If you take it too far, scale it back a bit.
SOLVE THE PROBLEM How could you have handled the situation better. What you WISH you would have done/said?
COMBINE STORIES Sometimes to make the Magic Three happen you can combine stories into one crazy day.
SIDE NOTES/COMMENTS – comment on your routine. Too much can kill the rhythm.
ANALOGIES Compare two unlike things to paint the picture
ATTITUDE What is the attitude? How do you feel about the story? How did you feel at the time? Recreate that. BREATH in the emotion
OUTLINE YOUR ROUTINE
Organize your thoughts. What order do you want to present the details of your story. Stand-up comedy is not that different from writing assignments in school, except, instead of going ot the internet and / or library for research, you are brainstorming your own mind and memories.
OPENING LINE Sum up what you what us to think about. Just GRAB OUR ATTENTION somehow.
BODY/MIDDLE OF STORY
CLOSER What is your big finish?