How to get into comedy
Joe Rogan inspirational comedy aside…
Coming up with source material is difficult if you just sit down intending to write jokes. Instead go hang out with friends you laugh with and record it. You preserve the authentic delivery this way, and the human brain is particularly enamored with making other humans laugh. That’s why you’re a great comedian with certain friends, but not when you sit at home to write. It’s not about going out, but connecting with a special individual(s) and environment conducive to discourse in a fun carefree way. Jokes arise spontaneously, you’ll forget you’re even recording.
Next, listen to those hours of audio using a tool like Audacity or Ableton. Cut out the sections where a joke resides and put that in a new track. Alternatively, save each joke as a separate file, if that makes it easier for you to select among jokes on your phone. Now that you have a recorded set, see if you can find an order to tell the jokes in.
If you had a 3 hour raw audio file, then you should have, say for example, 20 minutes of jokes. Cut that down to a 5 minute set. Then when you get on stage you’ll have extra material and 3 minutes of solid material.
Practice with your jokes, trading in a new joke if you like it better. Don’t overwork anything, your first time going up is more about going up than being amazing. Prioritize getting on stage sooner so you don’t lose motivation.
Next you’ll want to take a piece of paper and write out the name of each joke. Then use your recorded set as a source for you to rewrite the joke, which you’ll want to do for an audience that isn’t just your friends.
Now you’ll want to develop a system for how you polish your jokes. Do you memorize it exactly, or just the punchline of the joke? Up to you.
Either way that piece of paper is your go to for practicing your set. Use it as a platform to say your jokes as best you can from memory. Then listen to the jokes again. Then practice them from memory. This way you can memorize 3 minutes easily.
Bring the paper on stage with you, it will help you focus and not be nervous on stage.
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Last updated: December 25, 2019