The Way To Be A Comedian

The Way To Be A Comedian

Avis Acting International

Among the most frequently asked questions I get while touring is"how to I get into this business?" I've been a professional touring comedian for 25 decades, so I have heard this a lot! In the larger, sense, getting a comedian is genuinely a three-pronged job.

Compose your material

Hone and develop your comedy material (rehearse your"set")

Get work.

Sound easy enough? Well now comes the complicated part; really doing it. The hard facts are that even if I gave you all of the answers only one to two percent of you would really employ it and go out and do it.

Comedy isn't just an art. It's a science and a business. However, most comics--both skilled and novice-- revolve comedy with frivolity and they treat their professions frivolously. Like anything worth doing, comedy takes work. It takes work to write new material and it takes more work to really go out and find the gigs. Show company is two words; there's the"show" and there is the"company" and it might surprise you to know that much of the moment, you have to put more effort to the company than the show. The fantastic news is, when you do it correctly, you're having such a blast that you don't really work a day in your life!

Sound like fun? Let us proceed!

Let us start with developing and writing material. There are a great deal of people out there that think you can't learn comedy, which you are either born with it or you are not. That's a pure and simple fallacy spoken by people that don't have any idea about the science behind laughter or the structure supporting it. If you really Consider It, have you ever noticed a baby pop from his mother's womb:

"So two individuals were making love. . .then boom! Out pops me! Is this thing on?" You call a birth canal? It is more like trying to push an egg through a stir stick! Hey Mom? (spit, spit), you need to shave that things! Have not you heard of a'Brazilian?'"

It just does not happen! Granted, there are some people that seem to naturally have a sense of humor constructed in. They seem to get it. My theory is that they grew up around comedy, possibly listening to the greats in a young age, or they were raised in a family that was full of humor. Each of the comedians I understand which make me laugh had exposure to amusing people in a young age and started adapting comedic behaviours. Those behaviors got them attention. They started to recognize the patterns of behavior and speech which resulted in laughter and applied them to other scenarios with great outcomes.

The key word from the above paragraph is"patterns" There are particular patterns that professionals use again and again, for laughs and it's usually a pattern that creates surprise. According to individuals who examine comedy, in this circumstance, surprise is the number one element that triggers human laughter, if you're able to surprise somebody with what you will say, they will usually laugh. Among the easiest ways to do so is to apply one of the 12 big comedy formulas that I found over the years of studying the greatest comedians. But you do not even need to study the greats to comprehend this formula. In case you've got a friend (I think we all do), that turns everything you say into a sexual connotation, than he/she is most likely applying this formulation. It's referred to as the"Double Entendre." This literally means"two meanings." You basically take a common phrase and spin the intended meaning to mean something totally different, but it could really fit in the announcement, but its exaggerated...

The other day I was in the supermarket. The clerk said,"Did you find what you were looking for?" I said,"I found the wine as well as the candles, but I couldn't find a soul mate... You'd Mahi-Mahi, but I'm not into twins"

In the aforementioned joke, once the clerk used the word"everything," she meant everything in the store. As a comedian the word everything may be a lot of things. In this situation I proceeded with a'soul mate' What makes the joke work isn't just the misdirection on the intended meaning of the word, but the fact that comedic interpretation of this phrase still fits inside the context of this question. In case it didn't make sense, then there would be no joke.

Let us look at another Double-Entendre play on words: Former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was having a terrible season. In the press conference a journalist said to the trainer,"Coach, how to you feel about the execution of the crime?" McKay responded,"I'm all for this."

You can see that the word run was utilized in two different manners. This structure should be a normal tool for anybody who is learning how to write comedy. One of those ways I refine this capability and make it more accessible to my everyday life is through practice. Once a month I do a word exercise which reminds me that our language has a slew of words which have several meanings. Maintaining this refined in my brain, gives me a tool that's always sharp and accessible. This permits me to re-interpret something someone says and employ a comedic twist on the term. The exercise is simple, yet extremely strong. For the practice, I take fifteen arbitrary, but rather common words and write them down. I then find at least five different meanings for each word. Working this workout consistently will provide you an wonderful leg up on your own quickness and finesse as a comedian. It is easy, yet extremely strong. Notably because few comedians actually do it. This is but one of twelve major comedy structures employed by all the best comedians and comedy writers. If I was to include all of them in this article, it might take you a week to complete reading. It's a simple, yet effective illustration of how you can control the English language and create surprise and trigger laughter from an audience.

FACT: Every comedian that makes you laugh utilizes at least one comedy architecture. It's the structure of the the act-out that triggers the laughter. With no arrangement, there is no laughter. .

Even when you've got all twelve comedy structures , (most comics work with 3-4), and you also build an act of five or more minutes, to begin, half an hour to start getting paid, you need to start to work and hone it before an audience. I would begin using buddies. Run the content from themsee what they believe, see if you're able to make it easier by tweaking the surprise. Once you feel comfortable you may perform the five minutes without thinking about it, then do it in front of an audience. How do you do so? Well, if you are in a larger city, there are probably lots of open mics. These are places where you can do 5-10 minutes of material to'test it' in front of an audience. This is how I began. If you do not have the benefit of being in a large city, then you might have a comedy show that plays once a week or two once a month in town at a local bar or restaurant. If that's the case, have a trip down there and ask whether you are able to M.C. the show. Most bars that have'one-niter' comedy shows, don't have an M.C.. Therefore, if you appear and ask, they will probably be more than happy to have you take action. If you do your five or ten minutes up front, then you can video tape . Once you've got a video tape that is of good quality, you have a calling card to find other work. So now you still need to function the'business' side of the how to be a comedian equation. Whenever you've got an action that's creating a laugh each 18-20 seconds, also has a good beginning, middle and end, it is time to escape there. What most beginning comedians do not realize is that if you hit this degree, (may take 6 months, or 2 years), it's time to get serious about treating your stand up comedy just like a business. You are now a product (or service), and you need to sell. Now in your career, you will not have a supervisor or a broker. If you are lucky enough to have the cash, you can employ a Public Relations supervisor (around $3500 per month). They will be able to help you get out press releases, spots on the radio or television. But you must get a gig to promote original. However, the majority of us do not have that option once we're starting out so let's leave that alone. So you have a 30 minute action that you have been growing at open mics and other events like meetings, parties, etc.. How can you get it on the road? At this point you could be looking at a number of chances in your journey to becoming a comedian:

Targeting the comedy club and one-niter Sector

Breaking into corporate comedy or speaking engagements.

I do both nightclubs and corporates in my career, but now I mainly target corporate simply because there's more money in it for me personally. There is in addition the college comedy market, cruise ship market, resort and casino marketplace, warm up comedian market (for live sit-com, sport and talk show audiences), and military shows. Military shows can be large. I was working with a liaison for the army who said he could have me working for the rest of my life doing army displays. We could devote a lot of time going through each of the possibilities, but that may take days. The key thing to keep in mind is that if you can write and create a comedy routine that is good and clean, you can do the job indefinitely. Once you have this info, it is time to target your market, do your homework and start selling. That's appropriate. Start selling. You're your own company at the moment and you supply a service. If you learn how to treat yourself like a business by drawing up a business plan, setting goals and following through, you will start to work. When you start in comedy there are 3 places available. They are each expected to do for various periods of time:

Opener/M.C. (15 minutes)

Feature or Middle (sometimes called"premiere") (30 minutes)

Headliner or Closing act (45 mins. -1 hour)

NOTE: This is business is aggressive, but here's something most comedians do not understand: If you work hard and you also develop your act and you also develop your reputation for being a good comedian, you WILL do the job! This company as well as the bookers who supply comedians around the country are constantly looking for good talent.

If you want to aim the club market, you should also target the one-nighter market.This way you have more booking options available to you when booking dates. How can you target? Start small; begin neighborhood. If you have comedy in your area, speak to the clubs, go to the clubs, then ask the managers, door individuals, M.C.'s exactly what the protocol would be for getting in the door and auditioning or doing a guest collection. Be polite and be persistent. Jay Leno drove from Boston to the New York City Improv a few days a week for several months prior to Bud Friedman (the owner of the Improv) allow him perform a set. He was prepared. He did a fantastic job. The rest is history. When you get your chance, be prepared and do a well-crafted 5-10 minute collection. Later, talk to folks, see what is needed to get back to do another group. As soon as you mingle with people and create relationships and a reputation for being a solid behave, now you have all you have to find work. A lot of comedy talent bookers on the road need to see video. Some will take a chance on you in the event that you have references from some headliners. It's a fantastic idea to build relationships with as many comedians as you can. Be wonderful to everybody, always act appropriately. It's these relationships which could make or break your chances for getting work. Make at least 10 phone calls a day for your career.

Call comedy clubs and bookers. If you don't get them on the phone, always, I mean always leave a message. Keep exact records on which you spoke to, who the decision maker is, the names of supporters and the best time to call.

If it sounds as if you are a sales man. . .then nicely, you are. This really is the business side of this equation of how to become a comedian and it's where many comedians fail.

If you do finally get a booker on your phone. Be polite and ask them if you can send them a video and if they would rather find the movie online or on DVD or E.P.K. (Electronic Press Kit). Believe it or not, there are still some bookers out there who would prefer to hold a DVD in their hands.

Some of these bookers are tough nuts to crack. When I run into that dilemma, it's time to make a personal sales call. I simply email or call and ask them,

"I really need to meet with you and perform your room. If I can fly out there within two weeks or so, do you think that could find room on the lineup for a guest collection?"

For the toughest bookers from the country, it has always functioned. But how can you afford that? Why your building your contacts and one-niter gigs, you make sure you reserve something around the region of the club you so covet. Whenever you have that date in place and booked, phone the club and see whether you can fall in and perform an audition set. Place in this excess step and you'll probably get a guest collection.

Once you perform the guest set, send them a thank you card (and or some thing with your image on it), to thank them for the opportunity and keep up until you get a place. Never follow up more than once a week, unless you still have not spoken to the target person, then follow up every 3 times.

Calvin Coolidge said,"consistency and persistence trump talent any day." So be persistent and consistent. Be polite and keep following up. And if calling does not work. Pay them a visit. Let them know you are persistent.

When you start setting dates collectively. Utilize every opportunity to video tape. Attempt to find great audio quality, if at all possible. A fantastic tape leads to more work.

If you follow those steps:

Compose your comedy content

Hone and create your substance (your own"set")

Get work.

You'll be on your way to learning how to be a comedian.

Current in France, London and the USA, the Avis Acting International theatre and theatre college has been contributing to the emergence of the world's greatest actors for more than 30 years. The educational concept of Acting International, exceptional in its completeness and singularity, is based on the complementarity of international techniques and the foundations necessary for learning in direct contact with all the requirements of today's profession. This educational process is constantly redefined throughout the natural interaction of complementary knowledge and proven methods of a team of renowned masters - French, Russian, American, Italian and English - all busy artists.

The school provides multidisciplinary theater and theatre courses that span an interval of 3 decades. Two classes are accessible to students who will select between theater and cinema courses (full class ) or theatre specialization. Additionally, advanced workshops are held in Hollywood, New York and London.