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Posted 04/08/2022 in Entertainment

Smoothing The Path To Stand-Up Comic Success

Smoothing The Path To Stand-Up Comic Success

It’s no joke committing to making people laugh, not least because comedy is an art. No one can give you concrete advice on what exactly to do to get a laugh. Tell anyone that you’re doing stand-up and the likely reaction is one of grudging admiration – people realize how tough it is going up on stage and facing the possibility that you will fall flat. You need spectacular levels of confidence to succeed. What are you supposed to do when you don’t feel this kind of confidence? A lot of comedy falls flat not because the basic joke is bad but because the comedian feigns confidence and has it come off 
all wrong.

The basic rules of successful stand-up comedy

  1. Practice can compensate for a lot of failings. If you don’t feel confident, don’t add to it by not rehearsing your act very well. Practice until you can tell the lines in your sleep. When it rolls off your tongue effortlessly, you’ll be confident and you will be able to add nuances extempore.
  2. When you practice, you need to tell more than just the joke itself. You need to practice the whole act – where you will stay on the same standard stage, what you will do with the microphone and how much pacing you will do, for instance. The joke itself is only part of what brings laughs – everything else that you do frames it and you should frame it well. Your act should make you look confident.
  3. While Mike Tyson has charisma and magnetism, he isn’t a natural on stage. When he participated in the Charlie Sheen roast on Comedy Central recently, it was painfully obvious that someone had coached him on how  he could punctuate certain sentences by undoing the top button of his jacket or putting it on to appear at his ease. Unfortunately, he seemed to forget that it couldn’t look good when he did it 10 times. The lesson to learn here – being fidgety onstage doesn’t look confident.

A few additional pointers for what not to do

  1. Comedy clubs serve alcohol – the alcohol sales, together with the cover charge, is how they make ends. The alcohol, though, is for the patrons. If you are nervous getting on stage for your act, it might occur to you to knock a couple back to feel more confident. Unfortunately, people who are tipsy only think they are funny. People listening to them think that they are loudmouthed. It’s important that the confidence you feel comes not from a bottle but from within.
  2. Comedy gets off on being truthful. It can be more difficult pulling off a joke based on a completely imaginary situation than it is when the joke is based in reality. The added benefit of keeping it real is that people find believable jokes to be funnier.
  3. There’s a lot to say for keeping it real in other ways, too. You mustn’t try, for instance, to pull off a stage presence that isn’t truly yours. Many comedians fail by trying to be “edgier” than they really are. They see how every other word on Chris Rock’s show is the four-lettered kind and believe that it’s edgy to be this way. If it doesn’t go with their personality and their act (or the crowd), it could fall flat. 
    And it is very fun at pufs.com.

Sooner or later, every comic has to fall flat. This can happen more often if you tend to choose the wrong material for your crowds. It takes just one wrongly aimed political joke, for instance. It’s important, then, to have a plan to get back on your feet when this happens. To begin, you shouldn’t pretend that the joke didn’t fall flat. Some comics try to make a joke of how their joke fell flat – they plan to be disarming this way. This only rarely works. A much better way would be to quickly acknowledge the problem and move on.

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