Wow, what a buzz that was. I signed up to a weekend stand-up comedy course in a bid to step outside my comfort zone and do something that ‘scares the crap out of me’ and guess what? I bloody loved it. I wasn’t nervous at all and they virtually had to drag me off the stage!
Why didn’t I do this sooner? It was a blast from start to finish. Our tutor was a jobbing comedian and taught us how to come up with original material, how to edit and most importantly, how to perform.
It’s not enough to stand there chatting – every set up and every punchline has to be imbued with a different emotion. It turns out that there is a formula for comedy and now I can see that just about every well known funny person I love, uses it!
The biggest challenge for me was writing a five minute set in the space of a few hours. Our tutor said it was no use sitting down at the computer and trying to write it as it would be coming from the wrong part of our brain. What we had to do was record ourselves ranting and raving about things we love or hate. That was never going to happen – everyone at home was itching to take the piss out of me and I’d never hear the end of it if they heard me talking to myself.
I ignored the tutor’s advice and sat down at my computer to write. What poured out of my fingers was turgid crap and I half thought about jacking it all in. The next day, I woke up early and decided to try the suggested method. I took the dog for a walk in the biggest expanse of space I could find near my house and gabbled into my dictaphone. I looked deranged, but what the hell, needs must.
It worked. My material wasn’t too bad and after some fantastic editing and peformance advice, I had a pretty good five minute comedy routine, even if I say so myself.
Of course, the audience were on my side as this was the ‘graduation’ show, so it consisted of friends and family of those on the course. Their laughter however was genuine, as was mine when my classmates performed. They were such a great bunch and every single person rose to the occasion – well, part from the three that bailed out half way.
I am so glad I didn’t give up. I stepped outside my comfort zone only to discover I felt right at home there. Turns out I am funny. Not as in ‘odd’ but as in ‘ha ha’. I definitely want to do more of this. The plan is to come up with a 10 and then 20 minute routine and….eeeek…try it out at some open mic spots in comedy clubs.
The goal here was never to become a stand-up comedian. The lifestyle is not for me – I have to be in bed by 10pm FFS!! So no, I don’t want to be away from home for weeks on end or have to work nights and weekends. To be honest, there is no goal…I’m not sure where I’m heading, but I like this new path. I like it a lot!
I’ve done stand-up so nothing scare me now!