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How To Be A Comedian

How To Be A Comedian

Avis Acting International

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

Write your material

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

Get work.

Sound simple enough? Well now comes the complicated part; really doing it. The hard facts are that if I gave you all the answers just one to 2% of you would actually employ it and go out and do it.

Comedy isn't just an art. It is a skill-based science and also a business. But most comics--both skilled and newcomer -- equate comedy with frivolity and they treat their careers frivolously. Like anything worth doing, comedy takes work. It takes work to write new stuff and it takes more work to go out and find the gigs. Show company is two words; there's the"series" and there is the"company" and it might surprise you to know that much of the moment, you need to put more effort into the business compared to the series. The good news is, if you do it correctly, you're having such a blast that you don't really work daily in your life!

Sound like fun? Let's move forward!

Let us start with writing and developing material. You will find a whole lot of people out there that think that you can not learn comedy, which you are either born with it or you're not. That is a pure and simple fallacy spoken by people who don't have a clue about the science supporting bliss or the structure behind it. If you really think about it, have you ever noticed a baby pop out of his mother's uterus:

"two people were making love. . .then boom! Out pops me! Is this thing on?" You call a birth canal? It's similar to trying to push an egg through a stir rod! Hey Mom? (spit, spit), you need to shave that things! Haven't you heard of a'Brazilian?'"

It just doesn't happen! Granted, there are some people that seem to naturally have a sense of humor built in. They seem to receive it. My theory is that they grew up around comedy, either listening to the greats in a young age, or they were raised in a family that was filled with humor. All the comedians I know that make me laugh had exposure to amusing people in a young age and started adapting comedic behaviours. Those behaviours obtained them attention. They began to comprehend the patterns of behavior and speech which resulted in bliss and applied them to other situations with good results.

The crucial word from the preceding paragraph is"patterns." There are particular patterns which professionals use again and again, to get laughs and it is normally a pattern that produces surprise. According to psychologists who study comedy, in this context, surprise is the number one element that triggers human laughter, if you're able to surprise somebody with what you will say, they will generally laugh. One of the simplest ways to do this is to apply one of the 12 big comedy formulas I discovered over the years of studying the best comedians. Heck, you do not even need to examine the greats to recognize this formulation. In case you have a friend (I think most of us do), that turns everything you say into a sexual connotation, than he/she is probably applying this formula. It is referred to as the"Double Entendre." This literally means"two significance ." You basically take a frequent phrase and twist the supposed meaning to imply something totally different, but it could actually 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 discovered 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 at the store. As a comedian the word that which may be a great deal of things. In this case I went with a'soul mate' What makes the joke work is not merely the misdirection on the intended meaning of this word, but the simple fact that comedic interpretation of this phrase still fits within the context of this question. If it did not make sense, then there would be no joke.

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

You can see that the word run was used in two distinct ways. This arrangement should be a normal tool for anybody who is learning how to write comedy. One of the ways that I refine this capability and make it more available for my daily 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 mind, gives me a tool that's always sharp and accessible. This allows me to re-interpret something someone says and apply a comedic spin on the word. The exercise is simple, yet extremely powerful. For your exercise, I take fifteen random, but rather common phrases and write them down. I then find at least five distinct meanings for every word. Working this workout consistently will provide you an wonderful leg up in your quickness and finesse for a comedian. It's easy, yet extremely strong. Especially because few comedians actually do it. This is but one of twelve big comedy structures used by all the best comedians and comedy writers. If I had been to include all of them in this article, it might take you a week to complete reading. It's an easy, yet powerful illustration of ways to control the English language and create surprise and trigger laughter from an audience.

FACT: Each comedian that makes you laugh uses a minumum of one comedy structure. It's the arrangement of the the act-out that activates the laughter. With no arrangement, there's no laughter. .

Even when you've got all twelve comedy structures , (most comics operate with 3-4), and you also develop an act of five or more minutes, to begin, thirty minutes to begin getting paid, you need to start to work and hone it in front of an audience. I'd begin with friends. Run the content from themsee what they believe, see if you're able to make it better by tweaking the shock. As soon as you feel comfortable that you may perform the five minutes without thinking about it, then perform it in front of an audience. How do you do this? Well, if you're in a bigger city, there are probably plenty of open mics. These are places where you are able to 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 advantage of being in a big city, then you might have a comedy show that plays once a week or once a month on town at a local pub or restaurant. If that's true, take a trip down there and ask if you can M.C. the show. Most bars that have'one-niter' comedy shows, do not have an M.C.. So if you appear and ask, they will most likely be more than happy to have you do it. If you do your five or ten minutes up front, then you can video tape . Once you have a video tape that's of excellent quality, you have a calling card to get other work. So now you still need to function the'business' side of the best way to become a comedian equation. When you have an action that is generating a laugh each 18-20 seconds, also has a solid beginning, middle and end, it's time to get out there. What most beginning comedians don't realize is that when you hit this level, (can take 6 months( or two years), it is time to get serious about fixing your stand up comedy just like a small business. You are now a product (or service), and you need to sell. At this point in your career, you will not have a manager or an agent. If you're fortunate enough to have the cash, you can hire a Public Relations supervisor (around $3500 a month). They can help you get out media releases, spots on the radio or television. However, you must have a gig to promote original. But most of us do not have that choice once we're starting out so let us leave that alone. So you have a 30 minute act that you have been developing at open mics and other events like meetings, parties, etc.. How do you get it to the street? At this point you could be looking at several possibilities 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 clubs and corporates in my profession, but now I mainly target corporate only because there's more money in it for me personally. There's in addition the school comedy marketplace, cruise boat market, resort and casino marketplace, warm up comedian market (for live sit-com, sport and talk show crowds ), and military shows. Military shows can be large. I had been working with a liaison for the military who said he could have me working for the remainder of my life doing army displays. We could spend a lot of time going through all the possibilities, but that may take days. The key issue to keep in mind is that if you can compose and develop a comedy routine that's good and clean, you can work forever. Once you have this info, it is time to target your niche, do your homework and get started selling. That is appropriate. Start selling. You're your own company now 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 perform for different amounts of time:

Opener/M.C. (15 minutes)

Characteristic or Middle (occasionally called"premiere") (30 minutes)

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

NOTE: This is company is competitive, but here's something most comedians don't understand: If you work hard and you develop your act and you also develop your reputation for being a fantastic comedian, you WILL WORK! This company as well as the bookers who provide comedians around the country are always looking for good talent.

If you would like to target the club marketplace, you should also aim the one-nighter market.This manner you have more booking choices available to you when scheduling dates. How do you target? Start small; start local. If you have comedy in your area, speak to the clubs, visit the clubs, then ask the supervisors, door people, M.C.'s exactly what the protocol would be for getting in the door and auditioning or performing a guest set. Be polite and be consistent. Jay Leno drove from Boston to the New York City Improv a few days every week for many months before Bud Friedman (the owner of the Improv) allow him do a set. He was ready. He did a fantastic job. The rest is history. When you receive your opportunity, be prepared and do a well-crafted 5-10 minute collection. Afterwards, talk to folks, see what is needed to get back to do another set. Once you mingle with people and develop relationships and a reputation for being a good behave, now you have all you have to find work. A good deal of comedy talent bookers on the road require to see video. Some will take a chance on you in the event that you have references from some headliners. It is a fantastic idea to build relationships with as many comedians as possible. Be wonderful to everyone, always act appropriately. It's these relationships which could make or break your odds for getting work. Make at least 10 phone calls a day for your livelihood.

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

If this sounds like you're a sales person. . .then nicely, you're. This is the business side of this equation of how to become a comedian and it's where many comedians fail.

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

Some of those bookers are tough nuts to crack. When I run into that dilemma, it is time to make a personal sales call. I just call or email and inquire,

"I really want to meet with you and play your room. If I can fly out there within a couple of weeks or so, do you think that could find room on the lineup for a guest set?"

For the roughest bookers in the country, it has always worked. But how do you afford that? Why your own building your own contacts and one-niter gigs, you make certain you book something in or around the area of the club you so covet. When you have this date in place and booked, phone the club and see if it is possible to fall in and perform an audition collection. Put in this excess step and you will most likely get a guest set.

Once you perform the guest series, send them a thank you card (and or something with your picture on it), to thank them for the chance and keep following up until you get a place. Never follow up more than once a week, if you don't still haven't 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 considerate and keep following up. And when calling does not work. Pay them a visit. Let them know you're persistent.

When you start setting dates collectively. Use every opportunity to tape. Try to get great sound quality, if possible. A great tape leads to more work.

If you follow those steps:

Compose your comedy material

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

Get work.

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

Present in France, London and the USA, the Avis Acting International theatre and theatre school has been contributing to the development of the planet's greatest actors for over 30 decades. The educational idea of Acting International, unique in its completeness and singularity, is based upon the complementarity of global methods and the foundations necessary for learning in direct contact with the demands of today's profession. This educational process is constantly redefined through the natural interaction of complementary knowledge and proven procedures of a team of renowned masters - French, French, American, English and Italian - all busy artists.

The college offers multidisciplinary theater and cinema courses that span a period of 3 years. Two classes are available to students who will select between theatre and cinema courses (full course) or cinema specialization. Additionally, advanced workshops are stored in Hollywood, New York and London.



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