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How to Be a Comedian Tips 10: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 2

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian Tips 9: When the Audience is Laughing - Part 1, I discussed the reason comedians talk through their laughs. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian Tips 10: When the Audience is Laughing - Part 2, I’ll explain the most important rule to follow when a comedian gets a laugh. How to Be a Comedian Tips 10: When the Audi



How to Be a Comedian Tips 9: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 1

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian Tips 8: Be Playful, Not Funny, I discussed how trying to be funny never works, so instead be playful. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian Tips 9: When the Audience is Laughing – Part 1, I’ll examine the reasons comedians talk through their laughs. How to Be a Comedian Tips 9: When the Audience is Laughing - Part 1 A gr



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 8: Be Playful, Not Funny

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List, I showed how making a bullet point outline of your show helps you feel more comfortable on stage. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 8: Be Playful, Not Funny, I’ll explain the problem with trying to be funny and why it doesn’t work.  How to Be a Comedian



How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 2

In my previous article, How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 1, I defined the joke premise for its specific use in stand-up comedy as a negative opinion about a subject.  In this article, How to Write Jokes – Joke Premise Part 2, I’ll explore the difference between a premise and the jokes, and how to change from one premise to the next. The Difference between the Premise and the Jokes First, let me give you a dictionary definition of premise: a statement used to develop a further argument. This definition affirms how the joke premise is used in stand-up comedy. The premise is the statement of the negative opinion about a subject; and the argument is expressed through the jokes that follow. For instance, Chris Rock’s joke premise: women cannot go backwards in lifestyle. Rock states this premise several times at the top of the bit, and then proceeds to do a series of jokes to develop his argument. Here’s one:



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique, I discussed how to use a microphone so it doesn’t distract from the show. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List, I’ll show how having a list of your material makes getting on stage easier. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 7: Make a Show List One of the top fears of fledgling comedians getting on stage is, “I’m afraid I’ll forget my material.” It’s ironic the number one reason comics go blank is their fear of going blank. You will go blank during shows and the sooner you go blank and handle it, the sooner you’ll get over this fear. Make a Show List Many comedians use show lists. A show list is a bullet point outline of the material for that show. It’s not a verbatim transcript of your jokes. It’s a series of key words or phrases to remind you of the order of your jokes. Here’s an example:



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés, I showed how hacky phrases get in the way of being an original comedian. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique, I’ll explain how to use a microphone to the best advantage. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 6: Proper Microphone Technique Bad microphone technique is another of my pet peeves which has easy fixes. Too many beginner and intermediate comics don’t understand how a mic works so they hold it in an ineffective manner. When a mic intrudes on the show then it isn’t being used properly. How a Mic Works The mics used in stand-up comedy are omni-directional, which means there’s a bubble around the mouth piece about four inches in diameter. When the comic’s mouth is inside that bubble, it’ll pick up the voice perfectly. Bad Technique When the comics



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience, I discussed how to open your show by honestly greeting your audience, instead of using the same old comics’ cliché as everyone else. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés, I’ll take it even further and suggest that you resist using any comics’ clichés in your show. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 5: Avoid All Comics’ Clichés Comics’ clichés are all those mindless phrases comics use because they heard other comics use them. These clichés are the fast track to becoming a hack. Identify them and eliminate them completely from your show. These clichés have a function, mostly as greetings and segues. Instead of using an old hacky cliché, think up some original way of greeting an audience and transitioning from one subject to another. Here are some of the most abused comics’ clichés:



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand, I showed how knowing how to use the microphone and stand will make your show more fun. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience, I’ll explain the importance of opening your show by greeting the audience honestly. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 4: Greet the Audience It’s very awkward when a nervous comic runs right to the microphone and goes right into, “I hate bumper sticker.” It lacks social grace. I’m not saying you must have a conversation with the audience at the top of the show, but merely say, “Hello,” before going into material. Even worse is when comics all say exactly the same thing as a greeting, “Hi. How you all doin’ this evening?” Or some slight variations. Please, please, please don’t do this. This kind of greeting is what I call a Comic’s Cliché. Comic’s Clichés are all the commonly u



How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip2: The Entrance , I discussed the importance of getting on stage smoothly . In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand, I’ll explain the proper and improper uses of the microphone and stand. How to Be a Comedian – Open Mic Tip 3: Mic and Stand For beginners and mic and stand can be intimidating. When you use the mic and stand properly, they’ll disappear for you and the audience. If done improperly, they can become a hindrance to your performance. Advice and Technique: Get to the venue early, get on stage and take the mic out of the holder and grab the stand below the fastener and move it behind you out of the way. Why grab it below the fastener? Because if you lift on the top section it may come out of the bottom section and it’ll become a problem. Next, bring the stand back to the front of the stage and place the mic back in the stand



How to Be a Comedian – Tip 2: Open Mics – The Entrance

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian - Tip 1: Sit and Watch, I suggested when you go to an open mic for the first time, well, sit and watch. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian - Tip 2: Open Mics – The Entrance, I’ll explain the importance of getting on stage smoothly. How to Be a Comedian Tip 2: Open Mics – The Entrance Jerry Seinfeld said, and I paraphrase, “A smooth entrance makes for a smooth show.” Getting from your seat to the stage may sound easy, but with nerves, fear, and your head reeling with the ideas you want to talk about, it can be a real challenge. This simple task, done badly, can ruin your time on stage. On my way to the stage, I’ve knocked over tables and spilled drinks, tripped on the steps getting onto the stage, pulled the top half of the mic stand out, hit myself in the mouth when I pulled the mic out of the stand… And those were the only laughs that I got. Advice: Get to the club or room early. P



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