How to Be a Comedian

The 10 Problems of Memorizing Words – Part 2

First, read Part 1.

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In my last article, The 10 Problems of Memorizing Words - Part 1, I discussed five of the problems. Here in The 10 Problems of Memorizing Words - Part 2, I’ll explain five more problems associated with memorizing the words of speeches, presentations, or routines. Memorizing Words - Problem 6 Even if speakers remember the words correctly, they still aren’t a very effective means of communicating. The following is the work of University of California at Los Angeles professor Dr. Albert Mehrabian, in the book (Silent Messages published by Wadsworth 1971), and it demonstrates the relative effectiveness of the three ways



The 10 Problems of Memorizing Words – Part 1

Are you using the right mental software?

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Memorizing words of a speech, presentation, or routine is the most common type of rehearsal, and exactly what creates recurring performing problems. I’ve identified 10 problems which are caused by memorizing the words and their consequences. When rehearsal is done by repeating the words over and over, they get encoded in the internal self talk voice. Then in order to recall the words, the speakers must go inside their heads and listen to their self talk say the words before repeating them to the audience. Memorizing Words - Problem 1 Most people do not understand that normal memory is done by recalling pictures, sounds and feelings. For instance, when someone tells a story, they remember what they’ve seen, heard, and felt which gets expressed through body lang



2 Specialty Tips for Writing Jokes

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Writing jokes is the grunt work of being a funny person. Anything that helps make it easier is always useful. Here are two tips for writing jokes: Calendar Day Jokes Writing jokes and bits for all of the important calendar dates such as Christmas, Halloween, Secretary’s Day, Black History Month, etc. is a very helpful tip for building a repertoire of material. For instance, Will Durst, who lives in the Bay Area, can always call on this joke: “In San Francisco, Halloween is redundant.” An Mexican born student, Maria G. Martinez, studied with me for several years, so every Christmas she’s pull out this ditty: “Here in America, you have so many Santa Clauses. But in Mexico we have no Santa Claus - they are all here looking



How to Kill a Laugh – Part 1

Stop interrupting my comedy routine with you damn laughter.

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Results of How to Kill a Laugh One night at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, I watched a comic, I’ll call “Biff,” train an audience to stop laughing. In the beginning, the audience laughed as his jokes. The problem was he didn’t know what part of the punch was causing the laugher. So when the audience laughed, to finish saying what he’d written, he’d shout over the top of the audience’s laughter. This is basically saying to an audience, “Stop Interrupting my comedy routine with your damn laughter.” Since the audience still wanted to hear what Biff had to say, they quickly learned to be quiet. Around the tenth joke, the audience had been trained to stop laughing altogether. They were still smiling and enjoying his show. But Biff wasn’t ge



How to Be a Comedian – Tip 31: Stop Using Comic’s Clichés – Part 1

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In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 30: Avoid the Motor Mouth Syndrome, I gave some of the reasons beginner comics stream roll through their shows. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 31: Stop Using Comic’s Clichés – Part 1, I’ll discuss those overused phrases comics constantly use. How to Be a Comedian Tip 31: Stop Using Comic’s Clichés – Part 1 There are phrases that all the beginner comics use because they heard some other comic say them. These are what I call comic’s clichés. I’m not discussing societal clichés, which are



How to Be a Comedian – Tip 30: Avoid the Motor Mouth Syndrome

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In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 29: No Questions as Segues – Part 2, I discussed the overuse of asking the audience a question to bring up a new subject. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 30: Avoid the Motor Mouth Syndrome, I’ll give some of the reasons beginner comics stream roll through their shows. How to Be a Comedian Tip 30: Avoid the Motor Mouth Syndrome The motor-mouth syndrome occurs when the comic goes through the material without stopping for laughs or even a breath. You’re on stage to have fun mak



Segues – No Questions – Part 2 – How to Be a Comedian – Tip 29

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In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 28: No Questions as Segues – Part 1, I discussed the overuse of asking the audience a question to bring up a new subject. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 29: No Questions as Segues – Part 2, I’ll point out more amateurish mistakes which make comics look foolish. How to Be a Comedian Tip 29: No Questions as Segues – Part 2 Another unwanted by product of using questions as a way of bring up a Topic is when the comic doesn’t get the response he wants. Then, even worse, ignoring the answer or lack of answer to his questio



Segues – No Questions – How to Be a Comedian – Tip 28

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In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 27: Closing Line, I covered the importance of having a joke to get off stage with a laugh. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 28: No Questions as Segues – Part 1, I’ll discuss the overuse of asking the audience a question to bring up a new subject. How to Be a Comedian Tip 28: No Questions as Segues – Part 1 Of all of the comics’ clichés, asking a question as a means of bring up a new subject matter is the most frequently abused and the biggest waste of valuable stage time. It’s a personal quest of mine to era



How to Be a Comedian – Tip 27: Closing Line

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In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 26: Opening Line, I discussed the importance of having an opening line to get a laugh right away. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 27: Closing Line, I’ll cover the importance of having a joke to get off stage with a laugh. How to Be a Comedian Tip 27: Closing Line One of the more awkward parts of a show is getting off stage. If you don’t have a designed exit, then you get whatever you get. Or if you want a smooth exit the technique to use is call Closing Line. By its name, it’s self evident what it



How to Be a Comedian – Tip 26: Opening Line

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In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 25: Acknowledge Idiosyncrasies, I discuss why comedians need to talk about things the audience may fixate on in order to get their attention back on the show. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 26: Opening Line, I’ll show the importance of getting that first laugh quickly. How to Be a Comedian Tip 26: Opening Line After you greet



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