In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 34: Never Make Fun of Someone’s Laugh, I offered several tips to improve a comedy show. In this new blog series, Greg Dean Comedy Tip 1: Find Comedy Teachers Who Teach, I’ll explain why too many stand-up comedy coaches don’t actually teach anything.
Find Comedy Teachers Who Teach
Learn from the teacher of all comedy teachers, Greg Dean, in his DVD How to Be a Comedian. It teaches joke structure, jokes writing, riffing with the audience and so much more. Check it out.
How to Write Jokes Workbook is the first step to learning how to be funny.
Right off the top, I’d like you to understand that everything I teach are skills that anyone can learn, practice, and apply to become a better comedian. The craft of comedy can be taught by teacher teachers who knows the fundamentals. The art of being funny can only be learned on stage through trial and error. I make this distinction because in comedy there are things comedy teachers can teach and things which can only be learn through experience.
What I’ve done for the past 30 years is first identify the specific techniques used by great joke writers and comedians. Next, I took each of those techniques and turned them into an exercise. Then, when you or any of my students practice that exercise over and over again, you’ll acquire that technique as a skill you can apply to your own sense of humor. This is why I only teach skills.
With all that said, here’s my tip:
Comedy Teachers’ Advice
Don’t study with comedy teachers who don’t teach you the fundamentals of joke writing and performing through exercises.
Stop memorizing the words of your jokes. If you really want to learn how to be funny, you need to have natural memory. Check out this workbook
Many comedy teachers advertise that they teach joke writing, but they don’t actually teach it. They might correct your jokes for you, but that doesn’t teach you how to do it for yourself. The problem is these comedy teachers don’t teach the fundamentals because they don’t know the fundamentals. So all these comedy teachers are left with is a few lame techniques like using the word, “You,” in all of your material and the audience will relate to you better. This is pure speculation on the part of comedy teachers. And even worse are the so callled comedy teachers who say, “Put up a show and I’ll tell you what’s funny.” When comedy teachers give their opinion about what’s funny, they’re cloning their own sense of humor, as well as passing on their own limitations.
When the fundamental techniques are learn and practiced and the student is given the freedom to explore and discover their own comic voice, the student can create something truly unique because they aren’t hampered by the coaches’ limitations. I’m often surprised and delighted when one of my students uses a technique in a complete original way. These are the moments that make me love teaching stand-up comedy classes.
How to Be Funny as a Perfomrer Workbook.
So now you know what to look for in good comedy teachers: joke writing and performing technique exercises as well as class stage time. You can check out what I have to offer at this website: stand-upcomedy.com
In my next blog, How to Be Funny – Tip 2: Opinion Coaching versus Technique Teaching, I’ll dive even deeper into the lack of standards in the comedy teaching industry.