1. Secrets to success and common mistakes in stand-up comedy
To most people, stand-up comedy is a mysterious art form. For many comedians, it takes years to hone and perfect stand-up material. However, the fundamentals of stand-up comedy are just as accessible to you as they are to the professionals. At its core, stand-up is all about you, the comedian, and no one knows you better than yourself!
Before you jump on stage and start delivering punchlines, you need to learn the basics of stand-up comedy. To begin, we'll discuss some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to perform stand-up comedy (or even just trying to be funny), and some of the secrets to success. Think of this as the first day of stand-up comedy class at stand-up comedy school. Except we're on the accelerated program and you'll be graduating next week!
2. Tell a story well, or don't tell one at all
Everyone loves to tell stories. There's no better feeling than retelling a funny anecdote while hanging out at a bar or around a campfire, and getting a roaring reception. Within the context of comedy, however, simple stories don't quite cut it. More often than not, the storytellers tell the story the way it happened. There's no structure or context added to the story to give it a humorous spin, or an unexpected twist. Thus, stories often fall flat when told in front of an audience and end in an anti-climatic fashion. "I guess you had to be there" just doesn't cut it.
However, stories can be molded and massaged into comedic form. For example, an amusing story such as "I once got really drunk at a bar and got kicked out by the bouncer. I stumbled to my car and ended up sleeping in it, then I woke up and found out that I got a parking ticket!" can actually be made much funnier. Instead of treating it as a narrative, bring the story alive by telling it in the present tense, and being concise with the choice of words.
"I hate getting really drunk at bars. You always end up accruing unexpected expenses. Like waking up in your car and finding a parking ticket on the windshield."