Episode 3 - Stand Up Comedy
If you are interested in comedy, or are just looking to improve your communication skills, performing stand up is a great way to practice. Is it scary the first time? Absolutely. But can you do it? No doubt about it. Here's what you need to know:
People find material everywhere, but you want to make sure it's personal. It's tough to tell a joke about something with which you are unfamiliar. After you have a few topics, begin to look at them in different ways. What is funny/unique about it? What is similar to it? How do other people view it? Once you have a joke about it, come up with another one. And once you have the 2nd joke, come up with a 3rd. And once you have decided which joke works best, trim it down to the least amount of words possible. Remove everything that the joke doesn't absolutely need.
Start with some open mics. Badslava.com is a great site that lists a ton of open mics in cities across the country. Find a few that fit your schedule. Some may have sign-ups that occur a few days before, but there are plenty that you can attend and perform the night of.
Try to get there early, so you can be one of the first people to get on stage. As the night goes on, the crowd tends to be less interested. Once you are at the venue, go and meet the host. He or she can give you some good advice, and many will let the crowd know you are a first-timer before you even get on stage.
Lastly, the most important thing is to have fun with it. Remember it is a process. Professional stand up comedians attend open mics every week to work out their material. No one ever has a perfect joke (or set) the first time they perform it, and yours won't be any different. But that's okay! Keeping working it out, and you will get it to where it needs to be. We'd love to hear some of your jokes, so send your voice recordings to firstname.lastname@example.org!