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How To Be A Comedian

How To Be A Comedian

Avis Acting International

Among the most frequently asked questions I get while vacationing is"how to I get into this business?" I have been a professional touring comedian for 25 decades, so I have heard this a lot! In the larger, sense, getting a comedian is really a three-pronged job.

Compose your material

Hone and create your comedy material (rehearse your"collection")

Get work.

Sound easy enough? Well now comes the complicated part; really doing this. The facts are that if I gave you all of the answers only one to 2% of you would actually apply it and go out and take action.

Comedy isn't only an art. It is a skill-based science and a business. However, most comics--both skilled and newcomer -- revolve comedy with frivolity and they treat their professions frivolously. Like anything worth doing, comedy takes work. It takes work to write new stuff and it requires more work to really go out and get the gigs. Show company is two words; there's the"show" and there is the"company" and it may surprise you to understand that a lot of the time, you have to put more effort to the company than the series. The good news is, when you get it done right, you are having such a blast that you don't actually work daily in your life!

Sound like fun? Let us move forward!

Let us start with writing and developing material. You will find a whole lot of folks out there that think that you can't learn comedy, which you're either born with it or you're not. That's a pure and simple fallacy spoken by people that don't have a clue about the science behind laughter or the structure behind it. If you really Consider It, have you ever seen a baby pop out of his mother's womb:

"two individuals were making love. . .then boom! Out pops me! Is this thing on?" You call that a birth ? It is more like trying to push an egg via a stir rod! Hey Mom? (spit, spit), you should shave that stuff! Haven't you heard of a'Brazilian?'"

It just doesn't happen! Granted, there are some people who seem to naturally have a sense of humor built in. They seem to get it. My concept is that they grew up around comedy, possibly listening to the greats in a young age, or they had been raised in a family that was full of humor. All the comedians I understand that make me laugh had exposure to amusing people at a young age and began adapting comedic behaviors. Those behaviours obtained them attention. They started to comprehend the patterns of behavior and language that resulted in bliss and applied them to other scenarios with good outcomes.

The crucial word from the above paragraph is"patterns" There are particular patterns which professionals use time and time again, for laughs and it's usually a pattern that creates surprise. According to psychologists who study humor, in this circumstance, surprise is the number one element that activates human bliss, if you're able to surprise someone with what you are going to say, they will generally laugh. One of the easiest ways to do so is to employ one of the 12 major comedy formulas I found over the decades of studying the greatest comedians. Heck, you don't even need to examine the greats to comprehend this formula. If you've got a friend (I think we all do), who turns all you say into a sexual connotation, than he/she is probably applying this formulation. It is referred to as the"Double Entendre." This literally means"two significance " You basically have a frequent phrase and twist the supposed meaning to imply something entirely different, but it could really fit in the announcement, but its exaggerated...

The other day I was at the grocery store. The clerk said,"Did you find what you were looking for?" I said,"Well, I found the wine and the candles, but I couldn't find a soul mate... You had Mahi-Mahi, but I'm not into twins"

In the above joke, when the clerk employed the word"everything," she meant everything at the store. As a comedian the term everything may be a great deal of things. In this situation I went with a'soul mate.' What makes the joke work is not merely the misdirection on the intended meaning of this word, but the fact that comedic interpretation of the phrase still fits within the context of the question. In case it did not make sense, then there would not be a joke.

Let's look at the following Double-Entendre play on words: Former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was having a terrible year. At the media conference a journalist said to the coach,"Coach, how to you feel about the execution of the offense?" McKay responded,"I am all for it."

You can see that the term execute was utilized in two distinct manners. This arrangement should be a regular tool for anybody who's learning how to write comedy. One of those ways that I refine this ability and make it more accessible to my daily life is by way of practice. Once a month I do a term exercise which reminds me that our language has a ton of words which have several meanings. Keeping this elegant in my brain, gives me a tool that is always sharp and accessible. This permits me to re-interpret something someone says and employ a comedic twist on the word. The exercise is simple, yet extremely powerful. For your exercise, I take fifteen arbitrary, but rather common words and write them down. Then I find at least five distinct meanings for each word. Working this workout consistently will give you an wonderful leg up on your quickness and finesse for a comedian. It is easy, yet extremely powerful. Notably because few comedians actually do it. This is but one of twelve big comedy structures used by most of the best comedians and comedy writers. If I was to include all of them in this article, it would take you a week to finish reading. It's an easy, yet powerful illustration of ways to control the English language and make surprise and trigger laughter from an audience.

FACT: Each comedian that makes you laugh uses at least one comedy structure. It is the structure of the words or the act-out that triggers the laughter. Without the arrangement, there is no laughter. .

Even when you've got all twelve comedy structures , (most comics work with 3-4), and you build an act of five or more minutes, to start, half an hour to begin getting paid, you have to begin to work and hone it in front of an audience. I'd start using friends. Run the material from themsee what they think, see if you're able to make it better by tweaking the shock. Once you feel comfortable you may do the five minutes without thinking about it, then perform it in front of an audience. How can you do this? Well, if you're in a larger city, there are probably lots of open mics. These are places where you can do 5-10 minutes of substance to'test it' in the front of an audience. This is the way I began. If you do not have the benefit of being in a big city, then you may have a comedy series that performs once a week or once a month in town at a local pub or restaurant. If that is the case, take a trip down there and ask if you are able to M.C. the series. Most pubs which have'one-niter' comedy shows, do not possess an M.C.. Therefore, in case you appear and ask, they will probably be more than happy to have you do it. When you do your five or ten minutes up front, then you can video tape it. When you have a video tape that's of good quality, you have a calling card to find other work. So today you still need to function the'business' aspect of the how to become a comedian equation. When you have an action that's creating a laugh every 18-20 seconds, and has a solid beginning, middle and end, it's time to get out there. What most start comedians do not realize is that when you hit this degree, (may take 6 months, or 2 years), it's time to get serious about treating your stand up comedy like a small business. You're now a product (or service), and you need to sell. Now in your career, you won't have a manager or an agent. If you're fortunate enough to have the money, you can hire a Public Relations manager (around $3500 per month). They can help you get out media releases, spots on the radio or tv. But you have to have a gig to advertise original. However, the majority of us do not have that choice when we're starting out so let's leave this alone. So you've got a 30 minute action that you have been developing at open mics and other events such as parties, meetings, etc.. How can you get it on the road? At this point you could be looking at several chances in your journey to becoming a comedian:

Targeting the comedy club and also one-niter market

Breaking into corporate comedy or speaking engagements.

I really do both clubs and corporates in my profession, but today I mainly target corporate only because there's more money in it for me. There is in addition the school comedy marketplace, cruise ship market, hotel and casino marketplace, warm up comedian market (for live sit-com, game and talk show audiences), and military shows. Military shows can be big. I had been working with a liaison for the military who said he could have me working for the remainder of my life doing army displays. We could spend a great deal of time going through all the possibilities, but that may take days. The important thing to remember is that if you're able to compose and create a comedy routine that's clean and good, you can do the job indefinitely. Once you have this information, it's time to target your niche, do your research and start selling. That is right. Start selling. You are your own business at the moment and you supply a service. If you learn how to treat yourself as a business by drawing up a business plan, setting goals and following through, you will begin to work. When you start in comedy there are 3 positions available. They are each expected to perform for different amounts of time:

Opener/M.C. (15 minutes)

Feature or Mid (sometimes called"premiere") (30 minutes)

Headliner or Closing behave (45 mins. -1 hour)

NOTE: This can be business is competitive, but here is something most comedians don't know: If you work hard and you develop your action and you also develop your reputation for being a fantastic comedian, you WILL do the job! This company and the bookers who provide comedians across the nation are always looking for great talent.

If you want to aim the club market, it's also wise to target the one-nighter market.This manner you have more booking options available to you when scheduling dates. How do you aim? Start small; start neighborhood. In case you have comedy locally, contact the clubs, visit the clubs, then ask the managers, door people, M.C.'s what the protocol would be for getting in the door and auditioning or doing a guest set. Be polite and be persistent. Jay Leno drove from Boston to the New York City Improv a few days every week for many months before Bud Friedman (the owner of the Improv) allow him do a set. He was ready. He did a fantastic job. The rest is history. When you get your opportunity, be well prepared and do a well-crafted 5-10 minute set. Afterwards, talk to folks, see what it takes to return to perform another set. Once you mingle with people and develop relationships and a reputation for being a good behave, now you've got all you need to find work. A lot of comedy talent bookers on the road require to see movie. Some will take a chance on you if you have references from some headliners. It's a fantastic idea to build relationships with as many comedians as you can. Be nice to everyone, always act appropriately. It is these relationships which can make or break your chances for getting work. Make at least 10 phone calls per day to your livelihood.

Call comedy clubs and bookers. If you don't get them on your phone, always, I mean always leave a message. Keep accurate records on who you talked to, that the decision maker is, the titles of assistants and the best time to call.

If it sounds as if you are a sales person. . .then well, you're. This is the business side of the equation of how to be a comedian and it's where many comedians fail.

If you do finally get a booker on your phone. Be considerate and ask them if you may send them a video and if they prefer to see the movie online or on DVD or even E.P.K. (Electronic Press Kit). Believe it or not, there are still a few bookers out there who would rather maintain a DVD in their own hands.

A few of those bookers are tough nuts to crack. When I run into that dilemma, it is time to generate a personal sales call. I just call or email and ask them,

"I really want to meet with you and play with your area. If I could fly out there in a couple of weeks or so, do you feel you could find room on the lineup for a guest collection?"

For the roughest bookers from the nation, this has always functioned. But how do you manage that? Why your building your contacts and one-niter gigs, you make sure you reserve something in or around the area of the club you so covet. Whenever you have this date set up and booked, phone the club and see whether you can fall in and perform an audition collection. Put in this excess step and you'll probably get a guest set.

Once you perform the guest series, send them a thank you card (and or something with your picture on it), to thank them for the chance and keep following up till you get a place. Never follow up more than once a week, if you don't still have not spoken to this target individual, then follow up every 3 times.

Calvin Coolidge said,"persistence and consistency trump talent daily." So be consistent and persistent. Be considerate and keep up. And when calling does not work. Pay them a visit. Tell them you are persistent.

When you start setting dates collectively. Utilize every opportunity to tape. Try to get good sound quality, if at all possible. A fantastic tape leads to more work.

If you follow these steps:

Write your comedy material

Hone and create your substance (your"set")

Get work.

You will be on your way to learning how to be a comedian.

Current in France, London and the United States, the Avis Acting International theater and theatre school has been contributing to the emergence of the world's greatest actors for more than 30 years. The educational concept of Acting International, exceptional in its completeness and singularity, is based on the complementarity of global techniques and the foundations necessary for learning in direct contact with the demands of today's livelihood. This educational process is continually redefined throughout the natural interaction of complementary knowledge and recognized procedures of a group of renowned masters - French, French, American, English and Italian - all busy artists.

The college provides multidisciplinary theater and theatre courses that span a period of three decades. Two classes are available to students who can choose between theatre and cinema classes (full class ) or cinema specialization. In addition, advanced workshops are held in Hollywood, New York and London.