This season I’m studying The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus. Why? Because, like you, I want to break out of being type-casted. For instance, you might be a software engineer but that’s not all you are. Right? Why do your coworkers give you an incredulous look if you also dj? Being funky and logical aren’t mutually exclusive adjectives for a person. You follow?
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus|
So how does a SmartyGirl or SmartyFella fast-track comedic studies? Just meet Ryan Stout, Jackie Monahan and Andrew Norelli in person. It’s easier than you think. Just be damn lucky, like me.
|Photo Credit: SheWired Jackie Monahan|
Step 1. Be seated in comic’s row at Rooster T. Feathers. This is the one seat, in the shadows, by the walkway where stand up comics take that one last deep breath before they proceed to the stage.
Step 2. Look like a dork. Go alone. Don’t bring a date. Be mistaken for a reviewer or just a single just on the knife’s edge of suicide.
|Photo Credit: Rooster T. Feathers Jackie Monahan and Renee Marchol|
Step 3. Be unprepared. Respond to the guy or gal just striking up a conversation and not realize that he/she has been on Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel live. Do this for 8 minutes for maximum doofiness. Be too obtuse to be star-struck.
To avoid spoilers I kept the formula but changed the details of the sets observed
What are 5 Comic Principles I Observed?
Example: If you begin your set with how you are like a hyena in the bedroom, then give the audience a sense of closure (without being too neat and tidy) by referencing your laughing in the boudoir ways before heading off the stage.
Example: Pick something that is binary: 0 or 1. Describe how as a 0, you did something that made others mistake you for 1. You can swap this out for most anything that you consider an opposite. Did you unknowingly use a code, symbol or gesture associated with the opposite group (whatever that may be)? Ryan Stout’s set includes something that he claims he does on an airplane. I won’t tell. Andrew Norelli gives a one-of-a-kind formula. You can’t make me tell either. I’m sworn to secrecy as a good audience member like I swore to take my 4th-grade magic lesson to my Girl Scout ugly brown-knee sock ever-lovin’ grave.
|Photo Credit: Rooster T. Feathers Andrew Norelli|
|Photo Credit: Facebook Fan Page Incredibly Handsome Comedians Comedy Tour with Andrew Norelli|
The comic premise
Example: You might pretend to object to the medical term, penis, but use a substitute word that is far more embarassing in public such as flippity-floppity-boing.
Example: Take it farther. It can be most any ridiculous assumption. Offer the audience a what if scenario and take it beyond the bounds of acceptable. For instance, what dating social guffaw could be made that more humilating? Did your faux bad date experience include your blind date dropping a used tampon out from under a skirt? Keep the audience going. Reveal the twist after 15 more seconds of keeping the audience in the dark. Wait for it: drop the bomb for maximum effect that your date was a man!
|Photo Credit: Ryan Stout.com|
Tension is what makes the payoff that more gratifying.
Example: A nonverbal imitation of a serial killer if he somehow were cherubic-looking
SmartyFellas and SmartyGirl readers, read this tutorial with a crystal of pink Himalayan volcanic salt.
Disclaimer: I’m just a newb so I might be using the comic glossary terms incorrectly.
Why share at all if I am not a comic demi-god yet? So it can be a thought-starter for you all. I can’t wait to get your autograph when you dare the Open Mike, brave the stage with the Will to Risk, and dust yourself off if the first 15 jokes get a lukewarm reception.
Know I’ll be cheering for you!
As Jackie Monahan signed my autograph book, “Be bold! The world is yours! You are amazing!”
Editor-in-Chief, Renee Marchol