Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Comedic Pursuits

with one comment

Since I’m technically on vacation right now, I’ve taken some time to do a little free writing.  This morning, an idea that had started germinating in my head the other leapt onto the page and started to take shape.  I wanted to tell about someone struggling through college who does stand-up comedy on the side for money.  I used to work with a guy who did stand-up, and we used to talk about his appearances.  I figured that I could fake it well enough for the time being, at least to fulfill the needs of a first draft. 

The problem, however, was in coming up with a routine.  I like to think that I have a decent sense of humor.  I can crack a joke and know a little about timing.  But I wrote something today that sums up the struggle I’m facing… 

Funny is a gift.  Many people are funny by accident, and almost no one is funny by choice.  When you’re funny by choice, and you walk out on stage the first time, you know they’re going to eat you alive. 

Almost no one working in comedy today has the same genius as Robin Williams or Billy Crystal.  Stand-up, like any creative craft, requires knowledge of the form and study of the method.  It requires watching professionals ply their trade and, learning from them, and taking lots of notes. 

In short, I have in one afternoon made a lot of work for myself, because even though the writing I did this morning will not make you laugh, it’s become a dogged effort, like trying to hit all the lights green on the way to work.  And you know you won’t be happy until you do. 


Written by taj

August 31, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Posted in stories, Writing

One Response

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  1. I’m of the opinion that to write comedy the only thing you really need to do is drink a lot.


    August 31, 2007 at 3:39 pm

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