As creative art goes, comedy can be one of the most intimidating. It’s not just about being the class clown or getting chuckles from silly quips. Great comedy is masterful storytelling – the melding of humour with the sometimes-sobering realities of the human condition, societal discord – even socio-economic ups and downs. It’s making the mundane and drab, funny.
But funny on paper oftentimes doesn’t translate to a live situation. And that’s what we’re talking about here – stand-up comedy.
Stand-up comedy is performance art. A dance, where a comedian moves between the intricacies of storytelling, punchline timing, and audience response and interaction, to create an energetic output: laughter.
So, if you’ve always been ‘the funny one’, chances are you have the material and timing. But if you want to get into stand-up, you have to get up there, and finish the dance. Because in stand-up comedy, there’s nothing more cringe than crickets.
At MyMastery, we have a comedy class that runs the gamut of skills, from construction of comedy ‘bits’, to the finery and layering of good storytelling. And of course, we have masterclasses in the art of stand-up. But before you sign up building your stand-up comedy chops, let’s talk about how to get started.
Marc Lottering’s secret…
"Fifteen minutes before the show starts, I often find myself chatting to, and laughing with, the backstage crew about absolute nonsense. It gets my mind off the pressure of an entire audience waiting to hear what I have to say."
Humour and stand-up comedy classes
Just as with any performance art, the results are in the doing. Performing more and more builds confidence, shows you the parts of your routine that audiences respond to best, and gives you the feedback to help you build better stories – simply it’s the fodder that feeds your stand-up dance.
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How to become a stand-up comedian
Here’s how to start:
Go to open mics
Open mic nights are free-for-all stand-up comedy practice sessions. There’s really nothing to lose, you can hone, fine-tune and develop your comedy set in front of different audiences, with fellow fledgling comedians, and network with potential comedy bookers – vital resources as you get better, and progress to more professional gigs.
Find your voice
All the greatest comedians have distinct comedic voices – Carlin, Seinfeld, Chappelle, Noah, Gwala. You know these names, and we’re sure you’re conjuring your favourite of their routines, right now. That’s how vital a developed voice in comedy is – it’ll define you.
Your voice is found with introspection – What’s your style? What issues around the human condition will you tackle? How does your thinking dissonate with general public opinion and ‘normalcy’ in ways you can make humorous? When you have these answers, you can better define your voice. And a comedy masterclass can help in this regard.
Take comedy classes
Just like many artistic and creative-driven careers, stand-up comedy doesn’t require formal education. But it can certainly help.
Like we touched on, stand-up comedy is a performance, and the more one performs the better. Comedy classes will teach you how to work to a crowd. They’ll teach you how to develop a routine and pin-point humorous opportunities. And finally, they’ll help you build the courage it takes to start performing comedy, and also the thick skin it takes to keep going.
Introducing Marc Lottering
Teaches Comedy & Storytelling!
If you’re interested in comedy, becoming a comedian, and building a stand-up career, this one for you.