Tips On Stand Up Comedy Writing
You might be able to make your friends laugh and secretly yearn to be a stand-up comedian, but being able to make a crowd laugh doesn't come easily. It usually takes a lot of work to learn how to write stand up comedy and become a stand up comedian. Jokes you may tell your friends don't necessarily come over well when delivered to an audience. If you think you have the ability to be funny, however, follow a few tips and, with perseverance and practice, you may yet experience the thrill of making an audience laugh with your stand up comedy routines.
There's no point in thinking of jokes and routines whilst at work, or traveling to work, for example, and then not remembering them later. Get in the habit of keeping a notebook and pen with you wherever you go. If something bizarre or amusing happens to you, write it down immediately. Daily experiences are fuel for your stand up comedy writing, so keeping a log can be key to coming up with good comedy material later.
Come up with a few basic themes for your stand up comedy routine to begin with. You will probably not have time to elaborate on them when you think of them, but can do so later. If someone has done something ridiculous at work, for example, make a quick note of it as a possible theme. Then when you get home, perhaps think of more things about that person which strike you as funny. Then you can begin to write a stand up comedy routine based on this character. You could add in characteristics from other people you know too. The more notes you make on the strange things that happen to you, or unusual people you come across, the better.
If you are a naturally funny person, you probably have friends who you enjoy a laugh with. Discussing the unusual people, or experiences, with these friends can help you think of ways to present the material as funny in your stand up routine. These friends are also useful to test out your stand up comedy material on when you have written it. You don't want to bomb on stage too badly at your first attempt, so enlist the help of a few discerning friends. Get them to give you feedback on your material before you even think about doing a live performance.
Visit as many stand up comedy events as you can. This will give you clues about how to present your material. You will be able to see what works well and what doesn't. As well as seeing what sort of material they use, notice how the stand up comedians engage with their audience and deal with hecklers. Also watch how they deliver their material. Sometimes pauses before a punch line can be effective, for example, but too much pre-amble before a punch line is delivered can leave the audience cold.
Learning from professionals is invaluable when attempting to become a stand up comedian. Don't, however, directly steal their material. This is not only immoral, but will probably be noticed. You are likely to get a bad reputation among other comics, destroying your chances of success.
Once you think you have mastered how to write stand up comedy and are happy with your material, the next thing is to try your stand up routine out on stage. Most comedy clubs have open-mic nights where you will be able to practice your routine in front of a live audience. It generally takes much experience to learn how to deliver comedy routines effectively as well as how to engage with an audience, so this step is essential if you are going to achieve success as a stand up comic. You will also need to get yourself noticed before you are likely to get any paid bookings.