They say you should do what you are good at. Those who have uncanny expertise in the kitchen should try their luck in the culinary profession, the ones good at sports should for fitness and games and the ones good at expressing their thoughts should hold a pen. But what about the ones with an extra-large funny bone? What about those who turn every party into a comedy show and spill funny beans wherever they go? Well, they are picking up a mic now.
And that is pretty cool right. People who are good at comedy should become comedians. I mean what can be better than cracking jokes and getting bucks along with applauds. Why work in a square job when you can be a comedy clown and make people roll on the floor with your jokes and punches And there are many who have shown the world that stand-up comedy can fetch you enough to clear dues and pay bills.
However, stand-up comedy is harder than it looks. Though it might seem like one of the simplest talents in the world, it is an art quite difficult to master. Cracking jokes and making people laugh are things as distinct as two sides of a coin. You can’t just go around blabbering things anytime and anywhere and expect people to laugh. They might pelt you with stones.
Standing on a stage and trying to invoke such emotions in a crowd that they spit it out with a laugh is a highly demanding skill and requires a finetuned funny bone. You have to come up with an idea, add layers to it and make it a well-rounded set. You need to look at things in a humorous way and present it in a manner that people laugh their hearts out.
A comedian is someone who fits in humor even in dire situations. While people might be sitting in dark rooms, saying things like I’m a failure, I’m all alone, a comedian would poke in his nose and say, “me too”. A comedian would tell you a sad story like how his boss fired him or how he was pelted with jokes for his dark complexion, but his wit and humor would compel you to laugh every single minute.
This is what Mike Birbiglia did. He spent an hour telling stories about his unfortunate breakup and his girlfriend’s new boyfriend. However, his hysterical one-liners and relatable anecdotes made his story one of the best content on Netflix.
But how do they do it? What is their magic potion? Well, its practice, research, and observation. Through you don't necessarily need a four-year degree to crack jokes or certification to become a practicing comedian, yet some solid groundwork is required. The successful and renowned comedians spend years studying and practicing the art and dynamics of comedy. Be it Charlie Chaplin, George Carlin, or Umar Sharif, everybody did a lot of homework before holding a mic. They say it is the amount of sweat you spend while preparing your script that comes out of the audience as tears of laughter.
According to Jerry Seinfeld, nobody is more judged in a society than a stand-up comedian. He is rated every 12 seconds. A stand-up comedian has to worry about whether the audience would like his performance or if he would be able to live up to their expectations or will the script he prepared is funny enough to make people burst out laughing?
When a speaker speaks and the crowd listens, it is a sign that they are all ears. However, it is not the same for a comedian. If a stand-up comedian is performing and the audience goes chirp…chirp…crackers, it dumps him down the ground. If your jokes aren't connecting and if your story doesn't resonate with the crowd, your career as a comedian is over.
And if you think that only doctors and barristers are faced with stiff competition, go out to the local comedy clubs and see the long trail of aspiring comedians playing their cards.
And the saddest part, the life of a stand-up comedian is similar to that of a clown. Even if you cry yourself to sleep at night, you will have to get up the next morning, blow your big red nose and collect laughs of the people.