Am I Funny? (How To Answer That Honestly)


Have a Good “Bounce Particular person

A superb bounce individual is somebody you possibly can, properly, bounce concepts off. Sorta like a beta tester, troubleshooter, generally therapist, and uncredited writing associate rolled up in a single one who hasn’t gotten completely sick of you. It doesn’t even should be one other comic. They simply have to be somebody you possibly can belief, somebody who is aware of the way you suppose, the way you react, and (can’t stress this sufficient) they want to have the ability to provide you with constructive criticism. Not simply brutal honesty. Not blanket you with validation. Constructive criticism; to have the ability to acknowledge an issue and provide doable options.

A superb writing associate must be a very good good friend, however not all good pals generally is a good writing associate. For instance, my spouse is my greatest good friend. She is totally wonderful and I like her with all my coronary heart. That being stated, she is a horrible bounce individual. She completely hates it once I run new jokes by her. We’ve been collectively for 9 years now, and he or she’s utterly over my comedy. I nonetheless attempt, although. This text alone has elicited twelve I dunno’s, seven clean stares, and one tried strangulation. 

Not that she doesn’t help what I do for a dwelling, she simply hates it once I carry my work dwelling with me. Recently, she’s been doing this new factor I wish to name weaponized fact-checking. She is aware of my comedic timing, so she’ll let me begin the joke. However as quickly as she will see that I’m about to launch into the punchline, she’ll say one thing like, “Wait, that’s not true!” Yeah, however for the aim of the joke- “Nicely, how am I purported to know that was a joke?!?” Her tactic right here has really been very useful as a result of now I do know precisely the place the hecklers will wish to strike.

Related Tv

Waaay forward of you two.

A superb bounce/writing session is rather a lot like going to a intercourse dungeon for the primary time: the one approach you’re gonna get essentially the most out of it’s if everybody agrees to some floor guidelines first. It is a collaborative course of. Keep targeted on the duty at hand. Be open-minded. Don’t get too aggressive. Don’t shoot down any concepts, simply recommend a special method by ending the sentence, “However what if as an alternative…” what? I most likely shouldn’t have gone with the intercourse dungeon metaphor as a result of now this complete paragraph simply feels soiled now. If solely I had run that concept previous another person first. See how a very good bounce individual may need helped out right here?

For these periods, it’s best to do these periods in individual. Zoom calls and video chats are a detailed second, and cellphone calls work in a pinch. Simply don’t work on these things by means of DMs or texts. You want to have the ability to learn every others’ reactions, to see their faces and listen to the tone of their voice. Studying textual content on a display may assist with the wording of the jokes, however not the supply. And for the love of all issues holy, don’t depend on social media posts an excessive amount of for making an attempt out new materials as a result of… 

Social Media Sucks for Sincere Suggestions

I do know that is gonna make me sound like a complete hypocrite on condition that title simply now, however Twitter is my absolute favourite comedy writing device, for one cause solely: the 280 character restrict. It forces me to be temporary. The primary draft of almost each joke I write for my stand-up act will get typed out in my Twitter app. I don’t all the time submit them on Twitter (my drafts folder is a freaking mess), however I kind the concepts out within the app as a result of if I can’t get at the very least the level of a brand new joke throughout in lower than that quantity of characters, I do know I’m not gonna talk the thought properly once I’m on stage. 

I solely submit jokes on social media if I do know the joke goes to have a really restricted shelf life. As a result of when you submit a joke on social media in any approach, it kinda now not belongs to you. All it takes is one clout hungry hack to repost a screenshot together with your title cropped out (cough, cough, Elon) or copy/paste the textual content right into a meme and BOOM, the joke is within the public area. 

And even when I do submit a joke on Twitter or Fb, the extent to which I take likes and feedback significantly relies upon significantly on how a lot I do know and/or respect that individual. And even when I do know them, it may be slightly iffy. As a result of nothing on social media is actual. Your entire enterprise mannequin is constructed round everybody placing up a false entrance. And should you’re pondering, “Not me! Every thing I submit on-line is the actual me, unvarnished and unfiltered!” Nicely, within the phrases of my expensive departed southern grandmother, “Oh honey, bless your coronary heart…”

Southern Grandmother
Then she takes one other swig of that inexperienced crap.

Even when somebody strives to be as genuine as doable on social media, they’re nonetheless making an attempt to spotlight solely essentially the most fascinating components about themselves. Even the individuals who say they don’t give a rattling what folks take into consideration them wish to be remembered as the one that didn’t give a rattling what folks thought of them. And the order during which this stuff pop up on our feeds is decided by an algorithm that grades every submit’s relevancy based mostly on how usually folks didn’t mindlessly scroll previous it. 

However each hateful, hurtful, harassing, abusive or in any other case shitty remark you see on social media takes a lot pointless power. That individual needed to faucet or click on on the remark discipline, kind the whole lot out (with a delete button there the entire time), and it solely posts once they hit that particular button. That they had so many possibilities to not submit that scorching rubbish within the first place, to not point out they’ve the choice to delete it at any time, however the one cause they put it up and stored it up was as a result of they knew the individual they have been speaking to can’t punch them within the face. That’s not “protecting it actual”, that’s simply being a coward with an excessive amount of rattling time on their arms.

And if folks have good issues to say, that’s nice! If I submit a joke that will get plenty of LOL’s within the replies, I admire the hell out of that individual taking that further 5 seconds out of their scrolling to let me know… though I‘m kinda skeptical about how a lot they really laughed out loud. 

Studying to Have a look at Your Personal Efficiency Objectively

One piece of recommendation for comedians, or any performer basically, is to attempt to report each one in all your performances. You by no means know when or how that footage will turn out to be useful. You may must submit a latest clip to attempt to get booked someplace, there could be slightly gem in there that will make for a fantastic promo clip, otherwise you may want the timestamp to ascertain an alibi. You by no means know! It’s all the time higher to have the ability to delete the footage should you don’t want it than to wish the footage and never have it.

The hardest half about having to evaluation stated footage is getting used to seeing and listening to a recording of your self. Your personal self picture by no means stands an opportunity towards the chilly, goal fact of uncooked video. Has my voice all the time been that grating? Has my posture all the time been that dangerous? I do know the digital camera is meant so as to add ten kilos, however holy hell…

The easiest way to recover from your individual self-consciousness about watching a recording of your self is to, properly, get the hell over it. Nobody ever conquered their worry of heights by staying on the bottom. I do know it’s gonna be laborious, however each time you cringe whereas watching your self doing comedy generally is a teachable second. The tough half is studying easy methods to categorize them into issues you possibly can management, issues you possibly can’t management, and issues you would use to your benefit. Who is aware of, in case your pure awkwardness is getting laughs, you might wish to take into account leaning into it. 

Now, right here’s extra dangerous information: When you actually wish to get a higher perspective on what you’re doing fallacious, you’re gonna should go over that video footage at the very least 3 times. The primary time, you need to solely play the audio. Pay attention carefully and take notes on not simply what you’re saying, however the way you’re saying it. Now, step away for a bit and clear your thoughts. Then come again and play the video once more, this time on mute. Now you’re gonna take notes in your physique language. The third time, watch the clip with sound and movie to see how your phrases and physique language work collectively. 

When you’re finished, don’t sit there and dwell on what you noticed. Go exterior, contact some grass, pet a canine, have some ice cream, do no matter you’ll want to do to get your thoughts off the entire thing for a bit. Then you possibly can come again and apply what you’ve realized.

One other trick that may be helpful is to rent another person to transcribe the video of your efficiency, and have them transcribe the whole lot. Each um, er, stammer, lip smack, the whole lot. Seeing the entire little verbal tics in your jokes in written type like that may actually put what you’re doing into one other perspective. 

Good luck, I do not ever wish to see one other carrot.

Dan Fritschie is a author, comic, and frequent over-thinker. He will be discovered on Twitter (, and he thanks you in your time.

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