Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Series: Comedy as it relates to Sex (Part 3 of ?)

7) Various Rates of speed, Rhythm, and Timing in the delivery

Everybody does it differently. We all have varying techniques and idiosyncrasies that make us unique as comedians. And this means it's not always going to go over well with every audience or every audience member. Not everyone fits perfectly together. ("Ouch! Can you slow it down!?!")

Sometimes we have the slow even toned delivery, (i.e. Stephen Wright). And then the fast high-pitched delivery (i.e. Chris Rock). Or even the up and down rollercoaster-like delivery (i.e. Jerry Seinfeld).

Either way, your delivery isn't always going to match with each and every audience member. Not every single audience member is going to be turned on by your sauntering, pacing, and lapping speeds. You may lose a few members in the process. But that's okay. This comedy thing is not a lock and key process. Your going for majority rules. Everyone is different. And that's okay. That's why they invented [Insert Your Punchline here].

8) Rite of Passage - Loss of Virginity

Everyone has that pinnacle moment the first time they get on stage. It's defined as when the virgin finally pops his/her comedy cherry.

Audience: Ouch!

Virginal Comedian: (soothing voice) It only hurts for a little bit. Stay with me.

Once you do it the first time, suddenly you're sprung. Your hormones are raging! (You think: Where did this come from?) It felt amazing for you. You were psyched that you even got the joke in there!

And now you're on a high. You can't believe you did that! You can't wait to tell all of your friends! You want to share with them every single detail.

Your mind becomes like a steel trap. Everyone remembers their first time! Every gasp, every nervous feeling you had in the pit of your stomach. And yet you still performed. Granted, it was 5 minutes--but you still got to perform.

And something happens to you--a chemical change. Hormones that once lay dormant are now kicking into high gear. Every time you see a well lit stage, with that one, tall, enticing microphone, you get all tingly. You start to notice microphones everywhere. Microphones and stages you never knew existed. You want it. You want them all. And you want to get your jokes out there as much as possible. Even if there's no commitment involved. Even if it's a one-time thing (see previous post on One Night Stands), you still want to take part.

Once you get that experience underneath your belt, you're a changed person. You did it! And you are willing to do anything to do it again! But you want the next time to be even better--for you and for the audience.

But the hardest part about that, is coaxing the audience into doing it again, after that awful first time. Sure it was good for you, but it was painful for them. What's their incentive?

Finding another audience that is willing to bear with you to work out your set is tough! A willing audience who is aware of your post-virginal, pre-well-practiced-stud phase. An audience wants you to be experienced. They want you to be comforting. Not hurky-jerky, like the first time. It becomes a practice in and of itself.

And time passes... You begin to wonder when you'll get on stage again. So much time has passed between the first time and the second, you begin to question yourself a comic. Are you good enough? Should you even be doing comedy? Nobody wants to be there with you. Should you just give up? Which leads us into our next metaphor...

9) Sympathy performance

Even if an audience consists of one member, it's still a show. It maybe less gratifying than before. But at least there's someone there. At least, there's another warm body. You're lucky you even got them to agree to it in the first place. In order for you to perform, in order for it to be considered a show, you gotta have an audience member.

If a tree falls, and no one's there to listen to your comedy, was the joke ever really funny in the first place? The same applies to sex. You need at least one person there for it to apply. Otherwise it's just self-pleasure, right?


Did you enjoy this post? Buy me a warm cup of joe.


Sidhusaaheb said...

You make it sound almost like a possible subject for a doctoral thesis.


Ha Ha Sound said...

Wow, I've seen you perform but you're making me want to come to one of your shows. Either that or buy you dinner (ha, again). Nice post. =+)

bighead said...

thanks for stopping by. shouldn't comedy be something that comes naturally? all this lecture... arggggh!!!

eccentric nana said...

thanks for stopping by. you know the culture thing is true. bighead and i maybe cos we are nigerians we don't get the 'lecture' part of it. but i'ld be checking you out lots.

Ellee Seymour said...

What a very interesting site. As someone who has a fear of public speaking, I admire anyone who can perform in public - and to make them laugh too must be even harder.
Do let me know if you ever visit the UK and I will come and watch. But I think you probably have more live venues in the States.

Diesel said...

As Woody Allen said, "Don't knock my hobbies."

Heart Of Darkness said...

Ha ha

Comedy IS like sex, only if you laugh at a stand-up comedian/comedienne, it's a compliment - if you do it in bed, well... things could start looking south, if you know what I mean... ;)

Thanks for dropping by my blog - I'm linking to yours, if that's ok...

Stan! said...

Everyone remembers their first time!
'same thing applies the first time you stand in front of kids in a classroom....and freeze. Ouch!

PrettyBlack said...

Wow...I always knew stand-up comedy was hard. I swear if I had to try and make people laugh I would be heckled into oblivion...
Maybe I need to lighten the fuck up huh? I actually didn't know it took so much. I admire anyone with the spunk to get out there a do what you do. Kudos...

.my.coffee. said...

This is awesome. Good luck on your rise to stardom! Thanks for the comment too!

justacoolcat said...

Also, I find in both cases ample lubrication helps.

RAFFI said...

are we to get a sample applying all these principles?

Grant Miller said...

Wait. Why would a tree fall during a comedy show?

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

You're charming.

And yes, comedy and sex are related.

But I have to tell you: I believe food and sex are even more strongly related.

electro-kevin said...

I think that comedy is very much like sex.

It's all in the brain really, the biggest sexual organ.

The unexpected is what makes us laugh and is what can make something so much more erotic. Though I admit that someone farting just before orgasm can spoil the moment despite the surprise element ;-)

Trenting said...

I seem to make people laugh when I'm not really trying, some people just have the knack.. being a sexy beast doesn't hurt either..

Judy Thomas said...

Thanks for coming by. I can NOT get in front of an audience without my mouth going dry and my knees literally knocking. When I was working on my Masters anytime I had to get in front of the class, I had to take a Valium (true story!) And.. that's why I'm a writer :-)

A lot of what you are saying about comedy can be applied to writing as well. Let's talk about you writing an article for me, 'kay??

Stiletto said...

I can definately relate to what you said about my skydiving has some things in common with your standup. When you write you see mics everywhere, that's what its like for me when I look up in the sky after started my skydiving. I can't look at it anymore without thinking about how it would be to jump =P

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Hiya Lucy!

Rotten how long it takes to become an overnight success, ain't it?

Your blog looks jolly impressive and impressively whizzy!

I look forward to perusing the content further as it demands!

An intellectual of comedy? - I like it.

The comedian of poetry,

Laura K x

Edyta said...

Hi Lucy,
this is what we initialy need: a good laugh... & good sex?

Crashdummie said...

hahah what she (edyta) said :p

boneman said...

...OK, y'all might as well be wary. I am sometimes the living epitome of contrary.

Sex and comedy, and you brought them together so nicely...
and then you just had t'say, "if a tree falls in the forrest...."
Well, y'lost me there, because this here tree's been "fallin'" fer quite a few years all by himself.
Hey! I didn't want to "lose it" as it were, because it's a fine writing instrument when there's fresh snow about.
(it's way easier when y'live in the country)

OK, so, how about I stay above the table, eh?
(good idea)

(I'm sorry....I keep thinking about that tree.
Y'know, if it wasn't for mrs. hand, I'de be the loneliest guy in town.)

I like that you take the time to help us all with your insightfulness. I realize I must come off (no...not another tree joke) as a hack. Being new to the genre of comedy is interesting. Having stood at the front door of the church for that many Sundays telling some of the very worse of clean jokes has made me an interestingly curious fellow.
Can I sustain the laughter?

Good question.
Sometimes when I'm talking one-on-one, I can sort'a feel the other person's laughter, and I tickle it as carefully as I can, but, if I get them on a roll, I always go for the "make'm pee their pants!"

If I had more experience ON STAGE I suspect I would find that it's not that unsimilar with a group. You SEE your audience, and you can hear them as they laugh, your senses can differentiate their feeling about a subject in the way they laugh (a cruel laugh is the worse kind of laugh, and when I hear it, I shut up and won't say nothin' funny at them again. A giggler is fun t'play with...so on and so on)
So, basically, the hardest part of comedy might be shutting up long enough t'hear what the audience REALLY likes, and playing to that.

'Course, that means work. More than one set, as it were. And, just in case yer having too much fun, maybe a change of britches, too.