This Crazy Thing

tessfowler:

Laying my sword down for a second. You’re safe here. I’m not going to hack you to pieces. For the moment, at least. (See? That’s a joke. I’m normal just like you. I make jokes too.) But I warn you, this is probably not something you want to hear. Don’t…

hey freeloaders: my album is on spotify, so there ya go

andysandfordcomedy:

reblogs appreciated!

100wordspodcast:




I love Sean Ingram.  This is a great interview.  Thank you.

100wordspodcast:

I love Sean Ingram.  This is a great interview.  Thank you.

Writing one line at a time

Writing, like many other processes in life, is something which we usually only see the finished product of. When you watch athletes on television you never see the 20+ years of work and doubt they put into it, just the catch or the tackle that changed the game’s outcome. When hear a song, it could be the 100th rendition of said song, but you would never know it because the performer and the producer decided that would be the one that would be presented to the public. So it is with writing. When you are reading your first book, as simple as the book may be, you are never made aware of just how much work and time was put into the book, just that the book was completed and one day you will be expected to put something out at a similar level.

Most stop after that, but there are a few who would like to continue writing. And they never stop at essays, it’s always novels that are next. From five to ten pages to 100’s and 100’s of pages. It’s quite a leap and one I’ve thankfully never taken. I can certainly understand the allure though. It looks easy because we never see the writers going through the headaches and birthing pains it takes to actually produce the final product, we just see the final product as if it were spun whole thread from the writer’s imagination, just waiting to see the light of day. The thought is a depressing one when you’re trying to work on your own novel. How does character A make character D like them while seeming believable? What are the rules of this particular world? Is it OK to stop writing to eat for a few minutes or will I lose what inspiration I have?

We seldom hear any writers going through these particular questions. A lot of writers prefer to act as if these things only affect mortals, well, except George R. Martin and possibly Neil Gaiman, oh, and Stephen King. You know. The ones who write the big fat novels. Maybe you’re above all that tripe. Maybe you want to be Wells or Poe or Steele or a writer of horse ranch romance novels, I’m not here to judge. I can guarantee you those people go through the same thing.

So how can it be easier? I can only tell you what works for me, so take what you will of it. First off, writing doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s something I had to teach myself and work at regularly. I first came up with a simple frame and I would practice with it. This frame can be expanded on or simplified depending on what you’re writing. I write jokes so the frame is simple for the most part: set up and punch line. Demetri Martin compared it to an Algebra problem that he regularly tried to solve and I can certainly see it. Before I wrote jokes I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction. True. The frame was still simple. Intro, conversation (my favorite part), resolution.

Neville is introduced to friend, Neville plays chess with new friend, Neville and new friend realize they share a common bond. That’s simple, but it equated to a 700+ word short story, not because I’m an amazing writer, but because I’m filling in blanks ie who’s being introduced, what’s the conversation about, how do they reach this resolution. Nonetheless the frame still holds.

Jokes work the same way for me. When I first started writing jokes I would pick a topic I enjoyed or was interested in ie bullfighting, classical literature, 50’s horror monsters, etc and then attempt to write 50 jokes about that topic in one sitting. I would come at it from different angles, sometimes add a second joke to a joke I had just written above it, but the fun part was when my brain tired and I went on autopilot for a few lines because that’s when the weird stuff came out. The jokes about Frankenstein trying to put a scarlet F on a blazing fire or an orphanage that only caters to the children of bullfighters, that was the stuff I enjoyed and that was the stuff I wanted my brain to work towards. So how long did it take to get to that point? Usually about 35 jokes and then I got three of those types of jokes, followed by twelve more of me racking my brain for an angle.

Writing’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a lot of work involved and you constantly have to be honest with yourself. If it’s bad, it’s bad, no matter how much you love it. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed, but what you have to ask yourself is if it’s worth it. If so go for it, if not, then put it on the shelf, it might be something you take down and realize where it fits later on.

Another exercise I’ve been trying recently is writing on stage. Meaning that again I have a basic frame (set up, punchline), but rather than filling in the gaps on paper I’m willing to try it in front of an audience. Julian McCullough aptly described it as jumping out of an airplane with a parachute that may or may not pop before you hit the ground. While scary, I think some would be surprised at the leaps your brain makes to fill in gaps, sometimes for the worst, sometimes for the better.

I realize the last one might be a little hard, but at least try the frame exercise. I think that given enough time and effort good writing and great filling can come out of it.

theonion:

Carlos Santana Surprises Wife With Coupon For Free 45-Minute Guitar Solo
Comedy “Tricks”

andysandfordcomedy:

***WARNING: Very inside baseball comedy post that only comedians will wanna read***

There is no real “trick” to getting better at stand up, other than consistent stagetime and persistent writing. However, there are little things you pick up along that way that my friends and I refer to as tricks. Could be a writing exercise, or a technique that works, or a way to get on more shows…really anything. I figured I’d go ahead and share some comedy tricks that I have found or have heard about someone else doing. Not gonna share all of course, and some won’t apply to everyone, but whatever here goes…

Read More

Contents Under Pressure

ruckawriter:

I rarely use this to just blog. I’m going to just blog now, so you can all just ignore this if it’s not to your liking.

Warning. Contents under pressure.

Read More

                                    Q&A With Vinny Valdivia
I first met Vinny Valdivia over a little year ago through Zach Ward.  Vinny was and still is in charge of booking the Pork stand-up show at DSI theatre and he booked me and a friend to perform there without knowing much about us  other than that we had performed at the NC Comedy Arts Festival.  From the minute we got there Vinny made sure we were taken care of and even invited to us a going away party after the show was over.  Super nice dude.
I got to see him perform at Charleston Comedy Festival a few months later when he performed with his group Bonecracker.  What intrigued me was that Vinny didn’t play to type, he didn’t play for laughs, he played what the scene needed: victim, princess, gym coach, it didn’t matter, he was all in.  Super good improviser.
Needless to say I was really happy that he took time from his busy schedule of helping to make sure the new DSI Theatre’s coming together and also being a resident instructor at said theatre to answer some of my question.
1. How did you get started with improv?In 2008 I saw the UCB team Death By Roo and half way through their show I knew I had to do what they were doing. At the time I lived in Raleigh so I looked up improv classes in the area and started right away. Fast forward two years, I wanted to take more classes so I started classes at DSI in 2010.
2. Rather than regularly play to type, bigger guy = bully, jock, etc you tend to allow yourself to play low status and even victim from time to time.  Is that a conscious decision on your part or just something that comes naturally?
It’s a conscious decision. Playing vulnerable just feels like a better place to start for me. I feel like it gives the character more appeal than being an aggressive asshole. We run into those types of people all day long and we all hate them. If the scene or show calls for it, I have no problem taking on that role, but it’s not one of my go to characters.
3. What do you get from improv that you might not have gotten when you performed with a band?
As drummer you don’t get to have as much as a connection with the audience as the singer or other members. With improv it’s all about connection.
4. Who are some comedy heroes of yours?
I grew up watching mostly sketch comedy. I remember watching the season 2 premiere of Kids in the Hall when I was 9. So yeah, Kids in the Hall made me a weird kid and I love them for it.
5. What’s something that pushes you as a performer?
As a performer my main goal is for the audience to have as much fun as possible. The trick is being able to read an audience and knowing what they think is fun. I love the challenge of getting on stage with a quiet audience and breaking them out of their quiet shell. Then I know I’m doing my job.
6. How would you define your method as an improviser?
My method to improv is following the game or anything that is fun, which can also be defined as game, depending on who you are talking to. I am a firm believer that all successful scenes have a clear game, you just have to be aware of it and then play it out to it’s full absurdity.



7. How do you prepare for a show and does it change based on the group you’re going on stage with?
The only thing that never changes is that I stretch. It feels good and it’s good to let your body know that you’re going to be using it. What I like to do most before shows is beatbox. With one of my teams, BONECRACKER, I always beatbox and we just freestyle rap. We never do it in shows, but it’s something that we all enjoy. For some of my two person groups we just talk before hand, about our day, how we are doing, just like checking in with each other. Crazy high energy warm ups are also fun, but not everyone is into that and I kinda respect that… KINDA.8. When get the prompt from the audience how do you take it in, ie idea for a scene, a character’s physicality, reflect on a past moment, etc.?
It really depends on the show and if there is a set opening to the format. For a montage, I go with how the suggestion makes me feel. If it were for a Harold it would be what does it remind me of. I like the idea of really diving into a suggestion and pull themes, and troupes from that suggestion and come up with some crazy scenes. I don’t know how often Pineapple comes up as a suggestion in Charleston, but I hear it a lot. There is so much more to a pineapple than, ‘Here we are at this tiki bar on vacation.’ You know? It’s cool to really think about the suggestion. Pineapple… Hard on the outside soft and juicy on the inside. Start a scene with a BAD ASS character, but know that she/he truly is a delicate person and that the toughness is just the exterior.  Then the fun part is finding out why the character is that way that she/he is.


Thanks again to Vinny for doing this Q&A session.  If you want to follow him on twitter you can find him at “@vinnyvaldivia”.Also, if you want to find out more about helping DSI Theatre finish their new theatre’s construction you can go here. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zachward/dsi-comedy-on-franklin-street

                                    Q&A With Vinny Valdivia

I first met Vinny Valdivia over a little year ago through Zach Ward.  Vinny was and still is in charge of booking the Pork stand-up show at DSI theatre and he booked me and a friend to perform there without knowing much about us  other than that we had performed at the NC Comedy Arts Festival.  From the minute we got there Vinny made sure we were taken care of and even invited to us a going away party after the show was over.  Super nice dude.

I got to see him perform at Charleston Comedy Festival a few months later when he performed with his group Bonecracker.  What intrigued me was that Vinny didn’t play to type, he didn’t play for laughs, he played what the scene needed: victim, princess, gym coach, it didn’t matter, he was all in.  Super good improviser.

Needless to say I was really happy that he took time from his busy schedule of helping to make sure the new DSI Theatre’s coming together and also being a resident instructor at said theatre to answer some of my question.

1. How did you get started with improv?

In 2008 I saw the UCB team Death By Roo and half way through their show I knew I had to do what they were doing. At the time I lived in Raleigh so I looked up improv classes in the area and started right away. Fast forward two years, I wanted to take more classes so I started classes at DSI in 2010.


2. Rather than regularly play to type, bigger guy = bully, jock, etc you tend to allow yourself to play low status and even victim from time to time.  Is that a conscious decision on your part or just something that comes naturally?

It’s a conscious decision. Playing vulnerable just feels like a better place to start for me. I feel like it gives the character more appeal than being an aggressive asshole. We run into those types of people all day long and we all hate them. If the scene or show calls for it, I have no problem taking on that role, but it’s not one of my go to characters.

3. What do you get from improv that you might not have gotten when you performed with a band?

As drummer you don’t get to have as much as a connection with the audience as the singer or other members. With improv it’s all about connection.

4. Who are some comedy heroes of yours?

I grew up watching mostly sketch comedy. I remember watching the season 2 premiere of Kids in the Hall when I was 9. So yeah, Kids in the Hall made me a weird kid and I love them for it.

5. What’s something that pushes you as a performer?

As a performer my main goal is for the audience to have as much fun as possible. The trick is being able to read an audience and knowing what they think is fun. I love the challenge of getting on stage with a quiet audience and breaking them out of their quiet shell. Then I know I’m doing my job.

6. How would you define your method as an improviser?

My method to improv is following the game or anything that is fun, which can also be defined as game, depending on who you are talking to. I am a firm believer that all successful scenes have a clear game, you just have to be aware of it and then play it out to it’s full absurdity.
7. How do you prepare for a show and does it change based on the group you’re going on stage with?

The only thing that never changes is that I stretch. It feels good and it’s good to let your body know that you’re going to be using it. What I like to do most before shows is beatbox. With one of my teams, BONECRACKER, I always beatbox and we just freestyle rap. We never do it in shows, but it’s something that we all enjoy. For some of my two person groups we just talk before hand, about our day, how we are doing, just like checking in with each other. Crazy high energy warm ups are also fun, but not everyone is into that and I kinda respect that… KINDA.

8. When get the prompt from the audience how do you take it in, ie idea for a scene, a character’s physicality, reflect on a past moment, etc.?

It really depends on the show and if there is a set opening to the format. For a montage, I go with how the suggestion makes me feel. If it were for a Harold it would be what does it remind me of. I like the idea of really diving into a suggestion and pull themes, and troupes from that suggestion and come up with some crazy scenes. I don’t know how often Pineapple comes up as a suggestion in Charleston, but I hear it a lot. There is so much more to a pineapple than, ‘Here we are at this tiki bar on vacation.’ You know? It’s cool to really think about the suggestion. Pineapple… Hard on the outside soft and juicy on the inside. Start a scene with a BAD ASS character, but know that she/he truly is a delicate person and that the toughness is just the exterior.  Then the fun part is finding out why the character is that way that she/he is.
Thanks again to Vinny for doing this Q&A session.  If you want to follow him on twitter you can find him at “@vinnyvaldivia”.

Also, if you want to find out more about helping DSI Theatre finish their new theatre’s construction you can go here. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zachward/dsi-comedy-on-franklin-street
spotastic:

Downloaded on Itunes
Watched it
Loved it
Hooray!
Support funny people!

spotastic:

Downloaded on Itunes

Watched it

Loved it

Hooray!

Support funny people!

staples speed reading!
Scored 82% better than the national average! Bring it fools!

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department