Monday, November 26, 2007

Let's Get Naked

I enjoy making people laugh. I think all of us do. A lot of people tell me that they enjoy my humorous writings. I had a friend who took some classes at an improv theatre, and they helped make him funnier. So, I figure, I should be able to improve my funniness. As I'm prone to do, I did some research and bought a few books about how to be funny.

The first one arrived, and it was a shocker. First of all, it says the essence of humor is insight. The funny people are the ones that have the ability to see the world a bit differently than the rest of the people on the planet. They see the ordinary things in unusual ways. And there is a formula by which an insight becomes something funny. "That's good," I think to myself, "because I think I already see things differently, so I can learn to better turn those insights into funny stuff."

Now the shocking part: if you really want to develop as a comic, even if it's just writing more humorously, you have to master stand-up comedy. Stand-up is the essence of comedy -- turning insights into laughs, and getting immediate feedback from the audience. Anyone who does any kind of humorous work has experience in stand-up. If you master stand-up, you can do any kind of comedy. "Okay," I think to myself, "that sounds a little scary." Well, that's not all. The book is about developing your comedic muscle, so the exercise on day one is to book yourself for an "open mic" for a month from now, even if you don't know jack about stand-up today.

I'm at the point in my life where I get a kick out of doing things that scare me to death, and live through them. Doing stand-up would be one of those. I've never really thought about it before, but now that I've been considering the possibility for the past week, it's got to be one of the rawest forms of nakedness there is -- standing all alone on a stage, with just a mic, and an audience daring you to make them laugh. I'm in!

But if I'm going to get naked like this, I want others to join me. Any takers? We can get together every few days to go through the steps together. One of the first things that the course requires is finding a "comedy buddy" because you can't develop material by yourself. You need to bounce ideas off of other people and get feedback on your thoughts. So, even if you don't have the guts to get on the stage, you can be a comedy buddy, and help the rest of us develop our 3 minute stand-up routines. In a month or two, we'll put on what may be Saipan's first Stand-Up night. If you want to get going now, order the book, The Comedy Bible, by Judy Carter.

So, who's going to join me? Boni? Brad? Jeff ? Angelo? Mark? Russ? Anyone else? This is an open invitation.


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I will do it.

I propose we do it at American Memorial Park, Club V or Hibiscus Hall, charge admission, and give all the money to charity.

My first choice for a recipient would be for Cancer Research or a Battered Women's Shelter. Neither one is a laughing matter.

There's the name:

No Laughing Matter

Marianas Eye said...

Excellent idea. I vote AMP and Guma Esperanza. I'm not so hot on the name though. I can hear it now -- "Yeah, for sure, that was 'no laughing matter.'"

Linking it to charity helps us all feel like we're making fools of ourselves for a cause, and I think it makes the audience a bit more sympathetic.

Mike said...

I think that charging admission predisposes the audience to laugh. It is why they went, and they paid, so why not laugh?

Marianas Eye said...

So, does that mean you're in, Mike?

Mike said...

It means I'll pay the cover charge and laugh at you guys.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I just ran into the events manager at Tan Holdings. They are starting Laff-a-Day Mondays this Monday, which will be an amateur comedy night.

He is amenable to our having one of these nights to ourselves, in say, a month or two?

Jeff said...

I will do it. I have that book, went to all the big comedy clubs in NYC this summer, and have been contemplating this for a while.

Jeff said...

And if the audience knows Brad, we should kill.

Jeff said...

And if you want to see an absolutely brilliant comedian, check out Mitch HEdberg, who sadly has passed.

Boni said...

I'm not funny. When is this thing going to happen, maybe I can try.

Marianas Eye said...

If Jeff is in, we'll kill for sure.

There are two separate steps, Boni. 1. Developing good material, and 2. Performing. I suggest we plan the performance for February, and work together to develop material by then. It will involve touching base once or twice a week with a comedy buddy.

The performance will raise funds for Guma Esperanza.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I'm cool with February. Jeff, can I borrow that book?

Jeff said...

Let's all meet up at Java Joes next week and talk.

Angelo, you have to return my Taibbi book first, and give me my incense. Boni got her cofee special delivery.

Marianas Eye said...

Next week at JJ's sounds good. Wednesday?

We'll need some more recruits. With a 2-3 minutes routine, we would need 10 people to put on even a 30 minute show.

I'll see you guys tonight, but I won't be there until around 9 PM. I have another meeting tonight.

Saipan Writer said...

I'm happy to listen to you practice your routines and give feedback. I'm not funny, but I can recognize a good joke when I hear one.

And Boni, your blog is tres amusing. There are different kinds of funny.

Another note:
Guma Esperanza gets a lot of community support (and they do a good job), but there are other non-profits that need help, too. Like Karidat, which is the umbrella under which Guma shelters. Guma has more grants and money and a narrower focus, so they're fairly well off. Karidat is really hurting right now, and reaches out to help with food and shelter to everyone who is needy. But they're having more and more trouble helping because of their own lack of resources.

Just a thought.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

My funny valentine?

Ron Hodges said...

Outstanding idea. Could I order VIP seating for my wife and I as us "grumpy old men" can't see or hear from the "boo" crowd section.

Even better, A1 Real Estate would like to be the initial sponsor of this charitable event provided TH doen't have monopoly rights on AMP.

Saipan Writer- U can tell a good joke when you hear must be referring to our dental documentary in todays paper.

I would like to formally nominate "Floridonomics" for the Pulitzer Prixe in dental reform, nipping the 15th legislatures classic "Persona in Paradise" at the 2007 wire.

Could Bradinthesand please open the Unity March Friday by holding hands with Boni & Jerry and singing the old negro spiritual

"Free at Last,
Free at Last,
Thank God Almighty,
we are Free at Last".

The Last Weatherman

bradinthesand said...

how about 'let my people go'