How Do I Work On Comedy Without Shows or Mics?

how to work on comedy without open mics or shows
This is a strange time. People are scared. People are panicking.The future is unknown. Now, I’m no scientist, doctor or authority figure. So, when it comes to the coronavirus, I have no answers or suggestions. But, I did write a comedy guide called How Not to Suck at Comedy (available on Amazon) and had written weekly comedy advice articles for years, so when it comes to the subject of how to work on comedy without being able to perform comedy, I figured it was time to start writing articles again.
How Do I work On Comedy Without Shows or Mics?
First off, no idea is a bad idea. There is no need to tell other comics not to live stream this or podcast that. We all love comedy. We all use comedy as a coping mechanism. Don’t assume what someone else is doing won’t work. That no one will watch or listen to it. This really isn’t about the audience. This is more about keeping your creative mind active. Focus on what works for you. Don’t hate on how others create. We are being controlled enough at this moment in our lives. There is no need to try and add more control. You may think it is dumb for someone to do stand up in their bedroom and put it on Facebook Live. But there might be 3 people who see it and get distracted for a few minutes. And it will distract the comic streaming it as well. Don’t worry about what you think won’t work. This isn’t about you becoming famous. This is about finding ways to connect via comedy in a post stand up world.
That being said, here are a few things I’m going attempt.

1.Thinking of doing a daily open mic spot on either FB Live on YouTube live. I’d verbally workout a new idea/bit and workshop it with whoever tunes in. I wouldn’t be performing stand up, just working out an idea for a joke and getting feedback. Which is basically what I do at open mics. This could be a good way to test if a premise or an idea is relatable. If it connects and resonates with people. People may tune in daily to see if the joke is progressing and what is becomes. They will feel like they are part of the process. Non comics may start to understand how much work goes into writing and editing a joke. And some comics as well. And you can go back and watch this later and write down what you verbalized and work on the joke more. You may also get some great suggestions or a different point of view from people watching that could add to the bit. We write from our pint of view in hopes of connecting to other peoples point of view. Getting a peak on how they interpret the premise or message you are trying to convey can really help you in making the bit universally understood.

I’m going to follow people on social media that I normally wouldn’t.Isolation will make it hard to relate to audiences so we need to remind ourselves of how others are seeing the world, not just how we view it. Gather different perspectives and opinions. As comics, we need to relate to all walks of life. Not just how we see the world. Follow people who share different political, religious and sexual lifestyles. You may not agree with what they say but if they attend your show, you want to make them laugh. Understanding where people are coming from can help you craft your jokes in a way that everyone gets. You are staring at Twitter for hours anyways. Might as well get a glimpse at how every type of potential audience member view things.Doing this may also result in you finding new material for potential jokes. Ideas you wouldn’t of thought of or discovered without broadening your horizons.

Be funny on social media. 99 percent of everyone’s news feeds is panic, anger or confusion right now.  Be that silly moment in someone’s day. Be the place they turn to when things are getting too hard to handle and they need a distraction. Don’t confuse the attention you get as a comic with that of power and authority. You don’t know shit about what people should do. So don’t focus on telling people how to think. The role we need to play right now is jester, not king. Make them laugh.Who knows, it may build you a loyal fan base for when this is over. Be humble. Be funny,

Podcast. Live stream. Make skits on Youtube. Write, Do whatever you feel works best for you. Just make sure you are producing some sort of content daily. Keep the creative part of your mind active and flowing. Comedy is not dead. Comedy is not over. It is just changing. Find the best way to adapt to the change. Keep being funny. Keep writing, editing and bettering your comedy self. You don’t need an audience or a stage to get better. Adapt.
Pat’s book How Not to Suck at Comedy is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook. Listen to the Pat Oates Podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts and wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow Pat on Twitter at @pat_oates. 

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