How to Compose & Write Stand-Up Comedy in Simple Steps
So, do you think you have a funny bone every time you crack a punchline? Well, if you have been thinking about it for a long time, this would be the best time to gear up and do full-time standup comedy. But, how do I get started? Get a paper and pen, and a lot of paper. Oh yes, you need a pack of A4 sheets with you at all times. As any successful comic artist will narrate, writing funny jokes requires a lot of effort and commitment.
Even though you have an idea of the subject you will speak on, shaping those jokes and making them sound funny requires a lot of hard work. But, before we get to our primary subject, here is the comedy set you need to be aware of.
What do you need to know about a Stand-Up Comedy Set?
A stand-up comedy set is your entire stand-up routine, from when you set the stage to when you come off. It is structured from the starting point, middle sections, and end. However, the set’s length depends on whether it is the headliner or an opening act. And, if you are one of the featured acts, be prepared to stand on the stage for more than an hour. Besides, here are some vital elements that make the entire comedy routine.
- Opening – The event’s opening tends to dictate the entire juncture of the show. Here, you can begin with a great joke, making the audience laugh from the first minute itself to get the ball rolling.
- Bits – Have you ever heard what bits are? Comedians call them jokes. Bits often are specific setups around situations and characters, followed by a punch line towards the end, called the conclusion. This is the funniest part of the entire slot and is against what the audience understands will happen.
- Transitions – These are short bridges of conversations that allow the comedian to connect one joke with another.
- Closer – The closer is yet another vital phase of your entire stage show. Just like the opening, this needs to be well-versed with a great joke. So, wrap the set with a solid close, leaving the audience helpless while laughing.
1.Watch and learn.
The best way to begin is by watching other comics. Start with legends, such as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. Try watching their early standups, followed by the recent ones. Observe the development their styles have adhered to. Then, after you have achieved a personal milestone, consider visiting a comedy club to attend a live show. Sit at the back and observe how the crowd reacts and what they react and respond to.
Aren’t you prepared and composed yet? Well, that may be because your material is not ready yet. So, start with your personal experience and jot down what you know. What’s the culture that defines you? What was your childhood like? Do some thinking and analyze every tiny detail of your life and what you see around you. Moreover, you can also emphasize one of the prominent relationships of your life, be it with a child, partner, employee, boss, or friend. When the material you have prepared is relatable, the audience will respond to it.
3.Start writing jokes.
Everything requires sheer dedication. So, write every day until you think the set can go out. Pick an approach and idea and form a story out of it. In addition, you’ll have to find the narrative arc and flesh it up.
- Where’s the setting?
- Who are the characters?
- What’s the situation or conflict?
4.Assemble your act.
Once you have sheets full of jokes that can last for more than an hour-long show, choose those you’d like to include in your 10-minute set. Arrange and assemble your act to see what suits the act. Remember, cramming too many jokes can hinder the productivity of your set. Leave room for laughter while you’re on the stage.
5.Write the open and close.
If you didn’t know, the opening is an asset of every comedian. It is the essential component of your set. So, do not squander the approach. If you’re new to the audience, they want something to remember you, or else you’ll be another brat who wants to grab attention. Show the audience what you’re capable of and carve the ending to receive accolades and mic drops. And, if you are unsure of the finale, look in the middle for the material. Through such a method, you can offer cohesion.
6.Rehearse in front of people.
The only way to determine your stage effectiveness is by providing a show to an audience. Gather your family, friends, and aspiring comics and see if you’ve got what it takes to stage the set on fire.
Featured Image Credits: Pixabay