I'd like to ask the knowledgeable people of this board for a little help. I've been interested about stand-up as a professional approach/art (if you will) for a while now, and I've decided I want to read up on it. I have, however, not the slightest idea about resources that would describe how a routine might be set up, what certain techniques are, and so on. Basically, I am looking for resources that describe stand-up the same way as art or acting are being described. But I just can't find what I am looking for, at least not when using google.
I mean, I don't want just a how-to guide, I want something that maybe also describes the sociological aspects, the influence of group dynamics, the role of prejudice, and so on.
Any ideas? I'd be really graceful
wasn't there a Sally Field/Tom Hanks film about this?
(but in all seriousness. . .yeah. . I'd think the best way is to find an open Mic night, and just start doing it. That's likely the best way -- meet people also doing it, and network).
"do what bert says" - Flamestar (c/o Ouzo Man)
A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal
"Evil people can do some non-evil things, and most of them do. That doesn't mean they aren't evil." -- JeffereyWKramer
Well, it's a craft, and I wanted to read up on the craft. Like, theory behind it, why some stuff works and other doesn't. Open mic night is all good and well (apart from not existing where I come from), but I said I am interested in the mechanics behind it, not doing the thing itself. If someone asks you how a v8 works, you're not telling them to take a few laps in the lattest Ferrari :3
I don't know about books but if you're not listening already you should listen to WTF.
"Sh - no - brick"
Listen to "Mohr Stories" with Jay Mohr
Its not exclusively about stand up but most a large part of the show is about it
and the wast majority of his guests are comedians, including Patrice O'Neal who recorded just a few days before he had the stroke and the pod was uploaded the day after it went public (He died a month later)
If anything you will learn the dos and don'ts from seasoned professionals
I have a ton of friends who are well-known stand up comics. I will never cease to be in awe of what they do.
I do live performance storytelling and have been told that my style borders on stand-up at points.
I know a lot of hilarious people in live storytelling. I asked one why she didn't do stand-up and she said she felt like she didn't drop enough F-bombs.
I have really mixed feelings on that. First of all, I don't think comedy is a formula, per se. It's about surprise. So to my way of thinking, you make use of the formulas that work, judiciously, but you don't take anything off the table TOTALLY. Which frustrates me. It also frustrates me how little tolerance there is for profanity and adult content in storytelling, how some folks have had their careers turned upside down for not being an all-ages folksy mother goose type routine.
It's the same thing with being a lit professor, a politician, a lawyer, a comedian, anything else I've looked at.
Know the formulas. They are your tools. What tools you use need to be appropriate to your audience. Don't be beholden to them but do market yourself appropriately.
In the end, I am not concerned with what KIND of performer I am so much as I am marketing myself to the right audiences and reading the room.
You do that and you can be a fortune teller, stage magician, stand-up comic, storyteller, TV pundit, college professor, debate coach, or President of the United States.
It's all the same job.
Well, the principle is quite easy. Build pressure and release. It's about how you build the pressure that is interesting.
Also, based on the comments here, it seems that there is no literature about the theory of comedy from the point of view of stand-up. Might be an interesting niche :3
I read somewhere that being sympathetic beats being funny. I think that is a thought worth exploring.