No, You Don’t Belong With Us

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Let’s face it folks, I need help.  In lots of areas.  I’m not the most confident, and there are times when the outgoing, personable side of me gets locked away and I become awfully quiet real fast.

But my life over the last couple of years really humbled me to the point where I began not feeling bad in asking for help, simply because when you face the circumstances I did, sometimes a person doesn’t have much else for choices.

So during my absence from the Saskatoon comedy scene at the beginning of last year I started seeking somebody who could help me become a better comedian, because back then I had good ideas, it’s just that I wrote them and delivered them in a manner that didn’t work on most nights.  As I mentioned before, there were people hoping I would do better but nobody really came out and said I had the ability to be successful.  I had to find that one person regardless of the cost.  I found that person in my comedy coach based out of Los Angeles.

When you are on the main page of the blog, take a look at the first video of me in the cap. On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d say it’s probably a 3 at best.  I had good ideas but I didn’t do a good job of making it funny, because that’s the sole objective in comedy is to get the laughs.

This is why it took over seven hours to come up with seven solid minutes of comedy for my “comeback” video (look for the one below the video of me in the cap).  I am a smart guy and I have the ability to write, but I needed to learn the proper way to write material to make it funny.  It’s like anything else in life where you are communicating with another person, whether it be in sales, a relationship or business.  You can have the sweetest words to say, or a convincing point of view, but if you do not convey that message in the proper way, it’s all a waste of time.

The first half of my sessions with my coach left him a bit confused and to be honest, I don’t blame the guy.  On several occasions he stopped me and asked “what did you mean by saying this?”  I had too much information in the setup of the joke which made the audience have to work at connecting the dots on every joke I told.  When an audience has to do that much work for every joke, it’s not very long before you lose them completely.  Most of my sets early on were like that.

Then I learned that comedy has structure, a formula you can follow to write and perform better.  Once I saw that formula being applied to new material we were writing, it became easy to see where my old material failed.  It was because of that, that I decided it was much easier for me to scrap all the old material (and there were 60 to 75 jokes) and start fresh with this newfound approach I could put into practice.

Anybody can easily see the difference between the first two videos, the first without coaching and the second with.  If somebody like me can be taught how to be funny, especially when nobody really believed I could, then you would think that serves as a good barometer for others to seek coaching to raise their level, right?


um…….hello?  Is anybody there?

I have noticed there are two different types of comics.  The first are the ones who create material by themselves and figure things out. Then there is the group I am a part of, the group where things don’t come as easily to them, more often than not material doesn’t work yet they are funny, they just need to be shown the formula of successful comedy writing!  Some of the comics I’ve talked to about my coaching seem to be in the former, rather than the latter (if you don’t know the difference between former and latter, Google it, I had to).  Some comics (and this is my opinion only) think they can do it on their own.  Well, that may be true, but these comics I am thinking of have had moderate success, more than I but not catching fire as of yet.  That being said, I haven’t had anyone really ask me about the coaching, and people who have seen parts of the e-book on comedy writing have said nothing to me about it.  Now, does this mean that some are using the lessons in the book and not mentioning it, or that they think they can do it all themselves?  I would guess it to be the latter.

This is why with each set I do and each video I publish online, I do different material.  This is to show that I now have the skills and ability to write comedy about anything and make it work.  The funny thing is that some of the comics who believe they don’t need help are the ones who have very few, if any, videos online for you to see.  hmmmmm………

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying I’m setting the world on fire with my comedy, but by no means am I as bad as I used to be.

There are certain people I ask for help in my life, one in particular I have asked a few times more than I probably should lately, and I don’t feel very good about it.  But asking for help from a comedy coach who has had success isn’t something I am ever ashamed to ask for, because he helps me get results.

I believe I come up with more new material in a month than most guys I know could write in a year.  Not only that, but it’s material that I know will work when I get on stage.  Take the third video as proof (the one below my comeback video).  I wrote 95% of that by myself, my coach and another comic helped with some minor tweaks.

Wherever you want to go in life to achieve great things, you’ll most certainly need the help of another person.  What do you have to lose by having a professional joke writer who churns out 100 jokes a day to help you?  He doesn’t call you names, belittle you or say you should get out of comedy.  He is there to help you.  When you get up on stage to do the material he helps create, even though he’s based in L.A. and we’re in Saskatchewan, it’s still his reputation he’s putting out on the line, to help you.

Then again, it does help if you don’t think you know it all either.  Go into it with an open mind and be receptive to what he teaches.  It could change your life, at the very least help rejuvenate your comedy career.  My coach did that for me, on both counts.

Comments are always welcomed below.  Be blessed!

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