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Tips for an aspiring comedian

Comedy is a serious business. It’s a serious business with only one purpose – to make people laugh. These words have been the mantra for many aspiring comedians and the only reason is because they were spoken by W.C.Fields, one of the best comedians the world has ever seen. Happiness, just like fear and anger is an emotion. Emotions are easy to bring it upon ourselves but it’s harder to trigger it in another person. This makes comedy a genre not just in books and plays but also in films. The harder the job gets the challenging it is and comedy is challenging in all terms. To start with, comedy is perhaps the only genre which cannot succeed in taking cues or inspirations from their predecessor’s works. The last thing a comedian would ever want to hear is that he reminded the audience of another long forgotten comedian. While it is impossible to make a stand in the industry without being compared to the legends, it will be a challenge in breaking the jinx that people relate with him.

What does it take to be a comedian?

Fortunately or unfortunately there are a number of factors beyond a person’s control that affect’s an individual’s chances of being a comedian. Just like a cuisine, even comedy has its own share of options that differs according to country, language, culture, intellectual level, social status and even gender. What mind sound funny in an aristocrat meeting at the white house would not even be appealing to a crowd somewhere in the deep interior villages of India that has gathered for a comedy show in a temple festival. This is the reason people tend to laugh at other people’s expense and stand-up comedians such as Russell Peters and Gabriel Iglesias have gained such a status because they have a funny take on stereotypes.

Technically speaking, contrary to popular belief, a wannabe comedian cannot write his way to getting his comedy talent or get a personality that is suited for a comedian. So if you cannot make the people around you laugh with your take on the everyday happenings around you then you cannot satisfy the needs of thousands who spend their money and expect you to do the same.

How to become a comedian?

A pure fact that everyone can agree on is that every single person has a bit of comedy sense inside them. Though it changes from person to person, it’s definitely there. Taking something that we do for fun as a business and expecting a source of income out of it is a mammoth risk. It’s a huge task that requires hard work and patience.

There are a lot of ways in becoming what we want. There are actual comedy actors who perform in films, there are comedians who perform in plays/dramas and there are also comedians who perform on the streets. You can use your skills to write comic plays and films, you can become a novelist for a comedy fiction, you can even become a stand-up comedian. Deciding what we want to become solves half the problem.

The Dos and Don’ts:-

Timing is crucial when it comes to jokes. Placing them at the right spot makes a huge difference. Props can magnify a simple sketch into a fully blown comic act. The attire and background, if matched with the scenario, will definitely boost up the act.

Always stick on to the topics that the people can relate to. Being one among the crowd makes them feel at ease and at the same time relate the jokes to what happens in their everyday life.Be sure on not to repeat the same jokes or the similar content as people can easily be bored and loose the edge when it comes to comedy.

The fail proof method is always to start with a joke about you. One can become a successful comedian only when he can laugh at himself.

It’s always best to make your own jokes. Inspirations and spoofs have been shown to make only a certain people laugh. Have a good attitude and make sure you can get along all types of people.

Draw a line when it comes to sensitive subjects and try not to take a side on controversial topics.Being flamboyant and looking appealing is job half done.Offending or ridiculing someone has to be done in good taste and rather left to the greener stages of your career.

Always formulate a formula and go with it. Later people will be able to relate you with that particular style.Almost all the comedians in films earning millions today started their lives in a dingy comedy club or a decent play in the streets. Taking small but sure steps is the key to win in any field and comedy is no different. Comedy might be a serious business but your business can be comedy too.

”Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious”

- Peter Ustinov 

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