Improving Your Stand Up Comedy Act

download (9)Get Stage Time

The best education you can have as a beginning comedian is on the stage. This book is sharing several strategies and techniques with you, but the only way to truly learn how to be funny is to get stage time. You need to stop waiting for the right time and just get out there now.

If you have a love for making people laugh, then use that as your motivation to get out there and learn. As you get your stage time you will learn what does, and what doesn’t, work through a process called trial and error. Yes, you will fail, but remember that failing is the best learning experience. You will not improve if you do not perform in front of live audiences.

Practice performing anywhere there is a group of people

You need experience to improve your performance. Getting the experience may not be a fun process, but you need to put together a strong 20-25 minute show that you can consistently get laughs from night after night. Once you have that show that continually works for you, you will be

Simon Stanley Seymour the Tenacious Backyard Squirrel

download (11)I received notice in my email that Simon Stanley Seymour, our tenacious backyard squirrel, received a maximum score of thirty-six on his ACT test, He sat in the desk behind my grandson who also scored thirty-six on his test. I squinted my eyes and asked myself, “did Simon cheat?”

I thought over Simon’s antics.This fellow figured out how to climb to the top of my roof, hold on with his back feet, reach down with his front paws and hand over hand pull up the chain that held a mesh bird feeder holding the sunflower seed prize.

I watched incredulously as he let go of the chain and grabbed the feeder. Then he shook it with both paws, He did this several times until the feeder was empty. But just to make sure, Simon gave the feeder a big swing as he leaped to the ground. Simon rapidly gathered the seed. As I watched him scamper away, he looked back with a smirk. I said with a shake of my head, “That Simon Stanley Seymour is one smart squirrel

Later that week, while planting sunflower

Practicing Your Stand-Up Comedy Routine On Stage

download (8)There are many opportunities to practice your stand-up comedy on stage. This article discusses several of the ways and places to hone your stand-up comedy skills.

Showcase Clubs

These are unpaid, but they have space for you to get stage time. Showcase clubs will generally have a lineup of 10 plus comics each night, whereas traditional clubs only have three. Ensure your growth and improvement as a comedian by getting yourself a regular spot at one of these clubs. You will be able to perform consistently and see rapid improvement.

Pick a club to be your hangout

As mentioned earlier, building relationships with the people who work at clubs gives you an advantage. Find a club to make your regular hangout, and get to know the staff. This will show your dedication and get your more stage time. It is a tough road, but stick it out and everyone will know that you are serious about your career.

Clean Routines

To really hone your skills and improve your comedy, consider using clean routines so that you are not just getting shock from foul language that shatters the assumption of

Improving Your Stand Up Comedy Routine

download (10)Rewriting Your Jokes

Reworking and rephrasing should also be included as part of rewriting your jokes. Do not confuse this with rearranging your show, which is for reworking your show. They do go hand in hand, but they are separate tasks. As you rewrite your jokes, you will need to rearrange your routine, and as you rearrange your routine you will need to rewrite your jokes. They are discussed separately so that you fully understand how each will help you improve your show.

When you do find a joke does not work, do not just remove it from your show. You want to discover why it didn’t work first. Go to your practice area and practice that joke again; practicing the joke will give you more insight into what may be keeping it from getting the laughs you want. If you feel it is a good joke but just isn’t working, keep practicing until it works. Here are some things you can do to help make it funnier: Ensure the audience clearly heard the joke.

Listen to the recording of your show to see if you

Dad Died

images (5)I came home for a weekend pass from my military base. I found out that my had passed away. My sister, Jean explained that she talked to the County Sheriff’s Office. Evidently the pot-belled stove that Dad used to heat the old house got too hot and blew up, causing a fire in the front room. His bedroom door was about ten feet from the stove. When the stove blew it woke Dad. He must have immediately jumped up and tried to run to the back kitchen door to escape the searing heat. He would have had to pass by the stove from his room to get to the kitchen. The Sheriff’s Deputy told Jean that flaming coals were probably strewn throughout the living room with billowing smoke clogging visibility to the kitchen. The back door was the only way Dad had to exit the house, since the front door was sealed off due to the cold winter. Smoke overtook him as he dropped to the kitchen floor and died of asphyxiation. Parts of his body received second-degree burns.

Monday evening, I attended Dad’s

The Feline Favour!

images (6)The city is expanding since decades with population and concrete congestion increasing all the time, but it still goes to sleep early, relatively speaking. City going to sleep early means you don’t get the facilities at night-like shops and markets, public buses and more importantly the omnipresent cycle rickshaws. We did not mean it to be, but we got late that evening at a relative’s place. To add to our woes, the eldest boy of the house had to go out on an errand, obviously taking the car with him. Any possibility of getting a lift was thus ruled out. My tension was genuine because my septuagenarian mother was with me and to make her walk nearly a mile was never a bright idea.

We took the small lane leading up to the main road and started walking hoping to get some transport on the way. Auto-rickshaws, even a rare sight at daytime, were not passing by at all. A few cycle rickshaws going towards the main road had passengers and the ones coming in towards us from the main road were empty.

A Funny Thing You Haven’t Seen

images (4)Clearly onstage comedians try with all their brain matter cells to conduct humorous transmissions along the axon’s to the nerves that control the muscles of their flapping lips so sound falls on ears that are not deaf and persons can hear funny things that can’t be seen. Can an image the comedian paints in your mind be seen? Or can only images you see in reality be seen as photographed impressions?

I told you this article was about something funny you haven’t seen and since I’m writing it you could say you see the words that have been formed into something funny that can be seen but if I was telling this instead of writing it you surely wouldn’t be seeing something funny. I would say if I got into your imagination with the words I’m typing and not speaking then I put a thought in your mind that can’t be seen. If this article isn’t enough to put a small smile on your face I would expect you can’t see serious also. There’s always two sides of a coin, but what you haven’t

What If Nigeria Wins the World Cup

images (7)I know you are finding it difficult to believe this, so am I. In fact, when this thought started dancing in my head I started laughing it too scorn but to my dismay it didn’t move an inch away. So here it is. Nigeria reminds me of the team I love so dearly, Arsenal, no matter how much effort we put in, we never clinch the title (Premier League and Champions League). And just as I cannot divorce Arsenal I can’t divorce Nigeria… but wait… I think I can. Hmmmm…

Anyway, if Nigeria wins the World Cup all social media platforms will not remain the same. Nigerians do know how to blow their trumpet when everything seems to be going well but when bad things happen they keep quiet and sob in the privacy of their homes, only those who really love the country would spend their precious time trying to analyze the pathetic situation. Jobless folks, if you ask me.

If Nigeria wins the World Cup, people won’t really give a damn about the fact that our African Nations Cup dreams were recently dashed

The Night the Bed Almost Fell

download (5)My granny lived in one of those white shotgun houses designed to capture the slightest breeze during South Carolina’s endless hot, humid summers. She lived with my uncle, aunt, and cousins, who built onto the house over the years. A screened back porch wrapped around the kitchen and back bedroom.

That porch held all kinds of things, including tools, a wringer washer, and a big freezer. Gourds and strings of homegrown peppers hung from the rafters.The ever-present slop bucket sat directly under the kitchen window, which opened onto the porch. The hogs loved the sight of that bucket until they ended up in Uncle Henry’s heavy black hash pot.

Indoor plumbing arrived, replacing the old outhouse. But when I woke up during the night, I was scared to look for that bathroom, with its pink tub and sink. I knew my way to the old outhouse. I had nightmares about falling into that slop bucket.

It wasn’t easy finding that fancy go-to-potty room in the dark. It was on the far left side of the porch. Going to the bathroom meant climbing out of a high

Do Seniors Appreciate a Good Laugh

download (6)Do seniors have a sense of humor?

Yes and No!

No, if you have children who badger you endlessly to buy them the latest in personal electronic instruments, i.e., iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.

Yes, but in ways younger people cannot understand or misinterpret.

For example, Jennifer Stanley, a psychology professor at the University of Akron, Ohio, did a study on people of various ages by showing them different sitcom clips and asked them to rate the “funniness” of each.

Her findings?

Elderly participants didn’t find the aggressive type of humor – laughing at the expense of others – funny.

What made them laugh was affiliative humor – jokes that bring people together through a funny or awkward situation.

Jennifer posited that this is probably their way of coping with their losses as a result of aging – physical and emotional setbacks, declining cognitive faculties, and loss of friends who passed away.

In another study, Brian Carpenter, a psychology professor, theorized that because of the decline in their cognitive faculties, seniors may have a harder time understanding what the joke is about.

This story illustrates Carpenter’s point:

An elderly gentleman and a young whippersnapper

The Coaching Mills of Bandigarh

download (7)It was a hot May summer. The season is famous for its succulent mangoes, and the sweltering heat. It is famous for another reason- the disappearance of the children of the age group of 14 to 16 years from the open spaces / playgrounds.

Dahiya, the local Indian writer was enjoying his afternoon siesta. The fan provided no respite from the heat, other than help in circulating the hot air. From the background, in a staccato fashion, resembling firing AK-47s, came the sounds, ‘sine theta’, ‘cos theta’, ‘tan theta’, and its variants.

Little Ramu, not so little now, a strapping lad of 16 years, was perched on the floor, preparing for the multitude of exams, for entry into the Medical and Engineering colleges of India.

The whole family -father, mother and company had relocated, bag and baggage to the coaching institutes in Bandigarh, to avail the ‘best coaching’ facilities in the country. This would help Ramu secure a ‘meritorious seat’ and a ‘secure’ and a ‘stable life’.

Ramu’s father sat up suddenly from his now disturbed sleep. “Ramu! I will spank you. I did not hear your

When You Can’t Stop Laughing at the Most Inappropriate Times

You have no control over it. There are just certain occasions when, if something strikes you as funny, you’re in trouble. Your whole body demands laughter. The problem is, you have to hide it the best you can. Most likely, you’re suffering from ILS. Is there a cure?

Come on, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that absolute inability to stifle laughter at the worst possible time, like at a funeral or a wedding. Oh, you try to wear an appropriate face. You try so hard your cheeks or tongue suffer because you’re biting down so hard.

Tears may stream down your face, giving the impression you’re overcome with grief or joy. Maybe you are. Or maybe the speaker or person next to you says or does something that make you desperate to laugh out loud.

My Uncle Clinton always carried packs of gum, offering a stick to others without fail. When he passed away, one of my many cousins appeared to sob throughout the funeral. Her mother was truly concerned for her and asked if something in the memorial message touched her that deeply.

Unfortunately, what the minister had said was, ” I’m sure that, right now, Jesus is opening His arms

Tripping Over Your Roots

images (2)Thomas Wolfe famously said, “You can’t go home again.” He got that right. My blood still runs Carolina blue, but I get lost every time I visit. Somebody moves my Tarheel landmarks. I suspect they’re friends with Siri. After living in Colorado for almost twenty years, I can’t find a thing without those mountains screaming, “West!” Siri lives to taunt me elsewhere, even in my native state.

I went back to visit recently and drove due east straight down Tobacco Road until I realized I might miss The Preakness. Watching those horse races is a tradition in my own little family, and bragging rights are at stake, pun intended. I had to find a television and text them my pick, also a tradition. It prevents cheating.

I pulled off at the next exit and settled into a sports bar just in time to see my horse win. I knew he would. He’s a mudder, and it was a sloppy track in Baltimore that day. I finished my Coke, which is any soft drink in those parts, and headed out, still on schedule. Or I was

Mama and Her Magic Teeth

download (4)Mama grew up on a farm in Depression-era eastern North Carolina. Money was scarce, with little room for luxuries like going to the dentist. She was embarrassed by her crooked, wide-gapped teeth and covered her mouth when she giggled. That and giggling were habits she never broke. Thank the good Lord for the latter. Her laughter was the medicine of my childhood.

That she giggled often is an understatement. She lived to make people laugh, and she was good at it. She wanted to smile. She wanted other people to laugh. So she had every one of her teeth pulled and had dentures made when she was a young woman. She was thrilled with the results! Mama was so proud of her new look that she smiled brightly for the camera for the rest of her life.

Once she did slightly chip a front tooth. She was upset at first, then decided the chip made her teeth look more natural. Her glass, even the ones holding her teeth all night, was always half-full.

Mama didn’t just use those teeth for smiling and eating. She used them

Mama Gets the Last Word

images (1)I was terrible at math, or as we called it in the sixties, arithmetic. That is, I thought I was until about the fifth grade. Then, I realized I couldn’t see the chalkboard without squinting. My seat was always on the back row. That’s ironic now because I’m only five feet tall. But I hit that towering height early and was taller than many of my classmates.

Mama and Daddy finally took me to the eye doctor after one of those school vision tests showed I was nearsighted. No wonder I couldn’t do arithmetic. I was happy to see better with my new glasses, but I hated those things. I wanted wire rims like the groovy kids. But Mama thought those were for hippies. I wasn’t allowed to wear hippy things, so I was stuck with square brown plastic frames. They definitely weren’t groovy. I only wore them when I had to.

Mercifully, those rims finally broke. But Mama still held her ground on the hippy look and insisted on getting those same frames fixed. So off we went to Eckerd’s drugstore, where they

A Sure-Fire Strategy to Add Humor to Your Speeches

download (3)Laughter is caused when a smile has an orgasm. Adding appropriate laughter and humor to your speeches will reduce the tension between you and your audience, allowing you to be perceived as intelligent, personable and approachable. Humor can even be used to cultivate trust between you and your audience!

Unfortunately, many people believe that the ability to be funny is a special talent endowed on a fortunate few; that humor is a talent one is born with, and either you have it, or you don’t. This constitutes a limiting belief that prevents people from trying to be funny.

The good news is that humor can be learned! Here is a sure-fire strategy to add humor and laughter to your next presentation.

The Power of Three

The power of three is a powerful technique to set up a joke, leading to the punchline or punch-word. In this technique, the first two elements are ‘ordinary’, while the third element departs (or stands out) from the chain of logic set up by the first two elements, thereby creating laughter. This allows you to manage the expectations of the audience.


What Is DV and DVPro?

download (2)12DV is a format for storing digital video, audio and metadata such as subtitles and closed captioning. It was launched in 1995 through the joint efforts of multiple producers of video camera recorders. DV uses lossy compression of video while audio is stored uncompressed. An intra-frame video compression scheme is used to compress video on a frame-by-frame basis. All DV variants except for DVCPRO Progressive are recorded to tape within interlaced video stream. Film-like frame rates are possible by using pulldown transfer of film to video.

DVCPRO, also known as DVCPRO25, is a variation of DV developed by Panasonic and introduced in 1995 for use in electronic news-gathering (ENG) equipment. In 1996 Sony responded with its own professional version of DV called DVCAM. Like DVCPRO, DVCAM uses locked audio, which prevents audio synchronization drift that may happen on DV if several generations of copies are made.

DVCPRO50 was introduced by Panasonic in 1997 for high-value electronic news gathering and digital cinema and is often described as two DV codecs working in parallel. Comparable formats include Sony’s Digital Betacam, launched in 1993, and MPEG IMX,

What Is DivX

imagesDivX is the brand name of products created originally by DivX LLC, including the DivX Codec which became popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining high visual quality. The three DivX codecs include the original MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX, the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC DivX Plus HD codec and the DivX high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) Ultra HD codec. It is one of several codecs commonly associated with ripping, in which audio and video multimedia as well as metadata including subtitles and closed captioning are transferred to a hard disk and transcoded.

DivX 6 added an optional media container format called DivX Media Format (DMF) using a.divx extension that includes support for the DVD-Video and VOB container-like features. This media container format is used for the MPEG-4 Part 2 codec. Some features of DMF include multiple video streams, multiple audio tracks, and multiple subtitles and other metadata.

DivX Plus HD is a file type using the standard Matroska media container format, file extension.mkv, rather than the proprietary DivX Media Format. DivX Plus HD files contain an H.264 video bitstream, AAC

What Is a Motion JPEG

downloadMotion JPEG (MJPEG or M-JPEG) is a video compression format in which each video frame or interlaced field of a digital video sequence (including video and metadata such as subtitles and closed captioning) is compressed separately as a JPEG image. Originally developed for multimedia PC applications, MJPEG is now used by video-capture devices such as digital cameras, IP cameras, webcams, and by nonlinear video editing systems. It is supported by the QuickTime Player, the PlayStation console and browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. MJPEG was first used by the QuickTime Player in the mid-1990s.

MJPEG is an intra-frame-only compression scheme. Because frames are compressed independently of one another, MJPEG imposes lower processing and memory requirements on hardware devices. As such, the image-quality of MJPEG is directly a function of each video frame’s spatial complexity. Frames with large smooth-transitions or monotone surfaces compress well and are more likely to hold their original detail with few visible compression artifacts. Frames exhibiting complex textures, fine curves and lines are prone to exhibit DCT artifacts such a ringing, smudging and macroblocking. This gives MJPEG an

What Is Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language Markup Language

downloadSynchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) is a World Wide Web Consortium extensible markup language (XML) that enables authoring of interactive audiovisual presentations. SMIL is typically used for multimedia presentations which integrate streaming audio and video with images, text or any other type of media including animations, visual transitions, and metadata such as subtitles and closed captioning..SMIL is an easy-to-learn HTML-like language, and many SMIL presentations are written using a simple text editor.

SMIL allows the author to present media items such as text, images, video, audio, links to other SMIL presentations, and files from multiple web servers, allowing for convenient file sharing for uses such as editing, archiving and transcription. SMIL markup is written in XML and has similarities to HTML. SMIL files commonly take the.smil file extension as other programs share the.smi extension.

Authoring and rendering tools for SMIL include RealSlideshow Basic by RealNetworks, GoLive6 by Adobe and TransTool, an open-source transcription tool. SMIL players include Adobe Media Player, QuickTime Player, RealPlayer and Windows Media Player. SMIL presentations can be accessed via a computer’s browser with the use of a plug-in.

Some browsers, including Mozilla,