The Secret to Comedy Success

Is there a Secret to Comedy Success?

One secret key to comic success is simple – to work a lot. Steve Martin in his book, Born Standing Up writes about doing as many shows as possible. He did shows at any coffee shop that would have him. This book is well worth purchasing if you are a comic performer.

He worked a lot at Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in California for several summers during High School to and it really helped him to get his comedy timing and develop his comedy style. When you are doing 4-6 shows a day without a day off all summer, you discover a lot about how to use your comic gifts.

Steve Martin also just works hard at writing. In a recent interview in Success Magazine he said, “It’s really an iceberg situation. You see 10 percent of what goes into it.”

When he does an appearance on Letterman or other shows, he writes new material and that really keeps his appearances sharp.  He had David Letterman cracking up at his antics recently.

He also said in that article, “I like to go out there prepared.”  He works on lots of bits then hones the ones he narrows it down to.

Read the article here:

As entertainers we need to write and develop comedy every day. Then edit it to the point of the essential. Then do it as many times as possible to sharpen it.

Comics hone material at open mic nights. Magic comedians can take along a trick and do it whenever possible. Before a show or while hanging with friends at a restaurant. Do the trick over and over and try delivering the comic lines a bit differently each time until you find the perfect match and timing.

I enjoyed breaking material in and trying new timing at an amusement park in my teens and early twenties. I did three shows a day at the Paul Bunyan Amusement Park was a great way for me to develop as a performer. I could discover how timing and pacing would bring more laughs.  I also had the opportunity to tour in elementary and high schools across the country for 13 years doing 3 a day and that really sharpened my timing.

Secrets to comedy success? Be prepared, work all you can and sharpen the act.

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