Rehearsal Tips: Succeed At Comedy

By Sandy Franklin

Whenever speaking in front of a genuinely large audience, or really any audience whatsoever you may find that a certain amount of your comedic script will elude your capacity for recall altogether. Often the larger the number of people in the audience, the more real and substantial this sapping of energies by anxiety on cognition is. The reason for this is because a certain amount, which could perhaps even be quantifiable scientifically, of cognitive energy that was used for the recollection of jokes stored away in synapses is now being utilized to suppress your anxieties and prevent overexcitation and excessive adrenal rush.

There is one and only one answer for this unfortunate fact and that's repeated rehearsal. The more you rehearse, the more you burn something into your brain to the point that it eventually becomes seemingly as natural and almost mechanist in nature as driving your car. As a matter of fact, if you mentally transport yourself to the very first time you drove a car you'll remember how difficult it was the very first time, but now that you have done it for years it may feel nearly as natural as breathing.

The less conscious, active energy you have to dump into delivering your script the greater your capacity to excel on stage while telling jokes to even really large, and difficult audiences will be. This can only transpire after exhaustive, perhaps even painful rehearsal -- much like those first handful of joy rides in the car.

However, often delivering presentations of any kind isn't as necessary and fundamental to every day life as, for example, driving an automobile is. Most often it is a form of self-actualization. Thus, it requires more fierce determination on the part of the presenter. A good test for one's preparedness when delivering is whether or not they can keep eye contact with people in their smaller audience for any reasonable amount of time while delivering their comedic script.

Try this smaller styled rehearsal with a small crowd (relatively speaking) of friends, preferably a few that bust your chops regularily, before doing stand up in front of a large audience. Do you have a habit of looking away when cracking jokes? If happens to be so, then you've not rehearsed your jokes enough times privately first. Find a few new ways to expand your boundaries and iterate through your routine and deliveries quickly. Chug caffeine if you must, find a quiet place, and bring a tape recorder. Record yourself delivering the punchlines (perhaps read from script), and then attempt to race your recording to recall your own punchlines faster than you said them on the audio recording.

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