One of my extracurricular hobbies is performing standup comedy. I have performed thrice in New York City (150-200 people), and twice at Open Mics (20-30 people) in Providence. Some friends have told me they want to try performing a set, but don’t know how to get started. Here are five things that I’ve learned from the personal experiences.
1. Finding material is not hard. Life has moments, objects, and people that are absurd and ridiculous. Think about anything that’s frustrating; that could lead to a joke. If more people can relate to that experience, then it has the potential to be an even better joke. Everyone has his/her own style when writing punchlines. Some use play on words, metaphors, associations, etc. What these things have in common is that they all relate to a truth we haven’t discovered yet. Laughter comes from the unconscious and jokes are able to bring what’s repressed in the unconscious up to the conscious level. Didn’t mean to go Freud on your ass (who am I kidding, of course I did), but that’s what laughter is. Another famous adage regarding punchlines is “It’s funny because it’s true.” The hard part is finding truths that we subconsciously knew, but weren’t aware of.