I signed up for a stand-up comedy course on a whim a couple of weeks ago. Now I spend 3 hours every Saturday learning how to do stand-up comedy. In addition, I have homework which requires me to write a 5-minute routine every week.
Signing up to this course was a really dumb idea considering that I'm less than 3 weeks away from going to the studio to record my first solo album. I have a lot of work to do in preparation.
But I love my Comedy School. I don't know what I'll do with this new skill. I’m still not sure if I'm any funny at all. But learning it is an interesting process.
What I've learned so far
It's not just about writing cracking jokes. It's about observing the world and explaining it from a personal, unique point of view. At least that's what my takeaway from the course is so far.
I’ve been surprised that I can actually do it. Before I started, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t know what to write about, or how to be funny. So I’ve been surprised to realise that I can write 5 minutes of comedy every week, even if it wasn’t exactly cracking anyone’s ribs.
I'm used to doing creative work, and I know that the 1% rule always applies - it's 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. In other words, just sit down and do the work, there is no mystery to it. That's why I spend several hours a week on my homework. I want to make the most of this course, and I know it's not going to happen unless I do the work.
You never know what works
What’s also been interesting to learn, is that I never quite know what’s going to be funny. I write something which I think is funny and get no reaction. Then something I say as a side note gets the biggest laughs. Putting it out there is the only way to know.
We all tend to over-complicate things. Or we believe that creative work is a divine download that captures some magical moment. I'm definitely guilty of over-thinking way too much when most of the time things will work out if I just get on with it.
The curious thing is creating more makes me create even more. Writing almost daily has made my writing really flow. In addition to my comedy homework, I've been writing lots of lyrics. And here I am writing this thing to you right now!
Only one way to find out
I didn’t know I was capable of writing comedy. Just like I didn't know that I was able to produce an entire album by myself. I just found out when I started doing it.
When I started writing these songs, I thought I'd re-work them all with someone later on. Then I realised that I didn't need to do that. It's all going to go on the album as I've programmed it myself. Now I’m really proud and excited about that. But I didn't know I could write and produce an entire album myself until I did it.
Has that ever happened to you? Let me know in the comments below.
PS: Here's my 5-minutes of Comedy fame! :D