In the Beginning

The decision to participate in the Host with the Most Competition at Side Splitters on October 21 meant that I would have to learn how to do stand-up comedy. In many ways, stand-up is the opposite of improv.

There are twelve personalities from local media competing to win 90% of the door for the charity of their choice. In addition to vying for votes that night, we competed to sell the most tickets to the show. Tickets went on sale September 3 and were sold out on September 19. I won a $100 bonus for the Columbus Home Children’s Emergency Shelter by selling the most tickets.

Experienced stand-ups hone and refine their routine through repetition. I signed up for three open-mic night appearances so I could try out the material I had written. After my first appearance at open-mic night, I asked some of the other comedians for advice. Dean Jennings and Oz Kirk both suggested I read Judy Carter’s book.

Carter’s “The Comedy Bible” contains helpful advice on transforming my anecdotes into actual jokes. Before traveling to Denver, I purchased the book to read on my Kindle during the flight. “The Comedy Bible” is a hands-on workbook. There are writing exercises and blank lines to put your answers. I wondered if I should have bought the paperback edition instead of the e-book.

Frank Murphy performs at "Comic's Night Out" at Side Splitters Comedy Club - photo by Cinnamon Studios Tonya Cinnamon of Cinnamon Studios photographs most of the shows at Side Splitters. When I saw Tonya’s pictures from my first open-mic set, I told her that I could see the fear in my eyes. In the weeks between my first and second open-mic appearances, I trimmed a lot of excess words from my set and used the methods in Carter’s book. The second time around I was more comfortable.

In the two weeks that remain before the contest, I still have work to do. Based on the audience response, I have to cut some jokes that I really liked. As a result, I have to write some new jokes to take their place. I had tossed in a few topical jokes at open-mic that I didn’t plan on doing in the Host with the Most Competition but they got big laughs, so I might keep them. Most gratifying was a joke I made up on the spot during my set. It worked and is now written into the act.

Share
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In the Beginning

  1. Pingback: The Breast and Brightest : Frank Murphy Dot Com

Comments are closed.