Bombing Onstage: An Important Lesson
I’ve had a few weeks in my early comedy career that REALLY stand out . . . for the beating I took onstage. Not a physical beating, but mentally they were knockouts.
One memorable week of being pummeled started out great. I had a killer set on the first show of the first night which was perfect because the club owner was there to witness it. The next day she left for a conference, and I proceeded to have some of the worst shows ever. NOTHING WORKED. I was doing the trifecta of bad comedy: my stage presence, jokes, and timing all tanking at once. The audiences were not amused; literally. I was pretty baffled too.
As I continued through the week, my “baffled” turned to frustration as I tried everything to figure out what was going on! But I had no clue. In fact, my first show Friday night was so bad, that, in an attempt to get whatever bad vibes I was attracting off of me, I went back to my hotel room between shows and changed my shirt. Maybe a new outfit would bring new energy. The late show went even worse; turns out the bad shows weren’t my shirt’s fault.
I can’t tell you the variety of emotions you experience during a long week of bombing; from anger at yourself to fear of never working again to frustration that these are the same damn jokes I’ve told before to raucous applause and laughter. It rocks you to your core.
the last show on Sunday night show arrives and so does the club owner back from her trip. I got on stage and ROCKED THE ROOM. Yeah, I was pretty surprised myself!
After the show, as I’m standing in the back office being paid by the owner, when she causally asked how the week went. My first thought was to say the shows were fine and pretend that I didn’t notice the silent stares from 7 separate audiences. Hey, she saw the 2 shows that rocked. I figured I could save some face, hightail it to my car and never be heard from again. BUT I knew she’d see the comment cards and then know that I was not only a terrible comic, but a liar.
So I fessed up and said that they didn’t go great, and in fact I said that don’t think I ever do really killer in her room. Without missing a beat, she said “I know Jan. You never do really great in my room. But I really like your act and I think you’re funny, so I’ll keep booking you.” RELIEF! And surprise!
I left the club feeling like I was on cloud 9. That one compliment did it. And the fact that she liked my act and believed in my comedic skills was such a huge bonus.
The lesson –
If you don’t give yourself an honest personal assessment when things go wrong, you won’t give someone else the chance to make you feel good about your mistakes.
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And check out my other posts HERE!
Take care and enjoy your journey!
Writing funny Stories – WOW people with easy humor
This is a blog about humor writing, and so I’ve focused a lot on adding humor to your written and verbal communications. BUT another way to add humor is by writing or telling funny, real-life, stories about your experiences. I’ve been doing that on my Facebook business page – click here
Funny Stories GRAB people’s attention
Which is what you’re trying to do with jokes and humor. See some of the examples on my Facebook page. Here is how one story starts. . .
So I’m standing in my boss’s office many moons ago, getting absolutely reamed out. He had just seen the budget numbers, and we were wayyy over by like $200,000+! He couldn’t understand how I ran my department before he came on board in the last year because I apparently didn’t know anything about budgeting. Blah blah blah. After a few minutes of this tirade, I was able to break in and ask WHAT did I overspend on.
He grabbed the printout, and pointed at a line item, practically shoving the sheet of paper in my face. He said, “look, we are about 200% over budget from last year on this item alone!” I looked for a minute, and then said, “Well, Robert (not his real name). We ARE way over on that item. It’s personnel. We hired YOU!” Que in the moment of complete awkward silence with a few ahs and ahems tossed in. I left without an apology, but his stumbling and stammering around made up for it.
Find the rest of this funny story here, along with many others.
It’s a short funny story, but it’s effective .. . funny with a little seriousness. And then I let people know about my humor keynotes on using humor in business. Stories are a fun way to use humor without having to write a comedy routine.
Where do I find the funny stories?
Well, from my life . . .and you can find them in your life too. Just write down stuff that has or is happening to you . . . keep your phone (pen and paper) handy, for when a funny story pops up; and they will. Also talk with friends and family; they will jog your memory to the crazy stuff that happened as a kid.
What Should I Include?
A picture of course – such as the one of my cat Maizie above. I’ve also included a “call to action” to give some attention to my keynotes. As for writing the actual story thought, make sure to start your story off with some action, such as I did with me standing in front of my boss getting yelled at. And build a little with some details like him shoving the paper in front of me and me wondering what it was that I was over budget on. And of course, make sure the story really happened. When you write jokes, you can make stuff up and exaggerate, but with writing funny stories, the story and pretty much everything in it needs to be real – unless you promote yourself as a fiction writer.
That’s it! Most of us have had funny things happen to us all of our lives. It’s time to share those funny stories with the rest of the world! And speaking of funny, check out my website – www.TheWorkLady.com
And don’t forget about my short humor writing tips on youtube. Here’s a post about those!
My Tax Day Joke and Quick Tips for Writing One
Today is TAX DAY! Which is the perfect day to A. Write jokes about taxes and B. write a blog post about writing current events jokes.
Writing jokes based on current events
is a great way to stay relevant and engage with your audience. With the constant flow of news and information in today’s world, there is no shortage of material to work with.
Here’s the Joke.
Here are four quick tips to help you write jokes based on current events:
- Pick a common “enemy” – Rich or poor, the majority of us HATES paying or (even if you don’t owe anything) doing taxes. It’s an extra headache AND hassle. Which makes it PERFECT for writing the joke.
- Pair it with something similar. Make an analogy with another thing that many people hate (or like or don’t understand – pick one). In this joke I’ve done it with a form of entertainment, that many people aren’t particularly fond of.
- Make it personal. Don’t say “we all hate taxes” . . . say that YOU hate taxes. If you say “we,” then there’s always someone who will say – nope, not me. But if you make it persona, people will see themselves in it, and agree with you.
- Exaggerate. Okay, the joke below is NOT true, because in reality, I would rather watch Opera. But it’s funy to THINK that Opera is so bad, I’d rather do my taxes.
Writing jokes based on current events is a GREAT way to stand out from the people who are complaining about current events. So keep your eyes open. There’s a current event on most every day that can use a little humor!
For more ideas on humor writing,
check out my Youtube Page where I have a series of “How to write Humor” videos. Each one is under 1 minute and will give you a quick humor writing tip. Click Here!
Comedy Writing Gigs part 3
Hilarious jokes are all set – you’ve got some samples of jokes you’ve written and some real live people – radio, TV, comedians, etc. . who will vouch for you that you’re, or at least the jokes you write, are funny! So where do you now go to actually write...
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B. Research Techniques
What Have You Laughed About Recently?
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Humor in Pain
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Take The Road Less Traveled
As for funny things, that's not only the name of a popular book, but it's a philosophy for finding humor. One of the shows I performed at this week was for 600 women at a church. The crowd was so big that they turned the men's room into a ladies room. . ....
Humor Writing for Business or Personal
Humor writing 90 second clip
C. Humor Delivery
Dialing For Dollars
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Remembering Your Funny Jokes
So you’ve worked and worked on some killer material. Great! But you’ve got to REMEMBER the joke in order to, well, get people to laugh. I have a couple of memory techniques that I use. Say it out loud FAST. Run through your jokes fast, so that you can get...
Humor About NOT Using Your Product
Lots of marketing campaigns use humor toting the benefits of using a product or service, but what developing humor about what happens if people DON'T use your product or service? This Hilarious ad from Southwest Airlines (below) promoting their hotel site is a GREAT...
5 Things Not to Say to a Comedian
People think they can say ANYTHING to a comedian and why not? They're a comedian, they can take a joke. Right? Well, sure, but there are still things that you should NOT say to a comedian. Why? Because number one, these things are rude and number two we hear them all...
Comedy Gold: The questions are you asked
questions you’re constantly asked is a good source for humor. Don’t get annoyed; turn them into jokes
D. Appropriate Humor
A Comedian on Being Genuine
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I chatted on this comedy blog infrequently in the past couple of months. . .okay not at all. I’ve been in the middle of some comedy projects that are exciting but taking more focus than I can handle. So for funny this week, I thought with all the politics...
Letting Go . . .Of joke ideas that aren’t working that is. And this is a hard one because, as we comics say when we come up with an idea for a joke we just know “there’s something there.” I’ve been working on a joke about “tribute bands” – you know bands...
Joking With Names
Sometimes the humor is not in researching the subject thoroughly, but rather in stepping back and looking at the big picture – their name. Companies name themselves and their products all sorts of whacky things, for all sorts of whacky reasons. Watch any...
Humor in Business is a Billion $$$ Business
Can you spend 6.5 million in 30 seconds???? Well the Super Bowl advertisers did! That's what an ad costs in 2022. And according to a USA Today Survey, the top ad was Rocket Mortgage's ad starring Barbie. A link to the ad is below. I've also noted below the three...
Comedy and the Olympics. . . the humor I see.
humor in the winter olympic games
G. Topical Jokes
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Wedding Toast Jokes For Laughs
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