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     Chili Challis

           Lifetime comedian, comedy writer and coach

My Blog



Posted on January 18, 2017 at 10:11 AM Comments comments (12)
The Way

I've grown to understand it's the *tweener things that separates real comic artists from amateurs. By 'tweener things' I mean the over all story, the way they keep things stirred up during their jokes with verbal hooks and expressions, methods that are so effective to continue to reset attitude and redo/reinforce the set up, all the while maintaining control of the passion. It's MUCH about control. It has to be, you're in front of a mob that wants to be entertained. And if you're smart you want to use every second of the time on stage to assist your performance. There is no hang time on stage, what appears to be hang time to the audience is 'tweener time' to the artist. ;)
I'm convinced the 'tweener thing' is a natural thing to talented 'born to do it' comics. I'm not sure they even think about it. When these things are natural it's comparable to having a great singing voice. You just do. it's part of your make up, it sounds right to your ear and has a rhythm that gives you that timing bounce that in turn gives an energy to your punchlines.
To the casual artist all this is something that HAS to be thought about and practiced. It's as important as your jokes, maybe more so. It's character, it's a nearly invisible time for your essence to flow, and is a valuable asset to your one person show (which is stand up thru and thru. I'm sure you agree).
You have to allow the audience to laugh of course, but you have to allow them to breathe, to take in, to consider.
In this tweener time, which to an audience most often looks as if it's 'float time', trust me it isn't. During this time a comedy artist can reinforce the mood he or she wants in these moments. He/she can control the tempo, bolster their image, set up perhaps many jokes to come, and more.
Think of it as having the power to keep the audience entertained, even amused, as you're loading an arrow into a bow that you're about to fire directly at them.
Why don't they know the arrow is coming? Because the audience sees neither the bow or the arrow.
Very simply said (having strong tweener things) is being a leader, displaying character, personality, being a great conversationalist, possessing or developing a convincing way. A way that puts the audience at ease in nearly a hypnotic sense. It's a set up that runs throughout your show. What appears to be innocent remarks or expressions are in a real sense 'verbal hooks' that act as oars to steer your show anywhere you want. To continue to give it energy and image.
Perhaps it's the master set up for all of your set ups? ;)
Because believe it or not while all these 'tweener things' are going on you still have to have great jokes with funny punch lines.

*We can discuss what I believe to be 'tweener' things in more detail in my comedy dojo sessions.
Soon on video chat if you like as well.

Everything you do should serve the punch line”.
-chili challis