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     Chili Challis

           Lifetime comedian, comedy writer and coach



My Blog

Blog

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SPONSORS NEEDED TO HELP NEW TALENTS

Posted on June 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (20)
Looking for sponsors for a Comedic Arts Center. The idea is to open a creative space where serious comics could come and workout and get instant pro feedback from experienced pros.
Brand new talents could train in workshops geared for what they need to know.
Learn on the level you need.
All about stand up comedy and comedy writing.
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There would also be workshops for people from other professions to inspire creativity
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Build self confidence and self esteem. 
Help memory and boost creativity. 
Energize your thinking as you learn new ways to think and create. 
Increase your vocabulary.
Relieve stress.
Learn something about yourself.
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Hit me up with an email at 
for more details.
Sponsors needed for my website of Chill Factor Comedy Tips also. Get your name associated with a positive and fun venture of teaching people the ability of writing and performing humor.
~





COMEDY GOALS CHANGE, IT'S A GOOD THING

Posted on April 7, 2017 at 10:04 AM Comments comments (17)
.I've had a recent realization (say that 5x fast). Anyway, I believe my comedy goals lately involve science. Yep, science of the how to's and whys of stand up comedy and comedy writing. I'm down to be a tinkerer of all things funny. 

Gone are the days of competing for spots at clubs or trying to get in with a mega chain comedy club. Thank you, I've seen Iowa, Illinois and Missouri many times. Gone are the days of fighting for a network writing job or network or studio anything.
LA was good and bad to me, what can I say? That's the way LA is. I snagged a credit or two and a few bucks, allowed them to extract their commissions and called it a positive experim

Oh I'm still working plenty. I do many stand up shows in one nighter and private type settings. A few of these shows are of my own making and some from friends and acquaintances that still own venues and of course I do many fundraisers etc.

I'm still competing with comedy writers in at least a couple writer's groups that farm out (crowd source) material. In other words, I still get paid for comedy writing. Occasionally I get hired for a special writing project and so it goes.

Currently I'm developing a talk/variety show for a middle america market in Michigan. I write much of the monologue and create desk bits etc., book comedians for the show. I'm co-executive producer, bam! 'Ann Arbor Tonight'!

In short, mucho going on comedywise. Throw in the fact I coach comics and comedy writers in workshops, I stay busy and relevant, and who doesn't want to do that. Relevancy is not the need it's the by-product of loving all things comedy. The ability, magic and yes science behind it all has been as addicting as any drug could be in my life. Comedy is not just something I got into because my friends invited me on stage somewhere and magic happened. Comedy was needed in my life, it saved me, protected me and help put me back together.

This is why even this minute, after nearly 40 yrs of actively doing stand up and comedy writing and after 60 years of loving it, I STILL study it with a passion that is obessively driven to get the most out of it, which for me IS the message it has for me.

Hippies (people in the 1960's) were famous for looking for themselves. In so, I think comedy chose me to help find myself. For the most part it has worked. I don't know what I would have done without the comedy boom and the need for laughter in this country. I gained a career from a need. It doesn't get much better. Not to mention having a million honest theraputic laughs along the way That helped, 'nuff said. 

No question the whole process STILL was not easy, there is sacrifice in every mile I've traveled; but that time was needed, to think and experiment with thoughts that ran deep. 
Not all thoughts turned to jokes, some simply churned the fires for the need to laugh and so to continue my journey. I was in search of happiness I suppose. 

Currently the facination with comedy science is where I'm at as much as anything. This I'm doing for me, but of course I pass along much to talents in my 'Comedy Dojo' groups. The ones that have the lightning get it and it helps them, end of story. 

For me I'm still looking to improve, and in that improvement find a little bit more of myself and hook it in at just the right spot. I'm a starchild looking to gather in all my star dust. ;) I know there's more comedy that way, funnier and better material and most important, more insight into, well everything. 

It probably will all come to me on my death bed and I really will die laughing. See what I did there? 

 











DON'T FEAR CHANGE. IN FACT, INSTITUTE IT.

Posted on March 17, 2017 at 12:29 PM Comments comments (13)
Hardest thing to do is to cut loose a comedy booker that represents work to you. Truthfully though, in some cases it can be the best thing you do. For me I guess it falls under that 'working without a safety net' kinda thing, because honestly, if you're looking for safety as a plan for victory in stand up comedy, ...you've already lost. 
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This goes for special projects and talk shows too.  ;) 

BEFORE YOU WRITE A WORD OF STAND UP COMEDY CONSIDER THIS.

Posted on March 6, 2017 at 9:54 AM Comments comments (53)
I think when it comes to stand up comedy, a big part of success goes to it's very purpose, which is summoning courage; courage to be yourself and in making whatever style it is, 1000% yours and a reflection of you. 

CHANGE THE WAY YOU FIX WRITER'S BLOCK.

Posted on February 27, 2017 at 8:58 AM Comments comments (12)
_Comedy is a lot about change, not coinage type change but change that affects us and at times, our coinage, bam! See what I did there? Sometimes the change is subtle and often in the form of annoyances that are unnoticed for the most part until a comedian comes along, sheds light on it and well, changes things by making an audience laugh about it.
:)
Sometimes change is sudden and in the form of a whack upside the head, an accident involving a banana peel, or far worse...a divorce, illness, a stress filled getting pulled over by the cops type thing. Comedy is often funniest when it's change that everybody could see coming but you couldn't due to a failing or distraction on your part. 
:)
Sooooo,... (Alert: Coaching ahead!)... when you're writing comedy and feel you're blocked, stop writing comedy and start writing about all the changes that are going on and have gone on in your life from the very first day you can remember to present day. Everything brings changes. Things you buy brings changes, a new car or furniture or new apt or planning a party, taking a test, a new relationship.... you can go on forever. Write about change and the funny will come.
_That'd be good for a change huh?! bam! SWIDT? 





THE WAY (TWEENERS)

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. ;)
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Perhaps it's the master set up for all of your set ups? ;)
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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


COMEDY DOJO IS NOT A GYM EXACTLY BUT SORTA

Posted on January 6, 2017 at 3:06 PM Comments comments (15)
I marvel at people that sometimes show up to the comedy dojo sessions thinking I can whip them into shape to be a stand up comic.

Sorry to say this is not a sport, the 'training' is mostly internal and in your mind rather than pushups, jumping jacks and depriving yourself of carbs.

The obstacle course you'll be expected to work thru in the dojo is in your soul and sense of humor.

There are certain things that are common to the art and I can help get them out of your way quickly, that includes me after a certain time.

Not that all this won't call for some stamina and stamina building, but the endurance you will have to improve upon is taking the heat of an audience and unsolicited critiques from... well, everybody.

Your strength will be measured in confidence and faith of your vision and growing abilities. Your muscle is measured in beginning to really grasp and own your story thereby gaining momentum with your writing and stage character.


Then everything comes at the speed of spotlight. See what I did there? 

Burst Training: Writing for stand up comedy

Posted on January 1, 2017 at 12:06 PM Comments comments (38)
Think of each one of your jokes as a complete story. It must have a beginning, a compelling middle and a *definitive end.
*(punch line of some sort..hopefully killer)
All with as much originality of material and original character and passion you can muster.

~

And YES! EACH of your jokes should have this rhythm. And don't give me the old, this is too much to remember thing. It will help your memory to write and visualize using this method.) It will also aid the linking of topics together to create 'theme' bits and entire blocks of material.

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Writing Tip: The best jokes play on the extreme boundaries of EVERYTHING ... especially emotions. Emotional moments get the biggest laughs.

BURST TRAINING: IDENTITY IS NECESSARY IN STAND UP COMEDY

Posted on December 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM Comments comments (15)
One of the single best things a comedy artist can do for themselves is to establish an identity, in material and image.
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When they both come together you begin to develop recognizable material and gain fans.
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The best idea in show business is not only to entertain an audience but to fashion a following.



A THANKSGIVING THANK YOU.

Posted on November 25, 2016 at 10:18 AM Comments comments (214)

Just want to say thank you to all my dojo'ers. Thank you to all the talents that 'get' what my dojo performing and writing sessions do. Thank you for being good listeners, dreamers, honest workers, and achievers. 
You above all others know that the art form of stand up comedy is only part inspiration as much as it is perspiration and sooooo many considerations.
Keep up the great work and faith in yourselves.


 

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