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     Chili Challis

           Lifetime comedian, comedy writer and coach



My Blog

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MANY WAYS TO LEARN STANDUP COMEDY AND THE GOOD NEWS IS, THEY'RE ALL DIFFICULT! SO DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME

Posted on August 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM
I am privileged to be able to see a LOT of new comics, some young some older. It doesn't really matter the age they all make the same mistakes and then have similar breakthroughs. And unfortunately in some cases similar breakdowns.

There's always the one person that is trying desperately to be a standup but for the most part I can tell it might not happen. For them I admire the courage they are displaying and I try to help them as much as possible.
As a coach I don't feel I'm wasting my time because if nothing else I'm helping somebody have the time of their lives and that is worth something on the karma scale. When they finally give it up they will have pics/vids of themselves on stage, lots of stories and they will have a few good moments to share and remember the rest of their lives. How many types of work are there that you can help somebody do that? I love it.

The comic I dislike seeing and a real time waster is the egotist. They're in comedy to simply showoff and strut around on stage as if the audience should feel honored to have them there to listen to them expound their deep thoughts and breakthrough material. That part makes me laugh out loud...but not in a good way.
The egotist is easily spotted by comics with my kind of experience and by studio talent coordinators in every big market. So the egotist ends up going no where, other than they may dominate a small market in middle America and make the lives of other comics miserable and waste their time.. (don't get me started) I wish they would just get the fact they're in the way. But then that would be impossible, they're egotists!! ;)

Then there's the comic that is talented yet shuns a formal type coaching thing, and I get it. Everything I learned on the way up in 30+ years I learned the hard way. And one of the hard lessons I learned was that trial and error can take a LONG time and you really don't get anymore out of suffering with it than if the right coach had just told you about a path you could have taken that would have helped you move on to other sufferings in standup. ;) 
There are good reasons that coaches are in the Hall of Fame of most any sport and that the big cities where real show business is done there are extraordinary talents helping talents and that would be coaches.
Acting, singing, voice over work, script readings, etc etc all are fields with amazing coaches and somewhere along the line if you don't take advantage of at least one you're costing yourself a lot of time and perhaps work.

Ok so the above was a little self serving. I'm a standup talent coach as well as comedy writer, show producer, author and STILL one heck of a working standup comedian!! lol
Yet I ask... am I lying? Being deceitful? Deceptive? False? Not a bit.

**Tip of the day: Labor hard but labor smart. Make the BEST use of your time if you really want to grow. Don't waste it. If you're not performing or writing be investigating and learning about your art form. Watch other talents, network with them, connect with a writing partner or group to bounce things off of.
Involve yourself completely and do more of anything that will allow your funny side to emerge. And along the way learn how to translate it all to an audience of strangers. It ain't easy. I know, I been there MANY times, I feel  ya.
That's it I'm off this rant! ;) Now go write the funniest thing you've ever written.    

 



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Categories: Standup comedy

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