Keeping it Fresh…
It has always been important to me to begin my act with a solid block of Stand Up comedy before I go into my comedy magic. It shows you have mastered the craft and counts for a lot in gaining your audiences respect. Here, for the hell of it, is part of the opening monologue from my current show. This was filmed in 2015.
It is very easy to fool your mind into believing you have ‘An Act’ and it is always the best way to perform and will always achieve the best reaction. Actually, once you have ‘the act’ down perfectly then that’s the time to have fun and keep it fresh. I don’t mean discard, everything you do well, just to mix it around a bit. Bare in mind I’m not recommending this for someone who hasn’t managed to form a solid act as a guideline.
I love to switch blocks of comedy around from place to place. I also add/change some of the magic, sometimes significantly i.e. switch my opening and closing routine etc. So far I haven’t done the same show exactly in sequence more than once. It is fun because it keeps your techy on the jump too!
We can get very uptight about ‘The Act’ as though it is a sacred form that can’t be changed or tampered with, thinking that it is always at it’s very best—exactly the way it is NOW! It is you they are watching, you just happen to be doing a show. Loosen up and have some fun and be prepared to make some mistakes in order to get something new right. Be an artist, not an act.
What is amazing is that new jokes, and bits just seem to fly in from everywhere like flies at a picnic. Just keeping note of the changes is tough enough, however you eventually don’t bother much trying and you just learn to rely on the inner performer and that he will come to your rescue! This is the moment you start to become an entertainer and not an act; a comedian instead of a magician who does ‘Patter.’
Patter to my mind is the deadliest word in magic! Look up the description in the dictionary and you will find; “The term was originally a colloquial shortening of “Pater Noster” and referred to the practice of mouthing or mumbling prayers quickly and mechanically, without any expression of meaning or sincerity. From this, it became a slang word for the secret and equally incomprehensible mutterings of a cant language used by beggars, thieves, Roma people, etc., and then the fluent plausible talk that a cheap-jack employs to pass off his goods. “Hmmmmmm, not what I want to foist on an audience.
Be polite actually talk to the audience and not at them, they really do notice the difference.
Here is a a comedy book that I have owned forever! I don’t use any jokes from it but i LOVE the cover design and really respect it’s author—the legendary Robert Orben. I couldn’t have been more proud when Bob visited my show in Las Vegas and autographed it for my in such a flattering manner! It is one of my proudest possessions!