The stand up comedy class has been meaningful to me in a number of ways. I have learnt the meanings, contexts, and nature of stand up comedy, which I have analysed in this paper. In addition to this, I have also learnt several lessons from the stand up comedies we have watched. Some of the lessons include the value of honesty, vulnerable, risk and speaking for everyone.
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Stand up comedy refers to an art form of comedy where the comedian stands in front of a live audience to do a comic performance. The performer speaks directly to the audience, who receive the performance instantly. In most cases, live performances of these comedies are filmed for later viewing. Performers in stand up comedies recite short jokes as well as one-liners that constitute monologues used in stand up comedies. Most of these performances are usually made in comedy clubs, theatres, bars and colleges. In addition to these, a stand up comedian may be invited to perform at events such as conferences, churches and fundraising or charity events.
Stand up comedies elicit immediate laughs from audiences. This makes stand up comedy different from theatrical comedies. Theatrical comedies are engraved in the play’s structure using amusing situations and characters. The major benefit of stand up comedy is that the performer receives instant feedback on his or her performance. This feedback is fundamental for the actor as it my direct their performance. Because of the expectation to provide a continuous laugh stream, the actor is always under pressure to satisfy this expectation. The actor may have negative stage experiences should he/she fail to amuse the audience. This calls for comedians to stay witty and funny. Witty enough to cool or face down bored audience while funny enough to maintain their interest. One of the negative consequences of stand up comedies is heckling. One of the major lessons one learns from stand up comedy is the value of honesty. Most stand up comedians use brutal honesty in their acting. They are honest about themselves, their societies and their audience. It is clear that their audiences appreciate this honesty. This habit is influential to fans of stand up comedies. It is easy to find a dishonest person becoming very honest after a series of stand up comedies.
Another important trait to learn from stand up comedians is vulnerability, which is related to honesty. Honesty leaves one vulnerable to criticism. While most people are always shy about their pasts or private lives, most stand up comedians such as Jessica Kirson easily talk about their inner conflicts and relationships, hence enabling them to deal with real feelings. This inspires people to share their insecurities and fears, hence being able to manage them effectively. In addition to this, there is a humanizing advantage of portraying vulnerability as it facilitates cohesion, empathy, and realism.
Stand up comedians also provide their audiences with equal chances f talking or commenting on their performances. This comedy also gives a voice to everyone. Comedians talk about various social political cultural and personal issues that affect everyone. They criticize and construct societies in the process of doing this. This helps in promoting diversity and peace as well as understanding of other cultures.
Other lessons to learn for stand up comedy is that “trial and error” may lead to success, and so shouldn’t be avoided. Most comedians take risks by trying several bits of jokes to audience. They are usually unaware of the consequences or the outcomes of these trials. However, they are bold enough to try out and with time, they can predict outcomes of performances.