Frequently Asked Questions about
Jim Richardson's 2-Pronged approach to mastering
Stand-Up Comedy Writing & Performing Techniques:
50% learning balanced with 50% performing.
Mentoring your progress to keep you on track
By giving you a new goal to accomplish at every performance!
Q: How do I get
more "stage time"?
A: The biggest mistake most comics make is spending too much time at
amateur Open Mics and other such venues "trying to get my name out there."
this instance, after months or years of treading water, at best the comic
is performance strong and technique weak.
I call this horrible, ugly mess "Open Micer Syndrome" -- avoid catching Open
Micer Syndrome at all costs since it is a known career killer!
Q: I already took
a comedy class, and they offered up a graduation performance. Do you do something
like this? And if not, why not?
A: I have run my share of amateur nights and showcases.
As these low standard events are
usually not goal-oriented,
they tend to be roadblocks to career development.
Comedy Classes can also have other unexpected results:
"Overly Critical Student Syndrome."
The very intelligent student of comedy can become hyper aware of technique, and
eagerly point out the obvious errors of other comics, both amateur and professional.
If you plan to share your insights "to help out" other comics, expect angry reactions.
Become very good at blocking real punches.
This mistaken approach to professional relationships
also puts up yet more roadblocks
to career development,
and delays both creating material and/or performing your
the 50-100 times before paying audiences
required to set said bits.
Q: There are so many comedians out there today,
how can I ever hope to succeed in this business?
A: Both open-micer syndrome and overly critical student syndrome are
approaches which are doomed to failure,
and are often easily identified by simply
asking the wannabe comic,
"How many times have you been paid to perform your 'comedy'
in a professional stand-up comedy club over the past year?"
Luckily, there is a far better two-pronged approach that has helped both
my students and clients to advance their career rapidly, and at the highest
These two approaches are best taken at the same time so you are always advancing with:
I. Spending 50% of your time mastering new techniques
that directly result in
your creating new material
which is both original and very funny.
II. The other 50% of your time should be spent performing for pay in professional
This way, valid audience reactions can be noted, and the act adjusted
Instead of spending years getting nowhere fast, every week you are adding time
to your act:
1) Figure testing a new bit about 10 times to get three valid recordings of
accurate audience response.
2) Always be testing at least 5 minutes of new material every performance.
3) Open and close with set material (scripted and staged),
testing new stuff in the middle of your act.
Obviously, a poorly attended open mic where you are only allowed to perform
a 5-minute act
will not allow the minimum 20-minutes of time on stage that is required to
develop an act.
About 10-20% of what you initially write or improvise-then-script will survive
to become part of your core act.
Q: What is it like participating in your Workshops or better yet, taking
your one-on-one Coaching and Co-Writing services?
A: I waste none of your valuable time talking about the business of comedy
in the early lessons and coaching appointments.
You need to have an act before you can even begin to think about marketing concerns.
But if you are still curious about The Act to Sell the Act,
see my book "Fundamentals
of Stand-Up Comedy," p.
378-388 and 440-510
which comes with my Home Study Program.
Instead, this is what I have learned works after training over 1,000 student
and professional comics, keynotes speakers, actors, etc.:
Jim Richardson's open letter to all stand-up comics,
business keynote speakers, politicians, ventriloquists
and other solo acts:
What is missing in most of your presentations,
no matter how long you have been in the business?
in more advanced writing & performing techniques.
2) Career Development:
touching base weekly through one-on-one consultations
with a qualified mentor
helping you stay focused on developing your always
Everyone can get better!
Some more information you may find helpful:
Format for each of my "Home Study Program" (HSP)
are the texts used in my 35 Lesson series of Stand-Up Comedy Workshops
and/or my one-on-one Coaching & Co-Wring appointments:
a) I present a writing or performance technique.
b) Then, I provide video of several world-class examples.
c) Finally, you have an exercise where you create your own new joke
using that particular writing or performance technique.
Next step: move on to the next technique.
It is like there are a lot of walls:
What happens when you finally break through your first wall?
You find your second wall.
Break through that second wall. And, then . . ..
Move onto your next wall, and
break through that wall
behind which is . . .
. . . yet another wall!
The more walls you break through,
the more jokes you have.
. . . Soon, you will have a longer and much better act!
Also, look at this web page for a way to judge your progress up the comedy career ladder
by clocking your own Audience Laugh Pattern
by measuring your current
laughs per minute, aka L.P.M.:
2) Career Development:
I do this
through one-on-one Coaching & Co-Writing your Stand-Up
Comedy Act or Keynote Speech, either:
a) in person or
b) over the phone & through email and/or (recommended) Internet video conferencing,
all from the comfort of your own home or office:
Whereas my HSP expands your awareness of comedy and speaking techniques,
is general in its approach.
My "Coaching & Co-Writing" consultations with clients like you
focus on your specific
act or speech.
Target from day-one: becoming successful at the national level.
When would you like to talk more about becoming a client?
Comedy Coach & Co-Writer
Please click here to learn more about all
my products and services:
How to ask your questions:
Please email your questions so Jim can post the most
common concerns on this FAQ page: jim@Stand-UpComedyWorkshop.com
Page last updated:
Tuesday, January 1, 2013 6:42 pm PST and Saturday, August 9, 2014, 10:01 am PST.
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