A guy I know recently posted this on his website. I post it here for the dual purposes of reminding myself of these principles and for spreading their genius. If any of you don’t know who Bill Hicks was, start googling immediately…
BILL HICKS’ PRINCIPLES OF COMEDY
1. If you can be yourself on stage nobody else can be you and you have the law of supply and demand covered.
2. The act is something you fall back on if you can’t think of anything else to say.
3. Only do what you think is funny, never just what you think they will like, even though it’s not that funny to you.
4. Never ask them is this funny – you tell them this is funny.
5. You are not married to any of this shit – if something happens, taking you off on a tangent, NEVER go back and finish a bit, just move on.
6. NEVER ask the audience “How You Doing?” People who do that can’t think of an opening line. They came to see you to tell them how they’re doing, asking that stupid question up front just digs a hole. This is The Most Common Mistake made by performers. I want to leave as soon as they say that.
7. Write what entertains you. If you can’t be funny be interesting. You haven’t lost the crowd. Have something to say and then do it in a funny way.
8. I close my eyes and walk out there and that’s where I start, Honest.
9. Listen to what you are saying, ask yourself, “Why am I saying it and is it Necessary?” (This will filter all your material and cut the unnecessary words, economy of words)
10. Play to the top of the intelligence of the room. There aren’t any bad crowds, just wrong choices.
11. Remember this is the hardest thing there is to do. If you can do this you can do anything.
12. I love my cracker roots. Get to know your family, be friends with them.
I hadn’t planned on doing another post until I had some big news to share. Well the big news (re: that job I mentioned) hasn’t come yet, but I got SOME news worth sharing, so here it is: I have been invited to tell/read one of my Punk Rock stories in the September 10th “SIT N’ SPIN” show at the Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. This is good and exciting news… and I’ll have more details as the show gets closer. Meanwhile – all fingers remain crossed for that job.
Monkeys aren’t only funny,
…they’re lucky too.
Still waiting to hear about that possible job while we wind down the Summer that never really was… It was cool and overcast for most of the day nearly every day and, so far anyway there hasn’t really been an “LA Heatwave” to speak of. We’re not completely out of the woods of course. I’ve experienced some pretty toasty Septembers and Octobers here. As with everything else these days, I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.
Needless to say – if I’m opening a post with something as mundane as a weather report – well, things have been pretty quiet. Writing-wise – I have gotten some good work done and completed drafts of a couple of projects. I have been making my weekly deadlines for both of my blogs too. I have also been actively writing/putting together pieces for some upcoming staged reading shows …and if the good folks at WordPress would finally deliver on their promises to create a widget for an “Upcoming Events Calendar” I would be able to easily clue you all in to those… again: we shall see.
It might sound like I’m damning it with faint praise in this fairly listless Summer, but the highlight has easily been my improv teaching duties. “My” group of students have started their run in the Friday night “student show” and I couldn’t be prouder. They’ve also inspired me to start jumping up for some of the Alumni Jams … it is a new kind of pressure on-stage to know that your students are in the audience and watching verrrrrry closely to see if you can practice what you preach. Keeps you on your toes, no doubt about it.
I hope I have great news to report by the time I sit down to do another posting.
Saw this reminder on the pump last time I got gas…