The best way to know if a material works is to try it out, see audiences reactions and re-write the hell out of it. Guess what? That’s the only way to get better, to go ahead and fearlessly do it, present it, take the punches or successes and start over (you’ll ALWAYS have to start over because all comedic/artistic projects last so long)
UCB Theatre offers the option for students, non-students, pros, hos, dawgs and anyone to try out new written comedic material onstage, live. That’s right live and free. All you have to do is show up with your printed sketch every Friday by 11:30pm at UCB Theatre Chelsea and do it.
JUST DO IT: An idea is nothing if nothing is done with it.
NEED MORE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT? Here are some:
There’s no better person to give you notes than the audience, they know what’s up even if they don’t know they know what’s up.
Even the drunk guy who stumbled upon UCB will, at least, teach you a lesson about performing and getting your ideas through a tough crowd. That guy probably watches at least one comedy series and at least two videos a week. He is also part of your audience. Use that. A classroom is not enough.
People will laugh at funny and not laugh at what’s not funny but when they’re not laughing they’re not necessarily bored or lost, they’re paying attention. Learn to sense the audience and why they react the way they do. Learn by doing it.
It’s pretty cool to have an idea and actually go through with it AGAIN An idea is nothing if nothing is done with it. The sense of accomplishment is wonderful and you didn’t do it to show off, to bring to a classroom or to do a bit in the lobby, you did it for your own learning and… that’s awesome.
You at the UCB Theatre stage! So many amazing people have been there and have formed themselves there, by trial an error. Think of it as a great challenge: Knowing your material will be performed there. Use it to your advantage, Don’t freeze and make excuses not to do it or be embarrassed, just do it. Trust it, trust that your brain thought of something that you find funny and that is true.Trust that even if you don’t quite know how to present it in a way that the audience can see what you mean you’ll figure it out by trying out different things. All the big ones have bombed at some point or another, right on that sweaty stage.
Testing and working on your material… It doesn’t go unnoticed. Here’s the thing, ultimately it doesn’t matter who’s on the crowd there’s always someone noticing your efforts: You. Your brain. Oh and also people, actual people who come and see you.
1. There’s no way that you’ll lose, you brain will see how it went, will remember the parts that didn’t or did work and will get used to noticing the ways in which things can be done that most match your own voice. You will learn how to tune your voice and deliver it to a crowd in a way that both can enjoy.
2.People: Imagine there’s a little nerd sitting there who, on his lonely Fridays, comes to see this show made to try out new things… he sees you suck one week, then the next he’s there and he sees you’ve rewritten and worked on it and brought a better sketch back that person will appreciate it even more so than what he’ll appreciate anything. That nerd can be a pre-fame anyone, a pre-job show biz exec, or a pre-TV-show-audience member. People remember effort, improvement, growth and work better than a one-off funny moment. Remember this.
Too scared? That’s a sign you care, shake it off and do it.
Too raw? Good, try out audiences limits and taste, re-write based on their feedback and bring it back next week.