Ten Topics To Tweak

Saturday April 3rd, 2010 – Vernon Hills, IL

Still making progress on the projects. I took some time to create the physical three ring binders for ‘Schlitz Happened!’ and the comedy class outline and it feels great to be able to look at it and know they’re on their way to being created. It’s a major step to transform a raw idea from unorganized thought to actual reality. Thoughts really do become things.

I took time to get the fonts the way I wanted and while I was at it I also made one for all my comedy notes. I’m working on paring all my material down into just ten major topics, as there really doesn’t need to be more than that. I believe if any act has strong bits, he or she doesn’t need to have a lot of topics. What’s needed is to go deeper into what’s there.

Also, one of the categories can be ‘miscellaneous’ so if there is a stray piece of material that gets laughs, it can go in there. Personally, I like to stay on a topic and try to squeeze a lot out of it. If it’s going well, I can keep bringing it on a given night. If not, I’ll move on.

An example is childhood. For years I never talked about it on stage as there was a lot of pain attached to it that I couldn’t deal with, onstage or off. As I got older, I was able to get in touch with that pain and deal with it. I saw where the funny was, and started doing it on stage joke by joke, bit by bit. Now, I have a nice chunk on being a kid that does very well.

That material really comes in handy when the audiences are young. Everyone can relate to being a kid, it’s just that some of us had it happen longer ago than others. Many nights I have been able to win over a young crowd with my childhood chunk right up front, and I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of it yet. There’s a whole lot more material in there.

That’s why I made the binder today. I’ve been working on coming up with ten premises for this year to work on that will eventually be my final ten. I’ve got a lot of material I’ve never even done on stage yet, and it’s time to start hauling some of that out and polishing it up. I’m growing as a person all the time, and now I feel a need to grow onstage as well.

I want to do more paranormal based material. I love those topics and I know a whole lot of others do too, judging by the popularity of Coast to Coast AM and even my own show The Mothership Connection. I think there’s a ton of funny stuff there that’s ripe for jokes. I don’t necessarily want to make fun OF it, but I definitely intend to have fun WITH it.

Sports is another topic I’ve known for a lifetime but never delved into on stage. A lot of people don’t like sports, and that’s fine, but those who do are rabid about it. I believe that there’s a market for sports comedy, even though it wouldn’t be everyone. I’m going to put it in as a category and see what I can come up with, just to get it started. It’s in the mix.

I worked this week at Zanies in Vernon Hills. It was a major holiday weekend between Easter and Passover, and they only did one show a night Thursday through Saturday. Still, I was able to work out some of those new bits live on stage and still collect a paycheck on a slow week. I’m really getting into working on all this stuff, and I intend to keep doing it.

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