Auditioning: What To Do When Working Comedy

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What to do when working comedy? First, you obviously have to find the jokes, the comedic beats within the experience. However, it is important to remember to develop the appropriate life behind. Comedy, as much if not more than drama requires a rich discussion of “Why’s” which helps with whole high stakes mantra of comedy in general.

So, given your diligence in developing and sitting in the life of the person in the story, you must pick certain aspects pertaining to comedy, specifically reversals. These are the comedic gold. Nothing better than going from moving to not or visa versa depending on the situation. For example, everyone on the “Friends” cast was phenomenal at hitting these reversal moments. However, one thing that is often overlooked, especially in comedy is the flow, i.e. rhythm. Comedy is all rhythm. So no matter how good at your reversals you are, if they are too slow or too fast, you loose the rhythm. A good way to specify this, is once you have found your main comedic points through the conversation, now run it for rhythm. You naturally have an intuition for this a person and especially as an actor, so trust it!!! Without this awareness you will loose the comedy and then it is a weird drama that is just bad. 

Now within this rhythm is something everyone freaks about and that is memorizing. Does every line have be memorized? No. BUT certain lines do and those are the comedic turns! You can’t be in the middle of the joke and have to look down to figure out the line or stumble through it. If you start stumbling it is going to kill the joke. All that to say, be selective with what it is that you must memorized, thus my emphasis on Selective Memorization. We need to see your eyes and your experience within the comedy and that is not possible if you are looking down. Also, you must strictly adhere to the written works as well as the punctuation as they are the rhythm and the rhythm of comedy is like a dance. A waltz only works if it’s 1,2,3/1,2,3! If you change a word or punctuation it then becomes a waltz of 4 and the comedy is ruined.

Those are just a few of the many things to consider when doing comedy but if you can identify and be smooth with those comedy beats the rhythm will take care of itself, otherwise you WILL feel the wrongness of the rhythm and your intuition will tell you to fix it… Trust Yourself!

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