One of the things that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt about most people who are trying to learn how to be a comedian is that they simply either don’t rehearse, don’t rehearse enough or don’t rehearse properly prior to a performance.
This single factor can keep a comedian from progressing quickly and being able to generate the big laughs on stage in a short amount of time.
Follow The Pros
Every single professional performance artist (other than most comedians) spends a lot of time in rehearsal.
Folks don’t realize that prior to a tour, a band will spend months of daily rehearsal to prepare for that tour.
They will start with the development of the set list and progress to the point where they are performing complete shows, coordinating the light show, special effects, what they are going to say in between sets, etc.
Needless to say, rehearsal is a very big deal for anyone who wants to learn how to be a comedian and command the big laughs on stage as quickly as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about rehearsal and its potential impact on your stand-up comedy act:
Proper and ample rehearsal prior to a show can literally make the difference between bombing on stage or killing on stage.
Unfortunately, the only time many new comedians actually “rehearse” is when they are standing before an audience.
Note: This is one of the reasons that contributes to the excessive amount of time that a comedian usually needs to develop a stand-up act that will entertain audiences at a high level and get them noticed by those who can help them move forward in their career,
Then they stumble over words, forget what they are going to say, use notes, lack confidence and appear to have no real connection to what they are trying to communicate to an audience.
This is a sure fire formula for getting little to no laughter from an audience.
Keep this in mind:
Stage time is always at a premium as a comedian, especially in the beginning.
So it makes sense that a new comedian should want to squeeze out every bit of benefit they can out of every single performance.
Critical Aspects Of Rehearsal
There are three vital reasons why a comedian should embrace rehearsal of their stand-up comedy material before they deliver it to an audience:
1. It provides the audience an uninterrupted appearance of spontaneity in that it “appears” that the material a comedian is delivering is just popping into their head as they speak.
2. It cements the comedian’s body language alignment with the material they are delivering. In other words, properly rehearsed material gets delivered in the way the comedian naturally speaks and expresses themselves.
3. This is a HUGE reason — it eliminates a huge variable in determining just how effectively funny stand-up comedy material actually is.
The reason I say that is simple:
The funniest stand-up comedy material can be rendered unfunny by a poor, substandard or haphazard delivery. But if the delivery and expressive aspects of the comedy material is delivered flawlessly…
Then you know without question just how funny the comedy material itself actually is.
Effective rehearsal is one of the most powerful tools a comedian has at their disposal if they truly want to kill audiences when they hit the stage.
I should also mention that proper rehearsal is far most valuable than improper rehearsal.
In the Killer Stand-up Online Course, rehearsal is broken down into two distinct phases — initial rehearsal and professional rehearsal and here’s why:
In the initial rehearsal phase, usually stand-up comedy material is not quite finished.
Punchlines can be added, adjusted or deleted. Set-up line information can be deleted, edited or adjusted in this initial phase.
It is in the initial rehearsal phase that stand-up comedy material is refined and tightened to the greatest extent possible.
In the professional rehearsal phase, a comedian begins the process of taking the material they have developed (which should be as tight as possible), committing it to memory and giving their stand-up comedy material its maximum laughter power.
And make no mistake – there are some very specific and easy techniques a comedian can use to get the maximum benefit out of every single rehearsal session they do.
I should also mention that as stand-up comedy material becomes solid and consistent for generating laughs, less and less rehearsal time can be spent on that comedy material, especially after it has been performed dozens if not hundreds of times.
When that happens, rehearsal time is spent primarily on new comedy material.
The bottom line for those trying to learn how to be a comedian is this – don’t discount the value of proper and ample rehearsal BEFORE you deliver any stand-up comedy material to any audience.