How to Perfect Your Comedic Performance

We all love to laugh and, for the most part, understand what makes us laugh. Watching a hilarious TV show or experiencing a stand-up comic nailing their routine can have a huge impact on your day and maybe even your career as a performer. Tapping into this comedic flair is easier said than done, which why the Mandy team is on hand to help you nail your performance.

Whether you are an emerging performer in the industry looking to learn the comedy ropes or are a veteran, with aims of taking your performance-style to the next level, there are always methods you can learn from to boost your performance style. Here we have outlined just a few.

What makes you funny?

This may be a pretty tricky question to answer. While comedy is incredibly subjective, you must pinpoint what your comedic style is to ensure the ‘brand of funny’ you showcase to the world is original and impactful. Are you drawing inspiration from life and are you relatable? Sharing first-hand accounts of situations you have experienced are great reference points to elevate your performances. Audiences will recognise you as a true individual and this personalised delivery will resonate with them.

Do you rely on physical performance tactics? Is your performance-style self-deprecating? Developing unique characteristics and methods of delivery will help establish you as a comedic performer.

Practice makes perfect

The key to being a great comedic performer is when it appears as though each joke, gesture and performance is off-the-cuff. Would Michael Scott resonate as well if audiences could see the hours of preparation Steve Carell spent perfecting his delivery off camera? Probably not. You may never nail your bit on the first try, which is why practicing each element of your performance is key. So, study the performances of favourite comedic actors, go to comedy classes and get feedback from your peers. This is when the magic can truly happen.

Perfect your comedic character

Whether you have your sights set on making it as a stand-up comic or you want to successfully develop a scripted comedic character, the principles are very similar. Outline exactly what makes them tick, their point of view of the world, what is it that they react to and the ways in which they interact with specific individuals and audiences. By mapping your ‘character’ out in this way, you are positioning them to be multifaceted, complex and engaging. Audiences love to feel at home with performers and characters, and it is vital you do this.

Take your audience away with you

Once you have applied these principles to your performance-style and comedy character, you should have an audience in the palm of your hand. Laughter is a basic and physical human reaction - take an audience on a journey with you and understand what it is they want to experience and learn from your performance. They are your most brutal yet accepting critic.

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