Showmanship Tips: It's Worth Noting

Posted by Peter Monticup on 7/3/2020 to Showmanship Tips


Taking notes soon after your performances is an invaluable habit that is sure to improve your shows.
Many times something happens during a show that should be noted, and remembered, for bad or for good.
Perhaps a prop got knocked over before you had a chance to use it in a routine, and the gimmick got "sprung".
How did you handle it?
Could you have handled it better?
What can you do next time to avoid the problem?

Or maybe something delightful happened.
Did a spectator make a funny comment?
What did you say in return?
Could you write a better response for next time?

I have kept notes since I started performing onstage way back "when".
The notes are a treasure trove of what to do, what not to do, and what better way I can do it "next time".
I write down changes to my normal show routines.
I write down "red flags", potential issues (like having the stage set up right next to the bar area) that I can correct next time.
And I write down jokes- lots of them.
If someone in the audience has on a plaid jacket- I have a joke for that.
If the spectator's name is John- I have a joke for that.
If I get distracted by something funny that an audience member does or says- I have a joke for that, too.
Watch comedians like Howie Mandel do their standup acts.
Howie gets a banter going with his audience, asking them questions and then bouncing off their answers.
It looks amazingly spontaneous and off-the-cuff, which makes it funnier.
But you can bet that he is working off the notes in his head- he already wrote the jokes for everything he responds to.
He is just doing a rapid recall of his own comedy one-liners.
A brilliant strategy that YOU can do, too!

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