Public libraries are overflowing with scholarly books, most often authored by people with little actual experience in their subject’s field, deifying a particular artistic endeavor and explaining the how and the why of it in excruciating detail with a complexity only a genius could aspire to fathom. I will simplify things for you.
You starred in your first major performance as a child when you convinced your mother you were too sick to go to school that morning. Drama queens embellished this act with feigned chills or other physical symptoms. Future producers conned “mommy baby” with a hidden wash cloth soaked in hot water to heat up their forehead, and youngsters destined for work in government agencies lapsed into the same non-responsive stupor they would later use on the job in adulthood. More recently, your delivery of the line, “no officer. I haven’t the faintest idea why you pulled me over” was certainly worthy of Oscar consideration. You see, you are quite the actor.
Writers make stuff up.
Your childhood story about your baby sister knocking over and breaking the lamp in the living room was a masterful piece of fiction. Ditto for dog-eaten homework, excuses for not changing into your gym shorts for PE, and why you were late for class.
And you don’t want me to embarrass you by going into the details of all your current relational or matrimonial fiction, do you? You see, you’ve been making stuff up all your life. In business, I am told, they call this bullshit.
Comics make a funny.
Cupping your hand under your armpit was good for an easy laugh when Miss Huffleman was at the blackboard with her back to you. Your success and notoriety as the class clown was elevated by the number of trips you made to the principal’s office. I had my own private chair. Comedic stunts like the exploding toilet seat and stink bombs required a rudimentary knowledge of chemistry, strength was required to carry the gym coach’s VW Bug up the steps of the administration building, and an agricultural background was useful getting the horse into the principal’s office, but sudsing the park fountain into a bubbling froth required only a box of laundry detergent and the cover of darkness.
In Spontaneous Comedy you will tap into all of this.
All of your life experiences, all of your adventures and misadventures, all of your emotional ups and downs, and everything else you have ever been exposed to will be the ingredients poured into your comedic primordial soup. Out of that primitive ooze your personal comedic style will emerge.
When Frederic Nietzsche said, “Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich starker!” nobody understood him who didn’t speak German. But he was right. “What does not kill me makes me stronger!” What does not kill me also makes me funnier.
You can laugh about things, or throw yourself in front of a bus.