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Coaching a comic

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  • Coaching a comic

    The lead singer from my old bad has a brother that's been bugging me to coach him in the entertainment business. He's into the stand up comic thing and has done a few clubs. He has a small following and is looking for guidance getting gigs. I'm not into that scene but I'm figuring its not that much different then getting gigs for a band.

    My first thing I figured I'd do is get him to build a promotional package. Photos, Scripts and CD. Something he can hand a club owner which would show he's a serious professional and not just some young kid without a clue. I've heard him do some routines at parties and he does have the passion. I'm no comedy expert but I've worked with tons of musicians, many with a great sense of humor. His presentation was a bit shaky. He hasn't learned to read an audience very well yet, and he needs to work on delivering a punch line. In other words he isn't very good yet but I think I can help him with some self improvement in that area.

    My first thought's came from things I learned from other comics and writers. Minimize swearing. Stay away from Politics, Religion and making fun of other people especially people with disabilities. You can act those parts but you take the chance of alienating those groups which may wind up being your best fans. Sticking with things every person deals with and viewing it from a perspective where you laugh at yourself seems to work the best. I'll have to see what he has before I can give guidance there.

    I'll also suggest he write/type up other comics routines into a book of scripts. Musicians often do this when playing cover music. Actors all follow scripts and much wisdom can be learned transcribing other comics routines. Where the pauses should be, how the material is compiled, subject matter, emotional content, etc. I figured I he is able to pull off say a George Carlin or Rodney Dangerfield routine on demand, he can use some of those techniques in his own act. This isn't any different then what a musician does when he learns to play cover music, and even if he borrows a piece here and there with variations it may help him tremendously with his act.

    As far as getting jobs, He'll likely need to find an agent, but having a package along with a CD, Business card, Photo album and any clippings from dates he's done should help out when he has to cold call for jobs. I'd done plenty of that getting jobs for bands. Then when he snags a jobs, even if they are dives, he can use that as a spring board for better gigs.

    Any thoughts On what else might be helpful would be appreciated. This isn't my field of expertise and I'm not sure what else could be helpful for him.

    Oh and I thought I'd record some of his skits and possibly add some backing. Anyone know where I can download some laugh tracks. I figured I might be able to dub those in on the recording. Havent tried it before but I It would be a new challenge for me.