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How To Become Good Comedy Writer & Performer

Shobha Kadur

How to become good comedy writer & performer

Being able to make people laugh is an art and this doesn’t come very easily to most people. Even the most accomplished comedians work very hard to keep up the show. Although there may be innumerable instances of comic situations in our lives, the manner in which it is presented today as entertainment has come a long way from the slapstick comedy of Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy.

Today comedy has a niche in the entertainment industry – there is stand-up, sitcom, panel show, street performance, physical comedy, sketch, high comedy and satire. Since it has become a stand-alone entity and isn’t hitched to a story as a subplot, the role of the content and performer of the comedy show is serious business. The audience too responds to comedy differently. Besides technology enables sharing of content in the digital medium so finding audiences is easier now. Numerous colleges offer 3-year undergraduate courses to make you a well-versed performer or writer in the comedy business. They generally touch on the following aspects in the study program:

Most course begin with first familiarizing you with the art of comedy and it’s different forms – stand-up, clown, sketch-writing, street performance, physical comedy, panel shows and most important improvisation. Then you learn comedy theoretically – trace the history of comedy, study the work of masters in the trade – past and present day and understand what people find funny and why they laugh at it. Further you will also explore how comedy works socially in satire.

You may be only a performer or have the ability to write too. So most colleges offer you the opportunity to either tap on all your creative abilities in comedy or allow you to choose to concentrate on becoming an accomplished performer or writer. As a performer, you will learn to observe and perhaps even create a style of your own but others will provide the content. But if you have a feel for witty words and find it easier to write, you’ll not only be nurtured to become a writer but also perform your own work.Besides, you will also have a chance to interact and work with fellow students who are as passionate about comedy. This will also help in training you to become a team player besides being accomplished in performing solo. You will also get to learn more about performing well vocally as also physically considering that it is how you speak and the posture you hold that the audience will find funny. Finally most programs prepare you as a professional in comedy by teaching you self-management, how to be promote yourself as also creating your own videos and broadening your networks. Most colleges offer opportunities to perform live on campus and in the vicinity and many-a-time even earn by way of prize money.

Requirements at most colleges may begin with auditioning successfully. All international students must be proficient in the English language and have a good IELTS score. Many colleges offer scholarships and awards which are need-based as also on merit to help aspiring students. International students may have limited options compared to local students. Comedy in the English language can be broadly categorized as British or American humour. So you can choose from colleges in Europe and USA. 

Some of the best colleges to study comedy as a performer and writer are:

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