Tag Archive | stagecraft

Why Not Use Words?

There is something really odd about a character that doesn’t talk. Silence holds a unique tension. Stillness is the same. They create a wonderful expectancy. Think of being in any situation with a group of people, one of whom never speaks. What would you think of that person? I not against talking. I’m definitely not against […]

How to Write a Comedy Scene

Here are some simple things that you can do to make a great comedy scene. There are no absolute rules – but here are some ideas and examples to get you started. Characters Try and make your characters as exact as possible. Give them an “attitude” – which is a bit like an emotion, or […]

Help Your Audience Laugh!

            One of my favourite jokes in my double act show is when my character suddenly can’t hear. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the basic idea: the clown character puts something over their ears – eg ear muffs, a hat with ear flaps, ipod headphones. The boss character talks […]

How to be Wild

Having read Stefan Kanfer’s biography of Groucho Marx, it is clear that the Marx Brother’s greatness comes from performing thousands of shows, day after day, week after week. This is the case for most vaudeville performers – but I think repetition provides something unique for clowns  – something different to the obvious benefits of practice needed by skills-based […]

A Bit of Animal Magnetism

One of the stranger aspects of visual performance, clowning and animation is that the characters often have an “animal-like” or “non-human” quality. This wonderful clip of the Godfrey Daniels character sums it up perfectly. The character is roughly human, but we certainly don’t react to him as we would a “person”. He doesn’t speak and […]

How to Get a Laugh

Here’s is a really simple way to get a laugh in almost any scenario… on stage, film or animation. I am going to call this technique a “transition”. So how does it work? There are 3 simple stages. Part 1: Be Emotional! Reacting to something with a clear emotion will really help a gag work. […]

Why Do Visual Comics Use Weird Voices?!

Shut up. Shut UP. SHADDUP SHADDUP. SHUUUUUT UUUUUUUP! That’s the standard reaction I get when I do my (terrible) Jerry Lewis impression. It’s not just my Jerry Lewis. It’s my Norman Wisdom, my Peewee Herman and my Jo Pasquale. I have always wondered why  so many comics use these high pitched (some might say annoying) voices […]