10 From Steve Martin’s Masterclass (1 Big Takeaway)

We are slowly going through all the writer Masterclasses as part of our affiliate program. With each new author we start off with a top ten list and then dive into the meat of the courses via 2-3 long form articles and thought pieces. There we get into the nitty gritty of each 6hr course. The Steve Martin Masterclass was useful, in large part, because I don’t think about funny. I’m never in joke mode, and while I like comedians, and like watching them talk about the craft, I’ve read very few books on the subject.

  1. Dress the part.
  2. Meditate on funny. Make it a life habit that you zen into during down time.
  3. Once you find success continue to work the steps.
  4. Ask yourself, “How do I get gud?”
  5. Surprise is funny. Subvert expectations.
  6. He’s adorable – watch him giving notes is a masterclass on giving praise. You need to notice what’s good about your peer’s work. (We wrote about that here.)
  7. Voice is branding. Find your voice. Brand it.
  8. Read it poorly and see if they laugh.
  9. Get to the joke.
  10. Practice Empathy – helps build the comedy muscle.

My Big Steve Martin Masterclass Takeaway:

Comedy writing has changed in the last 100 years. There is a voracious need for new material, and you can’t live off six minutes like you could back in the vaudeville days. You need an endless supply of content. Where does this come from?

It comes from respecting the process. Build idea generation into your process. Build publishing into your natural process. Performance takes an audience. Performance, especially in storytelling, is communication. In this art, practice involves finding an audience that is interested in seeing your practice. This is an audience/community you have to build. This is different than the people who come to see you headline. It’s also not the random jokers who follow you on Twitter and Instagram.

That take away is exactly why we built Workshop! Workshop! Yes, we want you to buy the program. But more than we want your money. We want you to join us at our FREE weekly writing Workshop! Workshop! Find us on Twitch.tv/storyluck. See you on Monday at 6pm.

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