Featured Post

read write giggle repeat

bookings justinesless@yahoo.com

Friday, September 30, 2016

Excuse me there are loads more crumbs in my comedy now

I've stood up on stage a million times.
I have made people laugh.
And I have failed in a myriad of ways.

Then I started to teach stand up comedy with Roarhouse 
Here are some crumbs from the edges of the stage.

Stand up Comedy
The Perils_ The Pleasures _The Pitfalls.
 The only way to learn how to do stand up comedy is by doing it.
·       Write material using your life experiences as a spring board.
·       You probably need to be through the pain to make it funny.
·       Doing stand up comedy is a craft – learn it by writing it, honing it and doing it again and again.
·       Comedy usually comes in 3’s
·       Set up the joke, create a conflict, the punch line should resolve the conflict and take us somewhere we don’t expect to go
·       Comedy is made up of 3 tenants fear, humiliation and failure – master the tenants.
·       You can only be as funny as you -  so don’t try to be as funny as someone else.
·       Get better at telling a few jokes rather than trying to write a lot of jokes or a whole show.
·       Commit to the material, learn it, don’t read it off the back of your hand.
·       It’s ok to be the butt of your own joke  - but the comedian must stay on top.
·       Learn how to use the microphone and move the stand.
·       Keep your delivery fresh as if you’ve just thought about it.
·       If you’re enjoying it then the audience will enjoy it.
·       Making people laugh is a gift  - enjoy giving the gift.
·       The only thing you can control at a gig is you.
·       If people aren’t laughing it doesn’t mean that they aren’t enjoying it.
·       If it’s not going well don’t apologize.
·       What the worst that can happen? – no one laughs – but no one dies.
·       Understand fear and use it to your advantage.
·       Fail and fail fast  - then get up and do it again.
·       If it’s not working try and go with plan B.
·       Everyone has a bad gig.
·       Get feedback from people you respect and trust.
·       Comedy is addictive.
·       If you can’t do comedy watch it.
·       Be professional , turn up , do what is asked of you, a five minute set or a  whole show.
·       It takes a while to get enough material to have a whole show – share the stage with others.
·       Turn up be professional – don’t read off your hand, know your material
·       Manage the fear
·       Post performance adrenaline – what to do with it
·       Drop into the performance space – don’t just get on stage – take a moment
·       Being an MC is different to doing stand up, you are sign posting the night with a few jokes not doing all of your material.
·       Comedy rooms are a good way to start but there are more ways to skin a comedy cat.
·       Comedy and gender dont get me started.
·       Don’t confuse commercial success with other kinds of success. 
·       Don’t expect huge commercial success, so don’t give up the day job.
·       Doing comedy festivals is a financial risk make sure you don’t over commit  - be realistic about venue size ticket sales

excuse me there are crumbs in my comedy

Excuse me there are crumbs in my curls

Apparently Jewish Women of Curls is a Thing.

There are blogs about it.
Hair products for it.
Social movements on social media about it.

I fell into the it's big but I've just got to embrace this category about 15 years ago.
After that I
Embraced the bounce.
Stopped flattening the frizz.
And through a variety of products I defined the curl.

Much like this piece I wrote for Jewish women of words I came out and owned who I was:

Jewish Women of Curls
(Thanks to Deb Rechter for making me a Jewish Women of Words)
Pod cast of me and Deb chatting HERE

Excuse me there are crumbs of chocolate in my prize

I won first prize in the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging short story competition, for 'Price Check.' 

You can see the trail of crumbs in this blog leading to the big moment. 

Last time I won a prize was at Girl Guide Camp for a cracking rendition of Frank Spencer followed up quickly by a show stopping impression of Uncle Bulgaria chief Womble. The prize was a family bar of cadbury's  milk chocolate. 

I have been pursuing the sweet taste of success ever since.

This is what the judge said of Price Check:
The winner of the prize for short fiction is ‘Price Check’ by Justine Slessan exploration into early motherhood and the secrets we all keep. It is a story about isolation and an exploration of how we can do something for ourselves. “Put simply,” said Steed, “this is the freshest, most original story among the competition entries. Both about parenting and yet not, it showcases a voice I'd love to hear more from in years to come.”

Straight to the trophy cabinet- which has lots of room in it because there is just the curled up wrapper from that block of dairy milk.