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Avis Acting International

One of the most often asked questions I receive while touring is"how to I get into this business?" I have been a professional touring comedian for 25 years, so I have heard this a lot! In the larger, sense, becoming a comedian is really a three-pronged endeavor.

Compose your material

Hone and develop your comedy content (rehearse your"collection")

Get work.

Sound simple enough? Well now comes the complicated part; actually doing it. The hard facts are that even if I gave you all the answers only one to 2% of you would really employ it and go out and do it.

Comedy is not just an art. It's also a business enterprise and also a skill-based science. However, most comics--both skilled and novice-- equate comedy with frivolity and they handle their careers frivolously. Like anything worth doing, comedy takes work. It takes work to write new stuff and it takes more work to really go out and get the gigs. Show business is two phrases; there's the"series" and there is the"company" and it may surprise you to know that much of the moment, you need to put more effort to the company compared to the series. The good news is, when you get it done right, you are having such a blast that you don't actually work daily in your life!

Sound like fun? Let us move forward!

Let's start with writing and developing material. There are a whole lot of people out there that think you can not learn comedy, that you are either born with it or you're not. That is a pure and simple fallacy spoken by people that don't have a clue about the science behind bliss or the structure behind it. If you really Consider It, have you ever seen a baby pop from his mother's womb:

"two individuals were making love. . .then boom! Out pops me! Is this thing on?" You call that a birth canal? It is similar to trying to push an egg via a stir rod! Hey Mom? (spit, spit), you need to shave that stuff! Haven't you heard of a'Brazilian?'"

It simply does not happen! Granted, there are a number of people who seem to have a sense of humor built in. They seem to receive it. My concept is that they grew up around comedy, possibly listening to the greats in a young age, or they were raised in a family that was filled with humor. All the comedians I understand which make me laugh had exposure to amusing people at a young age and began adapting comedic behaviours. Those behaviors got them attention. They started to recognize the patterns of behavior and speech which resulted in laughter and applied them to other situations with good outcomes.

The key word from the preceding paragraph is"patterns" There are particular patterns which professionals use time and time again, for laughs and it's usually a pattern that creates surprise. According to psychologists who examine comedy, in this circumstance, surprise is the number one component that triggers human bliss, If you can surprise someone with what you are going to state, they will generally laugh. Among the easiest ways to do this is to employ one of the 12 big comedy formulas I found over the decades of studying the best comedians. But you do not even have to study the greats to comprehend this formula. If you've got a friend (I believe most of us do), who turns all you say to a sexual connotation, than he/she is most likely applying this formula. It's referred to as the"Double Entendre." This literally means"two significance " You basically have a frequent phrase and twist the supposed meaning to mean something entirely different, but it could really fit in the statement, but its exaggerated...

Another day I was in the grocery store. The clerk said,"Did you find everything you were looking for?" I said,"Well, I discovered that the wine and the candles, but I could not find a soul mate... You'd Mahi-Mahi, but I'm not into twins."

In the above joke, once the clerk employed the word"everything," she meant everything in the store. As a comedian the term everything could be a lot of things. In this situation I went with a'soul mate.' What makes the joke work is not merely the misdirection on the intended meaning of the word, but the fact that comedic interpretation of the phrase still fits inside the context of the question. If it did not make sense, then there would be no joke.

Let us look at another Double-Entendre play on words: Former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was having a terrible season. In the press conference a journalist said to the trainer,"Coach, how to you feel about the execution of this offense?" McKay replied,"I am all for this."

You can see that the word run was utilized in two different manners. This arrangement should be a normal tool for anybody who is learning how to write comedy. Among those ways I refine this capability and make it more accessible for my everyday life is through practice. Once a month I do a word exercise that reminds me that our speech has a ton of words that have multiple meanings. Keeping this elegant in my brain, gives me a tool that is always sharp and accessible. This allows me to re-interpret something somebody says and apply a comedic spin on the term. The practice is simple, yet extremely powerful. For the exercise, I take fifteen arbitrary, but rather common phrases and write them down. Then I find at least five distinct meanings for every word. Working this workout consistently will provide you an wonderful leg up on your own quickness and finesse as a comedian. It's simple, yet extremely powerful. Especially because few comedians actually do it. This is but one of twelve major comedy structures used by most of the top comedians and comedy writers. If I had been to include them all in this article, it would take you a week to complete studying. It is an easy, yet powerful example of how you can manipulate the English language and make surprise and activate laughter from an audience.

FACT: Every comedian that makes you laugh utilizes at least one comedy architecture. It is the structure of the the act-out that triggers the laughter. Without the structure, there's not any laughter. .

Even once you've got all twelve comedy structures down, (most comics operate with 3-4), and you also develop an act of at least five minutes, to start, half an hour to start getting paid, you have to start to work and hone it in front of an audience. I'd start with friends. Run the material by themsee what they believe, see if you're able to make it better by tweaking the shock. Once you feel comfortable that you may perform the five minutes without thinking about it, then do it in front of an audience. How can you do so? Well, if you're in a larger city, there are probably lots of open mics. These are places where you are able to do 5-10 minutes of material to'test it' in the front of an audience. This is the way I started. If you do not have the advantage of being in a large city, then you might have a comedy show that performs once a week or two once a month on town at a local pub or restaurant. If that's true, take a trip down there and ask whether you can M.C. the show. Most pubs which have'one-niter' comedy shows, do not have an M.C.. Therefore, if you show up and ask, they will probably be more than pleased to have you do it. If you do your five or ten minutes up front, then you can video tape it. When you have a video tape that is of good quality, you've got a calling card to get work. So now you still need to work the'business' side of the best way to become a comedian equation. Whenever you have an action that's generating a laugh every 18-20 seconds, also has a good beginning, middle and end, it is time to get out there. What most start comedians don't realize is that when you hit this degree, (can take 6 months, or 2 years), it is time to get serious about fixing your stand up comedy like a small business. You're presently a product (or service), and you want to sell. Now in your career, you won't have a supervisor or an agent. If you're lucky enough to have the money, you can hire a Public Relations manager (around $3500 a month). They will be able to help you get out media releases, stains on the radio or tv. However, you have to have a gig to advertise original. But the majority of us do not have that choice once we're starting out so let us leave that alone. So you have a 30 minute act that you have been developing at open mics and other events like meetings, parties, etc.. How do you get it to the road? At this point you could be looking at several possibilities on your journey to becoming a comedian:

Targeting the comedy club and also one-niter Sector

Breaking into corporate comedy or speaking engagements.

I do both clubs and corporates in my profession, but now I mostly target corporate only because there's more money in it for me. There is in addition the college comedy marketplace, cruise ship market, resort and casino market, warm up comedian market (for live sit-com, sport and talk show crowds ), and army shows. Military shows can be large. I had been working with a liaison for the military who said he would have me working for the remainder of my life doing army displays. We could spend a great deal of time going through all the possibilities, but that may take days. The important issue to remember is that if you're able to compose and create a comedy routine that's good and clean, you can do the job forever. As soon as you have this information, it is time to target your niche, do your homework and start selling. That's appropriate. Start selling. You're your own business now and you provide a service. If you learn to treat yourself as a business by drawing up a business plan, setting goals and following through, you will start to work. When you start in comedy there are 3 positions available. They are each expected to do for different amounts of time:

Opener/M.C. (15 minutes)

Characteristic or Middle (sometimes called"premiere") (30 minutes)

Headliner or Closing behave (45 mins. -1 hour)

NOTE: This is business is aggressive, but here's something most comedians don't know: If you work hard and you develop your action and you develop your reputation for being a fantastic comedian, you WILL WORK! This business and the bookers who supply comedians across the nation are constantly looking for good talent.

If you would like to aim the club marketplace, you should also target the one-nighter market.This manner you have more booking options available to you when booking moves. How can you aim? Start small; start local. If you have comedy in your area, contact the clubs, go to the clubs, then ask the supervisors, door individuals, M.C.'s what the protocol would be for getting in the door and auditioning or performing a guest collection. Be considerate and be consistent. Jay Leno drove from Boston to the New York City Improv several days a week for several months before Bud Friedman (the owner of the Improv) let him do a set. He had been ready. He did a fantastic job. The rest is now history. When you receive your chance, be well prepared and perform a well-crafted 5-10 minute set. Later, talk to people, see what it takes to return to do another group. Once you mingle with people and create relationships and a reputation for being a good act, today you've got all you have to find work. A lot of comedy talent bookers on the road require to see movie. Some will take a chance on you in the event that you have references from a headliners. It is a good idea to develop relationships with as many comedians as possible. Be nice to everybody, always act appropriately. It is these relationships that can make or break your odds for getting work. Make at least 10 phone calls per day for your career.

Call comedy clubs and bookers. If you don't get them on the phone, always, I mean always leave a message. Keep exact records on who you talked to, who the decision maker is, the names of assistants and also the best time to call.

If it sounds as if you are a sales man. . .then well, you're. This really is the business side of this equation of how to be a comedian and it's where most comedians fail.

When you do eventually get a booker on the phone. Be polite and ask them if you can send them a movie and if they prefer to see the movie on the internet or on DVD or even E.P.K. (Electronic Press Kit). Believe it or not, there are still a few bookers out there who would prefer to maintain a DVD in their own hand.

A few of those bookers are tough nuts to crack. When I run in that dilemma, it's time to make a personal sales call. I simply email or call and ask them,

"I really need to meet with you and perform your room. If I could fly out there within a couple of weeks or so, do you think you could find room in the line up for a guest collection?"

For the roughest bookers in the country, this has always functioned. But how can you afford that? Why your building your contacts and one-niter gigs, you make certain you book something around the region of the club you so covet. Whenever you have that date in place and booked, phone the club and see if you can fall in and do an audition set. Put in this excess step and you'll most likely get a guest set.

As soon as you perform your guest series, send them a thank you card (and or some thing with your image on it), to thank them for the chance and keep following up until you get a spot. Never follow up more than once weekly, unless you still haven't spoken to the target individual, then follow up every 3 days.

Calvin Coolidge said,"consistency and persistence trump talent daily." So be persistent and consistent. Be polite and keep following up. And when calling does not work. Pay them a visit. Tell them you are persistent.

When you start setting dates collectively. Utilize every opportunity to video tape. Try to find great sound quality, if at all possible. A great tape leads to additional work.

If you follow these steps:

Write your comedy content

Hone and develop your substance (your"set")

Get work.

You will be on your way to learning how to become a comedian.

Current in France, London and the USA, the Avis Acting International theatre and cinema school has been contributing to the emergence of the planet's greatest actors for more than 30 years. The educational idea of Acting International, exceptional in its completeness and singularity, is based on the complementarity of global methods as well as the foundations necessary for learning in direct contact with all the requirements of today's livelihood. This educational process is continually redefined throughout the natural interaction of complementary knowledge and recognized methods of a group of renowned masters - French, French, American, Italian and English - all busy artists.

The school provides multidisciplinary theater and cinema courses that span a period of 3 years. Two courses are accessible to students who can choose between theater and cinema courses (full class ) or cinema specialization. In addition, advanced workshops are stored in Hollywood, New York and London.
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