Is There A Difference Between Acting And Delivering A Stand-up Comedy Act?

blue-questionUnless you are working on developing a special stage character as a comedian (which is not required), there is a major difference between acting and delivering a stand-up comedy act.

Acting involves a special skill set with the purpose of transforming into a different “character” as required for a specific acting role.

Delivering a stand-up comedy act that gets big laughs in the shortest time possible involves delivering comedy material as the natural, unique “character” that you already are.

Let me put this another way:

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Individuals who are funny in everyday life are already the most unique “character” that they will ever be.

The character that they are and that others see and respond to with laughter is already developed in a natural and “organic” way so to speak.

Acting on the other hand is not “organic” – it involves a tremendous amount of work to “transform” into a character that is different and unique from who we are in everyday life.

Subsequently, trying to become some kind of unique “character” as a comedian adds a layer of difficulty that is not required in order to develop and deliver a stand-up comedy act that actually works.

For those who want to develop a special character as a comedian, I always recommend that they take acting classes. They will get far more actionable information about character development from that perspective than they will get from ANY stand-up comedy book, class, or workshop.

It’s an unfortunate fact that many new comedians assume that because they are producing and delivering a stand-up comedy “act” that they must be “acting” on stage.

Ultimately, that causes the comedian to end up doing their acting “impression” of what they think a comedian should be on stage in their own mind (which is not natural), usually producing less than favorable results.

There is a term that is used among comedians called “acting out”, which is used to describe a particular means of expressing a stand-up comedy joke or bit.

This too leads comedians to believe that they need to “act” in some sort of fabricated, unnatural way instead of being themselves as they are delivering their stand-up comedy material – again, usually producing less than favorable results.

Here’s what I have told people for years who want to be funny on stage as a comedian:

Great actors are masters of becoming someone else. Great comedians are masters of being themselves.

You DO NOT need acting skills in order to develop and deliver a high impact stand-up comedy act.

But you do need to know how to recognize those attributes that make you funny in everyday life and apply the comedy talent that you have already developed when producing and delivering a stand-up comedy act if you want to progress quickly as a comedian.

Find out for yourself why Steve Roye is a top stand-up comedy expert/trainer globally for both new and experienced comedians as well as for humorous speaking professionals.

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