The Fear and Art of Stand Up Comedy

The fear and art of stand up comedy and why you should do have a go.

Ever been to see a stand up show and had a hurt belly after? Every taken time to consider what goes into standing on a stage all by yourself with the sole aim to make people laugh? Ever thought it would be the scariest thing anyone could do? Ever thought you should have a go?

Most art forms of a high quality produce something that appears effortless and easy. Stand up comedy is no different. All great artists make things look easy, but like the great painters, the reality is the comedian/comedienne will have taken quite an internal journey to get themselves on to the stage and get their mouths to open.

And yet what is life if it's not to try things that scare us so much. What's the worst thing that can happen?

Many people have that list. You know the one where you list all the things you should do before you die. The bucket list. And on those lists are the usual: bungee jump, swim with dolphins, see the pyramids, learn to dive, jump out of plane, make love in the grand canyon. But few write on that list, stand on stage and see if you can make people laugh.

Why not? It's not nearly as dangerous as most of the things on the list. The worst might have been the throwing of the rotten tomatoes, but that went out back in the seventeenth century.

And yet people cringe at the idea of going on stage.

Which is why one autumn I started a twelve week course with a rather well known stand up comedy teacher which propelled me onto a stage in front of 300 people dong a three minute stand up skit.

It's the scariest thing I've ever done. It's the scariest thing that the other 12 people back stage have ever done. I know this because I watched how each person dealt with the stress. Some kept repeating their lines quietly, some simply rocked silently, another couldn't stop talking. I'd tell you what I was doing but my memory is a blank. The kind when you were younger and you got so drunk that only snippets flash back in your memory.

The key to stand up comedy is to talk about the world how you see it and then give it a twist. That means that though the stories are not always true, they are as close as can be to factual truth because a good stand up comic has to expose themselves otherwise they will not believed.

And you know what is really interesting? If you have ever laughed at anything, you have the capability to do a stand up - even if it's only three minutes.

So feel the fear and expose yourself. It's very cathartic. I recommend it.

Article Source: Alba F Lewis


  1. Honestly have always wanted to try stand-up but i have no idea where to even begin. Lol. I love stand-up Comedy. It's been a part of my life for as long as i can remember. First i ever saw live was Martin Lawrence.