The Show Is the Relationship – Stand Up Comedy Tips – Greg Dean


[Music] [Laughter] [Applause] If anybody’s got a question, now is
the time. Whose got a question? Yes. [O.S.] You said something about the show is the relationship or the relationship is the show. Yeah, can you explain that a little bit more? yeah, so yeah, I covered, I covered that
pretty quickly in class. So the show is the relationship. Okay the idea behind it, okay, first of all … What’s the important thing about stand-up comedy? [O.S. students in unison] The relationship with the audience. Right. So let’s start at that number one principle of the four principles I have for performing. Is that the most important things is the
relationship with the audience, okay? You guys, I’ve drilled that into your head. So let me, let me define that a little bit more. The relationship I define that as you care enough to put your attention on the audience, and bring their information in. Let their information in. Do you follow? If they don’t laugh, you’re noticing. If they are laughing, you’re noticing, okay, etc. So that’s the first thing. People think I mean it’s riffing. “Hello, what’s your name? What’d he do for a living?” No, no, no, I mean it’s you being
open to the audience having an impact on you personally, psychologically, and the show itself, okay? How the show goes. That’s the relationship. So stand-up comedy, when I consider really great stand-up comedy is not a presentation
it’s it’s a dialogue you’re putting out jokes they’re responding that should
have an effect back on you and then then you put out something else and they come
back to you and it has an impact on you and then you get into this feedback loop
with the audience okay so so this this loop okay that relationship of you
having an effect on them and them having an effect on you I think
is the show most people think oh it’s really good it’s it’s it’s really good
it’s the material I’m giving them or it’s the riffing to me that’s an
activity while you’re relating your good friend I mean a buddy of mine we might
have coffee and discuss humor Theory all the time we’re really good friends have
been friends for years is that coffee our relationship and the answer is no no
that’s not that’s an activity we do while we care about each other and
listen and give feedback and and laugh together and hang out okay so for me
material it is an activity riffing with the audience crowd work is an activity
improv and some degrees within stand-up is an activity audience participate
that’s the activity that’s not the show the relationship is the show you see
because you have to have that first of all let’s just stick it on the most
fundamental basis of that the audience is laughing you need to be shutting up
while they’re laughing and when they stop laughing you then start talking
again now with if you really in the relationship with the audience you will
develop a rhythm with them we’ll come back to that in a second okay I had a
student who a guy a veteran comedian of like 13 years and
he did a private with me and then he came in and he anyway wow this is great
this stuff is so amazing you really understand joke structure he really
broken it down and so what should they do and I said take take my beginner
class he’s like oh man really on you know I’m a pro I’m I’ve been thinking
paved and I went that’s my advice he set his ego aside and took that class and
after every beginner class he’d come to me and said where were you when I began
okay so gets in the advanced class we do a showcase his first set is his first
his first piece just killed and then the second piece did and didn’t do quite
nearly as well and we got and we did the video review and he’s going what’s
happening and I said I know exactly what’s happening in the first bit
the timing that you had you were imposing upon them you done it said that
material so many times that you know that you just kept good and the audience
just followed the rhythm of you were in the rhythm rhythm with this particular
audience on that piece on the other piece the audience needed you to go
slower and and listen to them and take more time for them to comprehend each
thing you’re saying and how long they were laughing but you had a bad bar
habit of continuing to push push push keep going keep going keep going keep
going and you got out of synch with the audience you are ahead of them so you’re
stepping on your laughs you’re cutting off the laughs too soon all those things
and therefore the show took a dip because you are completely out of sync
with the audience so we started working with them and I had to train him all
over again to put his attention on the audience and make the relationship the
most important thing not getting through the material right and so you know and
as a pro he caught on quick but we’d have to see you sit there he goes stop
stop stop talking we’re laughing you know and he was really funny so we’d
laugh for long periods of time Wow and then after after awhile he got that and
now every time he got up he would get into that rhythm with us you know we’d
laugh he’d shut out we’d lay in and it was perfect because that rhythm you see
that rhythm you need to discover it with the people that are in front of you and
then it’s never relevant again okay what you do is go to the next group of people
and figure it out with this group of people cuz so hold there are different
series of rhythms and and things that are going on and room might even split
this group that goes through this group goes faster than that it’s weird but
then you’re aware of what’s going on so there laughter lack of laughter has
having an impact on how to actually interpret the show for this group of
people in front of you okay so that you can’t set the show exactly in language
and you can’t set the interpretation of that show exactly
you need to get into the speed back loop relationship did I really do that no
relationship and with them and again it’s caring it’s letting that
information in and discover your your rhythm with this audience and it’s
different every single show and to me the rhythm and discovering that rhythm
with everybody get that rhythm going rather than going rhythm going rhythms
going everything going and you know they’re that find the laughs hit that
last laugh there’s a big screen goodnight Wow but that you can only
attain those kind of rhythms when you understand that the show is the
relationship

Michael Martin

4 Responses

  1. Another great video-lesson! I'm unashamed to admit, Greg Dean, that your videos have become something like crack to me. I've found myself checking here frequently, & I regularly listen to & learn-well from categorized audio-clips I've made from your vids. Thank you for sharing as much as you do. We may be far & few between, but from amongst the billions of people navigating the internet, there are outliers who await your vids & who drink in your teachings, Greg. I'd love to see you visit the Boston area, & host a workshop or 2 (or more!). Tax write-off (I'm guessing), and you may even be surprised how many advance-tickets you can sell! (I know nothing about facilitating this sort of thing [yet], but I'd certainly grab a ticket to take your classes if you were in New England!

  2. That thumbnail pic… cool!!! I’ll watch this when I get home. I’m at the supermarket with my wife, and we all know that the most important part of grocery shopping is my relationship with my wife.

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