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

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 heads. 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 that 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. A good friend, I mean a buddy of mine we might
have coffee and discuss Humor Theory all the time we’re really good friends, been friends for years. Is that coffee our relationship? And the answer is no. No it’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, the material is an activity. riffing with the audience, crowd work, is an activity. Improv, to some degrees, within stand-up is an activity. Audience participation, 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 take 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 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, you really
broken it down and so what should I do?’ And I said, ‘Take my beginner
class.’ He’s like, ‘Oh man really on you know I’m a pro I’m I’ve been being paid.’ 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 he gets in the advanced class, we do a showcase. His first set, his first, his first piece just killed. And then the second piece dipped. It 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’d done that material so many times, that you know, that you just kept going. And the audience just followed the rhythm 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 sync with the audience. You were ahead of them. So you’re
stepping on your laughs. You were 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, as a pro he caught on quick. But we’d have to 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 up, we’d laugh. And it 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 there are a different series of rhythms and, and things that are going on. And room might even split, this group that goes, this group goes faster than that group. It’s weird, but then you’re aware of what’s going on. So, their 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…the
relationship 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, get that rhythm going, rhythms
going, everything going and you know there’s that final laugh. POP. You get that
last laugh, there’s a big scream. ‘Goodnight.’ Wow. But that, you can only
attain those kind of rhythms, when you understand that the show is the

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  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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